Providing travel, tourism and hospitality students and graduates "reassurance" following the "trauma" of the Covid crisis will be the key focus of Friday’s Future Careers Fair (28 May).
Hundreds are set to attend the event, co-hosted by the Oxford Cultural Collection and Representation Plus, hailing from universities and specialist hospitality and tourism schools in the UK, Europe, Middle East and further afield.
It will provide an opportunity for employers and industry bodies to reiterate why, despite Covid, the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors will continue to offer worthwhile management and leadership careers.
The event’s organisers said they acknowledged students and graduates’ understandable concerns after lockdown brought the industry to a standstill, forced their studies online, and cast doubt on their career prospects.
A range of exhibitors keen to connect with enthusiastic and talented graduates will be in attendance, including the Tourism Society, the Institute of Hospitality, the Association of Tourism in Higher Education, Swire Hotels, the Dorchester Collection, Jumeirah Hotels, Yummy Jobs, Ritrovo, BoB Earth and the Council for Hospitality Management Education.
TTG will also have a presence at the event, which will run from 8am to 5pm.
Don Sloan, chair of the Oxford Cultural Collection, said: “Our aim is to send a really positive message to students and graduates that the future success of our sector is dependent on their contributions.
"Yes, these have been challenging times, but employers will welcome graduates’ commitment to building careers in hospitality and tourism and as the sector rebuilds there will be no shortage of opportunities."
Keynote speakers will include Kellie Rixon MBE and Robert Richardson, both recently appointed to the Institute of Hospitality as chair and chief executive respectively, as well as representatives from the Dorchester Collection, BoB Earth and Jumeirah Hotels.
Graduate speakers Jamie-Lee Abtar, executive director of BAME Women in Travel CIC, and Gianpiero Aufiero, will also reflect on their careers to date.
Alison Cryer, founder and managing director of Representation Plus, added: “Due to the uncertainty graduates in our industry from 2019 to 2021 have faced through Covid-19, it is our duty to reassure them the time and money they have invested will provide them with future careers.
"If we don’t, we risk losing our young talent from these years to other industries."