Careers and Employability Service
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Leisure, travel and tourism

Close up image of a man holding a passport and a boarding pass in an airport


The leisure and tourism sector is very wide-ranging and offers a great range of opportunities for graduates. Opportunities can be roughly grouped as follows:

  • Leisure
  • Travel/Tourism

Customer-facing roles are available, including administration and management, or a variety of graduate roles exist in head-office functions, such as finance, sales and marketing, logistics, and HR.

This industry also has links to other sectors, for example media, such as travel or sports journalism, education, such as PE teaching, and events management.

For more information on sport careers look at our Working in sport page

Your next steps

If you have questions about your plans, talk to a member of our team.


What qualifications do I need?

Most companies in the sector recruit graduates of any degree subject. Employers will be looking for enthusiasm and commercial awareness of the type of industry you are applying for, and work experience can be useful to evidence this.

Some specialist roles may require specific degree subjects or further training, for example working in legal or financial roles.

The following skills may also be helpful in securing your role:

  • customer service skills
  • excellent communication skills
  • language skills
  • flexibility
  • teamwork

Which employers could I work for?

Employers range from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through to large, nationwide or even multi-national corporations.

Some examples of large employers include Hilton Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels, Marriott International (hotels), P&O, Cunard, and TUI (holiday operators), David Lloyd Leisure, Virgin Active (fitness and sport), Merlin Entertainments (theme parks), and many more.


Explore roles the leisure industry

The leisure industry includes sectors such as culture and heritage (e.g. museums and galleries) entertainment (e.g. cinemas, theatres), recreation (e.g. theme parks, holiday camps), hospitality (bars, restaurants), and sports/fitness and gaming (including casinos).

The following resources include more information and vacancies:


Explore roles in travel and tourism

  • Career in Travel -gives information about becoming a holiday representative or cabin crew member, and provides lists of tour operators and airlines, which could be helpful for finding other vacancies within the industry 
  • Prospects - for a professional insight into the sector, and working in hotel management
  • TARGETjobs - graduate career information and vacancies 
  • The Travel Association (ABTA) - provides a careers page 

Careers and Employability Service

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