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Study abroad : Subject Guides

Why study travel and hospitality?

Studying travel and hospitality can open up a significant number of career opportunities in a wide variety of areas, from aviation to hospitality. We give you some insight into what's on offer and what you'll need in order to study in the field.

Study travel and tourism

For many countries around the world, tourism forms a critical component of the economy. The experience that tourists, travellers and visitors have of a country is often informed by the travel and hospitality sector and those working within it. This necessitates that those providing such services are well trained and qualified to do so.


With a wide variety of jobs and roles available you may find your niche. That said, it’s important to know what kind of qualifications you will need and what options are available. We take a closer look.


What is travel and hospitality?


Travel and hospitality are the broad umbrella terms for a spectrum of courses that focus on facilitating and serving those visiting a destination. This can be everything from hotel management to catering. There is a significant complementarity between the various strands of specialisation, all of which contribute to the provision of good quality service. 


It takes quite a few individuals working in various roles to ensure that people have a favourable impression of a city or country. This can be everyone from the cabin crew on the plane, the concierge at the front desk to the chef in the kitchen.


Why study travel and hospitality?


There are many advantages to pursuing your studies in the field of travel and hospitality. It may open doors for you to travel around the world, work in exciting destinations and luxury five-star facilities. The type of work that you can do can be variable and dynamic, which is always a plus when looking at a potential career. 


If you’re a person who enjoys dealing with people and solving problems quickly, the field may be for you. Being a host and the facilitation of people is a skill, not everyone can make people feel instantly comfortable and at ease. In addition, if you have planning and organizational skills in your arsenal, it’s a definite plus point in the industry.


Study travel and tourism


One element that is virtually guaranteed in travel and hospitality is that you’ll meet different people most days. It’s not a career path that lends itself to working in the same office with the same people every day. You never know who you may bump into during your work, they may even be a famous face.


By studying a course or programme in the field you’ll have the opportunity to work for some well-established and globally renowned companies, giving you great work experience and enhancing your CV. If you’re not sure if the field is for you take some time to do some research and investigation into choosing the best course for you.


What do you need to study travel and hospitality?


The most critical aspect of studying any travel and the hospitality-related programme is that you enjoy, and are good at, dealing with people. A calm, relaxed and friendly demeanour is essential, even in difficult situations. Being able to handle pressure and resolve issues is very important. You are likely to encounter people who may be frustrated, aggressive or rude and you’ll need to maintain your composure.


In addition, attention to detail is key. You need to be able to notice the smallest elements that may have an impact on the service being offered and the experience someone will have. If you are multi-lingual or willing to learn an additional language, this is a definite bonus and will be very helpful when interacting with people from across the world. It will allow you to assist in sometimes serious situations such as an emergency or conflict resolution. It’s a very useful skill to have, especially in the globalised world we live in.


What are the entry criteria for studying travel and hospitality?


Much of the criteria and entry requirements needed for a travel and hospitality qualification will depend on the subject that you choose to pursue. If you’re aiming to study aviation you will need to have excellent academic ability in science and mathematics. Your maths will also need to be good if you have your eye on a management qualification, in addition to excellent language skills and business-related subjects.



One way that you can enhance your profile and credentials is to gain as much work experience as you can before your application. This could be working as a waiter or bartender and could even be job shadowing at a hotel.


The more knowledge you gain and exposure you have to the industry the better. Showing initiative and a willingness to learn as many skills as possible is always a positive attribute and is often looked upon favourably by those evaluating applications.


What course can I study?


You have several options to choose from in terms of subjects and specializations. Much will depend on your area of interest, skill set and strengths. Many who travel around the world remark on the food that they have eaten and what the quality was like. This makes catering and food and drink production two prominent subject areas that can have a big impact on the customer experience.


Providing people with the best experiences and accommodation also tops the lists of priorities, which is where hospitality, leisure management and hotel management come into their own as subject specialisations.


Perhaps, you want to have a more overarching and strategic view of the industry, this is offered by travel and tourism. Naturally, people need to get from point A to point B and this is likely to involve air travel. If you enjoy spending more time in the air than on the ground or have a technical inclination, aviation might be a great choice for you.


If you are considering studying in the field it may be worth investigating institutions that offer specialist, professional or vocational qualifications and good industry connections. The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) is an example. At CIA you can study food and hospitality-focused degrees from culinary science to beverage management. Skills oriented degrees are an excellent way to stand out in a competitive market.


What are travel and hospitality career options like?


There are a large number of roles on offer in the industry, some requiring higher levels of specialisation than others. Much depends on the programme that you have studied and what your work experience has been.  Some of the careers you could pursue include working as a pilot, air traffic controller, chef, hotel manager, concierge, event planner, tourism advisor, and consultant to name a few.


Remember it’s always a good idea to speak to an academic or career counsellor before your application, as they can help you work out your strengths and interests. Why not explore what’s on offer today? Take a look. You can also use our course matcher tool to search for more related courses. 


Want to check which program suits you the best?
Find out with our new "Course Matcher" tool!

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