The period 1980‐1995 saw the emergence of a more professional Danish tourist sector, with increasing numbers of both employees and entrepreneurs possessing a formal degree or diploma of some kind. Investigates the profile of employees with dedicated training and finds that their educational background does not give them any particular advantages vis‐à‐vis employees with less relevant qualifications. The retention of employees is a critical problem in Danish tourism, but while turnover is extremely high among the unskilled, significantly better retention rates are found among those with a professional or vocational tourism education. Discusses the implications of the retention pattern, arguing that tourism shares its professional labour market with neighbouring sectors, and that the industry and educational support framework must therefore take account of this. However, there is a very real risk of losing the competition for the best‐qualified staff. Finally, it is postulated that tourism is a locus for new types of career concepts; however, we still lack a genuine understanding of the role of tourism for the contingent or boundaryless career.
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