Do Travel Agency Jobs Appeal to University Students? A Case of Tourism Management Students in Hong Kong

Sau Yee Ada Lo, Lui Ming Mak, Yong Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This study identifies the job characteristics that tourism management students consider as important, thus affect their job selection upon graduation. It further identifies student perceptions on how well travel agency jobs possess such characteristics. An empirical study involving 184 tourism management undergraduate students in Hong Kong reveals that the five most important job characteristics affecting their job selection are as follows. (1) The job should be one that they like. (2) The job should allow them to have a harmonious relationship with colleagues. (3) The job should have a reasonable workload. (4) The job should offer good promotion opportunity and a good starting salary. This study also reveals that the travel agency sector may not possess the job characteristics that students consider as important. Students perceive that a good starting salary, reasonable workload, and good promotion opportunity are the worst performing characteristics for jobs in the travel agency sector. The importance-performance analysis indicates that the travel agency sector needs to concentrate on improving the delivery of job characteristics important to students by providing more opportunities for promotion, making the job more dignified, reducing workload, maintaining work-life balance, and increasing the starting salary. Students with different personal, contextual, and experiential characteristics are found to have significantly different perceptions regarding job characteristics, which are important in influencing their respective career choices and those associated with jobs in travel agencies. Lastly, taking courses related to travel agencies is determined to be correlated with the willingness of students to work in a travel agency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-121
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Teaching in Travel and Tourism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • career choice
  • education
  • job characteristics
  • job selection
  • students
  • travel agency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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