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Community Tourism Planning

Travel Services Industry Careers

Travel services careers range from Visitor Information Counsellors, to Travel Writers, to Tourism Researchers. This industry also includes retail services, such as art galleries, craft and gift shops.

Careers in the Travel Services Industry

Travel services include organizations that specialize in serving the needs of the tourism industry, as well as businesses that provide direct services to visitors. These include government agencies, marketing organizations and tourism educators.

Sample Careers

Small Business Owner/Operator – Travel Services

An Owner/Operator of an art gallery or retail store directs and manages all the daily and long-term operations required to meet customers’ needs. As a gallery or store owner, specific duties include recruiting and managing service staff, inventory control, working with local artists or other suppliers and being knowledgeable about the products for sale so you can answer questions from customers. This position may provide the opportunity to work flexible hours and meet new people.

A diploma or degree in business, tourism, marketing or small business management is useful. Training in first aid is an asset.

Training and certification:

  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic – Business Certificate / Diploma
  • University of Saskatchewan, Edwards School of Business – Business Certificate
  • University of Saskatchewan, Edwards School of Business – Business Degree
  • St. John Ambulance and Red Cross- First Aid and CPR
  • Tourism Saskatchewan - Customer Service Training (Service Best for Leaders)
  • Other programs in business and special interests

Tourism Visitor Information Supervisor

Tourism Visitor Information Supervisors oversee the day-to-day operations of a visitor information centre, assisting visitors by providing information, as well as supervising staff and carrying out administrative functions. They may, on rare occasions, perform the same tasks as a Tourism Visitor Information Counsellor, but their priorities are the supervisory duties of planning, operations management and staff supervision. Extensive knowledge of local attractions, events and tourism service is necessary, as are excellent communication, administrative and time management skills.

A high school diploma or equivalent is required. Post secondary training, such as a college diploma or degree in tourism or business, is an asset. Supervisory or management experience is an asset. Experience attained as a Tourism Visitor Information Counsellor can lead to advancement to this position.

Training and certification:

  • emerit Tourism Visitor Information Counsellor
  • emerit Supervisor
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic – Business Certificate / Diploma
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic – Recreation and Community Development
  • University of Saskatchewan, Edwards School of Business – Business Certificate / Degree
  • Tourism Saskatchewan - Customer Service Training (Service Best for Leaders)
  • Other programs in tourism and business management

Tourism Visitor Information Counsellor

Tourism Visitor Information Counsellors provide answers to questions about the area, history, attractions and weather. They work in visitor information centres, tourism call centres and tourism association offices. They combine customer service with merchandising and retail skills. They enhance travel experiences by helping visitors make informed decisions about their travel and purchase decisions.

A high school diploma or equivalent is preferred. A certificate, diploma or degree in tourism is an asset. Knowledge of attractions, events and the local area is required.

Training and certification:

  • emerit Tourism Visitor Information Counsellor
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic – Recreation and Community Development
  • Tourism Saskatchewan - Customer Service Training (Service First, Service Best)
  • Other programs in tourism

Executive Director

Executive Directors for associations and non-profit organizations in the tourism sector are the top level of management. They organize, direct, control and evaluate the association and its activities by managing different levels of staff, working with a board of directors and liaising with their membership and other stakeholders who have interests in the Saskatchewan tourism industry. They formulate policies that establish the direction to be taken by these organizations, either alone or in conjunction with a board of directors.

A university degree or college diploma in business, administration and/or tourism management is preferred. Several years of experience as a middle manager in a tourism organization is usually required. Specialization in a particular tourism service or sector (such as marketing) is an advantage and may be acquired through specific university or college training in that area or through workplace experience.

Training and certification:

  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic – Business Certificate / Diploma
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic – Recreation and Community Development
  • University of Saskatchewan, Edwards School of Business – Business Diploma / Degree
  • Tourism Saskatchewan - Customer Service Training (Service Best for Leaders)
  • Other programs in tourism management, marketing and travel trade and business management

Marketing Director

Marketing Directors are responsible for establishing and directing the marketing and sales activities of an attraction like a museum or heritage site, a tour company or destination marketing organizations. Marketing Directors guide the activities of staff involved in sales, travel trade, marketing, advertising and public relations and, in doing so, impact the direction and goals of an organization.

A university degree or college diploma in business, marketing, communication, public relations, advertising or a related field is an asset. Experience in strategic planning, business, sales and marketing and a network of contacts are an asset. Knowledge of the tourism industry, the products and the competition are required. Communication skills, both traditional and online, are required.

Training and certification:

  • emerit Sales Manager
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic – Diploma of Business (Marketing)
  • University of Saskatchewan – M.Sc. in Marketing
  • University of Regina – Business Administration in Marketing Degree
  • University of Saskatchewan, Edwards School of Business - Certificate / Degree
  • Other programs in tourism management, marketing and travel trade and business management
  • Tourism Saskatchewan - Customer Service Training (Service Best for Leaders)

Travel Trade Manager

Travel Trade Managers are responsible for promoting a destination to travel agencies and tour companies. Government agencies, private consulting and research firms and professional associations employ these managers. They may travel frequently, exploring new destinations and discovering travel attractions. They are responsible for recruiting, hiring, training and coaching travel counsellors in their operations. They are responsible for operations and management of the agency in which they work.

A high school diploma is required. A university degree or college diploma in tourism, business, marketing, communications or administration is an asset. Several years of experience and certification as a Travel Counsellor, with increasing responsibilities for administration, may replace academic qualifications.

Training and certification:

  • emerit/Association of Canadian Travel Agencies Travel Manager
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic – Recreation and Community Development
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic – Business Certificate / Diploma
  • University of Saskatchewan, Edwards School of Business – Business Certificate / Degree
  • Tourism Saskatchewan - Customer Service Training (Service Best for Leaders)
  • Other programs in tourism management, marketing and travel trade and business management

Travel Counsellor

Travel Counsellors advise customers on travel options and tour packages, make bookings and reservations, prepare tickets and receive payment. They are employed by travel agencies, transportation and tourism firms.

A high school diploma or equivalent is required. A college diploma or vocational training in travel or tourism is usually required. Certification with the Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors (CITC) may be required. This certification is granted after completion of a 60-credit requirement obtained through any combination of work experience, training and education and successful completion of the advanced exam.

Training and certification:

  • emerit/Association of Canadian Travel Agencies Travel Counsellor
  • Tourism Saskatchewan – Customer Service Training (Service First, Service Best)
  • Other programs in tourism and travel; Medicine Hat College offers a program specifically for Travel Counsellors

Travel Writer/Photographer

Travel Writers and Photographers are specialists who develop stories and photographs for tourism-related journalism. They may be employed by newspapers, magazines, trade publications or tourism-related government departments. Many Travel Writers and Photographers work freelance; they develop their stories and sell them to travel publications, publish them as books or distribute them through social media.

A journalism or communications diploma / degree is an asset for writers and a visual arts or photography diploma / degree is an asset for photographers. Experience in researching, interviewing and writing travel stories is a desirable background. Experience in any type of photography is valuable to a Travel Photographer.

Training and certification:

  • University of Regina - Journalism
  • University of Saskatchewan - Digital Social Media Program
  • University of Saskatchewan - Fine Arts, Arts and Art History
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic – New Media Communications
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic – Graphic Communications
  • Parkland College – Pre-Journalism
  • Tourism Saskatchewan - Customer Service Training (Service First, Service Best)
  • Other programs in journalism, writing, communications, digital communications and photography

Tourism Researcher

Tourism Researchers provide market research, analysis, plans and marketing strategies and services to tourism-related businesses. They collect, analyze and report findings back to customers. They may need to conduct comparative research studies and/or develop social economic profiles. Researchers are employed by governments, private consulting/research firms or professional associations.

A high school diploma is required. A bachelor’s degree in commerce, business or public administration is required. A post graduate degree in commerce, business or public administration is an asset.

Training and certification:

  • University of Saskatchewan, Edwards School of Business – Commerce Degree
  • University of Saskatchewan, Edwards School of Business – Business Administration Degree
  • University of Saskatchewan – Public Administration Degree
  • University of Regina – Commerce
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic - Business Diploma / Certificate
  • Saskatoon Business College – Business Diploma
  • Tourism Saskatchewan - Customer Service Training (Service First, Service Best)
  • Other programs in commerce, business administration and public administration

Tourism Trainer

Tourism Trainers use their expertise to increase the professionalism and skills of workers in the tourism sector. They work in classrooms, worksites and in schools. They have a good understanding of the tourism industry and knowledge of adult learning principles and training techniques. They may be expert in the skills required in one or several industries within the tourism sector. They may work as contract trainers, or may be employed by a company to manage ongoing training needs.

A high school diploma or equivalent is preferred. A college degree or diploma is an asset. A certificate in adult education is an asset. Extensive experience within the tourism industry is required.

Training and certification:

  • emerit Tourism Trainer
  • Tourism Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Tourism Education Council – Facilitator’s Skills Development Program
  • Tourism Saskatchewan - Customer Service Training (Service First, Service Best)
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic – Adult Teaching and Learning
  • University of Saskatchewan Continuing Education – Certificate in Adult Education
  • Other programs in adult learning

Retail Sales Associate

Retail Sales Associates sell or rent a variety of goods and services in stores and other retail businesses. They may work in independent stores or in retail outlets in another industry of the tourism sector. A gift shop in a museum or visitor information centre would be an example of a retail outlet affiliated with a tourism destination in a community. Many tasks in this position revolve around customer service and cash handling, but other duties relate to displaying merchandise, handling returns and generally ensuring the store is tidy and organized.

A high school diploma or equivalent is preferred. A university degree or college diploma may be required by some employers. Specific subject matter courses or training may be required. Demonstrated sales ability and product knowledge are usually required for retail salespersons who sell tourism-related, cultural or valuable merchandise, including local products, traditional arts and crafts and fine original art.

Training and certification:

  • emerit Retail Sales Associate
  • Tourism Saskatchewan - Customer Service Training (Service First, Service Best)

Tourism Destination Manager or Director

A destination organization, often referred to as a destination marketing or management organization, convention and visitors bureau or tourist board, is responsible for promoting a community as an attractive travel destination and enhancing its public image as a dynamic place to live and work. Tourism Destination Managers are the top level of management. They organize, direct, control and evaluate the association and its activities by managing different levels of staff, working with a board of directors and liaising with their membership and other stakeholders who have interests in the tourism industry. They formulate policies that establish the direction to be taken by these organizations, either alone or in conjunction with a board of directors.

A university degree or college diploma in business, administration and/or tourism management is preferred. Several years of experience as a middle manager in a tourism organization is usually required. Specialization in a particular tourism service or sector (such as marketing) is an advantage and may be acquired through specific university or college training in that area or through workplace experience.

Training and certification:

  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic – Business Certificate / Diploma
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic – Recreation and Community Development
  • University of Saskatchewan – Business Diploma / Degree
  • Tourism Saskatchewan - Customer Service Training (Service Best for Leaders)
  • Other programs in tourism management, marketing and travel trade and business management

Need more information?

Tourism Saskatchewan's Guide to Tourism Careers in Saskatchewan provides detailed descriptions of 45 career opportunities out of the hundreds of occupations available in all five industries that make up the tourism sector of the economy. Each industry, covered in its own module, includes an overview, career profiles, main duties, recommended education and training. Each career description includes a personal feature about someone in Saskatchewan who is doing that work. A bonus module provides links to tourism training and post-secondary programs that support the professional development of tourism employees. Information is provided on programs available from Tourism Saskatchewan, Saskatoon and Regina Industry Education Councils, Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, the University of Saskatchewan, and the University of Regina, as well as private colleges and trainers. This guide includes infographics showing the career progression journeys that are possible in culinary, international special events and hospitality.

Explore Tourism Careers is an interactive online presentation that provides teachers, career counsellors and high school students with an overview of the career opportunities available in the tourism sector in Saskatchewan. This short presentation explores four areas that answer students' and teachers' most-asked questions about building a successful tourism career.

These online resources always contain the most up-to-date information and are revised regularly.

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