Tourism is a hugely important part of the Irish economy. Tourism provides a diverse number of careers related to the industry. To be successful, you will need a high level of  training. In addition, a foreign language capabilities is very beneficial.


There are many career options at both ordinary degree and honours degree level. Courses titles to look out for include Tourism Marketing, Travel & Tourism, Business and Tourism, and Tourism Management. The institutes of technology provide all third-level programmes.

Learners will learn about industry-specific subjects such as:

  • Heritage
  • Culture
  • International Tourism
  • Eco-Tourism

Tourism courses also cover general business modules like Financial Accounting, Human Resource Management and Marketing. Courses generally feature a language option as well. There may be opportunities to spend a semester abroad, or to take a work experience placement as part of the course.

There are a large number of further education courses available. The most widely available course is Tourism & Travel, which is good preparation for the travel agency and tour operator industries. Typical modules in a PLC course include:

  • Travel Agency
  • Retail and Service Skills
  • Customer Relations
  • Information Technology
  • Marketing

The Work

A tourism officer is someone who promotes a particular area – local, regional or national. They devise and coordinate marketing campaigns, produce tourist information and organise festivals, events and exhibitions. It can also mean travelling to other countries to generate interest in your area, and working with local businesses to help them improve their facilities and attract more tourists. Some work in specific areas, such as heritage or genealogy tours.

Tourist representatives will usually work for a tour operator or hotel in popular holiday destinations and resorts. The basic brief is look after, and possibly travel with, a group of tourists. Reps greet guests at the airport, show them the sights, organise activities, sell longer day trips, and also deal with problems such as lost luggage or faulty showers.

Travel agency staff are those who help customers to decide on their holiday and travel plans. This involves checking the availability of tour packages, flights, hotels, car hire and coach operators, and making bookings on behalf of their clients. They also advise on issues such as vaccinations, visas, passports, insurance, weather conditions, restaurants, and tourist attractions.

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