If you’ve always dreamed of a fulfilling, adventurous career in the tourism industry, then a tourism management course might be ideal for you.
With many benefits associated with a job in this industry, such as flexible hours and the opportunity to meet people from around the globe, it’s the perfect solution for people who enjoy living life to the fullest.
MANCOSA offers a Higher Certificate in Tourism Management that’ll provide you with all the fundamental skills you need to succeed in this growing industry.
This article will cover what tourism management is, the state of the industry in South Africa, the benefits of working in tourism, and the top jobs available in the tourism and hospitality industries so you can decide if it’s the right fit for you.
What is tourism management?
Tourism management oversees all activities related to the tourism, travel, and hospitality industries. These include planning tours, providing accommodation, making travel arrangements, ensuring policies are upheld, and more.
Studying tourism management gives students the needed skills, knowledge, and experience to gain jobs and have fulfilling careers within tourism.
Furthermore, it equips students with general business management skills and marketing abilities, so they can be in charge of all aspects and ensure customer satisfaction.
State of the tourism and hospitality industry in South Africa
Global tourism has seen massive challenges in the past two years due to the global pandemic — with over 62 million jobs worldwide having been lost in 2020. It’s no surprise that South Africa’s tourism industry also plummeted during that time.
However, since then, countries from around the world, including SA, have made it a priority to develop tourism and gain back the jobs which were lost.
As such, more people are being hired.
One of the main drivers for tourism in South Africa remains our natural resources, such as National Parks, wildlife, landscapes, Nature Reserves, and richness in fauna and flora. In fact, according to the 2021 Travel and Tourism Development report, SA was ranked 13th in the world for these resources.
The number of tourists visiting South Africa is increasing drastically, with SA’s tourist arrivals having increased to 737,350 in July 2022 up from 581,375 in June 2022.
While the South African tourism industry is still in the recovery phase, its growth proves that more and more jobs are becoming available. This creates great opportunities to break into this industry and be an excellent tourism worker.
Why study a tourism management course?
Here are seven reasons why you should study a tourism management course.
- Join a rapidly growing global industry
Despite the dip the tourism industry has taken in recent years, it’s one of the fastest-growing areas of employment in the world.
A sense of optimism has returned to the tourism industry since travel demand has increased dramatically in the past couple of months. According to the UNWTO’s latest World Tourism Barometer, international tourism has increased by 182% from January-March 2022.
And there’s no sign that the growth will be stopping anytime soon.
- Culturally enriching
Tourism creates a sense of community amongst travellers from all over the world as people get to experience different cultures and customs.
As a tourism professional, you’ll get to meet people from all walks of life and experience their beliefs, cultures, and way of life.
- Opportunities to travel
Tourism professionals can apply for job opportunities in different parts of the world. This allows you to travel to various destinations and explore other countries, communities, natural resources, and wildlife.
- Flexible working hours and conditions
A career in tourism offers countless opportunities — many of them having non-traditional work hours. Depending on the job you apply for, you’ll also get to work in non-traditional settings, such as on planes, cruise ships, resorts, and more.
This makes it a stimulating work environment, ideal for someone who enjoys living life to the fullest and experiencing things that most people don’t. Life becomes an adventure.
- Opportunities to specialise
Studying tourism management means you can specialise in a particular area. There are four main sectors of tourism including:
- Food and Beverage
- Entertainment and Recreation
- Travel and Tourism
As you become more familiar with the industry and what’s included, you’ll see which sector you enjoy most and can specialise in.
- Gain transferable skills
A tourism management course will teach you fundamental skills related to business management, marketing, human resources, project management, sustainability, and more.
This means you’ll gain a well-rounded skill set that enables you to work in other industries besides tourism and hospitality.
Top jobs when you study a tourism management course
Here’s a list of some positions you could apply for after successfully completing a Higher Certificate in Tourism Management.
- Travel agent
Travel agents are responsible for selling and coordinating transportation, insurance, accommodation, travel activities, and tours.
They need to advise clients on the best destinations for their needs by informing them of the weather, fun activities the destination offers, and more.
Once clients have chosen a specific destination, they need to collect payments, book travel arrangements, and handle any cancellations.
- Banqueting organiser
Banqueting organisers are responsible for booking venues for client events.
Their duties involve meeting with potential and current clients to identify their needs for the event, monitoring and controlling provisional and confirmed function bookings, and more.
They also need to ensure that no double bookings are made and that function sheets remain up to date.
- Tour guide
Tour guides, otherwise known as tour operators, are responsible for accompanying groups of tourists or holiday goers on tours to various locations.
They need to make sure that travel arrangements run smoothly from start to finish and provide information about the location and practical support throughout the tour.
- Resort coordinator (activities)
Resort coordinators are responsible for carrying out all reasonable requests, projects, and events requested by members, guests, and resort managers.
They have to plan, organise, and oversee the successful completion of all the projects and events to ensure guests have the best experience.
- Operations manager (food/accommodation)
Operations managers oversee accommodation, food and beverage, conference, and reception. Whether they specialise in food or accommodation, they need to take care of all aspects of their area of expertise.
For example, operation managers in the food industry will be responsible for the daily coordination, execution, and improvement of food manufacturing operations. They’ll need to oversee the planning, production, maintenance, and quality control.
- Hotel concierge
Hotel concierges are responsible for ensuring that all guests feel welcome while maintaining company culture at all times.
They’re usually the first point of contact between guests and the company and have to handle guest inquiries and complaints, assist guests with travel arrangements, provide hotel information, and more.
Study a Higher Certificate in Tourism Management with MANCOSA
Interested in working in the tourism and hospitality industry? Tourism studies can take you a long way in developing the fundamental skills and knowledge you need to thrive in this growing industry.