Career in Travel and Tourism

Travel and Tourism one of the world’s largest foreign exchange earner among industries, provides employment directly to millions of people worldwide and indirectly through many associated service industries. A very wide industry, it includes Government tourism departments, Immigration and customs services, travel agencies, airlines, tour operators, hotels etc and many associated service industries such as airline catering or laundry services, Guides, Interpreters, Tourism promotion and sales etc. Travel and Tourism enterprises include major internationals with a workforce of thousands, to the small private travel agent with a handful of employees. Work in the travel and tourism industry is essentially concerned with providing services for people who are away from home, on business or holiday. Travel can be leisure travel involving package tours, pilgrim travel, adventure travel etc or purely business. Work at every functional level in the industry involves dealing directly with people. Travel agents assess the needs of tourists and businessmen and help them make the best possible travel arrangements from the many travel options available. Also, many major cruise lines, resorts, and specialty travel groups use travel agents to promote travel packages to the millions of people who travel every year. Travel company personnel must be up-to-date on current rules and regulations and documentation required, in areas like cargo, ticketing and passports, visas etc. so as to correctly advise their clients, and to take care of the paperwork when necessary. Besides this, all tourism staff in marketing, counter sales, or guide services, should be knowledgeable about the places their clients visit, in terms of general background, how to get there connections by air, rail and road and the facilities available.,

In India, Travel and tourism, as an industry, has been somewhat slower to take off than in many other places. However, with increasing worldwide interest in travel, and with the Government’s encouragement of its activities, it is undergoing massive expansion and improvement. This forecasts a bright future for all those who choose to make a career of travel and tourism. Young people with drive and a capacity for hard work can rise to top positions very quickly in travel and tourism or even head their own agencies. A job in the industry gives good returns as well as perks including opportunity to see many locales at low prices.

Nature of Work:
Travel and Tourism

Work in the travel and tourism industry is essentially concerned with providing services for people who are travelling away from home, either on business or on a holiday. At every functional level in the industry, the work involves dealing directly with people, whether with clients, on a one-to-one basis over the counter while helping them plan their itinerary or providing ticketing services to company executives, while trying to procure business, or with airline, railway, road, shipping and transport company staff , passport and visa officials, suppliers, hotel personnel and various other agents.
br> Travel Agents are concerned with the marketing of travel and tourism.
There are mainly four areas of work in any travel agency. These include – Marketing, which includes advertising and promoting agency services to existing and potential clients to procure business for the company ; Ticketing, which involves helping clients plan itineraries, working out travel routes, providing information on destinations, selling transportation tickets, arranging visas, making stay reservations, etc. ; Tour Operators of a travel agency deal specifically in travel and destination management. They put together and sell package holidays, which include offering special interest packages that range from archaeology to golf, wildlife, and even astrology. And Tourist Guides who accompany tourists to their destinations, taking care of their various needs there and organise various activities in these locations.


With the growing professionalism and resultant competitiveness of the travel and tourism industry, it has become essential to receive formal training in the profession. Most companies too, now prefer to hire applicants who have received professional training in Travel and Tourism.


The duration of training varies between one and two years, depending on the course. Moreover, training may be taken at both graduate as well as postgraduate levels.

Tourist Guide

A travel / tourist guide’s job is both lovable and challenging. Doing the job of a tourist guide amounts to literally living life out of suitcases. If we, like Romain Rolland, believe that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, then a touirst guide’s role in this regard, is that of a true looking glass which can make any place look beautiful and captivating to the ‘beholders’ (tourists). In other words, a guide has to make the tourist spots aesthetically appealing, be it the narrow and filthy lanes of a historical city or the imposing landscape of Himalayas. He has to uphold the cultural traditions and heritage of the place being visited and also talk of social customs, even local superstitions. It’s important to satisfy the curiosity of a tourist, especially the first – timers.
A travel guide must have extensive knowledge of the tourist destinations. At the same time, additional knowledge of the associated cultures is also required to become an interesting and capable guide. Therefore, a travel guide should be a voracious reader, mugging up all the informations pertaining to tourist destinations. Now – a – days tourists are not only interested in visiting a certain place, but insist on knowing as much as possible about it. Thus, a comprehensive knowledge of local history, sociology and environment really helps. A tourist guide should also have local informations, including trivia, at his fingertips because many tourists show interest in local lives and events.


A training course, conducted by the tourism offices of Government of India is held in the four Metros. Only graduates from any stream are eligible. After the completion of the course, the guide is certified and given a licence. While givingadmission preference is given to applications who are well travelled. The knowledge of a foreign language also helps.
But sadly enough, this course is run only twice in a decade. Recently, Indian Institute of Travel and Tourism Management (IITTM) authorised Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management to introduce a 12- month postgraduate diploma course in Tourism Management from August 2002. The syllabus has been approved by IITTM and recognised by ALCTE. It is the only institute authorised to conduct the course, apart from the Ministry of Tourism. But first the applicants need to go through the grind of an all India admission test.
The tour guide must be a polished person while conversing with the tourists. As the appearance of a guide is of a paramount importance, she should be well dressed. A good sense of humour can enliven the gathering when the commentary gets monotonous. This helps the tourist guide in keeping tourists perked up without being overbearing. Here, a trained voice acts as an asset. Pedantic lectures delivered in a continuous drone will put off the tourists. To hold their attention the guide should also have a repertoire of anecdotes and interesting events.
Further, it always helps to know about places with potential tourist attractions and even be able to package a destination in such a way that the customer gets a different perspective. Since, it’s difficult thing to do, it requires a lot of innovation. Guides at many times face unnerving situation. A good presence of mind and charming sense of humour bails them out of such situations. The profession also has its lures and therefore, it is important for a guide to be a responsible and a virtuous man.
To put it in precise terms, a tourist guide’s profession is endowed with immense potentials. Travel guiding is a field, where initial struggle does pay rich dividends. Though there are plenty of guides around, only a handful have been able to carve a niche for themselves because thay take their work like professional.



It is glamorous, it is alluring, and it is fantastic. It’s the one career that takes you to the skies, literally and otherwise too. It makes you feel on the top on the world. And why not with ‘Airlines’ you are on top of the world. Flying by air is an amazing experience. It feels as if you are in heaven. Clouds passing by your window, smiling airhostesses who make you feel comfortable and at ease. Excellent environment, good food and help at your fingertips. But have you ever wondered how many hands and minds it takes to make one flight a success? Behind all the glamour, there is a lot of grime. So many people work hard to provide the passengers with those few hours of comfort in the plane. One single plane carries hundreds of people from one place to the other, safely and fast. All airlines have the same set of departments working together. The air staff, the ground staff and the technical staff all working in tandem to make every flight a success.
With more and more private airlines coming in India a career in the airlines is very lucrative
There are enough institutes in India that guarantee success in the airlines industry. So if you want to make it big and make it high, you can.

Nature of Work

A Career in any Airline can basically be in one of three main fields: the Air Staff, the Ground Staff and the Technical Staff. The Air Staff includes the entire flying crew which includes the Pilot, the Airhostess, Flight Pursers and Flight Engineers. The Ground Staff includes Air Traffic Control Personnel, Aerodrome Personnel, Cargo and Aircraft Maintenance Personnel, Ticketing and Reservations Personnel, Finance, Public Relations, Administration, etc.

The Technical Staff includes Flight Engineer, Aircraft Engineer, Air Traffic Controllers, Communication Officer, and Aircraft Technician. Personal attributes vary according to the department and the post.



To become a commercial pilot in India, one has to possess a Student Pilot License. To get the SPL those with 10+2 with science and aged at least 16 years should register at a flying club, which requires a medical certificate, security clearance and a bank guarantee of Rs. 10,000. An oral examination in subjects such as Air Regulations, Aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation, Engine (technical and specific) follows the registration. Successful completion of the examination entitles you for an SPL certificate. The second step is the Private Pilot License (PPL). To be eligible for the PPL one has to complete sixty hours of flying of which about fifteen hours are dual flights, that is accompanied by the flight instructor and at least 30 hours of solo flights apart from five hours of cross-country flying. This makes one eligible for the PPL exam, which consists of Air Regulation, Aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation, Aircraft Engines and Seamanship. The prescribed age for appearing for this exam is 17 years and an educational qualification of 10+2 along with medical Fitness Certificate. To obtain a Commercial Pilots Licence (CPL) 250 hours of flying (including 60 hours for the PPL) and 190 hours flying is necessary. Besides that you have to undergo a Medical Fitness Test which is held at New Delhi and an examination which consists of Air Regulations, Aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation, Technical, Planning, and communications in the form of Radio & Wireless Transmission. With the CPL, a pilot can take up any professional assignment.


To become an airhostess one has to be a graduate with an Indian passport. Minimum height should be 157.5 cm and proportionate weight. She should have either normal eyesight or corrected contact lenses up to 6/6. A knowledge of first-aid, nursing, diploma in travel and tourism, catering or sociology are also the prerequisites. Single women in the age bracket of 19-25 years are preferred. Fluency in Hindi and/or a foreign language is an asset.
Personal attributes: Confidence, sociability, patience, courteousness, stamina to work and ability to help others.
How to apply: Advertisements are released in newspapers. Respondents have to go through an appearance test or a written test followed by an interview. In Indian Airlines, the selected candidates have to go through a three-flight observation test to ascertain their tendency towards airsickness.

Ground Staff

Air Worthiness Officer: A Bachelor’s degree with Mathematics/ Physics and three years experience in aircraft maintenance, or a degree in mechanical/ electrical/ electronic engineering with one year experience in airframe, aircraft structure systems or engines/ power plants/avionics in a reputed manufacturing/ overhauling/ maintenance establishment, or a degree in aeronautical engineering or equivalent. The upper age limit is 30 years.
Airport Manager: Eligibility requirements include a degree from a recognised university with five years experience in air-traffic control, or a commercial pilots license, or a post-graduate degree/ diploma in business administration with two years experience in air traffic control. The age limit is thirty-five years.
Air Traffic Officer: This position requires a graduate with experience in an approved travel agency or airline. A diploma or certificate in travel and tourism, knowledge of a foreign language is an asset.Ticketing and Reservation : Most airlines prefer women for these positions. A degree in any discipline or a diploma in travel and tourism is a basic requirement. Knowledge of a foreign language and computer literacy are assets. Selections are made after personal interviews. International airlines generally train their fresh recruits in their countries. The training is usually six months during which a stipend is paid.

Technical Staff

Flight Engineer/ Aircraft Engineer: An engineering degree with a specialisation in aeronautical, mechanical or electrical engineering is a requirement for entrance.
Air Traffic Controllers: Entry is usually through a written examination, interviews and medical fitness test. The minimum requirement is a degree in radio engineering or electronics. Communication Officer:A Bachelor’s degree in radio/ electronics/ telecommunications/ electrical/ or communication engineering is the basic requirement. Acquaintance with typing and the Morse code is an asset. Age specification is 18-25 years.
Aircraft Technician: An engineering degree with two years experience or a diploma in mechanical/ electrical engineering with three or more years of experience. The age limit for this position is thirty years.

Air Hostess


It?s the age of the jumbo and the jet-set. Everybody wants to be in the sky these days; from a statesman, to the family next door taking for their annual holiday.

They fly in aircraft in which a high standard of safety and service are first priorities. Among those helping to provide service are the stewardesses, girls who combine the efficiency of a first-class secretary with the charm of a diplomat. Their job demands many qualities, including a capacity for hard work and an ability to keep calm in an emergency.

An Air Hostess is indeed the mistress of all she surveys inside an aircraft during flights. Inside the aircraft, she is the one who seems to be here, there and everywhere, greeting every passenger with a smile, elegantly guiding each to his or her seat, generously helping a passenger get settled, co-ordinating security personnel, giving directions to the caterers and doing a myriad things. In most cases it is the girls who prefer this career although boys can do the same job as stewards.


More or less all airlines have a set standard of selection criteria for Air Hostess. An Air Hostess aspirant is expected to be proficient in the required languages (usually English, Hindi and one foreign language) and a graduate in any subject or diploma holder in hotel management from a recognized university / institute.
You should be between 19 and 26 years of age, with a height of at least 157.5 centimeters, with your weight proportionate to your height as per the standards set. Eligibility for an Indian Passport, unmarried status and perfect eyesight and health are other important factors considered as well as a clear complexion and a pleasing personality.

After initial screening, the candidate will have to qualify written test and subsequent group discussions and interviews. During training you will be taught the guidelines and necessary procedures and for safety and services, etc.
Apart from the physical and other attributes mentioned above, you should also have a lot of stamina, patience, common sense, presence of mind and the strength to keep yourself poised in the face of a crisis. An outgoing personality and a bit of luck always help.

Age:18 – 25

Qualification:Minimum +2 or a hotel management degree or a graduate degree
Height: 157.5 cms (without slippers or shoes)
Weight: in proportion with height
Marital status: Unmarried
Complexion: Fair to clear
Normal eyesight: No specs ( 6/24 – uncorrected normal vision (distant) in each eye)

Job Prospectus

Starting off as an Air Hostess, you have to take progressive examinations for promotions and attend the refresher courses to keep abreast of the latest technology. There is every chance that you can then be promoted to the post of Senior Flight Attendant and then Head Attendant.
Your career as an Air Hostess would last for about eight to ten years, after which you could move on to the ground duties including the job of a Ground Hostess, Check Hostess, etc. or diversify into any one of the other departments in the airline industry.
With privatisation and foreign collaboration increasing every day, the future is bright for an Air Hostess. Most airline offices are looking to increasing their fleet and there is a demand for Air Hostesses. While it is a fact that most airline offices prefer to advertise when they plan to recruit, candidates may send their resume, along with a photograph, to airline offices on their own initiative.

Flight Attendant


They are not all-pneumatic babes or guys, they’re not called stewardesses or stewards any more, and they don’t entertain attitude! They are a gender-neutral ‘flight attendants’. They are both male and female, they vary in appearance, age, and ethnicity, and they can make the difference between a comfortable flight and a nightmarish one
Nature of Work

Flight attendants are responsible for their passengers’ comfort and, to some degree, for their safety. At least 1 hour before each flight, flight attendants are briefed by the captain, the pilot in command, on such things as emergency evaluation procedures, crew co-ordination, duration of the flight, expected weather conditions and special passenger problems. Flight attendants check that first-aid kits and other emergency equipment are aboard and in working order and that the passenger cabin is stocked with adequate supplies of food, beverages, and blankets. As passengers board the plane, flight attendants greet them, check their tickets, and instruct them on where to store coats and carry-on items.
Before the plane takes off, flight attendants instruct all passengers in the use of emergency equipment and check to see that seat belts are fastened, seat backs are forward, and all carry-on items are properly stowed. In flight, helping passengers in the event of an emergency is the most important responsibility of a flight attendant.
Safety-related tips may range from reassuring passengers during occasional encounters with strong turbulence to directing passengers in evacuating a plane following an emergency landing. They also answer questions about the flight; distribute reading material, pillows, and blankets; and help small children, elderly or disabled persons, and others who need assistance. They also administer first aid to passengers who fall ill. A flight attendant’s job also involves serving food, alcoholic beverages and other refreshments. Lead or first flight attendants, sometimes known as pursers, oversee the work of the other attendants aboard the aircraft, while performing most of the same duties.
Flight attendants undergo weeks of training, which is often unpaid, and most bigger airline companies require them to pass a gruelling exam which tests them on every nut and bolt of the aircraft on which they serve, as well as their uniform requirements. The training lasts for about four to six weeks, during which trainees learn emergency procedures, such as operating an oxygen system and giving first aid; they also receive instruction on personality grooming like makeup application, hair grooming, and weight control. Trainees for international routes get additional instruction in passport and customs regulations, and coping with hijackers. The lure of free travel to exotic locales attracts applicants, but often the gruelling schedule weeds many would-be flight attendants out of the group.

Working Conditions

Since airlines operate around the clock the year round, flight attendants sometimes end up working at night and on holidays and weekends. They usually fly 75 to 85 hours a month and in addition generally spend about 75 to 85 hours a month on the ground preparing planes for flights, writing reports following completed flights, and waiting for planes to arrive. They are away from their home base at least one-third of the time. During this period, the airlines provide assigned hotel accommodations and a daily allowance. The combination of free time and discount airfares provides flight attendants the opportunity to travel and see new places. However, the work can be strenuous and trying. Short flights require speedy service if meals are served and a turbulent flight can make serving drinks and meals difficult. Flight attendants need to stand most of the time during the flight and must remain pleasant and efficient regardless of how tired they are or how demanding passengers may be.


You need to be in the age bracket of 19-21 years. Need to have studied up to the 10+2 level as minimum qualifications in any stream. A diploma in hospitality industry like catering, tourism, hotel management is always desirable.
The candidate should have good eyesight and should be of the required height and weight. Minimum height for women is 5 feet 2 inches, and for men 5 feet 7 inches. Knowledge of a foreign language is always preferable
Skills required

Essential qualities to be a flight attendant include poise, tactfulness, and resourcefulness; the ability to interact comfortably with strangers and remain calm under duress. Flight attendants must have excellent health and the ability to speak clearly. In addition, there are height requirements and applicants should not have visible tattoos. Flight attendants for international airlines generally must speak an appropriate foreign language fluently.

Job Prospects

Employment of flight attendants is sensitive to cyclical swings in the economy. But since the Indian skies are opening up, the number of private airline operators are bound to increase in India. That’s enough sunshine for flight attendants in the coming future.

Related Careers

Travel and Tourism

The eligibility criteria for admission to Travel and Tourism courses at the undergraduate level is, higher secondary examination pass. For the postgraduate level courses, the eligibility is, graduation in any discipline. Fluency in at least one foreign language is preferred. It is also possible to gain these qualifications through correspondence courses. Several large travel agencies also offer short-term training programmes, and tend to absorb most of the candidates.
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