You want to go to travel and tourism college? Once you obtain the necessary travel and tourism degree, then what? Tracy Snelling, an account manager at Atlas Travel International, a travel agency in Milford, MA, never went the traditional route of going to travel and tourism college, but she can tell you a lot about the career in store for you. The award-winning innovative company in products and services, not only prides itself in their excellent company culture, but her ability to help her clients. So what does it take to be a travel and tourism pro?
How Snelling's Travel and Tourism Career Began
When Snelling was in college, she was drawn to work at a small agency in North Carolina part time. "I thought it would be nice to travel," she recalls. "Little did I know it really wasn't that much about traveling." But the job did have its benefits. In fact, Snelling's experience at Atlas Travel International landed her an accounting job. Sure, she was in the back of the Atlas office doing the books, but she soon realized her true calling on the job.
"When I realized that accounting would drive me crazy, I used my customer service skills and moved to the front office as a travel consultant," explains Snelling who also worked on leisure trips and corporate reservations. "As a travel agent, I loved working with people to provide them what they were truly looking for in travel," she says. Within a few years, Snelling found herself managing the travel and tourism agency, training agents, and more. Snelling's largest account hired her to start their client services department. She then moved to Massachusetts where her travel and tourism career flourished.
A Typical Day for a Travel and Tourism Pro
For Snelling, there's no such thing as a typical day in her travel and tourism career. "It's so fast-paced that change is the only typical expectation," she explains. "You can expect that what ever task list you start with will not be the one that you follow throughout the day." From internal customer service requests to numerous external requests, most of which are not planned on.
When it's all said and done, the daily stresses are outweighed by Snelling's satisfaction from assisting those in need of her travel and tourism expertise and assistance. "The industry has never been typical or predictable It keeps my juices flowing," says Snelling. "Learning about all the great destinations of the world also makes the job incredible."
Snelling's Advice: From Travel and Tourism College to Work
Of course, tourism education is paramount. You will need training at a travel and toursim college before you land an awesome job like Snelling. Combine what you learn at a travel and tourism college with experience, advises Snelling. "Get as much experience in customer service and business management as possible," she says. "If you can learn anything at all about the travel industry, that will definitely help you."
Snelling adds that travel and tourism careers are very unique, so do your research first. Once you've earned the necessary travel and tourism degree at a travel and tourism college, you can find placement with a good company. "Stay with that company and learn from them," Snelling explains. "Work hard, and enjoy the challenges you face."