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Getting started in hotel management


If you have a passion for people, love learning about foreign cultures, and enjoy managing a team, then working in the hotel management may be just for you! The South African hotel industry is booming with 2010 just around the corner and international tourists increasingly seeing South Africa as an enjoyable holiday destination - this is boosted by our favourable exchange rate, fabulous natural landscape and African culture. Hotel management is a growing career.

Your enthusiasm and professionalism within the hospitality industry will help build a positive image for the South Africa we all love, creating far-reaching benefits across SA’s economy. So with doors opening in all directions within the hospitality industry, you could look at working in-house at a large hotel chain, getting involved in the food and beverage side of the vocation or even managing your own guest house – a growing trend in SA. The possibilities really are endless!

Quinton Meiring, Career Guidance Counsellor from INTEC College gives Skills Portal the inside scoop on Hotel Management day–to-day:

Am I suited to hotel management?

If you score more Ys than Ns, you could have what it takes to be a successful Hotel Manager!

Do I enjoy working with people? Y/N

Am I friendly, helpful and patient? Y/N

Am I flexible? Y/N

Do I stay calm in difficult situations? Y/N

Do I like looking after other people? Y/N

Am I presentable and professional? Y/N

Am I a good communicator? Y/N

Do I have passion for the hospitality industry? Y/N

Do I need any skills when applying to study hotel management?

You will need good verbal and written skills and excellent interpersonal skills. You will have an advantage if you are able to record information accurately, are a team-player and project yourself in a professional manner at all times.

What career oppurtunities are there for me?

Hotel management opens up the exciting world of tourism! You could look at joining a large hotel group such as Protea or City Lodge, working in guest houses – an area that is rapidly increasing in popularity across the country - or consider the food and beverage industry as a career path.

What will my typical day be like on the job in hotel management?

• You will plan, direct and coordinate the service of food and beverages, guest services, maintenance and staff development

• You will assign tasks and priorities, coordinate resources, develop business plans and marketing strategies

• You will undertake facility management tasks such as building management, building costs, rents, maintenance, lighting, power etc

• You will control capital and operation expenditure

• You will make sure that government health, occupational safety and licensing regulations are followed

• You will carry out marketing and sales activities

• You will prepare reports

• You will manage the security of the hotel and its staff

• You will publicise the hotel though PR activities in the local and national business community, sales and marketing.

Where can I study hotel management?

INTEC College is one of the recommended SA institutions where you can study hotel management. You can enrol for either your Certificate or a Diploma in Hotel Management.

The distance-learning course will allow you to study while you work, giving you the option of gaining some in-house practical training at the same time if you wish.

Areas of study include: guest relations, hospitality, food and beverage, hotel accounting, front of house, catering and more. The course will take you 14 to 15 months to complete.

Hotel Management is a prestigious and highly responsible field that requires comprehensive and hands-on knowledge of the hotel industry disciplines. This combined with superb management skills will see you through to a fruitful and long-term career in this exciting industry.

Areas of study on the diploma course include business communication, economics, SA mercantile law, hotel marketing and more.

How do I stay in hospitality but out of hotels?

If you want to be in the hospitality industry but the idea of joining a big hotel group does not appeal to you, then why not consider guest house management? This is a smaller and more personalised area of hospitality which allows interaction with smaller groups of guests. INTEC’s Guest House Management course covers four key study areas to put you in the right direction to make your first client reservation! These are:-

• Planning a guest house

• Marketing and maintenance of customer relations

• Operation

• Administration

The course will take you up to eight months to complete and you will need a Grade 10 certificate to enrol.

Who to contact:

INTEC College 0800 012 311 or




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