Tourism Myths and Facts

Myth: Tourism jobs are found only in hotels, airlines and travel agencies.

Fact: The variety of occupations found within each sector is as diverse as the sectors themselves. The nature of the work varies from working on a ski slope to developing marketing strategies for an international organization to preparing gourmet meals. Tourism offers something for everyone, with varying levels of responsibility.

Myth: All tourism jobs pay minimum wage.

Fact: Like many industries, entry-level positions in tourism may pay minimum wages; however there are opportunities to supplement one's income with commissions, gratuities, or other benefits such as free or discounted accommodations. Tourism positions above entry level often pay well in comparison to other industries. Many factors determine what you'll earn, such as job location, type of operation and your education and training.

Myth: All people who work in tourism travel the world for free.

Fact: Most people in tourism do not usually receive free travel as an employment benefit. While some careers may involve travel (e.g. flight attendants and travel counselors), employees usually travel on business and work hard during these trips. Although some employers offer discounts on airfare or accommodation, this is not the norm.

Myth: Tourism jobs only offer part-time employment and shift work.

Fact: Work is changing in all sectors of the economy. More people are working non-traditional hours because of job sharing, flexible hours and life style choices. Some people may have one or more part-time jobs. Depending on the tourism job, work may be part-time or full-time. Individuals who cross-train for several occupations increase their chances of finding full-time employment year-round. Tourism jobs offer flexibility and opportunity for those who want to work part-time only. Individuals in supervisory positions often work more traditional schedules. People who have a job in the tourism industry may work weekends, holidays, or nights; just as community doctors, nurses, lawyers, bankers, engineers and graphic designers do!

Myth: Tourism jobs are only available in the summer months.

Fact: While there are many employment opportunities available in the summer, there are opportunities during other seasons as well. Ski resorts, snowmobiling-tour operators, and ice-fishing guides enjoy tourism-related employment in the winter. In addition, golf courses need people to develop business plans for the coming summer season. By diversifying their skills most tourism professionals can be employed throughout the year.