JOB PROSPECTS & CAREER OPTIONS IN TOURISM
Being a very wide field, the scope of employment in the tourism sector is very bright and the potential is still largely untapped. Career opportunities exist both in the public and private sector. A very good prospectus for qualified tourism professionals is in the private sector with travel agencies, tour operators, airlines, hotels, restaurants, transport and cargo companies etc.
In Lombardy and Brescia there are a lot of hotels, inns, bed and breakfast establishments, farms holiday, vacation villas, thermal spas, and restaurants which are always looking for fluent English-speaking people who are computer and Internet literate to fill positions as reception desk clerk, management personnel, telephone operators, chamber maids, doormen, waiters, waitresses, etc. These establishments are also looking for people to find foreign clients for them and willing to pay a good commission on sales.
Travel agents assess the needs of tourists and businessmen and help them make the best possible travel arrangements from the many travel options available. Many resorts, travel groups use travel agents to promote their tour packages to travelers.
They deal with almost everything connected with travel including the shortest route to the destination, travel mode, the important documents that will be required (visa, passport, vaccination certificates etc.), suitable places to stay, current exchange rates, tourist attractions to visit, climate and they will plan the trip keeping in mind the clients' preferences, budgets and special needs. In travel agencies there are openings for reservation and counter staff, Sales and Marketing staff, Tour escorts and tour operators, cargo and courier agencies etc.
Several large travel agencies also offer short-term training programmes, and tend to absorb most of the candidates. Some agencies take in fresh graduates and train them on the job. Most travel agencies demands persons have a pleasing personality and the ability to deal with customers. A knowledge of destinations and procedures help a great deal.
The hotel Industry is basically a service industry providing food and accommodation to the Visitors. It is one which requires a large amount of manpower, with a wide variety of skills.
In Lombardy many vacancies are expected to be filled within the next decade. An hotel offers career opportunities in its various departments such as Operations, Front office, House keeping, Food and Beverages, Accounting, Engineering/ Maintenance, Sales, Public relations and Security etc. One can enter this field through direct entry in some departments or through hotel management institutes.
There are many institutes that offer hotel management courses. Many hotels also offer overseas training opportunities, which allow young people to gain promotions rapidly.
If you want to find a job as a chef remember that chefs need excellent cooking skills, food presentation skills, good communication and people management skills and the ability to follow instructions. You also need budgeting and planning skills. Chefs should be creative, organised and able to work well under pressure.
They should be enthusiastic and able to motivate their staff. They need to be quick on their feet yet patient and careful. They should be open to learning about new cooking methods, recipes and menus.
Chefs should have a good sense of taste and smell, and a reasonable level of strength and fitness to lift large and heavy pots and ingredients. They also need a good level of stamina as they spend long hours on their feet.
Trying to find employment is not so much a numbers game as it is analyzing logically which organizations or sectors in your particular area would need someone with your background and abilities. For instance, I found that there are numerous companies that need English speakers to assist in their services: cooking tour groups, walking and bicycle tours, painting and art schools, ceramic schools, etc. Many of these are owned and run by American companies. Your role could be booking or guiding tours or managing the groups and itineraries. You can find a multitude of agencies on the Internet if you search on the region and the interest you have. The Italian yellow pages online can assist you in finding these as well.
Of course you will need all your work papers in order if you are planning to earn your income in Italy and consequently do your tax returns in Italy. Italian tax laws are very complicated and you should seek out an accountant or commercialista to help you. If you work as an independent consultant, you should always have a written contract binding both parties. You can draft the contract in English. It is also wise to request a small deposit up front for any work. The deposit usually is not denied if the client is serious about the work you will render and about paying you.
Employment in Italy is regionally oriented and the best research you can do before coming to Italy is to study the region you plan to come to. Ask yourself the following questions: What is the main industry or industries that this city or town is involved with? For instance, the city of Arezzo is the gold jewelry manufacturing capital of Italy and it has hundreds of big and small jewelry companies that export and may be looking for fluent English speakers. What is the up-and-coming industry or company of this town? News events will steer you towards new health spas, new museums, new facilities, new tourism offices, etc. What is the history, culture and attitude of the townspeople? Are they open to foreigners? What products do they excel in producing? For instance the towns of Montepulciano and Montalcino, or the Franciacorta are famous wine-producing centers with numerous companies that export to the U.S. These could be great venues for English-speaking people.
In the end remember that before you start a job, it is helpful to know what the job will be like. In any case if you want to succeed in your career keep well in mind that you will have to work very hard and be always very serious, polite, dynamic, open-minded and motivated and get several years of job experience. You will have to acquire deep professional skills and competences, you will have to be fluent in modern languages, and you will also need a strong self-control and effective personal human qualities. Then, if you have at least five or six years experience in your field (Restaurants, Hotels, Catering Industry, Tourism, etc.) you will be able to become a trainee manager, consequently an assistant manager and finally a general manager. Good luck, then!!!