There is concern within the Travel & Tourism sector that companies are missing out on the best new talent due to negative perceptions of the career opportunities available in Travel & Tourism. This research, carried out with undergraduates in China, USA and the UK attempts to understand the extent and nature of these negative perceptions among non- Travel & Tourism undergraduates.
The research, carried out in January and February 2013, found that:
Travel & Tourism is viewed as a reasonably attractive industry for university undergraduates but one that is still poorly understood. Scarce information and misconceptions exist about the skills required for graduates as well as the roles, career development and working.
Travel & Tourism appeals most for offering international opportunities, work life balance and the chance to speak languages, however, these are generally less important factors when choosing a job compared to job security, competitive starting salary and career progression. Travel & Tourism compares poorly on these decisive factors in career choice.
The research shows that there is a clear lack of information, misjudgement and preconception about what a graduate career in Travel & Tourism would offer. Most students are only able to identify very broad job roles (‘travel’, ‘guide’, ‘management’, for example) while only a career pathway in ‘sales & marketing’ is believed by all respondents to offer ‘many opportunities’.
A separate report just looking at the Chinese undergraduates and sponsored by Qunar, shows that Travel & Tourism has great appeal as a sector to work in after their graduation. Nearly nine in ten respondents (87%) say that they would consider a career in Travel & Tourism. Even among these students, however, challenges remain when it comes to really understanding the types of opportunities available within the sector and its subsectors, as well as building a strong profile and prestige of a job in the sector.
The WTTC Human Capital Working Group will be reviewing these results and taking actions to improve the appeal of careers in Travel & Tourism over the coming months.
A Career in Travel & Tourism: Undergraduate PerceptionsAugust 2013
Travel & Tourism is viewed as a reasonably attractive industry for university undergraduates but one that is still poorly understood. Scarce information and misconceptions exist about the skills required for graduates as well as the roles, career development and working opportunities in this industry.
A Career in Travel & Tourism: Chinese Undergraduate PerceptionsAugust 2013
This report focuses on the perspectives of Chinese undergraduates. It identifies several characteristics particular to these students. There is a lack of variety and specificity of roles that undergraduates are able to identify as potential jobs in the sector. Undergraduates in China also appear to have a very realistic outlook on the job market and employment overall.