3 Required Job Skills for Tourism Professionals

For tourism destinations to respond to ongoing disruption, change cannot be limited to strategy and product alone. The team that manages change must possess new skills for a new challenge.

We have identified 3 job skills that transcend departments and create the required foundation to support the future DMO.

Requests such as works well with others or experience with social media are useful filler for a job description, but they do a poor job of identifying the required competencies for the success of your tourism organization.

Research Focus

Your next DMO employee should be comfortable and confident in basic research methods. For example, understand common logical fallacies, be able to read a Google Analytics report and identify valuable data in a spreadsheet sea of meaningless numbers.

But don’t assume that research equals spreadsheets.

Specialized analytical skills and training can be reserved for a research director or department (what do you mean you don’t have one?), but everyone in your organization must be literate in the language of good research.


Considering how much collaborative work occurs within the average DMO or NTO, it is shocking that empathy is a rare requirement in a tourism job description.

Consider the wide variety of groups your DMO works with on a regular basis: internal teams, stakeholders, politicians, agencies, vendors, meeting planners, tourists, residents, plus that lady who runs the church bake sale and just won’t stop calling about getting it on the event calendar.

For a DMO to provide expertise and therefore maintain relevancy to these groups, employees must be able to understand as well as embrace perspectives other than their own.


Call it critical thinking or curiosity, but you need team members who can solve problems without being told what the answer is.

Through direct experience and observation we have witnessed a shift in this job skill, especially related to marketing roles and vendor management.

As strategy advances, the organizational culture shifts from tell me what to do employees to those actively asking why are we doing that?

Problem-solving employees lead vendors, recognize failure and ask new questions to discover the right answer.

Whether your tourism organization is training or hiring, ensure you are advocating for the right job skills.

Rather than just filler.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.