As people have traveled more, the need to experience something different, something special has also grown. The result is Ďniche tourismí. Even today, many people associate tourism with lying on a beach near a warm sea. The reality is quite different, and more and more tour operators, large and small, try to tailor their products to the publicís diverse tastes. Tour operators have realized there is a market for the specialist tourist, and it is a market that often spends more than the Ďpackage-holidayí tourist. This market is perhaps the fastest-growing market in the tourism industry.
The classic three Ss holiday (sea, sand, and sun) still dominates the industry, but many tourists today seek something different. There are four broad classes of alternative holiday. These are: adventure and action; ecotourism; escape and enlightenment; cultural and heritage holidays.
Adventure and action holidays include touristís active participation. For example, mountain climbing, windsurfing, white-water rafting, learning survival skills in the jungles of Borneo, and cycling in the mountains and deserts of Mongolia.
There are many definitions of ecotourism but all involve responsible travel to a natural area; the conservation of environment visited; sustaining the well-being of local people. For example, whale-watching off the west coast of the USA, conservation work helping to repair coastal damage.
As a result of the stress of modern living, tourists are increasingly seeking relaxation in a range of holidays that can be classified as escape and enlightenment. Escape can come through a stay in a spa, a health farm, or some similar place where it is possible to get away from the urgency and tension of life today. Enlightenment can come directly through the practice of activities such as yoga and meditation, or indirectly through the discovery of self often made by people on pilgrimages.
Cultural and heritage holidays involve anything in which the purpose of the visit is increased knowledge and understanding of other people and their culture. For example, tour of Scotland visiting historic castles, weekend break at the Prague Music Festival, long weekend in London to visit museums and art galleries.
a. CAREERS IN TOURISM
Like most service industries, tourism is labour-intensive. It employs a high proportion of people in comparison to the number that it serves. The range of jobs is also very wide, from unskilled, like a dishwasher in a restaurant, to semi-skilled, like a waiter or a chambermaid, to skilled, like a travel agent or a tour operator. In addition, tourism generates many jobs that are not usually considered to be within the industry itself Ė jobs in construction, manufacturing, and merchandising.
A majority of jobs in tourism have one common feature: contact with the public, including both the positive and negative aspects of dealing with ordinary people. Anyone who has chosen a career in tourism should enjoy working with people and be tolerant.
In many jobs language skill is necessary or desirable. People who hold jobs of this kind include travel agency employees, ticket and reservations agents, airline flights personnel, front-desk personnel in hotels, tour guides, waiters, and barmen and so on. The tourist industry differs from many others as it employs more women than any kind of business. Many successful travel agents are women who have established independent enterprises after gaining experience elsewhere in the industry.
The travel agents must deal with the public and with people who work for the other components in the industry. One of the most important aspects of the job is keeping informed of the highly complex pricing policies of airlines and the resort hotels. The agent must also keep up with other developments in the industry Ė new resorts, changing travel regulations, new services.
The sightseeing guidesmust be familiar with the points of interest that he is showing to the visitors. He usually gives a prepared talk that describes the points of interest, but he must also be prepared to answer a lot of questions. And he has to deal with any problems that occur during the tour or excursion, such as bad weather, sudden illness, an accident. A sightseeing guide needs two qualities above all Ė an outgoing personality and language skill.
Front-desk employees are hotel personnel who work at the registration, information and cashierís desk.
Free-lancersare people who work for themselves. Many free-lance writers specialize in the travel field.
Social Directoris a person at a resort hotel or on a cruise ship who is in charge of the activities to amuse and entertain the customers.
Tourism is an industry that is still growing rapidly. It provides people with variety of occupations that require different kinds of skills. No matter what aspect of the industry one may work in, the final result of the effort should be a satisfied customer who remembers his trip and his holiday with pleasure.
2b.TOURISM JOBS (additional Ė ÚÓŽŁÍÓ ųŤÚŗÚŁ)
Working in tourism is about love Ė love for the industry. If you donít love it, forget it. Itís a people industry. Itís providing service. Itís people enjoying and experiencing your culture. Thatís crucial. If you donít have that love, it doesnít make sense. If you work in the industry, youíve got to love it.
I like the job. I like being the front line, the first point of contact. I think Iím quite good at dealing with people. I know how to smile, although sometimes on a bad day, itís hard. I guess the tasks I do are a bit routine if Iím honest Ė I check in arrivals, hand out room keys, process enquiries and reservations, that kind of thing. I work shifts, which can be a drag. I usually start at six in the morning, which is OK because I get off nice and early, and then occasionally I do the late turn and I donít finish till after midnight.
I started here two years ago. As the manager, Iím mainly in the back office. I donít deal directly with the public at the desk. On a typical day, Iím on the phone and the email most of the time. I start the day by checking my email, and that sets the agenda for the first part of the morning at least. I have to talk to local businesses,, hotels, tour companies, to check that weíre providing the service they want, that weíre stocking their brochures and so on. I also arrange presentations, and I get invited to a lot of social events to network and talk about tourist information services in the city.
This is my second season. A lot of reps only survive one season, because itís very demanding work Ė we donít get paid a lot and we only get one day off a week. I feel a lot more confident about things this time. I couldnít do the job all year, but as the season only lasts three months, itís OK. We work very long hours, especially on changeover days. We take the quests who are going home to the airport at six in the morning, and bring back the new group. We then have to get them settled, sort out problems Ė and there always are problems! Ė and do the paperwork. So often I donít finish until midnight on changeover day.
I like working with people and on the whole the guests are good, but some of them can be very annoying Ė although I never show it of course, because the customer is always right!
Package holiday mean that large numbers of holidaymakers arrive at the same time at the same resort, traveling on a holiday sold by the same tour operator. Because of this, the better tour operators employ full-time staff to live and work at their resorts during the holiday season. These employees are overseas or holiday reps. ĎRepí is an abbreviation for Ďrepresentativeí.
In large resorts, a tour operator will often designate specific duties to different reds. In this way the company may advertise for
- childrenís reps to work specifically with groups of children aged two and over;
- transfer reps to travel with holidaymakers to and from the air port and the accommodation;
- club reps to take men and women between 18 and 35 out to local clubs and discos;
- ski reps, who are holiday reps at winter ski resorts.
Resort representatives are the first point of contact for holidaymakers at their destinations. They represent the tour operator, and aim to ensure the success of the clientsí holidays.
Representatives meet each party of holidaymakers on their arrival at the airport and accompany them by coach to their accommodation. Usually, they hold a welcome meeting soon after arrival to give the holidaymakers information about resort facilities and attractions.
Resort representatives arrange regular times to meet holidaymakers to make announcements and deal with enquiries and problems. They keep an information board, and often a folder of useful information, up-to-date. They may also arrange, book, and sometimes accompany excursions and sightseeing trips and arrange car or ski hire.
In addition to this they need to be available at almost any time to give advice, solve problems, and deal with emergencies such as loss of passports or money, illness, or difficulties with accommodation.
The completion of paperwork is an important aspect of the job. This involves keeping records and writing reports of complaints and incidents such as illness.
Representativesí work is seasonal. Depending on the resort / country, holiday seasons may run from April onwards, October to January or January to April. Hours of work are variable. Representatives often work from early morning to late evening and at weekends and can be on call 24 hours a day.
A driving license is usually needed, as representatives need to travel between hotels or other holiday accommodation and may be responsible for a wide area.
As a resort representative you should be self-confident, with a pleasant, cheerful, and outgoing nature.