4 Job sector options for tourism jobs in South Africa
South Africa is one of the world’s fastest growing leisure, business and travel destinations thanks to its scenic beauty, magnificent outdoors, sunny climate, cultural diversity and reputation for delivering value for money. South Africa is highly diverse in terms of climate, culture, tourist activities and infrastructure and caters for every kind of tourism imaginable. It comes as no surprise that tourism jobs are being created so rapidly – 1 out every 12 jobs created in SA is thanks to a booming tourism industry.
If you’re planning your career, any area of tourism is an excellent investment in your future. Tourism jobs require a wide range of interests and abilities. Your future is only limited by your ambition. This dynamic industry offers career choices at tourist attractions and in sectors like accommodation, food & beverage, transportation, adventure tourism, events & conferences, tourism services and the travel trade. Today we’re focusing on 4 of them:
1. Hotels & Holiday resorts: The majority of hotels and holiday resorts offer more than just careers in accommodation. Jobs that are available can range from hotel management to house cleaning, food and beverage, catering and banquet staff, restaurant personnel and even grounds maintenance crews. Many resorts and hotels in South Africa are part of worldwide chains which could offer employees the ability to travel the world by transferring from one hotel location to another. The potential for job opportunities is diversified and chances for advancement are excellent.
2. Cruise Ships: This exciting and often glamorous industry is growing. Newer and larger ships are being built each year to meet increased demands of travellers. These floating hotels require people to fill positions for all of the same types of jobs that would traditionally be associated with any hotel or holiday resort. You could be anything from a photographer to a bartender to a performer – the possibilities are truly endless.
3. Airline Industry: This industry offers diverse opportunities that cover a wide variety of jobs that are overlooked. You could work for an airline in its reservation centre, ticket agent at the airport, baggage handler, airline mechanic or air traffic controller. There are tons of possibilities.
4. Restaurant / Food & Beverage: Most hotels, holiday resorts and tourist attractions have restaurants, quick shops or other places where tourists can buy food and drinks. You could work as a waiter / waitress, shop assistant, restaurant manager, chef, etc. There’s a lot of opportunity in this sector thanks to tourism.
If you decide to enter the tourism industry you should remember that it’s a service industry. Dealing with the public and providing customer service is an integral part of any tourism job – it doesn’t matter which segment the job falls into.
You should be able to work with all kinds of people, have good communication and organizational skills and have an excellent knowledge of SA’s places of interest, geography, history, politics and flora and fauna. You should also be able to control groups of people and deal with unexpected situations.
If you’re someone who likes constantly meeting new people and likes to travel this might be the industry for you. Keep in mind that it’s not all fun and games – you may have to deal with difficult, unpleasant and over demanding people, work under pressure and work long and irregular hours during in-season periods.
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