In the third of our Sector Spotlight on Tourism posts, we have spoken to Claire Johnstone, who is a Visitor Service Advisor for Visit Scotland and is based in the Kirkwall iCentre. Claire started her job as a summer position after she finished university. Her contract was extended which allowed her to take a year out before progressing to a Master’s Degree.
Can you describe a typical day as a Visitor Service Advisor?
“Every day is different! It is one of the things I love about my job; every day is a new day.
“Typically our day to day tasks include sorting stock, deliveries, banking and serving customers. Often we can be set with larger tasks that require a whole different set of skills such as creating documents on particular areas of Orkney, or doing operational tasks.
“Depending on cruise liners you can often spend your day answering enquiries and being on the shop floor.”
How did you end up in your current role as a Visitor Service Advisor?
“I first took this job as a summer job after I finished university. I was then able to continue my job as my contract was extended which allowed me to take a year out before progressing to my Masters in Counselling Psychology back on the mainland. I am also carrying out a night class at Orkney College which aims to develop my counselling skills.”
What is the best thing about being a Visitor Service Advisor?
“Every day is a new day. I like that it is not a repetitive job. Seeing the benefit you have on someone’s holidays is also brilliant. We often get people coming back in at the end of their holidays and thank us for the impact our knowledge has had. Having a positive impact on someone’s trip is very rewarding and encouraging.”
What is the worst thing about being a Visitor Service Advisor?
"Dealing with complaints that we can't resolve."
What skills do you need to be a Visitor Service Advisor?
“Working as part of a team, cash handling skills, communication skills and organisational skills. In order to allow for smooth day to day running all these skills are required as well as a good dose of common sense!”
What qualifications do you have?
“I have a diploma in Social Science and an Honours Degree in Applied Psychology.”
Why would you recommend working as a Visitor Service Advisor in the tourism industry?
“If you like speaking to people you will like this job. Speaking to members of the public and having a genuine conversation with them is a huge part of the job. You meet people from all over the world and not only gain knowledge about your own island but also about other fantastic places in the world. Having to do this day-to-day really builds up confidence in speaking to members of the public and holding genuine conversations with people.”
Visit Scotland have a website and are on social media, visit them here:
Website - https://www.visitscotland.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/visitscotland/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/VisitScotland
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/visitscotland/