Never before have people travelled or needed to travel as much as they do today. Whether it is for business or pleasure, for education or visiting friends and relatives: hopping on a plane is as common as hopping on a bus, and staying in a hotel is as usual as staying at home.
In light of this, and the realisation of how small our world has become, the necessity of speaking English has never been more relevant. English has become the lingua franca of the modern world of travel.
People have always had a desire to travel. In the past there were the great explorers and pioneers who forged a path for us to follow - not least of all Thomas Cook, who remains a household name today.
In those days though, the trend was more towards the holiday camps, weekends by the English seaside, and donkey rides on the beach in Blackpool and Brighton. Then, with the advent of commercial jets, the trend changed to packages on the Spanish Costas.
Nowadays, we have even gone that step further and the trend is more towards Barbados than Bognor. With this growth in international travel has come the need for an international language, and English has become exactly that: the ubiquitous international language.
Today the Travel, Tourism & Hospitality industries are some of the biggest and fastest growing in the World. With the decline of the package holiday, we have witnessed the increase in independent travel. We are no longer satisfied with a fortnight in Benidorm, but are travelling further and further a field. So, no matter which small corner of the Globe you work in, you are sure to come across a tourist or traveller, and no doubt the easiest way to communicate will be in English.
Working in tourism today could mean a job in any number of different sectors. Air travel is now dominated by no-frills airlines, package holidays venture to increasingly exotic destinations, luxury cruises with a different port of call visited every day is no longer restricted to the very wealthy, and hotels, both large chains and independents, are like a home from home.
The ability to communicate in English is essential to work in all of these fields and a career in Travel, Tourism or Hospitality Management is as enjoyable and fulfilling today as it always has been. Certainly, the needs of today's travellers have changed and their expectations have grown, but this only serves to make the job even more challenging and satisfying.
Delivering excellent customer service, meeting new people from all over the world, learning about different cultures and working in a glamorous location are only some of the benefits to be gained from working in tourism and all of these are possible with a sound knowledge of English
About the Author
Ian Gault is the Executive Director of BBSI one of the most highly-accredited private education, training institutions and english language schools in the UK.