Career Options in Travel and Tourism Industry

The tourism sector of India is one of the largest revenue earning industry in the country. According to a report by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India (released in November 2011), about 5.78 million international tourists visited various parts of the country during the year 2010, which was 11.8% more than that in the year 2009, and earning about $14.19 billion USD in 2010. In addition to this, 740.21 million domestic tourists visited different areas of the country in the same period of time, showing a rise of 18.8% compared to the figures in 2009. India being a diverse nation in terms of geography, history, culture and language, the scope for travel and tourism is wide. Therefore, career opportunities in travel and tourism is huge and the industry provides a range of job options for professionals with appropriate education. If you have a charming personality and passion for seeing new places, career options in travel and tourism industry are immense.

Courses in Travel and Tourism Field

Students who wish to enter the tourism industry will need to pursue a course in the field. There are about 24 colleges in India that provide travel, tourism and related courses at various levels. Several short term certificate courses are available in areas like airline and railways ticketing, foreign languages, tour planning and tour operation management that can be pursued after 10th standard or 12th standard (depending on college). Diploma courses in travel and tourism, of 1 to 2 years duration, is offered at the undergraduate and post graduate levels. If you wish to pursue a degree in tourism then you can consider 3 to 4 years undergraduate Bachelors and 2 years post graduate Master’s Degree courses. You can also engage in research by studying Master in Philosophy and doctoral level courses. Top courses include the Post Graduate Diploma in Travel and Tourism Management offered by the Indian Institute of Travel and Tourism Management (IITTM). You can opt for any of the following areas in the field to pursue your diploma or degree in:

Certificate Courses Travel Trade

Event Management

Health Tourism

Adventure Tourism

Customer Service

Diploma Courses Rail Transport

Transport Economics


Travel Management

Airlines Management

Tour Operations

Event Management

Cargo Operations

Undergraduate Courses Hospitality Management

Tourism Studies

Hotel Administration

Tourism Economics

Post Graduate Courses Tourism Management

Tourism Administration

International Tourism


Tourism Services

Health Tourism

Tour Operations

Eligibility Criteria for Travel and Tourism Courses

With such a range of courses on offer here are the eligibility criteria of each course level:

Undergraduate Level:

  • Must be between 17 to 20 years of age
  • Must have qualified the 10 + 2 board examination

Post Graduate Level:

  • Must have a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline with at least 50% aggregate marks

M.Phil Level:

  • Must have a Masters in Tourism or a related subject with 55% aggregate marks

Doctoral Level:

  • Must have an M.Phil in Tourism or a related subject
  • Must have scored at least 55% in post graduation
  • Must submit a research proposal while applying

Top Colleges in India offering Travel and Tourism Courses

In view To impart education in tourism and travel management and related areas, the Ministry of Tourism established the travel and tourism management college in 5 cities. Along with this there are many public and private colleges that offer tourism courses in India. Here is a list of 10 well known colleges and universities that offer courses in areas of travel and tourism:

Name of College Location Courses Offered Entrance Exam
Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM) Bhubaneswar, Gwalior, New Delhi, Nellore, Goa Post Graduate: Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) in Tourism and Travel (Bhubaneshwar and Gwalior), PGDM in International Business with Focus on Tourism and Logistics (Bhubaneshwar and Gwalior), PGDM in Tourism & Leisure (New Delhi and Gwalior), PGDM in Tourism and Cargo (Nellore), PGDM in Services (Gwalior) Post Graduate: All India Admission Test
Sir Vithaldas Thakersey College of Home Science Mumbai Diploma: Diploma in Travel and Tourism Diploma: Entrance Test conducted by the college
Department of Tourism Hospitality of Heritage Studies, Jamia Milia Islamia University New Delhi Undergraduate: B.A.(Hons.)(Tourism and Hospitality)

Diploma: Diploma in Tourism and Travel Management

Certificate: Certificate in Tourism and Travel Management

Undergraduate, Diploma, Certificate: Entrance tests conducted by the University
Avalon Academy New Delhi Diploma: Diploma in Travel and Tourism (Aptech certified) Diploma: Merit based
United Mission Junior and Degree College Bangalore Certificate: Certificate Course in Travel and Tourism Certificate: Merit based
Presentation College of Applied Sciences (Mahatma Gandhi University) Ernakulum Undergraduate: B.Com (Travel & Tourism)

Post Graduate: M.T.A (Tourism Administration)

Undergraduate and Post Graduate: Entrance test conducted by University
School of Tourism Studies (Mahatma Gandhi University) Kottayam Post Graduate: Master of Tourism Management (MTM) with specialization in Aviation Management, Tour Operations and Health Tourism Post Graduate: Entrance exam conducted by the University
Department of Tourism Studies (Christ University) Bangalore Certificate: Travel and Tourism Management

Undergraduate: Bachelor of Commerce (Travel & Tourism Mgmt)

Postgraduate: Master of Tourism Administration (MTA)

International Certifications: IATA (International Air Transport Association) / UFTAA (United Federation of Travel Agents Association)

M Phil: Master of Philosophy (M. Phil.) in Tourism

Doctoral: Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Tourism

Undergraduate and Post Graduate: Merit based

M.Phil and Doctoral: NET / SLET

Institute of Tourism Studies (University of Lucknow) Lucknow Undergraduate: Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA- Tourism), Travel and Tourism Management (TTM)

Diploma: Diploma in International Airlines Ticketing & CRS

Post Graduate: Master of Business Administration (MBA- Tourism), Post Graduate Diploma in Travel Management (PGDTM)

All: Merit based
Frankfinn Centers all around India Diploma: Diploma in Aviation, Hospitality and Travel Management, Diploma in Hospitality, Travel and Customer Service Diploma: Merit based

Entrance exams for Travel and Tourism Courses

Although most colleges admit students to its undergraduate and post graduate level courses according to their previous academic performances, there are some like Jamia Millia University and IITTM that conduct entrance exams to select students:

Exam Level Name of Exam Conducting Body Month of Issue of Forms Exam Date
Undergraduate Level Entrance Test Jamia Millia Islamia University May June
Post Graduate Level All India Entrance Test IITTM January February

How to prepare for Travel and Tourism Entrance Exams

For Undergraduate Entrance Exams -

Students might need to study all or some of the following subjects – History, General Knowledge, Current Affairs, Geography, Economics, General English and Science. You will need to first go through the syllabus and then study accordingly. The subjects are usually of the class 10 to 12 level. You will need to go back to your text books for this. Practicing previous years papers will help build your confidence.

For Post Graduate Entrance Exams -

In the post graduate level, the entrance exam comprises objective type questions pertaining to topics of Language Proficiency, Logical Reasoning, Numerical Ability and General Awareness. IITTM Tourism & Travel Entrance Exams by Bookhive’s Study Circle is a good guide book for preparing for the IITTM entrance test. You can also study from MBA preparing guides to practice your numerical, logical reasoning and English language.

Career Prospects for Travel and Tourism Courses

After completion of a course in any field of travel and tourism, many of the colleges provide placements in sectors such as hospitality, shipping, aviation and, of course, tourism. Some of the companies that attend such placement events in the colleges are Thomas Cook, Cox & Kings, Indian Railways Catering and Ticketing Corporation (IRCTC), SOTC Travel, Make My Trip, Le Passage to India Pvt Ltd, Snow Leopard Adventure, Pearls Tourism, Lufthansa Cargo, Fair Fest Media Ltd, Concord, Colourful Vacations, Zenith Hospitality, Southern Travels, Ziva Spa and Maxx Fun Holidays. Depending on the certificate or diploma or the specialization you pursued in the degree course, you can work in positions like tour operator, event manager, ticketing officer, adventure tourism expert, transport officer, holiday consultant and field officers. Other related division where professionals with a degree or diploma in travel and tourism can find openings are cargo services, logistics, transport agencies, airlines, hotels, and tourism departments in government and private concerns.