Careers in tourism
If your personality leans towards high levels of satisfaction obtained from service to others, may be the field of tourism is one in which you might find a life long career.
With the Ministry of Tourism's thrust to increase the room count in Jamaica and to develop more attractions to diversify Jamaica's tourism product, members of the industry confirm that currently the greatest demand for workers would be in accommodation and food and beverage management.
These are categories which will facilitate the planned expansion in room count and adventure tourism and attractions.
The events and conference sector are also areas of focus as the ministry seeks to develop the events sector, especially for slower seasons.
In general, the ministry is also seeking to host larger meetings and conferences at locations such as the convention centre in Montego Bay.
Some careers in tourism include:
*Water sports manager
*Special events co-ordinator
*Food and beverage service
*Tourism information officer
Even though the emphasis is on food and beverage, events and accommodation services, as more rooms come on the market, this will automatically generates more activity in the other sectors.
For example, with more guests in a hotel, then more transportation would be needed to move the guests to and from the property. Also, general increase in visitors automatically generates more activity, indirectly, in such areas as agriculture.
Acommodation and food and beverage is likely to be the largest employer, but cruise ships is also another possible source of employment. Although cruising falls under transportation, ships employ persons in similar capacities as the hotel operation, in addition to the persons who work directly on maintaining and directing the vessel.
In all areas of work within tourism, job applicants are expected to have certification as well as experience in the areas applied for.
For a housekeeper, groundsman or a plumber in a hotel, each should have some basic certification such as that available from the HEART Trust/NTA
For positions in the industry which are supervisory and or management level, a bachelors degree or more in hospitality and tourism management would be extremely useful.
However, supervisory personnel will also find that the industry is driven by experience and attitude. According to industry sources, those who succeed posses a craving for service excellence, a willingness to learn, are highly customer service oriented and are also in possession of adequate academic qualifications.
© Copyright Jamaica Gleaner