Promoting a career in tourismAugust 23rd, 2011 by Susan Reynard | Categories: government, industry, tourism, training
Speaking at the launch of the National Tourism Careers Expo (NTCE) yesterday, deputy minister of tourism Thokozile Xasa said that the tourism sector would be instrumental in creating jobs and developing skills for South Africans. The National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) aims to create at least 225 000 jobs by 2020 and contribute R429-billion towards the country’s GDP during the same period.
“The National Tourism Sector Strategy is also focussed on ensuring that South Africa is ranked in the top 20 tourism destinations in the world by 2020. Initiatives like the NTCE support this vision as it provides learners and educators with the opportunity to learn more about the exciting world of tourism,” says Xasa.
With tourism contributing more than 8% towards the country’s GDP (R189-billion) and foreign tourist arrivals to South Africa growing by 15.1% compared to the global growth of only 6.7% in 2010, Xasa indicated that tourism is one of the key sectors that performed well even in the face of recession.
“The 2010 FIFA World Cup boosted the sector, however we need to sustain the growth and image that the World Cup helped us create. The growth of tourism also has a positive impact on other related industries like construction and financial services,” she says.
“The theme for this year’s expo is “Make it happen”. The expo is an initiative of the National Department of Tourism, Department of Economic Development and Tourism KwaZulu-Natal and Cathsseta (Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Education and Training Authority), previously known as Theta. It is scheduled to take place from 23 to 25 September 2011, during National Tourism Month, at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
Over 50 exhibitors from leading local and international private sector companies, training companies and the public enterprise sector are expected, plus some 15 000 visitors consisting of learners, educators and members of the public.
“Skills development in the sector is one of the most important aspects in ensuring the growth we want to see from tourism. We need young people to understand that strong skills are the only way they will be competitive in a difficult job market, and that these skills will enable them to create successful tourism enterprises,” adds Xasa.
The programme includes a cook-off with NTCE ambassador chef Citrum Khumalo, mixology sessions with non-alcoholic drinks, a CV writing workshop and an interactive exhibition showcasing the wide range of careers available in the sector. Young tourism entrepreneurs will also be speaking during informal sessions, sharing their success stories.
To register to attend or exhibit at the expo go to www.tourismcareers.co.za or visit the NTCE’s fan page on Facebook and Twitter.