Careers in Travel & Tourism – Introduction (Preview)

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Chapter One:     The Tourism IndustryBrochures

Chapter Two:    The Travel Industry

Chapter Three: Careers in Travel & Tourism

Chapter Four:   Career Preparation

Chapter One: The Tourism Industry

Tourism is big business. In 2010 more than 940 million international tourist arrivals took place around the world and these tourists spent more than $919 billion US dollars! In some countries tourism is THE most important industry earning more than any other type of activity and providing vital employment for local people.

Top 10 tourism destinations in 2010_v1_cropped

Tourism is about people travelling INTO a country or destination. For example, if you live in New Zealand and travel to the UK you will be regarded as a ‘tourist’ while you are there. Visitors to the country where you live are engaged in tourism, and if you work in the tourism industry you will have a job such as a tour guide or Visitor Information Consultant, helping tourists to access and enjoy the attractions and activities available in your area.

When Did Tourism Start?

People have always travelled – for the purpose of war, religious pilgrimages and trading.  Wealthy people have travelled for hundreds of years – to see great buildings, works of art, learn languages, experiencing new cultures and to taste different foods. Even in Roman times there are records of people travelling to coastal areas or mountains for leisure time. The word ‘tourism’ was first used in the 1800’s, and a tourist has since been defined as somebody who ‘travels abroad for at least 24 hours.’

Tourism as a recognised industry is generally regarded to have started around 250 years ago with the first official travel company formed in the UK – Cox & Kings, who are still operating today.

Have read here about the history of this company: from Below the Eiffel Tower

The first ‘packaged tour’ took place in 1949 when a group of British tourists travelled to Corsica on a pre-arranged tour on a jet powered passenger aircraft – the first known example of jet aircraft being used purely for leisure tourism. The advent of the Jumbo Jet in 1969, an aircraft that could carry 500 passengers, saw the launch of new airlines using large jet aircraft and an expansion of routes to new tourism destinations. This allowed the transport of large numbers of people in a short space of time to new and exciting places and put such travel within reach of large numbers of people who previously had not been able to afford to travel beyond their own country.

The first chain of travel agencies, similar to how we know them today, were Thomas Cook. They started in the UK, and now have locations around the globe.

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