Tourism is one of Australia’s strongest industries, and why wouldn’t it be? Australia is jam-packed with natural beauty and exotic wildlife, and the people are known to be among the friendliest in the world. The industry is growing strongly. According to Tourism Australia, the year ending in March 2013 saw an increase of 4.9% in visitors over the year ending in March 2012. During the first quarter of 2013, there were 5.4% more visitors than the first quarter of 2012. Even March 2013 experienced an 8.1% increase in visitors compared to March 2012.
If you want to capitalise on all of this growth, you need to ensure that you are properly prepared. Being properly prepared in this instance means being properly qualified. There are plenty of options if you want to study tourism in Australia. You can register for anything from TAFE certificates to graduate certificates; short courses are also available.
Let’s take a look at a small sample of the tourism courses available.
Certificate III in Tourism (Retail Travel Sales)
This certificate is available online or on-campus, depending on the course provider. Open Colleges offers the course online on a rolling basis, so you can register and start whenever suits you. Once you’ve completed the course you’ll be qualified to work in a number of different consulting positions, such as travel consulting, online travel consulting, and corporate travel consulting. You’ll have to complete several compulsory core subjects, but you’ll also get to choose between several different electives.
Core subjects include operating an online information system, sourcing Australian destination information and providing travel advice, selling tourism products and serves, booking and coordinating supplier services, working with customers and colleagues, and telephonic communication. Specialisation and elective subjects include sourcing international destination information, constructing national and international airfares, conflict resolution, processing financial transactions, using business technology, and designing and producing business documents.
Certificate IV in Tourism
This certificate is also available online or on-campus, provider depending. It qualifies you to work as a senior travel operations coordinator, travel operations supervisor, assistant manager, and travel call centre supervisor. During the course you will learn how to develop and update your tourism industry knowledge, how to prepare quotes, how to manage customer service, how to manage an environmentally sustainable workplace, how to maintain financial records, and how to develop and implement operational plans.
Graduate Certificate in International Tourism and Hospitality Management
Griffith University offers this graduate certificate that qualifies you to work for government departments, tourism authorities, event management organisations, theme parks and resorts, and within retail travel. Some of the subjects covered include marketing, financial management, special interest tourism, and international business of tourism and hotel management.
Being a travel consultant
One of the most popular jobs within the tourism industry is travel consultancy, but what does a travel consultant do?
A travel consultant is another name for a travel agent, and they take care of all the finicky travel details on behalf of their clients. So, they find great airfare deals, books flights, books tours, and ensure that all the hotel reservations are sorted. They also make sure that travellers have all the insurance they need. They’re the people you call when you’re in a flat panic because you’ve missed a connecting flight, or are having a fit of pique because the hotel has lost your reservations.
Travel consultants can work independently, or they can work for travel franchises. They can specialise in domestic or international travel. They can specialise in other things too, like corporate travel, organised group tours, gap year travel, safaris, diving holidays, skiing, or romantic holidays. Domestic travel consultants need in-depth knowledge of their country’s attractions. International travel consultants need to know a lot about a lot, but they also need to be able to find out more at the drop of the hat, so research skills are essential.
It’s quite hard work and isn’t as glamorous as some people think, but it does have one enormous perk and that is the opportunity to travel. Not only are top travel consultants invited to fly certain airlines, stay in certain hotels, and experience certain tours (because airlines, hotel managers and tour operators want consultants to recommend their services), but they also tend to get discounts on flights and accommodation.
So, if you’re good with people, are well-organised, and are an excellent communicator and researcher, and you have an itch to see the world, then register for a tourism course today.