Travel, Hospitality and Tourism Internships, Placements, Work Experience and Graduate Jobs 2024

Find the latest internships, placements, insight schemes and graduate jobs with the best student employers in the travel, hospitality and tourism industries.

The travel and tourism industries, as well as the hospitality and leisure industries are incredibly valuable to the UK.

Since 2010, tourism has been the fastest growing sector in the UK in employment terms, according to Visit Britain. Britain is forecast to have a tourism industry worth over £257 billion by 2025, predicting to grow at an annual rate of 3.8% through to 2025. This is much faster than other prominent sectors like construction and retail.

According to the British Hospitality Association, the hospitality industry is the 4th biggest employer in the UK, accounting for 3.2m jobs through direct employment in 2016, and a further 2.8m indirectly. The industry generated over £73bn directly to the UK economy, and a further £87bn indirectly.

Read on to discover what a career in travel and tourism is all about and how you can get your foot in the door.

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What is a career in travel and hospitality like?

The travel and tourism sector is often showered with praise for encouraging and offering fantastic opportunities for graduates when it comes to career development and progression across a variety of roles. You could work in head office in marketing, e-commerce, operations, HR, management, finance… the possibilities are endless!

For more hands-on people, it’s perfectly possible to start off as a concierge and receptionist in a hospitality or leisure institution and work your way up to a more senior position such as a product director or tourism manager. There are huge opportunities to gain transferable skills and explore your full potential during a varied career.

There are also many perks and benefits of working in this fast-paced, adventurous industry, such as discounted holidays, days out or even free travel experiences.

travel internships

What qualifications do you need?

Travel, tourism and hospitality are fantastic industries that take on a wide range of people, from school leavers and apprentices to degree holders. The industry values relevant experience over relevant qualifications, which is why they accept graduates from a wide range of degree areas.

However, if you do have a degree in a relevant subject, this might just give you the edge over other applicants. Relevant degree areas include….

  • Hospitality

  • Marketing (offline and digital)

  • Management

  • Finance

  • Human Resources.

Find a placement or internship

Some of the great employers for undergraduates and graduates looking to join the travel, hospitality and tourism industry are:

Securing work experience, whether it’s a year long placement or a summer internship, will let you have a taste of working in this fun industry, as well as set you up for securing a graduate job once university is over.

What is a travel and tourism graduate job?

Travel and tourism graduate jobs are the first permanent role you’ll ever have after getting your Bachelor’s degree. You’ll join a team of like-minded people where you’ll develop new skills, build industry contacts and take up lots of responsibility that’ll prepare you for a more senior position.

The travel and tourism sector is broad. So your job depends on the department you’re in.

You could:

  • Work as an events assistant at a music festival, providing admin support such as venue bookings

  • Become a tour guide, accompanying visitors around famous historical sites and teaching them about your city and its culture.

There’s no right or wrong way into travel and tourism. Nor do you need a specific degree to work in the sector. Some of you will have done a placement or internship.

Others will be newbies to the working world. That’s totally fine. 

Are travel and tourism graduate jobs paid?

Of course! All graduate jobs (including those in travel and tourism) are paid. Your salary will be £25,000 or so a year to begin with. However some employers pay more, especially London-based ones due to high living costs there.

Remember, the more experience you have, the more you’ll earn. If you work your way up to a travel agent, say, you could find yourself cashing £40,000 a year in the bank. Isn’t that grand?

How long do travel and tourism graduate jobs last?

There’s no end date to these. Graduate jobs are there to give you a flavour of what it’s like to work in an industry. If you like a role and feel like you’re learning new things, you might stay on and work your way up. If not, you’ll test the waters elsewhere to see what’s out there.

travel tourism grad schemes

What’s the difference between a travel and tourism graduate job and a travel and tourism graduate scheme?

It’s easy to get graduate jobs and graduate schemes mixed up. After all, they sound similar. In some ways they are, in others they’re total opposites.

Permanent VS temporary

Graduate schemes:

  • Temporary roles (one to three years) with possibility of going permanent.

Graduate jobs:

  • Permanent roles with no definitive end date.


Graduate schemes:

  • Structured training through exposure to different departments and teams

  • Receive mentorship and support throughout your programme.

Graduate jobs:

  • No formal training given, but you’ll have a manager who’ll supervise you on tasks.

Application process

Graduate schemes:

  • Stricter application process

  • Multiple stages plus psychometric tests and assessment centres.

Graduate jobs:

  • Simpler application process

  • You’ll need to submit a graduate CV and cover letter

  • The final stage will be an interview.


Graduate schemes:

  • Applications open during the autumn term of your final year at university

  • Assessment centres run in January

  • Role begins the following academic year.

Graduate jobs:

  • Roles go live all throughout the year, as and when staff are needed.

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