US tourism employment expected to increase annually through 2015


San Francisco – According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, United States tourism employment is expected to increase annually through 2015 with more than 2.4 million jobs. The latest Federal Reserve Board Beige Book, issued in April, reported that tourism conditions have improved and that spending is up in a number of areas.

International Tour Management Institute (ITMI), America´s premier tour director and tour guide certification program prepares graduates for jobs in the multi-billion dollar tourism industry. “While traditional jobs are harder to find, tour operators, cruise lines and destination marketing organizations are always looking for qualified individuals to escort tour groups or serve as cruise ship hosts,” says Ted Bravos, CEO of ITMI. “Our experience has shown that recent college graduates, teachers seeking freelance or summer work or seniors and displaced corporate executives often become highly successful tour guides and tour directors.”

Professional tour directors earn between of $250 to $350 per day plus all expense paid trips. Speaking a second language enhances employment opportunities and increases earnings. “For example, the need for Mandarin-speaking tour directors is tremendous due to the influx of affluent Chinese tourists. Inbound Chinese tour operators are constantly seeking qualified tour guides and tour directors, the demand far exceeds the supply,” adds Bravos.

Professional tour directors are paid to travel to virtually all corners of the world. This provides an invaluable opportunity to learn about other countries and other cultures. It can be a tremendous asset to potential employers, who seek individuals with the expertise to navigate easily through the complexities of a global marketplace.

ITMI offers individual strategy sessions, held after course completion, to help students identify their short and long term objectives, and allow ITMI staff to determine which tour operators will best meet their goals. ITMIs instructors also help students with resume preparation and assist them in arranging interviews with prospective employers. Many graduates secure jobs within the first few weeks.