Visitor attraction managers are responsible for managing all aspects of visitor attractions such as theme parks, country estates or functioning attractions such as The Falkirk Wheel. Their job is to manage staff and resources and to make sure their visitors’ trip is enjoyable while running the site at a profit.
They can also be called visitor services managers or theme park managers.
You could be:
working at one of a wide range of visitor attraction types, such as visitor centres at nature trails or country parks, or purpose-built attractions such as theme parks or botanical gardens
overseeing all aspects of site management including property maintenance, security, health and safety and complying with council policies and any conservation guidelines for heritage sites
making sure the visitors’ experience is unique and enjoyable while getting value for money
hiring and training both staff and volunteers
motivating staff to reach performance and quality targets
building relationships with local authorities, local businesses and local heritage centres
managing budgets, controlling stock levels and producing financial reports
writing promotional material to attract new visitors to the site
raising extra income from running a gift shop or hiring the venue out for events or hospitality.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Salaries for assistant managers can range from £20,000 to £25,000 a year. Managers' salaries can be up to around £40,000 a year.
Your tasks will vary depending on the type and size of the attraction. You could be managing anything from a whisky distillery to a safari park.
You would usually work a 35-hour week but might have to work additional evening and weekend shifts, particularly on public holidays.
There are no set entry requirements since entrants come from a wide range of backgrounds and experience depending on the role.
Entrants may already have experience in marketing, business, finance or project management or in visitor or tourist services management.
Many entrants have an HND (SCQF Level 8) or degree (SCQF Level 9-10) in a relevant subject. Depending on the visitor attraction, subjects range from natural history, tourism, marketing or business management.
Entry requirements for HND courses are usually 1-2 Highers and degree courses are usually 4-5 Highers. Specific subjects may be required for particular courses.
Some employers may prefer you to have a postgraduate qualification (SCQF Level 11) in tourism or heritage studies.
A driving licence may be useful.
You may require a satisfactory criminal record check from Disclosure Scotland to show that you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details on the type you would need.
a genuine interest in the tourism or heritage sector
good organisational and time management skills
good budget and finance skills
excellent written and verbal communication skills
a proactive approach
creative flair and imagination
IT and research skills
the ability to lead and motivate staff
a high standard of customer service.
You would receive on the job training from senior staff or management covering for example, the site’s history and its assets, health and safety policy and security systems.
You need to keep up to date with developments in the field of tourism you are working in.
With experience and further skills, you may be able to move around in either the public or private sector.
It helps if you are willing to move around the country.
Visitor attractions come in all shapes and sizes and range from historic properties, theme parks, wildlife attractions, sporting venues, artists’ studios, health complexes or industry based attractions as well as traditional attractions such as museums and art galleries.
Historic Environment Scotland is the new lead public body for the country's historic environment. It brings together Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monumnents of Scotland.