Tourism Management Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What is Tourism Management?

Tourism involves the activities of people travelling and staying in a place away from their home environment for leisure, business or other purposes.

Tourism management refers to everything that is related to the tourism, hospitality and travel industries. It is a multidisciplinary field that prepares people with the interest, experience, and training for management positions in the food, accommodations, and tourism industry. Tourism management might also include the enterprises, associations, and public authorities that market tourism services to potential travelers.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in Tourism Management in the following subject areas:

  • MA Professional Hospitality and Tourism Management – Develop knowledge and understanding of hospitality and tourism management and the associated environment.
  • Diploma in Tourism Management & Marketing – Students will acquire both the practical and theoretical knowledge required to perform competently in a variety of tourism-oriented environments.
  • MSc in International Business Management (International Tourism and Hospitality Management) – An academically rigorous and intellectually challenging educational experience covering International Business Management.
  • Certificate in Tourism with Business- This QQI Level 5 course is designed to provide the learner with an appropriate base of relevant knowledge and the skills needed to pursue a career in the tourism industry.
  • ATHE Level 4 Diploma in Management for Travel and Tourism – The ATHE Level 4 Diploma in Management for Travel and Tourism is a recognized certification that will make you a valuable candidate across the hospitality sector.
  • Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism – Learn how to be a capable, certified travel agent, a competent, recognized hotel manager and a knowledgeable acknowledged restaurateur.

Studying Tourism Management

There are many courses in Tourism Management that may take place over a few days, weeks or even 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials and taught modules. Assessments will take place on a continuous basis with written examinations and practical assignments combined in order to achieve a qualification.

You could also consider work experience or a work shadow in the industry. Getting relevant work experience through a work placement, internship, holiday work, volunteering or casual work is vital. The number of jobs available each year is limited and competition for roles is strong.

Work as a tourism assistant in a tourist information center, for example, can be useful – or work in a marketing, information or economic development role. Relevant work experience is a good way of demonstrating a genuine interest in the field and is regarded favorably by employers.

Work Experience will not only give you the opportunity to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

Career options

After completing a Tourism Management course you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of tourism, marketing, visitor management and the development of tourism campaigns, products, services and facilities.

Tourism management is a broad field with many opportunities. You can work for a range of employers, including public and private destination management organizations, public agencies or partnerships and local authorities.

The role is varied and may include many different types of work. At more senior levels, your job will involve strategic planning, particularly in local authorities.

It can take some time to get into a tourism officer role, so try to gain as much relevant on-the-job experience as you can. You’ll typically start in an assistant role but with experience, it may be possible to move into a managerial position. Managerial roles usually involve work at a strategic level, with responsibility for budgets, staff and operations.

Working hours will depend on whether you are self-employed, employed by a company with set business hours or if you are contracted to various businesses or companies. In office position, you will usually work a standard 37.5-hour week, but will likely need to work some evenings and weekends when attending meetings, events and exhibitions.

Related jobs include:

  • Front desk clerk/receptionist
  • Events manager
  • Hotel or resort manager
  • Housekeeper
  • Tour operator
  • Tourism marketing manager
  • Tourism officer
  • Tourist information center manager
  • Travel agency manager
  • Tourist Information Centre manager
  • Accountant or sales manager
  • Guest relations manager
  • Air cabin crew
  • Holiday representative
  • Conference center manager
  • Customer service manager
  • Marketing executive
  • Sales executive
  • Outdoor activities/education manager

Further study

After completing a course in Tourism Management you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skill set. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practice in certain career areas such as Business/Management Studies, Leisure Management, Marketing, Media studies, Modern languages, Public relations or Urban/Rural regeneration.


What is the importance of Tourism?

The importance of tourism for every country in the world arises from the various benefits it offers to the host country. Tourism contributes to the country’s economic growth and development by bringing valuable benefits to the locals as well as to businesses. It also helps create an attractive image of the country’s identity and value.

What skills could be helpful for a career in Tourism Management?

A good understanding of business and what drives business success is a great advantage for people working in Tourism or Hospitality, especially for those in administrative or management positions.

Other skills that you will typically need to have include:

  • Excellent communication, presentation and interpersonal skills in order to consult with a range of people, including local businesses, community groups and key stakeholders
  • Commercial awareness and an entrepreneurial approach to work
  • Customer service, marketing and pr skills
  • Organization and planning skills
  • Wide-ranging it skills
  • The ability to use your initiative
  • Flexibility
  • Resourcefulness
  • The ability to produce or deliver a quality product or service on a limited budget
  • Management and project management skills
  • Creativity
  • An eye for design
  • An innovative approach to work
  • Local knowledge and a lively interest in the sector
  • Willingness to travel

Where can I study Tourism Management?

Explore your options here

 Did You Know?

  • 1 in 10 jobs are supported by the Tourism industry across the world, roughly 9.9% of global employment.
  • Forget Turks and Caicos, Italy or the California coast. More travelers flock to France each year than any other destination on Earth.
  • On a daily basis, you’ll find around 23 million passengers riding the train in India. Need a point of comparison? That’s roughly the total population of Australia!
  • At any given time, there are roughly 61,000 people flying over the United States.
  • There is enough fuel in a Boeing 747 plane to power a car around the entire planet 4 times.

Mariza Halliday

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