very year, 37 million people visit the UK spending around £22bn. In fact, the UK is the 8th largest international tourist destination in the world with 3.4% of the world’s total travel receipts and since 2010 travel and tourism has been at the forefront of our economic recovery with a growth rate of around 5.5% per annum. The Office for National Statistics records that 9% of the UK workforce, some 2.81m people, work in the travel and tourism sector.
All this sounds very promising for anyone wanting a career in travel and tourism. The headline statistics, however, don’t tell the whole story.
Much of the work is part time and many people employed in the sector would like more hours than they have. Much of the work is considered to be low skilled and often seasonal, with zero hours contracts and while self-employment is a growing choice for many - doing everything from running B&B to catering, it is often a life of feast and famine.
The environment too may be uncertain since Britain post-Brexit may have a very different relationship with other countries. For example, many low skilled and temporary posts have often been filled by European migrants, a supply which may diminish with restrictions on residency. Secondly, the impact of the decline of the pound may make many decide on “staycations” and increase the number of foreign tourists, keen to grab a bargain holiday. It may also mean that there might be fewer opportunities for talented UK workers to work abroad.
There is a growing tendency for people in the UK to take short breaks. New fashions such as “glamping” (camping in specially-designed huts) and specialist holidays such as conservation, heritage and education have extended the tourist season beyond the safe months of June -September making short breaks a more common feature of our leisure lives.
This is an opportunity for employment, but also for people to develop skills and knowledge for their own business.
Taking an online travel and tourism course may benefit your career chances.
- It's online – Online is definitely the way training is going these days. You can fit your training around work and even if you work shifts (as most people do in the T&T industry) the course is always there for you and you can fit it around work. It is unfortunate, but fewer and fewer employers are willing/able to pay for staff to take time off to study because it represents a dual cost – labour and training. Employers are more likely to support online training. The other thing is you can go back and check things you haven’t remembered or understood, whereas face to face training is a single “shot”.
- Make yourself stand out for promotion – You may not have many qualifications for all kinds of reasons and perhaps you are returning to work after a career break. Both of these are good reasons to take an online course – Impress your company with your commitment, match your ability with qualifications. So many times a qualification is the key that unlocks the door to promotion.
- Getting a job – Companies sometimes get hundreds of applications for plum jobs. They often have minimum requirements which include qualifications. It is harsh, but your CV or application form will be tossed to one side in seconds if you don’t have a qualification if that is an essential selection criteria. Doing an online course in Travel and Tourism will enable you to get the qualification in a way that is achievable.
- Working abroad – Again, this can single you out from the pack and make your application stand out from all those others who fancy work experience in sunnier climates.
- As a stepping stone – As a mature student, universities and colleges often want evidence that you have managed a commitment to recent study. If you want to study travel and tourism at university, an online course could be a first step in developing your career ambitions.
- Study for pleasure – If you have an interest in Travel and Tourism then an online course is a great way to find out more and could be the gateway to learning for you – opening up other possibilities. You could combine it with other online courses. For example, you might decide you want to start your own business in the sector so an online course on starting your own business, languages or heritage could open a whole range of possibilities for you.
The world is your oyster and there has never been a better time to start online study, the choice is yours.
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