How to get a job in the travel industry: tips and strategies

How to get a job in the travel industry: tips and strategies Listing Image

Working in the travel industry is an appealing prospect; there’s no doubt. When your product is the stuff of dreams and conversations with colleagues, customers, and clients generally revolve around travelling to incredible locations, what’s not to love? And that’s before we get to the other perks – paid travel, industry discounts and some of the best networking and social events you’ll ever attend. 

The dynamic world of the travel industry 

And no matter your skillset, there’s a place for you. From headquarter-based roles like sales, operations, finance, logistics and marketing to those out in the field – business development, overseas representatives, guiding, and retail area managers, just to name a few, the options are plentiful. Look at the roles currently listed on the Ambitions Travel Recruitment website to get an idea of the range of travel careers available. 

So how do you go about landing yourself a career in this most coveted of industries? Read our comprehensive step-by-step guide below and find out. 


When considering a career in the travel industry, exploring a diverse range of job opportunities is crucial. The options are vast, from reservations and group touring to adventure travel and digital marketing. Research different positions and types of travel business to find out which ones align with your interests and skills.

How to find your perfect role:

  1. Consider your personal interests. Reflect on your passions and hobbies. Are you fascinated by travel technology? Are you the itinerary planner on holidays with friends and family? Are you passionate about providing excellent customer service? Identifying your interests will help you find a job that brings you joy.
  2. Know your skills and capabilities. Assess your skills, both hard and soft. Identify areas where you excel, such as communication, problem-solving, planning or organisation. These skills are highly valued in the travel industry.
  3. Set career goals. Define your travel career goals. Whether it's to become a marketing guru, award-winning hotel manager, or fearless adventure tour guide, setting clear goals will guide your job search and help you stay focused.


There are many different types of travel businesses, from cultural river cruising and walking holidays to gap year planning, sports touring, and everything in between. Researching travel companies and opportunities is essential for finding reputable employers and ensuring a good fit for your career aspirations. It also helps you tailor your application materials to the specific needs and culture of the company.

How to find reputable travel companies and job openings:

  1. Visit their website. Explore the websites of travel companies you are interested in. Look for job openings, read about their mission and values, and understand their company culture.
  2. Follow them on social media. Search for travel companies on platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. This will keep you updated on their latest news, job postings, and industry trends.
  3. Check travel industry publications. Look for mentions in reputable travel industry publications like Travel Weekly or TTG. This will give you insights into their reputation and standing within the industry.
  4. Join travel job fairs or attend open days. Connect with industry professionals and learn about potential job opportunities. Some travel companies host regular open career days, allowing you to chat with current employees and find out a little more about the business. 
  5. Submit your CV to Ambitions Travel Recruitment. Register with reputable travel recruitment agencies like Ambitions Travel Recruitment, who specialise in matching candidates with travel industry jobs.


Choose an appropriate CV format

When applying for jobs in the travel industry, tailor your CV so that it highlights your relevant experience and skills. Consider using a functional or combination CV format rather than a traditional chronological format.

Highlight relevant skills and qualifications

Emphasise skills and qualifications that are directly applicable to the travel industry. These may include customer service, international interests, organisational abilities, and attention to detail.

Incorporate technology and language skills

In today's digital age, technology skills are essential. Highlight any proficiency in travel-related software, booking systems, or social media platforms. Also, emphasise your language skills if you have them, as these can be highly valuable in the travel industry.

Discuss transferable skills

If you are transitioning from a different industry, highlight transferable skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, or leadership that can be applied to the travel industry. Some travel businesses prefer people with previous industry skills; however, others actively seek out potential new talent that they can train from scratch, so don’t be discouraged if you’re completely new to the travel industry. 

Tailor your cover letter

As industry recruiters, copy and paste cover letters (or no cover letter at all) is one of the most common mistakes we see at the application stage. Tailor your cover letter to each job application by highlighting your passion for the type of travel offered by the business, relevant experience, and why you are a great fit for the specific role and company.

Proofread and edit your CV and cover letter

Ensure that your CV and cover letter are free of typos and grammatical errors. Ask a friend or family member to proofread them before you submit your application. 


Why highlight travel-related skills and experiences?

Employers in the travel industry highly value candidates with first-hand travel experience as it demonstrates cultural awareness, adaptability, and a genuine passion for travel.

Travel-related experiences that can help you stand out:

  1. Cultural awareness. Showcase your experiences in really getting under the skin of a country (especially if you are applying for a destination-specific role) and immersing yourself in different cultures. 
  2. Language proficiency. Highlight any foreign language skills you have acquired, as these can be invaluable when dealing with international travellers or overseas suppliers. 
  3. Adaptability. Illustrate instances where you have thrived in unpredictable situations, demonstrating your ability to adapt and overcome challenges. There’s no such thing as a predictable day when working in travel! 
  4. Customer service skills. Emphasise any previous roles involving customer service, as providing excellent service is vital in the travel industry.
  5. Problem-solving abilities. Share examples of how you have effectively resolved issues while travelling, indicating your resourcefulness and critical thinking skills.


Networking is a powerful tool for career advancement in the travel industry. Building connections and relationships with industry professionals can provide valuable insights, mentorship, and job opportunities.

How to build connections in the travel industry:

  1. Follow relevant organisations and groups on social media. Following organisations like ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents), AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators) and The Travel Network Group on Facebook and LinkedIn will give you insight into current industry topics. 
  2. Participate in travel seminars and conferences. Attend industry-specific seminars and conferences to expand your knowledge, meet professionals, and build connections. You can search for these on LinkedIn and on travel publication websites. 
  3. Leverage social media to connect with industry professionals. Engage with travel industry professionals on LinkedIn and Twitter. Share your travel experiences and insights and contribute to industry discussions.


Well done – your CV and cover letter have made an impact, and you’ve been invited along for an interview. It’s time to start preparing! 

  • Research the company and position

Thoroughly research the company and the position you are applying for. Familiarise yourself with their values, goals, recent projects, and industry trends.

  • Review common interview questions

Prepare responses to common interview questions in the travel industry, such as those related to customer service, problem-solving, and dealing with challenging situations.

  • Understand industry trends

Stay updated on the latest trends, technologies, and challenges in the travel industry. During the interview, this knowledge will showcase your commitment and passion for the field.

  • Highlight travel experience and skills

During the interview, emphasise your relevant travel experience, language skills, and cultural adaptability. Provide specific examples that demonstrate your ability to excel in the travel industry.

  • Demonstrate skills related to adaptability, customer service, and knowledge of travel destinations

Highlight your ability to adapt to different environments, provide excellent customer service, and showcase your knowledge of popular travel destinations or your specialist knowledge of a region if that’s relevant to the role. 

  • Conduct mock interviews and practice scenarios with a friend

Ask a friend or family member to conduct mock interviews with you. This will help you practice your responses, improve your communication skills, and boost your confidence.

  • Dress appropriately for the big day

Dress professionally and appropriately for travel industry interviews. Although the industry can have a reputation for being less formal, a polished appearance demonstrates your seriousness and professionalism.

  • Download the interview guide from Ambitions Travel Recruitment 

Register for job alerts on the Ambitions Travel Recruitment website, and we’ll send you a free interview preparation guide. 


In a fast-paced industry like travel, where the landscape is always shifting and changing, continuous learning and professional development are essential for staying competitive and growing in your career.

Ambitions Travel Recruitment, offer FREE eLearning essential soft skills courses, created by travel industry experts. The courses are FREE and focus on soft skills – so they are ideal for those with great destination knowledge looking to enter the industry. The courses will set you apart from your peers on interview day and will keep you ahead of the curve once you’ve secured your travel industry position. 


In conclusion, acquiring a job in the travel industry requires a combination of strategic planning, research, networking, and continuous learning. 

By identifying your dream job, researching travel companies, tailoring your application materials, showcasing relevant travel experience, networking with industry professionals, preparing for interviews, and investing in continuous self-development, you can increase your chances of securing a rewarding career in this wonderful and exciting industry.

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