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Tourism officer

Promotes tourism and devises tourist development initiatives/campaigns with the aim of generating and increasing revenue.

Job description

A tourism officer works to develop and enhance the visitor facilities of a region and to stimulate tourism growth in order to produce economic benefits for a particular region or site. They often work for local authorities but may also work within private companies or other public sector agencies.

Work activities

  • Promoting existing tourist attractions through advertising campaigns, developing promotional literature including artwork, writing press releases and copy for tourism guides/newsletters
  • Carrying out research of existing tourist attractions to gain customer feedback in order to make improvements
  • Researching local history and local people's views in order to develop potential new tourist attractions
  • Working with the media and other local partner organisations to raise the profile of the local area, generate positive publicity and create a brand identity for the area
  • Organising exhibition stands at conferences and holiday shows, both nationally and overseas, to promote the area
  • Organising special and seasonal events and festivals
  • Providing support, guidance and sometimes administering funding for local tourism-related business and advising new tourism businesses
  • Encouraging the development of new jobs within the tourism sector
  • Bringing in tourism development funding to the area
  • Assessing the impact that any planned developments may have upon the local environment weighed against the potential benefits
  • Consulting with local tourism businesses such as tour operators, restaurants and guest-houses, to assess the effectiveness of current tourism development policies and to develop an overall tourism development strategy.

Work conditions

Travel: usually office based, although travel to tourist centres and attractions may be required.
Working hours: normally office hours though occasional unsocial evenings/weekends may be required.
Location: throughout the country
Opportunities for self-employment: unlikely

Typical employers

Government bodies including:

  • Fáilte Ireland
  • Tourism Ireland
  • Department of Arts, Sports & Tourism
  • Shannon Development
  • Regional Tourism Development Boards
  • Dublin Tourism
  • County councils etc.

Career development

Progression is possible by moving into managerial positions both within the tourism development section and into other departments such as economic development and regeneration.

Salaries

Salaries will vary depending on employer, location and line management responsibilities.

Northern Ireland: Starting salaries of £16,000–£18,000 can be expected, rising to £35,000+ with experience.

Entry requirements

Entry is possible without a third level qualification which means jobs are open to graduates from all disciplines, but relevant qualifications are becoming increasingly more in demand by employers. In addition, most employers ask for some previous experience within the travel and tourism industry.

Other relevant degree subjects

  • Business/management studies especially those with tourism management
  • Hospitality management
  • Hotel management
  • Leisure and tourism
  • Marketing
  • Public relations
  • Travel and tourism management

Postgraduate study

A pre-entry postgraduate qualification is not necessary.

Specific entry requirements

Previous relevant work experience is often a requirement.

Tips for application

Find part-time or seasonal work within the tourism industry at weekends and during university holidays. Knowledge of foreign languages is also useful. Marketing and web experience is also useful.

Skills and qualities

  • Excellent interpersonal, written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to liaise with community groups, stakeholders and the tourism industry
  • High level of skills in the production of information and communication material
  • Excellent customer service skills and an understanding of visitor needs and of the tourism industry
  • Ability to work independently, within large teams or to lead a team, both cohesively and efficiently
  • Strong management, administrative, organisational and project management ability
  • Creativity and innovative strategic thinking along with good PR and marketing skills.