Why work in travel?

Why would you want to start your career in the travel industry? Well, working in travel is not just a job – it opens up a whole world of exciting opportunities for you to play your part in creating unforgettable memories for people.

Many roles across the industry offer the ability to work in a variety of locations, along with flexible hours, to help you balance your job with your hobbies.

And the best part? You get to travel. Whether it’s soaking up all the knowledge from a conference, exploring new destinations on a fam trip or networking with like-minded people who share your passion for seeing the world, the industry is all about turning your love for travel into a full-time gig.

Strong demand

Demand for travel and tourism services has skyrocketed since the pandemic. The average entry-level salary is between £19,000-£24,000 (plus commission for some roles), according to Barbara Kolosinska, managing director of C&M Travel Recruitment, placing it at the higher end of industry rankings. And the perks extend beyond actually travelling. To help with recruitment, many operators have introduced reward incentives to help attract new talent.

Reward incentives

Cruise specialist agency Panache Cruises, for example, has boosted its sales team’s basic salary to £30,000, with £60,000 on target earnings after three years. Staff also receive a £200 holiday concession, among other opportunities, including working overseas.

Adventure operator Intrepid Travel offers office‑based staff a free trip every year, with an extra five days of paid leave, while home-based agency Not Just Travel grants staff £500 each per year to spend on personal or professional development.

Travel Counsellors recently took 32 of its top-selling agents away to Thailand. Meanwhile, in 2022, Jet2 gave employees a pay rise, a ‘thank you’ bonus and extra days of leave, as well as another pay rise in 2023.

So, if you’ve got a zest for life and a desire to be part of an ever-evolving and vibrant industry, why wouldn’t you want to work in travel?

Credit: Roman Samborskyi/shutterstock.com

is a personal travel consultant with homeworking travel agency Travelosophers

I started my career 25 years ago working for Thomas Cook. I was young and loved getting on planes and soaking up destination and product knowledge from the amazing teams that I worked with. That is one of the best things about the industry – the people that you meet and the lasting relationships that you build. The social events are out of this world and the enthusiasm and passion for travel is infectious!

Just over a year ago, after multiple industry roles, I decided to ‘go it alone’ and start working for myself. I researched multiple homeworking agencies but, having known current employees from my time at Thomas Cook and feeling a natural affinity with the concept and values of Travelosophers, it felt like a perfect fit. We’re like a family – hand‑picked agents that bring our own strengths and experience to the mix, and we’re definitely the ultimate team.

I also work full-time as a trainer for the civil service at the moment, and the support and encouragement that I am given allows me to work flexibly and remain motivated and determined.

is industry partnerships manager at Intrepid Travel

After graduating from university where I studied history and classics, I decided to go to South America for five months. On my return, a friend sent me a job advert for a business development executive role with Latin Routes, so I applied without having any experience, and got the role. My favourite part was the relationships made with agents across the UK, the independence of ‘being on the road’, and hosting 50 travel agents on a trip to Rio de Janeiro.

The next step of my career was as a marketing executive at TravelLocal, where I got to work from their Berlin office. Both jobs have led me to my current role as industry partnerships manager for Intrepid Travel. Intrepid always stood out to me as a great company, not only because of their incredible trips, but also their sustainability credentials and belief that positive change can be made through the joy of travel.

Looking back, I’m glad I took that trip to South America and followed my own path, as it has taken me around the world and ultimately led me to a fantastic and fulfilling career.