Careers in travel

If you’re interested in starting a career in travel, ABTA can point you in the right direction. 

The travel industry is an exciting place to be right now. With most people unable to see the world at the height of the pandemic, travel companies are experiencing huge demand now holidays have made a comeback. With this growth comes many different and exciting career opportunities.

More people are looking to use the expertise of travel companies

ABTA’s consumer research says consumers are 37% more likely to use a travel professional now to book their holiday than before the pandemic, and the expertise and reassurances of booking with a travel company are in high demand. Watch ABTA’s video on how ABTA Members can help customers travel with confidence.

Travel companies are evolving

Many ABTA travel companies are evolving their businesses and attracting new recruits with their standout brands, travel perks and hybrid working schemes.

The jobs in travel are wide ranging, from sales, marketing, IT and digital transformation, to managing sustainability programmes and working abroad. 

The area of business travel is also making a big comeback and many corporate travel management companies are offering more attractive employment packages than pre-pandemic including higher salaries, more annual leave, and opportunities for remote working. 

The culture of working in travel

We asked ABTA Members about what keywords they associated with working in travel and these were the most popular: exciting, fun, dynamic, versatile, challenging.

Salaries are rising

C&M Travel Recruitment’s research confirms salaries are rising across the travel industry and are up by 5.3% from 2019. What's more, salaries for some roles have risen by 13% over the same period1. So what are you waiting for?!

1 C&M'S TRAVEL SALARY INDEX - 2022 H1 OVERVIEW (13/07/2022) shares wages for new standard roles (non-executive level) in travel (those with salaries below £40,000) are up even further and have risen by 13% since the same months of 2019. Read more here

Ways to find your next job in travel:

  • Look at a travel company’s career page to find out about job opportunities and their company culture to see if your experience would be a good fit. 
  • Set up LinkedIn alerts for travel companies that you would like to work for so you can be among the first to apply. 
  • Get in touch with a travel recruitment specialist – such as C&M Recruitment or Travel Trade Recruitment – and send them your CV. 
  • Check out Indeed.com and its travel industry jobs board
  • Register with travel industry trade news sites such as Travel Weekly and TTG Media as they often share the latest opportunities and information about working in travel.
  • Travel Gossip has a guide on the best travel companies with homeworking opportunities here.

Career development opportunities in travel

Once you start working in travel, you can go anywhere. Many travel companies engage their staff in learning and development programmes. Popular schemes at the moment include digital marketing apprenticeships, MBAs, top talent programmes, coaching and mentoring opportunities. Travel companies have also changed their approach to training and are making them hybrid so you can learn online and in face-to-face meetings.

Take off in Travel career guide

ABTA also supports an annual career guide Take off in Travel which is produced by trade publication Travel Weekly. This gives an excellent overview of the range of careers in the travel industry. Various routes to entry are discussed and it includes a range of career case studies. You’ll also find contact details for universities, colleges and companies with opportunities in the travel industry.

ABTA Conferences and Events

If you’re new to the travel industry, there are lots of ways to develop your knowledge and understanding about the sector. ABTA’s Conferences and Events programme covers a wide range of topics from marketing, sales, customer service, financial and legal issues, with the content completely unique to travel industry matters. If you work for an ABTA Member, you can access discounts to attend ABTA’s events and conferences. 

Many of our events are also relevant for lecturers, apprentices and students studying travel and tourism. Certificates of attendance are available to delegates. View our upcoming programme of events.

Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT)

ABTA is represented on the Institute of Travel and Tourism’s Education and Training Committee. The ITT offers student membership, as well as networking opportunities for students and graduates.

Useful resources for students studying travel and tourism-related courses include the ITT Education & Training Hub and the ITT Future You initiative; which organises inspiring careers in travel events across the UK each year.

Also in this section