Europe is the most popular holiday destination in the world, welcoming more than 670 million visitors in 2017. The tourism industry provides jobs for 12 million EU citizens and offers a variety of exciting long-term career opportunities for those who want to put their education and skills to the test in different settings. So what are you waiting for?


Why tourism?

Working in tourism offers exotic or beautiful locations, modern working spaces and a dynamic environment. Employees are often young, bringing an energy and sense of fun to teams and workplaces. There are plenty of chances for personal and career growth – and to make a difference. With work available on a permanent, part-time and seasonal basis, there are opportunities to suit everyone.

What do tourism employers look for when they’re recruiting?

According to research carried out as part of the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises’ ‘Blueprint for sectoral cooperation on skills in tourism’ project, the number one factor for employers is age (21%), with candidates between the ages of 25-35 coming out on top. This is swiftly followed by relevant skills and academic qualifications (18% each), as well as flexibility and professional experience (16%).


What are the most important skills in the tourism sector?

Hospitality attitude is top of the list of skills valued by employers, along with the ability to understand and improve human relationships, interpersonal communication and language competences. These categories are also the ones that job seekers believe are the most important, although it’s interesting to note that they place more value on language skills and multicultural awareness than employers, and less on critical thinking.


Where are the best places to find out about tourism jobs?

Job portals, personal networks and social media are three of the main tools that tourism businesses use to find new employees. Company websites and professional recruiters are also widely used. Make sure you take advantage of these tools yourself to maximise your chances of finding a job.


How can you gain the skills employers are looking for?

If you want to brush up on your skills before embarking on a career in the tourism industry, then there are a range of EU programmes that can help. These include EURES, which has a dedicated section for job seekers and extensive features, Your first EURES Job, which helps 18-35 year olds find a job in the EU, and Erasmus+, which provides a variety of training and networking opportunities for young people.


Where can you find out more?

The Jobs in Tourism website contains a lot of information about working in the tourism sector. Part of the ‘Tourism, a world of opportunities’ communication campaign (developed in the framework of the ‘Blueprint on sectoral cooperation on skills in tourism’ project), the website is designed to promote the tourism industry, support job seekers looking to start a career in tourism and support companies looking for potential employees.