Consider a prosperous career in tourism says De Lille

  • Speaking with Matrics on Tuesday, Minister of Tourism Patricia de Lille highlighted what careers one could pursue in tourism.
  • The minister highlighted a number of careers that one can pursue, many of which are said to be in high-demand.
  • Tourism is a burgeoning sector in South Africa with the majority of travellers arriving for holiday.

On Tuesday, Minister of Tourism, Patricia de Lille, spoke to Matric pupils in Mitchell’s Plain about career and training opportunities in the tourism and travel sector.

“Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in South Africa and all over the world. There are tremendous opportunities for employment across South Africa that offers various career opportunities in the travel and tourism sector such as: in government, hospitality, conservation, coastal marine, adventure, luxury, township and village tourism careers,” the Minister told students.

The minister is not wrong, tourism levels are returning to pre-pandemic levels with 3.5 million travellers passing through points of entry into South Africa in December 2023.

“In December 2023, the majority of tourists (97,9%) came for holidays whilst businesspersons, students and medical treatment constituted 1,9%; 0,2%, and less than 0,1% respectively. On average, tourists from overseas and ‘other’ African countries spent more days (about five to seven days per month) in the country compared to SADC residents who spent an average of two days in a month. On average, tourists from overseas spend more days in the warmer months (around seven days),” Statistics South Africa reported in January.

The minister outlined a number job opportunities available in the sector including working as a tour guide, travel agent, working at guest houses and hotels. This extends into conservation as well given South Africa’s wildlife is a major draw card.

“In terms of jobs in Conservation Management, Protection services, Field ranging, Environmental education & Interpretation, Cultural heritage interpretation, Veterinary & scientific services – there are jobs at national and provincial parks and game reserves,” De Lille said.

The minister also mentions exploring positions at organisations such as the Tourism Business Council of South Africa and the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa. These organisations require individuals who deal with the business side of tourism such as accounting, financial management, legal services, communications and other fields.

However, currently, job opportunities at the Tourism Business Council of South Africa and the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa are thin on the ground. The former has one position while the latter doesn’t appear to advertise jobs on its website.

Furthermore, the Department of Tourism is only advertising one position. With that having been said, it’s worth keeping an eye out for tourism opportunities, especially as we move into school holiday time and the end of the year.

We should however, note that positions related to tourism are found on the Occupations in High Demand list published earlier this month. This means that the Matric students de Lille addressed should really consider a career in this field as there may be a high-demand for workers in tourism in future.

“Some of the qualities needed in the tourism sector is that the sector needs people who are passionate, driven, motivated, patient, good communication and customer skills, responsible, leadership, team worker and people who can adapt and be flexible to do what is needed to get the job done properly,” adds the minister.

[Image – Adrega from Pixabay]


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