This is Part 1 of our series, The Business of Tourism.  

When you think of tourism and hospitality, you probably think of vacations, good times, and having fun, so it can be easy to forget that the tourism industry is seriously big business! In 2022, over 15 million visitors to the state spent $8.64 million dollars on Maine restaurants, accommodations, shopping, transportation, activities, attractions, and recreation. Managing all these expenditures requires skilled business professionals–here are just a few ways business people work in tourism: 


Marketing is absolutely essential to drive traffic to a tourist destination and to promote businesses in the sector to visitors. Some marketing professionals work at non-profit destination marketing organizations, like the Maine Office of Tourism, the Maine Tourism Association, or Destination New England, and some work in private marketing firms, such as Miles Partnership or Sutherland Weston. In addition, many marketing professionals work within companies to market individual resorts, hotel groups, or restaurant groups. Here are some careers in marketing the tourism industry.

1) Destination Marketers promote and market a particular travel destination to attract tourists by developing campaigns, coordinating events and promotional activities, collaborating with local businesses and stakeholders, and enhancing the overall image and visibility of the destination. 

2) Digital Marketing Specialists focus on digital channels to promote tourism offerings. Responsibilities may include managing social media accounts, creating and optimizing online advertisements, implementing search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, and analyzing digital marketing campaigns to drive website traffic and increase bookings.

3) Hotel/Resort Marketing Managers develop and implement marketing strategies for hotels, resorts, or other accommodation establishments. This may involve managing online and offline advertising campaigns, overseeing website content and design, coordinating with travel agents and tour operators, and monitoring customer reviews and feedback.

4) Travel Trade Marketing Specialists target travel agents, tour operators, and other intermediaries to promote tourism products and services. This role involves developing marketing materials, conducting sales visits and presentations, attending travel trade shows and exhibitions, and building relationships with industry partners.

5) Market Research Analysts & Marketing Specialists analyze consumer behavior and market trends to inform effective marketing strategies and improve customer experiences, focusing on collecting and analyzing data related to tourism, travelers, destinations, and competitors to gain insights that can drive decision-making and enhance the overall marketing efforts of tourism businesses and organizations.


Marketing and sales go hand in hand–the marketer introduces the products and services, and the salesperson closes the deal. Sales professionals are a vital part of any tourism or hospitality venture, ensuring revenue targets are met and securing the growth of the enterprise.

1) Meetings and Events Sales Managers work for hotels, convention centers, or event management companies, focusing on selling event spaces and services for meetings, conferences, and special events. This role involves understanding client needs, creating customized proposals, negotiating contracts, and coordinating event logistics.

2) Travel Sales Consultants work for travel agencies or tour operators, assisting customers in planning and booking their travel arrangements. This involves understanding customer preferences, providing destination recommendations, offering travel packages, and coordinating transportation, accommodations, and activities.

3) Hotel Sales Managers represent a hotel or resort and actively engage in selling room bookings, event spaces, and other services to individual and corporate clients. This role involves building relationships with travel agents, corporate event planners, and other potential customers, negotiating contracts, and meeting sales targets.

4) Destination Sales Representatives promote a specific travel destination to various market segments, such as leisure travelers, business travelers, or group tours. This role involves attending trade shows, conducting sales presentations, organizing familiarization trips for travel agents or tour operators, and facilitating partnerships to increase visitor arrivals.

5) Airline Sales Representatives work for an airline and focus on selling flight tickets and related services. Responsibilities may include negotiating contracts with travel agencies and corporate clients, developing sales strategies, analyzing market trends, and maintaining strong relationships with travel partners.

6) Car Rental Sales Agents work for a car rental company, assisting customers in renting vehicles for their travel needs. This role involves providing information about available car options, rates, and rental policies, managing reservations, and ensuring customer satisfaction throughout the rental process.

7) Cruise Sales Consultants sell cruise vacation packages and itineraries to potential travelers. This includes explaining cruise features and amenities, assisting with cabin selection, discussing onboard activities, coordinating with travel agents, and handling booking arrangements.

8) Travel Technology Sales Representatives sell technology solutions to the travel industry, such as reservation systems, online booking platforms, or travel management software. This role involves identifying potential clients, conducting product demonstrations, negotiating contracts, and providing ongoing support to clients.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Finances and Human Resources!