Travel and leisure is an exciting and fast-growing career path that includes various professions. Travel agents, tour guides, hoteliers, flight attendants, chefs, and many other occupations can be categorized in this field. However, they all accommodate domestic and international travelers as they embark on an adventure in a new location.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked the accommodation industry, specifically in the leisure and hospitality sector, within the 5 fastest growing wage and salary industries in 2021. That number is only growing. With this surge in demand, now is the perfect time to explore new opportunities and consider relocating to a city with more potential for success.
So, where are the best cities in the United States for travel and leisure jobs? Here are the top seven cities to consider in 2023.
Top Cities in the U.S. for Travel & Leisure Jobs
1. New York, NY
Broadway. The Empire State Building. Helicopter tours. With its thriving tourism scene, rich history and landmarks, and a never-ending supply of adventure and entertainment, there’s no shortage of reasons to make the leap and start your new life in New York City.
The Big Apple saw a whopping 56 million visitors in 2022, and projections for growth are still on the horizon. But does that mean jobs are available for those in this industry? It sure does. In the U.S. leisure and hospitality industry, 128,000 jobs were added in January 2023 alone — not including the growth in accommodation sectors.
New York is the epicenter of the travel and leisure industry, offering a wide range of opportunities in various professions, including tour guides, hotel work, and more. Home to some of the world’s largest travel companies, the 13th-busiest airport in America, and numerous small startups, The Big Apple is a hub of innovation and opportunity for those seeking leisure and travel industry jobs in the U.S.
2. Las Vegas, NV
When considering the most popular U.S. cities, Las Vegas is likely one at the top of your list. And for good reason! Bustling with renowned hotels, large casinos, world-class shows, and a vibrant nightlife, it’s easy to see why those in the travel and leisure industry have no shortage of job prospects in this lucrative city.
With over 35 million visitors in 2022, the home of the infamous Las Vegas Strip is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. And although this city still aims to reach pre-pandemic tourism levels, plenty of profitable initiatives are in the works. New sports associations have already claimed turf in this vivid city. International travelers are picking up where they left off by returning for conventions, trade shows, and more. So if you’re looking for a growing place to call home while working in the travel and tourism industry, we recommend considering the City That Never Sleeps.
4. San Francisco, CA
The City by the Bay attracts millions of tourists annually, particularly international business travelers. The thriving metropolis has seen a slow and steady increase in year-over-year growth. Home to numerous hotels, top-tier restaurants, and a diverse array of museums, galleries, and attractions, there is a massive market for those in the tourism and hospitality industry.
Some of the most prominent jobs in the tourism and leisure industry in San Francisco include hotel and restaurant management, event planning, tour guides, and customer service roles. With an array of different career paths to choose from, The City by the Bay is an excellent place to grow professionally while also experiencing one of the most iconic cities in the world.
3. Orlando, FL
Renowned for its tropical weather, bustling Orlando International Airport, and tourism-centric companies like Universal Studios and Walt Disney World, the City of Light’s millions of visitors a year support the vibrant travel and leisure industry. With a nimble recovery in 2022, Orlando’s hotel sector has seen a remarkable increase in demand, and the anticipated growth in tourism appears to have no end in sight. As theme parks reopen their doors and international travel increases, leisure and travel industry jobs are on the up and up.
Plus, with no state income tax and a lower-than-most sales tax, Orlando offers a relatively affordable cost of living for those looking to move there for work.
5. Los Angeles, CA
Not only is LA one of the world’s most iconic destinations, it is also a hub for film, music, and sports events, a thriving food scene, beaches galore, and a perhaps a chance to catch a glimpse of your favorite celebrity. The City of Angels is a premier travel destination, and anticipated growth rolls out the red carpet for those seeking work in the travel industry. 2023 is predicted to bring new museum exhibits, ample restaurant and hotel openings, and improved accessibility thanks to public transportation and LAX optimizations.
With Los Angeles’ growing hotel industry and a rise in international travel, the attractions that initially enticed tourists (Hollywood, Disneyland, the Getty Center, cultural events, etc.) are sure to open the floodgates for those looking for work in the travel and leisure industry.
6. Miami, FL
Gorgeous white sand beaches, a flourishing nightlife, and an abundance of fresh seafood to suit nearly any palette, the Magic City boasted over 100 million visitors in 2022. Since Miami is one of the most touristically-coveted cities in Florida, there are ample opportunities for those who wish to hit the ground running in the travel and leisure industry.
Among the most popular tourism professions in Miami are tour guides to help tourists experience the city, event planning for weddings, corporate events, and concerts, and hotel staff — thanks to the city’s large number of hotels, resorts, and other accommodations. However, Miami is known for its high cost of living and competitive tourism industry, so it’s best to weigh your options before selecting this vibrant hub for your next job.
7. Chicago, IL
The Windy City accommodates culturalists and creatives alike through its impressive architecture, thriving art, music, and film scenes, ample green spaces, renowned attractions, and more. The promise of an enriching experience calls to millions of travelers each year. And with tourism at the epicenter of this metropolis, opportunities for employment in the city are constantly growing. In fact, Chicago’s City Council of Financial Analysis (COFA) saw 14.6% year-over-year growth in the leisure and hospitality industry in 2022. There are no signs of this growth stopping anytime soon.
Are the charms of the Windy City calling your name? Then pack your bags and embark on a new and exciting chapter in Chicago’s ever-growing travel and leisure industry!
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With CORT’s Move-In Ready Packages, you can furnish your entire place with comfortable furniture that matches your style. Plus, you don’t have to worry about moving costs — our team delivers and installs furniture for you, then hauls it away when you no longer need it. Get started on your furniture subscription package today!