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Developing in-demand professionals

They say that travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer. Today, it is a value as widespread as it is reflected in a tourism industry that is seeing significant growth.

Like with all positive growth, come new opportunities. The tourism industry is currently facing a skills shortage as it attempts to keep pace with this upward industry trend. However, a glass half-full understanding reveals that, if you're an aspiring tourism worker, the time is ideal for an introduction into the field.

"Once you're in, you're in. You can't get the travel out of your blood. It's one of those industries that keeps on reinventing itself," Tourism teacher Melissa Couchman says. "The students, when they first come in, often don't realise the scope of the industry. There is such breadth."

Therefore, the first misconception to correct is that tourism simply includes travel agents. From travel agency to hotels and resorts, and from wholesale and consolidating companies to running niche tours, the industry pathways are varied.

"The excitement of the course is it continues to develop students as they're going along," Holmesglen Tourism and Events Senior Educator Nicolas Bottiglieri says of the curriculum.

Holmesglen maintains close relationships with companies such as G Adventures and APT to keep content professionally current. "Responsible tourism is globally quite a big concept at the moment. That is something we have introduced into our units – learning about this concept from a cultural, financial and social perspective," Melissa says.

With graduates going onto work in various areas including international travel with Top Deck in London or in regional tourism with the Puffing Billy Railway, the opportunities are equally as extensive.

Furthermore, six Holmesglen students are potentially preparing to work with Disney Orlando, with interviews to be held this September.

"The core skills can be expanded to many different industries. It's a portable portfolio of skills students learn," Nicolas says.

This is also supported in the teaching and use of global travel software, which includes reservation and ticketing systems such as Amadeus and Galileo. "People are now realising they do need to go to a travel professional to find out the correct information," Melissa observes.

Importantly, travel and tourism, as an industry, offers many professional skill-sets. Holmesglen's courses work with these traits. Customer service and geography are pillar qualities, but computer and communication skills are equally as important.

"For some students it is bridging the gap between school and university. The skills are transferable," Melissa notes.

While the profession is currently in demand, the principles of hard-work and commitment still apply. While Holmesglen is keen to highlight the opportunities available and provide the appropriate skills to achieve such goals, it's first important to love what you're doing.

"People go to a travel agent for advice, so if they're passionate about what they're delivering and can paint that picture of the destination then the client gets quite enthused," Nicolas says.

All information is correct at the time of printing but subject to change.

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