Top 10 Reasons for a Tourism Career
Dave Butler is the director of sustainability for Canadian Mountain Holidays. When addressing students in the Tourism & Recreation Management Program at the Cranbrook campus of the College of the Rockies, he listed the top 10 reasons for working in the industry.
- You can change lives: “We have the incredible and humbling opportunity to join people from around the world in situations where they experience something that they have never experienced before to the point where we can and do change their lives,” said Butler.
- Sharing a passion and a place: Tourism provides opportunities to show some of the unique and special features of a region, which can aid in conservation efforts.
- Experience is a renewable resource: “In tourism, if we do it right, we can provide experiences to guests, and each one will perceive that experience in a different and personal way—day after day, and year after year, on the same piece of ground,” Butler said.
- Tackling challenges: Butler admitted that the field is one that always has a new set of problems to solve. That said, the ability to find solutions in an ever-changing environment can be as exhilarating as any outdoor adventure.
- Working with great people: Besides the opportunity to work with people who share the same passion for a place that you do, tourism allows operators to meet others from all walks of life. It’s a mutually broadening experience.
- Tourism can be sustainable: “It’s my firm belief that tourism—perhaps more than any other sector of our economy—has the opportunity to achieve economic, social, cultural and environmental sustainability,” said Butler.
- Transferable skills: Skills used in the tourism trade can be used in almost every part of the world—many tour guides operate throughout the year, travelling the globe and following the seasons as part of their profession. Additionally, practices used in the tourism sector can be used in other businesses.
- Tourism is a growth industry: “Right now, tourism is an $852-billion industry around the world,” said Butler. “It’s a $75-billion industry in Canada, and it’s a $13.8 billion industry here in B.C. That’s larger than agriculture, forestry and fisheries combined.”
- Diversity of career opportunities: From high-end glamour to rugged outdoor adventure; from ancient practices to state-of-the-art technology, the field of tourism encompasses thousands of possibilities.
- It’s better than the alternative: There are many people who work at jobs they hate—day after day, year after year—hoping to pay for one week of what those in the tourism industry do every day. That’s a pretty powerful incentive.
By Tanya Laing Gahr. This is excerpted from an article titled “The Top 10 reasons for a career in the tourism industry”. Reprinted with a permission from Kootenay Business Magazine.