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How you can travel AND make money!

Last updated on: November 11, 2013 14:10 IST

How you can travel AND make money!

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In an online chat with Get Ahead readers on November 12, Smeeta Gulvady, Vice President and Head of Thomas Cook Centre of Learning answered readers' queries on careers in the travel and tourism sector.

Here is the unedited chat transcript:

appa: is there any good scope in tourisim?

Smeeta Gulvady: Tourism is the fastest growing industry in the world. The Tourism industry is the largest service industry in India. It is the world's number one employer and represents more than 10% of global spending. According to World Travel & Tourism Council, India will be a tourism hotspot from 2009-2018. Slated to be top 5 domestic markets by IATA -69million passengers a year.

One in 11 of all jobs in the world are now supported by Travel & Tourism. Report by the World Economic Forum, Indian Travel & Tourism Industry is expected to be the second largest employer in the world by 2019 It is experiencing a strong phase of growth, driven by the country’s growing economy.

tushar: I am interested in masters in travel and tourism management, but little bit confuse while selecting it, is this profession is good for women and is there any long term scope in this?

Smeeta Gulvady: Hospitality and Tourism have a higher percentage of women employees compared to other industries. Yes, there is a long-term scope.

shahin: How Tomas Cook Centre of Learning Different from other learning center?

Smeeta Gulvady: COL has been awarded second time in a row as 'Top 10 South Asia Authorised Training Centre' by IATA, top IATA students in the country were COL students, COL is the first and only non-academic industry partner of Pondicherry University, COL has a wide array of programs - including niche programs such as Tour Manager, MBA Tourism. COL is the strategic alliance partner of IITTM.

Human: Travel job is part time or full time

Smeeta Gulvady: It depends on the job profile. Since it is a customer oriented industry, you need to be accessible.

Sonia Shah: I have worked for two years with a small travel agency, now I want to work with a tourism board, but I don't know how to go about it. Can you give me some advice?

Smeeta Gulvady: Tourism Boards are very thinly staffed with presence in only one/two metros. Hence the job profile in a Tourism Board includes handling dignatories from the home country, marketing, sales, event planning, even film personalities. Hence, maturity and a good personality are a few features that they look out for.

sona: What information is given to students in Travel and Tourism courses?

Smeeta Gulvady: There are about fourteen modules in a one-year course including HR, Foreign language, marketing, ticketing, finance, life skills, tourism, geography, etc.

Neil: I am working with a travel agency since last 7 years i am persuing my graduation. Is there an possibility for me to get a good job

Smeeta Gulvady: Post graduation, you may apply to a travel company and your work experience will be very useful. Graduation is the minimum qualification with many large organisations.

mustafa: Is it necessary to have certificate or degree to work in travel and tourism industry?

Smeeta Gulvady: Organisations look for employees with basic skill sets. Hence, a program in Travel is a good base for all entry-level positions.

Human: How much one earns as foreign travel manager

Smeeta Gulvady: Average industry figures range from 5-9 lacs per annum.

kaushal: What is a home based travel agent? Is it easy to open my own travel and tourism agency after the completion of travel and tourism course?

Smeeta Gulvady: A home-based travel agency organises & facilitates tickets, accommodation etc based on customer's needs using technology at a service fee. A PG course will be comprehensive and you can utilise your network to set up a home-based travel agency thereafter.

sheetal: What type of work is involved in travel and tourism industry?

Smeeta Gulvady: Tour managers, operations, sales, counter-sales, ticketing, travel desk at implant offices are some of the areas of work in this industry.

alex: I have heard a lot about IATA or ARC number, what is the function of IATA or ARC number in travel and tourism industry?

Smeeta Gulvady: IATA or ARC numbers are used for tracking business and all-accredited IATA agents have a designated IATA number.

aparna v: Hello,I have over 9 years work experience and am a software engineer by profession. I am suffering from what one would call a mid-life crisis and I wish to change my career track and move towards travel tourism. can you please guide me?

Smeeta Gulvady: You could look at a career switch with Tour manager as a possible option. At COL, we have an age criteria of 26-45 years for TManagers.

QUAIDZOHER TOPIWALA: how can i make money while travelling . studying in 12th std poddar college matunga

Smeeta Gulvady: You can always start your own travel blog. After graduation look at a Tour Management course as a career option....

Jeswal: What qualification should I have to start a career in Travel and Tourism industry?

Smeeta Gulvady: Vary based on the course - minimum eligibility 10 2 or graduation

harshan bhandari: My Daughter wants to take Travel agency/Tourism as carrirer .She is not trained on subject but keen interest.Pl guide

Smeeta Gulvady: There are an array of programs ranging from basic to advanced, ranging from 4 months .to 2 years- part time to full time for graduates & under –graduates. Based on her interest – aviation/ tourism..., she could enrol into one of the programs that will equip her with necessary skill sets for a career in the industry

SKCP Zanwar: Who can take carrier in torism

Smeeta Gulvady: Centre of Learning offers a wide range of programmes from basic to advanced levels for travel aspirants, students and working executives, ranging from 4 months to 2 years in duration.

ganesh-nadar: Can you graduate in travel and tourism

Smeeta Gulvady: Travel & Tourism is being offered as a vocational add on subject in the undergraduate level. Centre of Learning also offers a variety of post graduate courses including a 3 month certificate course in World Tour Management, a 1 year Travel Professional Programme - a diploma in travel and tourism management inclusive of an internship and a 2 year

International Tourism Business Course in association with the prestigious Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM).This course is recognised by AICTE and is equivalent to a MBA . Centre of Learning partners with Pondicherry University to offer MBA in Tourism. Centre of Learning is the first Industry non academic partner for the University

rajesh sharad kamat: Hi, I am an engineer in R&D field, but still interested to get into business of travel. Traveling remote places at cheapest rate is what i prefer and thats a forte of mine that I would like to sell. In what way I can approach to go ahead with it?

Smeeta Gulvady: As a professional, one’s prospects of a robust career growth in the travel and tourism industry will be extensive. The professional can look at launching his own travel agency or working with travel operators across sectors You could also explore career opportunities in corresponding fields like event management, adventure tourism


Image: Go on, explore the world with a career in tourism
Photographs: Rafael Marchante/Reuters