Man has an inquisitive nature. There is an inbuilt desire in him to discover new things. For centuries this quest has driven a lot of human endeavor and he has achieved a lot in his quest which has taken him to unexplored areas of earth, and even to the other planets. It has been a fascinating journey and the best parts are most probably still to come.So it would come to us as no surprise that the travel and leisure industry raked in more than a trillion U.S. dollars last year. Yes, this is a huge industry and encourages people to people contact. Hence this industry gives employment to a large number of people worldwide.The travel and leisure industry has a variety of job opportunities available. You can work as an entry level employee to senior management and groom your career in a number of fields like fitness, sports, spa, entertainment, recreation – activities and careers in tourism, travel, catering and hospitality.Travel and leisure sector is a sector where almost every competitor offers similar products and more or less similar rates. What sets them apart is the quality of the service and the customer support. Naturally human resource is greatly valued in this industry.So if you dream of a career in this well paying sector certain qualities are expected from you. For beginners, good communication skills are a must. A working knowledge of internet is also essential since travel and leisure products are one of the most traded products online. Then a general knowledge of the industry like fare knowledge of travel destinations, agents and hotels is also expected. Above all you must have a general interest in travelling yourself in order to enjoy your job.If you have the right skills then a plethora of job opportunities await you in this highly lucrative sector. You can work as a tour operator. They combine travel and tour components to create a holiday. Usually tour operators operate in certain niche locations. Now a large number of websites provide tour services online.If you are interested in airline travel industry then you can work as a pilot, member of the flight crew or ground staff. Since international travel is now becoming more and more common, this industry which is highly competitive provides good job opportunities.If you are interested in the leisure sector then also, various job opportunities await you. For e.g. if you are skilled at yoga you can become a yoga instructor. You can also try your skills at event management.Of late travel and leisure industry is facing an unprecedented challenge which has seen a reduction in the growth rate of this industry. In the wake of September 11 terrorist attack in the U.S. there was a wide spread panic. Then there was a SARS threat which further weakened this sector. Now the world is suffering from another epidemic, swine flu which has made people stay at homes instead of enjoying their vacation at some tourist spot.