What does this even mean?
It may not be forever sunny and exotic, but the UK has a thriving tourism industry. Thousands of tourist sights and attractions are dotted all around England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These range from parks, gardens, forests and historic buildings that demonstrate the UK’s natural beauty, to museums, art galleries, zoos, aquariums and theme parks that thrill the public in very different ways.
Understandably, these places of interest need a multitude of employees to make sure they continue to entice and satisfy the nation’s tourists.
What options do I have in this industry?
Career options with these organisations are incredibly varied and entirely depend on the specific attraction, how big it is, what it is, and how the tourists enjoy it. However, every single career associated with sights and attractions contribute to making tourists’ experiences safe and enjoyable.
Some of the UK’s tourist attractions are only open at certain times of the year. Consequently, some of the work available is only on a seasonal basis. However, this only really applies to attractions that are outside. Consequently, any attraction that is not al fresco, such as a museum or aquarium, is likely to employ staff all year round on a permanent basis.
A career working at a tourist attraction is certainly far from your average office job. You could be employed in a massive variety of positions, such as:
- Helping people on and off rollercoasters
- Tending to one of the UK’s most beautiful gardens
- Selling tickets at the London Eye
- Managing your own theme park.
It is unlikely that you will need a degree or vocational qualification for the majority of jobs in this industry. However, for more specialist and managerial roles, such as a theme park manager, a relevant degree or vocational qualification is likely to be preferable.
All employees who work in this area need excellent communication skills and a friendly nature, as they will be dealing with swathes of visitors every single day.
What might I actually be doing in this industry?
The career opportunities in this area are incredibly wide-ranging, but the following information should give you a good taste of the kinds of jobs you might be able to do.
Understandably, sights and attractions need a wealth of customer service staff. You might work as a ‘ride host’ and help people to safely get on, get strapped in, and then get off rollercoasters. Likewise, you might be working as a lifeguard at a water park, or you might be responsible for selling food, drinks or souvenirs to visitors.
Sights and attractions depend on ticket sales and donations. Consequently, you could get an administrative job for a tourist attraction, where you will be responsible for coordinating ticket sales, processing donations, carrying out external marketing initiatives, or making sales calls to solicit donations from museum members.
Some people pursue incredibly important careers in the maintenance and refurbishment of tourist attractions. Some of these include:
- Working as a gardener or a park ranger in one of the UK’s national trust sites
- Protecting people from harm as a health and safety officer
- Looking after people as part of an attraction’s medical or security team
- Making a living as a rollercoaster engineer, responsible for constructing, fixing and maintaining rides with the help of a technical services team.
Alternatively, you could be working in a managerial position. However, this step is likely to come later in your career. For instance, you could become the estate manager for a stately home and its grounds, or you could become a theme park manager, overseeing all of a theme park’s finances, staff and operations.
If you played a lot of Theme Park World when you were younger, or you can see yourself maintaining an idyllic Downton style estate, this could well be the perfect career path for you!