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Travel and Tourism

Ways in

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Ways in to travel and tourism

Experience of working with customers, especially in a retail or hospitality environment is useful as is a strong interest in travel. Some employers prefer applicants to have GCSEs A*-C or higher level qualifications.

Air Cabin Crew

Entry requirements vary between airlines, but all applicants should be educated at least to GCSE standard including English and maths and have customer service experience. Airlines will have additional requirements e.g. concerning height/weight ratio and physical fitness. 

Coach Drivers

To drive coaches you need a category D driving licence (for passenger carrying vehicles) and a certificate of professional competence - both include a practical and a theory test. To train for this licence, a full UK driving licence is required.

Resort representatives

Many employers prefer applicants to have GCSEs (A*-C),  as well as previous customer service, administration or sales work experience. A working knowledge of one or more foreign languages is an advantage, although not always essential. Spanish, French, Greek, Turkish, Italian and Portuguese are particularly useful.

Children's representatives often need a relevant childcare qualification, plus 6 to 12 months of practical child care experience. To work with children, applicants need to undergo checks through the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).

Tour managers

Often tour managers gain experience in other roles in travel and tourism, such as sales or working as a tour guide before moving into tour management. For jobs abroad, knowledge of one or more foreign languages is important. Experience of living and working abroad is useful, as is experience of independent travel.

Tourist guides

Tourist guides may have a degree related to the area that they are guiding in, for example in art history or archaeology; if not they need a good knowledge of the subject areas or the places they are talking to tourists about. Fluency in at least one foreign language can be an advantage -many guides working in a foreign language are native speakers who now live in the UK.

Tourist Information Centre Assistants

Previous experience of working with the public and handling cash is useful. The ability to speak a foreign language is an advantage and may be a requirement for working in centres where assistants deal with many overseas tourists, such as those in large cities, in airports and ports and at major tourism destinations. Knowledge of British Sign Language is also helpful.

Train crew

For on-train crew and station staff roles, employers prefer applicants to have experience of customer service work (for example waiting tables, shop work). They are also looking for skills in communication and dealing confidently with the public. Applicants also need to pass a series of assessment tests and a full medical.

Travel Agents

Personal qualities and enthusiasm are as important as qualifications and it can be an advantage to have customer service and sales experience. Many young people in travel agency work have entered through Apprenticeships.


For courses in higher education, see UCAS

For courses in schools and colleges, see UCAS Progress

For Apprenticeship information, including vacancies, see the National Apprenticeship Service