My Route to success

Travel and Tourism – Chris

23 May 2022

Former student Chris Harcombe studied a Level 3 course in Travel and Tourism. Chris is now the Aviation Development Director for Doncaster Sheffield Airport, part of the senior management team at Doncaster Sheffield Airport and responsible for growing the business from an aviation perspective.

Chris began his studies on a Level 3 Travel and Tourism course before progressing onto university to study an Airline and Airport Management degree.

Chris said,

“I was probably expected to go onto sixth form after school but I actually found the College environment really productive for me and set me up for university. Independent study and working on assignments really prepared me for when I progressed onto higher education so I would wholeheartedly recommend the college route.

The Travel and Tourism course really gave me a phenomenal understanding of the basics of the industry and it really set me up for my future. The course gives you the opportunity to go on residentials but also to go out on work placements and learn more about how the industry operates.

The thing I enjoyed most about studying travel and tourism is the lead it has given me in entering the industry. I’ve always been fascinated in travelling and working with other people and ultimately my job allows me to travel in a people-orientated industry so it’s a fantastic combination.”

Chris has been with Doncaster Sheffield Airport for 13 years and has now progressed to the role of Aviation Development Director with varied responsibilities including passenger, cargo, business and general aviation.

“The course really gave me a phenomenal understanding of the basics of the industry and it really set me up for my future”

Chris Harcombe, Level 3 in Travel and Tourism

Chris explains how smaller organisations can give you the opportunity to learn more earlier on in your career – he explains,

“Being in a small business has given me lots of responsibilities throughout the airport. Gaining a breadth of experience in a small organisation is something I’d really recommend.

My advice to anyone thinking of studying Travel and Tourism is talk to people and look for opportunities to gain work experience in the sector whilst maintaining your ambition. There are fantastic jobs available in the sector that could take you anywhere.

There’s also a vibrant travel and tourism industry within the Yorkshire region, whether it’s in hotels, aviation or visitor attractions to name a few, so it’s important to understand that you don’t have to leave the region to go on and have a fantastic career.”