When the coronavirus started spreading, people stopped traveling, which spelled doom for the tourism industry. The sector is shedding about 1 million jobs a day worldwide, according to the London-based World Travel & Tourism Council.
In the U.S., where at least 4.3 million jobs are at risk, there's no sign of a comeback.
Still, the tour guides, travel agents and customer service reps who power the tourism industry have skills that are highly sought after by employers in a variety of industries.
If you were laid off by a tourism company, we can help you jump on a new track. We looked at who's still hiring and how you — a tourism professional — can land a job.
Transferable skills to emphasize on your resume
Whether you were a tour guide at a movie studio or a travel agent who booked dream vacations, you have valuable skills employers in other industries are looking for.
A skill that crosses over from one industry to another is called a transferable skill.
There are three types of transferable skills:
Hard skills are those that are concrete and can be measured, such as proficiency in another language.
Technical skills are typically learned in a course, like knowing how to operate a software program.
Soft skills are interpersonal in nature, like customer service and communication.
Below, we provide examples of hard, technical and soft skills that may have developed during your time in the tourism industry. These are the skills you might want to highlight on your resume if you want to get noticed by recruiters.
Hard skills: Presentation abilities, foreign language, knowledge of travel regulations and laws
Technical skills: Microsoft Office Suite, accounting software, scheduling software
Soft skills: Verbal communication, flexibility, time management, teamwork, customer service, conflict-resolution, problem-solving
Certifications and training: International Tour Management Institute (ITMI) Certified Tour Guide, Certified Travel Associate (CTA), Accredited Cruise Counselor (ACC)
These industries are hiring people with your skills
If you were a tour guide, tour director or travel concierge, you might be qualified for the following roles:
- Sales associate (for example, at a grocery store, like Kroger)
- Caregiver (for example, at a nursing home)
- Receptionist (for example, at a hospital)
- Bank teller (for example, at a financial institution, like Bank of America)
- Delivery driver (for example, using a delivery app, like Uber Eats)
- Security guard (for example, at an essential retail store, like Walmart)
- Stocker (for example, at a grocery store, like Whole Foods)
- Warehouse associate (for example, at an ecommerce company, like Shipt)
- Shopper (for example, for a delivery app, like Instacart)
If you were a travel agent, travel consultant or travel manager, you might be qualified for the following roles:
- Sales manager (for example, at an auto shop, like AutoZone)
- Shift supervisor (for example, at a pharmacy, like CVS Health)
- Inventory manager (for example, at a logistics company)
If you were a guest relation officer, customer service representative or tourism sales manager you might be qualified for the following roles:
- Customer service associate (for example, at a hospital)
- Sales associate (for example, at a grocery store, like Giant Eagle)
- Receptionist (for example, at a logistics company)
- Bank teller (for example, at a financial institution, like Chase)
- Driver (for example, at a delivery company, like UPS)
How to apply for these roles and what you'll need
- A current email address and phone number
- A resume
- Identification, such as a driver's license or passport
- A current email address and phone number
- A resume
- A brief cover letter
How to find these jobs in your community
Do I need a resume during the COVID crisis?
While COVID-19 has rapidly transformed the economy, one basic rule of job hunting hasn't changed: You still need a resume.
Well-written resumes and cover letters remain the best way to set yourself apart from other job seekers. You don't need to create anything fancy. In fact, simple and straightforward designs work best so that employers can easily find keywords and important takeaways.
Now, before you begin your search, here's a resume example to review. Written by a certified resume writer, use this document as inspiration for your next resume.
Text resume example: Travel agent applying for a shift supervisor role
Name: Shannon Brookes
Address: Spokane, WA 99201
Sharp and energetic travel agent with strong administrative skills and experience managing a small team of travel agents seeking role as a shift supervisor. Skilled at troubleshooting customer support issues quickly. Proven career success developing original travel programs and growing clientele base. Organized, strong communicator, and experienced with using Microsoft Office tools.
Summary of Skills
- Strong interpersonal skills to promote customer satisfaction
- Experience working with travel insurance
- Strong and in-depth research capabilities
- Expertise is mentorship and training
- Microsoft Office
Travel Agency Manager
- Drove year-over-year business growth by 20 percent while leading operations, strategic vision and long-range planning.
- Established and administered annual budget with effective controls to prevent overages, minimize burn rate and support sustainability objectives.
- Designed modern employee recognition program which boosted productivity and improved morale.
- Reduced workflow inconsistencies by recruiting and hiring capable staff members.
- Provided service to customers at busy travel agency, developing a loyal client base thanks to excellent research skills and keen understanding of travel budgets.
- Maintained operational efficiency in coordinating domestic and international travel accommodations for customers, arranging for airfare, hotel and rental car needs.
- Analyzed customer feedback to develop process improvements and long term business strategies, leading to a 30 percent increase in customer satisfaction.
- Stayed up to date on current airline policies, tariff regulations and travel laws to maximize effectiveness.
Education & Certification
Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management
Ohio State University
Certified Travel Associate (CTA)
The Travel Institute