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Education in India : Travel and Tourism

Looking for a Career Option in the Field of Tourism ? This section features Travel and Tourism as a career option, elaborated with reference to the job profile, personality traits required, the courses and training involved, premier institutions and future prospects.

Personality Traits    

The industry is highly competitive and the winner is the one who has access to a wide range of information, quick access to travel and transportation data and who can blend business skills with diplomacy. Essential qualities for success:

  1. Personal knowledge and experience of travel to major tourist destinations
  2. Knowledge of accommodation, places of interest and local customs
  3. Effective communication skills
  4. Language skills
  5. Enthusiasm to interact with people, and social ettiquettes
  6. Business tactics, good memory and a positive attitude.

Courses for Tourism:

Diploma courses in travel and tourism are helpful, but not mandatory, in getting employment in the private sector. The top agencies throughout the country – Mercury Travels, SITA, etc. – usually take in college graduates as junior staff. From the point of view of career prospects, it is better to have a diploma either in Public Relations or Advertising. Post graduate course in Travel Management can be pursued by graduates which may prove to be advantageous in providing managerial and administrative options in the industry.

  1. After Class XII (any subject) graduation in travel and tourism
  2. After Class XII (any subject) graduation in any subject (Public Relations/ Advertising) courses are relevant .This can be followed by masters in travel management.
  3. After Class XII (any subject) on the job training with a travel agency and certification course for IATTA / UFTAA / FIATTA

Training for Guides:

  • There is a great requirement of trained guides in tourist centres and monuments. The government has implemented a three tier training system for guides:
  • Regional guides – Regional guides undergo training by the Department of Tourism of the Government of India or by the Indian Institutes of Travel and Tourism Management or by the Indian Institutes of Hotel Management under the Department of Tourism.
  • State guides – State level guides are trained by the state governments or with arrangement with the Department of Tourism, Government of India.
  • Local guides – Local guides are trained by the local administration.
  • The training of guides incorporates a thorough knowledge of the social, political and economic policies of the government besides a thorough knowledge of the destination within a particular region .
  • South Asia Integrated Tourism Human Resource Development Project ( SAITHRDP) supported by the European Commission is an integrated effort of the private and public sectors of the tourism industry in seven south asian countries.

Training for travel agents :

  • International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Universal Federation of Travel Agents’ Association (UFTAA) diploma courses are internationally recognised qualification for Travel Agents. The aim of the IATA-UFTAA training courses is to provide an opportunity to increase professionalism within the travel industry.
  • Agency Training Service has authorised certain schools to teach the IATA-UFTAA programme in their classroom courses. (The address of schools can be collected from International Air Transport Association Agency Training Services IATA Centre, Route de L’ Aeropart 33, P O Box 672, Ch-1215 Geneva 15 Airport, Switzerland.)
  • The course is primarily designed for the counter and ticketing staff of travel agencies .IATA FIATA based in Geneva has appointed authorised training centres to enable new entrants to register for the course and get the required coaching.


Placements And Prospects    


  1. In the Government sector:

    1. Directorates & tourism departments: Departments of Tourism operate at the State and Central level. These departments formulate policy, select and develop tourist destinations, plan travel facilities, publicise the destinations and provide relevant information to tourists. The State Directorates are responsible for publicising and promoting travel within their state. Information Assistants answer the queries of tourists and help them plan their itineraries in India. They also greet tourists on arrival and helping them with problems regarding lodging, places one can visit etc.
    2. Immigration department: Immigration is the first counter where the foreign visitors have to go. The government immigration department is responsible for carrying out the immigration formalities.
    3. Customs department: These services have been existing for a long time as a separate cadre. Custom officials are selected through the civil services examination.


  2. Commercial Sector:  
    1. Transport Services: Tourists use air, railways and road transport systems and waterways in coastal regions. There is a variety of job opportunities particularly in passenger service. 
    2. Air transport: Airlines operate at both international and inland routes. One can be a part of the crew on board as a pilots, flight engineers, cabin crew or can join the ground staff for supervising technical and service sectors. 
    3. Road transport: Tourist coaches have guides and travel staff on board. Coaches and tourist cars with drivers qualified to be tourist guides, are in great demand. 
    4. Guides: Young graduates who have an aptitude in history and learning languages (especially foreign languages) could work as licensed guides. The Indian Institutes of Travel and Tourism Management (IITM) offers a course after which the person can be empanelled as a guide. This is a short duration course. Training in cultural tourism is very popular.



Opportunities in this field exist with government tourism departments as well as in the private sector with travel agencies, civil aviation, tour operators and as free lancers. Though travel agents are working in all parts of the country, they mainly concentrate in populated cities because there are better business opportunities. Self employment is a common feature in this sector. Generally, after gaining experience and recognition in an established travel agency, agents start their own firms.


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