Tourism internships are fundamentally necessary if you are truly serious about a long career in the travel industry. What you will learn from real life experiences in an international internship program will always benefit you more than any amount of student education where you learn in a class room environment studying books.
The benefit of a tourism internship over say one in accounting is that you will never get bored. If you had the choice of sitting in an office all day, or working in some exotic hotel after gaining an education in study abroad program, which would you choose?
Personally, I would be joining one of the many hospitality internships based in or around tourism, and you could forget all about working eight hours a day for an accountants organizations! You will also stand a better chance of being accepted into one of the many study abroad programs, if you know another language other than English.
But how do you locate a tourism internship and which type of company should you apply to?
Firstly, you don’t have to be concerned with finding one, because there are generally many around that you can apply for and lots of those are international. But when it comes to choosing the right company, you should already have an idea of what area of tourism you wish to work in.
When know which area you want to work in, such as plane tours or boat tours, or even Mountain tours, your options become a lot clearer and you will know which companies you should be searching for.
One of the great things about interning and working in tourism, is that the skills you develop in one area can easily be applied in another area. Think about this for a moment – you get on internship and work for a year in coach tours, but you fancy a change to say boat tours!
All you have to do is train for a little while in the art not falling overboard (as well as other more important areas) and you can work in a totally new area of tourism. How great is that?
Whatever you do, make sure you join a highly respected and well known tourism company. Enrolling in a very small company is sometimes (not always) a bad idea, because you could end up doing a full-time job with little for now pay! I’m sure there are laws to ‘prevent’ this happening, but I assure you it happens in many other areas of business.
The same goes if you volunteer in a placement where the going is tough! You have to remain sensible and alert.
A clear bonus of joining a large organization is that you have will be able to work with high level management, and other key staff in a very large industry. And when you connect with these high profile people, you are in a great position to develop life long contacts and impress important people with your skill set. This will put you in a very good position for the future, when want to work in another field of tourism or new company.