Tourism Jobs in Europe
There are all kinds of employment opportunities in the tourism industry to be had all over Europe. There are jobs working on cruise ships, at vacation resorts like EuroDisney or the St. Maritz ski area, or even traditional tourist trade employment in venues such as hotels and bars.
All of these types of jobs have two things in common.
First, you have to be able to deal with tourists in a friendly and professional manner; not always the easiest thing in the world to do.
Secondly, you need to be able to connect with the tourists in some way to put them at ease and make them feel at home.
Particularly in areas where North American tourists are common, this second criterion can help you get your foot in the door. For many tourists, a familiar face and accent goes a long way towards making them feel at home and people who run tourist venues recognize this fact.
The Truth About Tourism Related Jobs
Tourism jobs are remarkably similar the world over. The work you do may be slightly different, but the tourists themselves are the same. A Japanese tourist is the same in the US or in Germany, and an American tourist is the same in Canada as in France. If you have worked in the hospitality industry in North America, you are already going to be pretty familiar with what to expect from the job in terms of perks and headaches.
It will help to have some hospitality training or past experience. This could be a diploma in hospitality or hotel management, or a background as a chef to work in resorts. Training could even be something as simple as a professional alcohol serving and responsibility course taken in the country you want to work in. Many of these courses are one or two days in length but are usually required if you want to work in bars or restaurants.
If you have any sort of specialized training in a particular activity, this is also a great door opener for finding jobs. Experience and certification for activities like SCUBA diving jobs, guiding, and sailing are all tourist activities where qualified instructors and guides are always in high demand. Not all instructors need to be high energy and outdoors. Many cruise ships and resorts also hire dance instructors, lifeguards, or babysitters. Make a list of all your certifications and then do some web searching with target words such as ‘cruise ship,’ ‘resort,’ or ‘vacation.’ This will give you a list of places that offer those types of amenities to their guests and need people to work for them to provide those services.
Of course working with tourists means…well, that you are working with tourists. People on vacation are usually much more demanding and you have to be able to accept that fact with some grace and aplomb.
The other problem with jobs in the tourism industry is that so many of the jobs are seasonal. You have to be willing to work only a few months in the high season. This is great if you are on a working holiday visa, but not so good if you are hoping to stay in your adopted country for a couple of years. If you do want to be more stationary, best to stick to tourism jobs in the major cities rather than in the resort areas.
There are some incredible advantages to working in the tourism industry. First off, you are going to meet tons of people from all over the world. If you are the extroverted type, this is a dream come true. The other advantage is that you can put yourself right in one of the hotspots that you have always dreamed about visiting. Sure, you may have to deal with cranky visitors during your day job at a hotel in St. Tropez.
But then again, the rest of your time is all your own to enjoy that unforgettable sun and sand that will be right outside your back door.