How To Get A Job In Tourism

Monday, 10 May, 2021 - 16:19
Sakinah Samuels

Getting a job in Tourism is a riveting career choice and offers many opportunities in South Africa. Here's what you need to know about going into the Tourism field.



Thinking of building a career in Tourism? Here's what you need to know.

What is Tourism?

Tourism is the activities of people traveling to, and staying in places outside their hometown or usual environment. As a tourist, you visit these places for leisure, business or other purposes.

Over 200 million people work in the travel and tourism industry worldwide. Tourism businesses include hotels, resorts, cruise ships and lodges; all of which offer a relaxing and enjoyable environment in which to work.

What are the working conditions in the Tourism industry?

Tourism operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This means that no matter the area of industry you work, there will be shifts to cover the day and night.

What duties and tasks are performed in the Tourism industry?

  • Supervising staff and overseeing operations within a tourism business (such as travel agency, hotels, game reserves, etc.);
  • Preparing tourist or visitor information;
  • Providing information and assistance to passengers on an airplane, bus or ship;
  • Being a tour guide or driving tourists around;
  • Producing promotional material and displays;
  • Doing presentations; and
  • Undertaking day-to-day centre management and administration of a tourism business.

What skills and abilities are required in the Tourism industry?

  • Active Listening (Giving full attention to what other people say and taking time to understand the points being made);
  • Time Management (Must be able to manage their own time, and the time of others effectively);
  • Have the ability to converse with other people (Talk to others to convey information effectively);
  • Good communication skills are needed in order to communicate with different kinds of people such as guests and clients; and
  • Team working skills are also very important. With so many different departments and different employees working in a hotel, teamwork is essential for providing quality service to hotel guests.

What should I do if I want to study Tourism?

  • Contact your nearest TVET College to enquire about the entrance requirements for the Tourism course;
  • Visit Tourism businesses to gain more knowledge about the field and what it entails;
  • Contact DHET Career Development Services to provide you with free quality career information, advice and counselling services on 086 999 0123 or e-mail:
  • Go for an aptitude test to help understand if a career in Tourism is for you; and
  • Attend Career Exhibitions in your area to liaise with higher learning institutions and obtain application forms.

Where can I study to become a Plumber?

TVET Colleges offer courses to become qualified in Tourism. Through these programmes, you can develop the skills you need and become qualified. 

Visit the TVET Colleges website for more on South Africa's TVET Colleges.

Universities such as the University of Johannesburg, Unisa, Vaal University of Technology, University of Pretoria, Central University of Technology and others have Tourism faculties.

Private institutions such as AIE, CTU, Rosebank College, Boston City Campus and Varsity College have tourism related courses to study.

There are also Tourism short courses available from Mind Sharp, Milpark and Damelin.

What are the minimum entry requirements to study Tourism?

At a TVET College, the entrance requirements for the Tourism course are:

NC(V) Programme:

  • A Grade 9 Certificate + college requirements set per programme.

NATED Programme:

  • Grade 12 Certificate + college requirements set per programme; OR an NC(V) Level 4 Certificate in Tourism.

At a University, entry requirements for courses differ depending on the type of qualification and the University itself.

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