One billion people are waiting for an opportunity to travel, says United Nations Secretary-General. Tourism is a one of the fastest growing industries in South Africa, as it includes opportunities for homemakers as well as corporate professionals alike.
What is all the fuss about?
Between January and July, more than a million (1 371 049) overseas visitors arrived on our shores. That is 221 796 (or 19.3 percent) more people than last year’s January-to-July period, according to Statistics SA.
“Despite complaints about a slow economy, tourism is one of the sectors of the economy that keeps growing,” comments Linda Greenberg of Boston City Campus & Business College, an award-winning private higher education institution which has been delivering quality education for over 25 years at its 40 plus support centres nationwide.
“For all South Africans this is great news because it means more job opportunities for both entry level and experienced tourism professionals.” Greenberg believes the tourism campaign is very valuable in creating awareness of the beauty of South Africa to would-be tourists while at the same time highlighting the importance of tourism to the economy.
“A campaign on tourism gives job seekers of all ages and backgrounds an opportunity to do some research about the industry and see where they can possibly fit in.”
According to the UN, reaching universal accessibility in tourism is a shared responsibility of all parties involved in the tourism value chain, as well as a business opportunity for companies and destinations.
“Everyone should be able to access leisure and tourism services on an equal basis. Yet 1 billion people around the world living with disability, along with young children, seniors and persons with other access requirements, still face obstacles in accessing fundamentals of travel such as efficient transportation and public services, and a physical environment that is easy to navigate. Even with modern technologies, those with visual, hearing, mobility or cognitive impairments are being left behind in many tourism destinations,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in his official message last year.
Boston’s Greenberg believes that tourism in SA will grow even bigger if local companies and destinations fully embrace the concept of universal accessibility.”
People in South Africa are renowned for their hospitality and warmth.
Opportunities for B and B’s in our own homes offer everyone a way to earn some money, especially when large world sports tours and such are taking place.
Hotels should also start offering additional services to people with special needs, the same way they already cater for specific groups of tourists, for instance business travellers (conferencing facilities) and families (baby-sitting).
“Seeing the United Nations speaks of one billion tourists that still need to enter the market, it means that future possibilities are truly exciting,” she says.
“By all accounts, it seems to be a good time to enter the travel and tourism industry and to build a long-term career in it.”
To enter the industry, she points out, you need to get a good qualification and practical experience in fields such as travel and tourism operations, reservations and front of house, event planning, event management, hospitality management, and hotel and catering.
“We at Boston offer various study options in these fields,” she says.
“What makes our tourism training stand out is the fact that we focus on getting students work ready in a short space of time.
“We are dedicated to assisting students in mastering the different areas of tourism so they are able walk into a job the moment they complete their studies by us. And the wonderful thing is that we have built such a good reputation over the years that travel and tourism companies come to us for student CVs when they need to recruit new staff.”
visit www.boston.co.za, or Facebook.
A wide range of study opportunities are available and you can select from a degree, various diploma and higher certificates, or short learning programmes in travel and tourism, IT, management, HR, accounting, marketing and more.
Visit the Department of Tourism at
for more on tourism in South Africa.