Tourism Career Guidance

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.

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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 air plane, bus or ship;
  • Being a tour guide or driving tourists around;
  • Producing promotional material and displays;
  • Doing presentations;
  • 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;
  • 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 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 are the minimum entry requirements to study Tourism at a TVET College?

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

  • NC(V) Programme:

A Grade 9 Certificate + college requirements set per programme.

  • NATED Programme:

N4 admission - Grade 12 Certificate + college requirements set per programme OR an NC(V) Level 4 Certificate in Tourism.

What should I do if I want to study Tourism?

  • Visit or contact a TVET College nearest to you to enquire about the entrance requirements for the Tourism course;
  • Visit Tourism businesses or travel agencies 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: careerhelp@dhet.gov.za
  • Go for an aptitude test to help understand if a career in Tourism is for you;

Attend Career Exhibitions in your area to liaise with higher learning institutions and obtain application forms.

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