Sixty-four million international travelers are expected to visit the U.S. in 2011. What's the most important thing they'll be packing? $144 billion.
Travel and tourism is as important to the United States as water is to cruise ships. Travel and tourism includes dining and lodging, management, logistics, entertainment and events planning, marketing ... and diplomacy. But don't think that earning a travel and tourism degree means you're limited to working as a travel agent with an average annual salary of $33,950.
Jobs in this industry include exciting options such as activities director, airline attendant and destination marketing manager, which reportedly pay more. Imagine working as an activities director for a vacation resort and planning a family reunion for hundreds of people to remember forever. Employers offer unexpected perks in this industry, too: Princess Cruises employees receive two free cruises each year! Even travel agents may qualify for free or discounted trips to learn about vacation sites.
Courses in travel and tourism
A certificate-level travel and tourism program is perfect if you're supplementing your education or experience with some industry know-how, but two-year associate, four-year bachelor's and two-year master's degrees provide a more comprehensive education for people wanting to advance to management positions. Certificate courses may include operations and marketing courses, and may allow you to tailor your program with a destination course, such as Africa, as an elective. A graduate-level travel and tourism degree may include instruction in global tourism analysis and tourism technology.