What are the Different Types of Jobs in Tourism?

Dan Cavallari

Specific jobs in tourism can vary from region to region, though some broad categories include travel agent, tour guide, hotel manager or staff, safety official or security, hospitality manager, activity manager, and many more. Countless jobs in tourism exist based on the specific draw of an area, and most jobs revolve around making the experience a positive one for visitors. Some jobs in tourism focus specifically on educating tourists about a specific area or historical event, so park ranger may even fit into the tourism category of jobs. Vendors who sell goods to tourists in a specific area may also fall into this category.

Many tourists visit the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, each year.
Many tourists visit the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, each year.

Hospitality management and staffing is one of the more common jobs in tourism. This includes hotel staff and management, bed and breakfast ownership and management, and even concierge service and transportation. Large hotel chains are common throughout the world, and such chains hire cleaning personnel, front desk staff, pool staff, bar and restaurant staff, and even security staff. Smaller hotels may also hire for such jobs, though on a smaller scale. Bed and breakfasts are often family-run, though not exclusively so, and such businesses may also hire housekeeping staff and other services.

Bartenders can work in tourism.
Bartenders can work in tourism.

Area-specific jobs include casino management and staff, cruise ship operations, and lifeguards, to name a few. In places like Las Vegas or Atlantic City, jobs in tourism revolve almost exclusively around gambling and hotel accommodations. Taxi drivers also thrive in such places, as do entertainers such as musicians, magicians, dancers, and other performers. Casinos will hire a significant amount of security staff as well as table dealers, cocktail waitresses, bartenders, and vendors for food stalls or souvenir stands. Cruise ship operations may include being part of the staff that actually runs the boat, or it may mean coordinating entertainment for cruise ship guests. Lifeguards may be on duty full-time for on-board pools and hot tubs. Lifeguards may also find work at pools in any region, or on beaches near the ocean or lakes.

Hotel managers may work in the tourism field.
Hotel managers may work in the tourism field.

In larger cities, jobs in tourism can vary significantly depending on the city's tourist draws. Historic cities such as Boston often have plenty of jobs that revolve around education of historic events; museum curation is common, and curators will be responsible for the displays and maintenance of the museum itself. Curators are active in making sure the museum is displaying the most relevant information in an entertaining and educational manner.

A park ranger might be considered someone who works in tourism.
A park ranger might be considered someone who works in tourism.
Part of a museum curator's job is ensuring its collection draws visitors.
Part of a museum curator's job is ensuring its collection draws visitors.
Tourism jobs in Las Vegas focus largely on casino gaming.
Tourism jobs in Las Vegas focus largely on casino gaming.
Tourist attractions, such as the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina, employ people in the tourism industry.
Tourist attractions, such as the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina, employ people in the tourism industry.
Tourism managers should know about local attractions, such as lighthouses.
Tourism managers should know about local attractions, such as lighthouses.
Souvenir stands are part of the tourism industry.
Souvenir stands are part of the tourism industry.
Some travel agents specialize in a niche, such as travel to and within Europe.
Some travel agents specialize in a niche, such as travel to and within Europe.
Some travel companies specialize in creating personalized travel itineraries for clients.
Some travel companies specialize in creating personalized travel itineraries for clients.
Though they're not usually full time tourism industry workers, some archaeologists offer tours to ancient sites like the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt.
Though they're not usually full time tourism industry workers, some archaeologists offer tours to ancient sites like the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt.
A hotel supervisor may oversee housekeeping and help ensure that hotel rooms are spotless and are properly stocked.
A hotel supervisor may oversee housekeeping and help ensure that hotel rooms are spotless and are properly stocked.

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