Careers in the tourism and hospitality industry
A career in the tourism and hospitality industry can be a very interesting field. The job opportunities are diverse and suitable for a wide range of skills. You can work in South Africa or even travel overseas. From working as a chef to being a tour guide, the careers available are exciting. If you have outstanding interpersonal and problem-solving skills, this might just be the industry for you.
Why choose a tourism and hospitality career?
There are numerous benefits to working in the tourism and hospitality industry.
- You get to choose from a wide range of positions that suit your skills and experience.
- There is plenty of room for growth and development
- There are long- and short-term positions available
- Some careers give you the option to work flexible hours
- There are a wide range of opportunities for students to work part-time and gain experience
- There are new challenges every day
- Your work could take you overseas for international employment
- Depending on the career you choose, you could travel around South Africa or even overseas
- You meet new people every day
Let’s take a look at some of the tourism and hospitality careers that are available.
Hotel Operations Manager
Hotel operations managers are responsible for ensuring that establishments with accommodation offer the highest service quality. They manage and oversee a team of staff members. They also work with budgets and are involved in the day-to-day running of the hotel.
If you love preparing food, then a career as a chef could be for you. There are many different kinds of cook and chef jobs available. Take a read through our article on how to become a chef here. To be successful in this career, you’ll need to be good at cooking. You will also need to have a good understanding of food safety regulations. Once you’re hired, you will probably receive specialised training on how to prepare the dishes your establishment offers. Depending on your level of experience, you could become a sous or executive chef.
A hotel clerk is responsible for checking guests in and out of the hotel. They assign rooms and answer telephone calls. Hotel clerks need to have extensive knowledge of the establishment they’re working in as they are required to respond to inquiries about the hotel’s services. Soft skills for this position are good communication skills, problem-solving skills as well as interpersonal skills.
If you enjoy meeting a variety of people, then a tour guide could be a fun career for you. This position will have you taking guests to all the tourist attractions. You will provide them with the historical and cultural information of these places. Having an in-depth understanding of the area is essential if you want this type of job.
Marketing and sales
Marketing plays an important role in the hospitality industry. Employees who are hired in a marketing position help to boost sales and profits. This can be a very pressurised career, so being able to work within tight deadlines and budgets is a must. Having an understanding of the various marketing channels, good communication skills, and a hard-working attitude will get you far in this career.
There are many different types of cleaning positions available in the tourism and hospitality industry. Cleaners are not only required to clean rooms but also clean the rest of the establishment. Their duties will depend on the type and size of the establishment. Cleaning jobs are available in hotels, casinos, guesthouses, and bed and breakfasts.
What skills do I need to get a tourism and hospitality job?
Careers in hospitality require a diverse range of skills. Here are some of the key capabilities that you’ll need:
- Communication and interpersonal capabilities
- Creative thinking
- Problem-solving skills
- Attention to detail
- Financial knowledge
- Ability to work under pressure
What educational requirements do I need to pursue careers in tourism and hospitality?
Your training and work experience will impact your chances of finding a hospitality job. A wonderful advantage of this industry is that there are a variety of entry-level positions available. These jobs need little or no experience. Once you have your foot in the door, you can work your way up to the position of your dreams.
For other positions in the industry, a qualification is a must. The following are available:
- Degree or diploma in hospitality management. You can study at most universities and tertiary education institutes.
- Bachelor of Technology in Hospitality Management. Available at tertiary education institutes.
- Short or online courses in specialised skills. Mostly available at tertiary institutes or online.
Other degrees, diplomas, or higher certificates include the following:
- Human Resources
- Events Management
- Culinary Arts
- Professional Cookery
These courses are also available at most universities and tertiary education institutes across South Africa.
As you can see, the tourism and hospitality industry offers a wide range of careers. If they are of interest to you, keep a lookout on www.freerecruit.co.za for any vacancies. You can also sign up for job alerts here.
You may also find other useful tips and career advice by visiting our career blog here.