Travel and tourism graduates are facing challenges in securing jobs within the travel and tourism industry, as their degrees have low recognition among travel and tourism employers. Yet there are growing numbers of tourism courses provided by universities, and these are increasingly popular among students. This paper attempts an informed discussion of the relevance of travel and tourism degrees, comparing students' career expectations and aspirations with industry needs and perceptions of travel and tourism degrees and graduates. Students' perceptions were investigated, using a questionnaire survey, while the employers' perceptions and needs were explored through semi‐structured interviews. The results indicate a desire and optimism amongst current travel and tourism undergraduate students towards securing a job in the tourism industry, while the industry is not convinced, or at best unaware, of the benefits of tourism degrees and employing tourism graduates.
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