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Careers in tourism and hospitality

Va Sonyka / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
With people in the tourism and hospitality sector, people and places just get better. These people’s work is to care for others and for tourist spots. - Peng Ponna

Have you started thinking about your career after you finish your degree in tourism and hospitality management? Here’s a good news: there are myriads of jobs you can get if you have the skills and determination to succeed in the field. According to Tourism Minister Thong Khon, the total number of foreign visitors in Cambodia last year reached 6.2 million, contributing more than $4 billion to the economy. The number is expected to grow higher in the coming years; thus, the need for manpower in the tourism and hospitality sector.

The skills and learning you get from university can be applied to various careers in tourism and even beyond. Mr Peng Ponna, assistant dean and lecturer of Tourism and Hospitality Management and Entrepreneurship Department of Pannasastra University of Cambodia, lists down common career options that tourism and hospitality management graduates can take.



Travel Agency
People who have experiences and knowledge in tourism have higher chances to succeed in a travel agency business. After spending years in college, students will surely learn relevant and significant cognizance of the different tourist sites, market demands, ticketing process and the likes.

Putting up a resort does not really need a big investment. However, you will need to find marketable and feasible business ideas that will attract your target market. According to Mr Ponna, students taking tourism and hospitality are trained to create strategic plans to entice customers. Those who plan to start a resort business can come up with attractive ideas that will be temp local and foreign tourists to come by. “For example, turning a rice field into a flower field,” said Mr Ponna.

Hotel and Accommodation
When it comes to tourism, Mr Ponna, gives his own definition: “It is how to provide services, products, beauty, and more creations to make tourists appreciate whatever you are offering”. The owner of a hotel or any establishment offering accommodation needs to understand clearly about customer concept in order to provide right services to target customers. The concept also includes decoration, design and a symbol of the place. He said, some of hotel even set their own costume to make the passenger remember their business symbol.

Every tourist who comes to visit needs transporation. That’s why offering transportation service is a good business option. The owner needs to understand clearly how to pick the right travel vehicle and driver, and to make all vehicles clean and tidy. Mr Ponna said that to provide transportation services for tourists requires high understanding on customers’ demands. Some customers will need some refreshments and some medical equipment on board in addition to quality service from the staff.

Food and Beverage
Providing a plate of tasty food to customers is not enough. Tourists need something different, special, and healthy when they come to visit new places, and this is not what a chef can do all the time. Tourism and hospitality departments or schools teach students how to judge the market demand and customer requirements, and they can use this learned knowledge in considering the classes of their future customers before starting a business.

Private Employment

Guest Relations Officer
Most of the travel and tourism companies need guest relation officer to welcome their guests. Aside from tour businesses, guest relations officers are also needed in the bank, hospital and other establishments that cater to people on a daily basis.

Marketing Officer
Did you know that you need to have good hospitality skill to make people want to talk more about business with you? That’s why a marketing agency also requires people who are good at hospitality to join its team.

Airline Crew
If you are dreaming to be a flight attendant, studying tourism and hospitality is the right choice. Becoming one requires you to talk and act politely to passengers no matter their behaviour towards you. Even though you can learn airline management through a short course, an appropriate degree will always give you an advantage.

Government Post

Protocol Team
Not so many people who have skills in tourism and hospitality know that they can be employed in the government. The government hosts a lot of events each year and they require a protocol team to organise meetings and welcome honorable guests.Actually, there are many jobs in the government that require the expertise exclusive to hospitality graduates.

Freelance Jobs

Event Planner
Skills in tourism and hospitality usually come together in the same major and it opens more chances for people to get a job. Event management companies need lots of people who have skills in hospitality to organise and communicate with people for successful events.

Tour Guide
Tourism, at first glance, is all about traveling. People who like travelling and telling people about the history of places will enjoy learning and working in the tourism field. People who work at this kind of job will not only travel in the country but also abroad. They can also apply for jobs at the place they want to visit if they think they are qualified.

Some university students need guidance in how they want to plan their future. This is where consultants and mentors come in. Universities, vocational centers and some hotels and restaurants usually invite mentors or consultant sto train their students or staff to enhance skills.

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