10 reasons to begin a career in tourism

Approximately 1 636 500 jobs in 2017 were in South Africa’s tourism sector and, over the next decade, this number is expected to swell to 2 459 000 –  accounting for a significant 13,2% of all jobs in the country.

Wondering why the sector is (and will continue to be) such a popular career choice? Premier Hotels & Resorts’ COO and MD of Academic College South Africa, Sigal Geva, shares her top 10 reasons.

1. A fast-growing future

Did you know that tourism is one of the fastest-growing economic sectors in the world and that it is set to continue outperforming the global economy over the next 10 years? With PwC’s Hospitality Outlook: 2017-2021 predicting positive growth for the South African tourism market over the next five years, the future looks bright.

2. A door to the world

Every country in the world has a hospitality industry and as the skills and experience acquired in South Africa are readily transferable, a career in this field can be pursued anywhere. What’s more, it can be the key to discovering new countries, cultures and people.

3. Freedom of flexibility

Shift work is standard for many positions in the tourism industry, particularly in hospitality. Benefits of this include shorter working hours, avoiding peak traffic times and getting things done during the day that those who work 9 to 5 simply can’t.

4. No monotony

Ask anyone who works in tourism and they will say that one of their favourite aspects is that no two days are the same. Every day, they get to interact with different clients and encounter different situations.

5. Easy entry

The growth of the tourism industry means that jobs are constantly being created. For hospitality and tourism school graduates, this means that finding employment in the industry is somewhat easier than for those who have studied towards careers in other sectors. Plus, with educational institutions like Premier Hotels & Resorts’ Academic College South Africa offering experiential training, students are given the experience demanded by today’s employers.

6. Endless opportunities

The wide range of potential career paths available in the tourism sector means that those working in the industry need never feel “stuck” in one specific role. On the hospitality side, for instance – even with a single employer – one could go from being a receptionist, to a reservations manager, to a concierge or even higher within just a few years.

7. A multi-cultural environment

In addition to engaging with tourists from all corners of the world, those who pursue a career in tourism get to work alongside colleagues from a variety of cultural backgrounds too. In fact, a study by the Labour Research Service found that there is an increasing number of immigrant workers in South Africa’s hospitality industry.

8. Personal and professional growth

The tourism industry enables employees to develop themselves both professionally and personally, as their abilities are constantly honed and augmented by the situations, clients and colleagues they encounter.

9. A safe bet

The global tourism sector has remained relatively stable and secure, even in turbulent economic times. In Greece, for example, while the country’s economy contracted by more than 20% since the end of 2009, its tourism sector has provided much-needed support. In South Africa too, despite undergoing ratings downgrades and a recession in 2017, the industry continued to survive and thrive.

10. Making someone’s day

From a tour guide and the manager of a restaurant, to a hotel porter, every time these people come to work, they help to make someone’s day that bit better.

 “With the new year being the perfect time to make a new start, why not begin 2018 with a bang by joining the thousands of people who will be taking this popular career path?” concludes Geva.

For more information about Premier Hotels & Resorts, visit premierhotels.co.za

– Premier Hotels & Resorts

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