“Being in Tourism Takes You Around the World, Literally.”


Emersonn Palencia

OCVA Launches its initiative to connect students to the tourism field at Anaheim High School

On January 22, 2020, representatives of the OCVA, Orange County Visitors Association, came to introduce new career paths in the tourism/ hospitality industry to the students here of Anaheim High School School. There is an incredible need for workers in the tourism and hospitality industry, and the opportunity was presented to Anaheim High School Students due to the availability to get into a lucrative career soon after graduating high school. 

Sophia Valdivia, Senior Travel, Trade & Film Manager with Visit Huntington Beach, says much of the hospitality industry does not require experience, let alone six years of expertise such as a variety of jobs do. “You can get a really lucrative career right out of high school in hospitality. And I think that it’s so rare because a lot of the hospitality industry values your actual skill set versus whats on your resume,” says Valdivia encouraging high school students to consider a career in the tourism and or hospitality industry. Some jobs require six years of experience, but when you’re fresh out of college with a master’s degree, how are you going to get six years of experience when no one will hire you? The individuals working in tourism and hospitality consider the career in the industry a benefit because it does not require a college education or experience right after college.

Chef Star Hampton, Culinary Voyager, expressed on stage how it’s not only fun for her, but a passion for working in hospitality. “Anybody can just say, ‘Hey! I want to be in the hospitality industry.’ but when you have a passion for it, and you love talking to people, and you love cooking food, and you love dealing with different cultures and organizations. That’s what makes you happy.” shared Hampton. She also revealed what it was like when the people around her enjoy and appreciate the thing she loves to do most. “We got some really nice reviews from NAAM about our food, and it made us feel good! Our work isn’t just being done, and no one recognizes it.”

OCVA is utilizing a bus to further advocate tourism as it has for nearly 20 years. As of now, the bus is considered a pilot program for the first year. Future uses of the bus are still to be determined, but for now, it’s their driving ad.

OCVA Tourism Bus ready to launch its initiative to invite students to explore careers in tourism. – Photo by Evelyn Munoz