Career opportunities in Tourism in SA


The tourism field is a vast and exciting one. This tourism month, if you are looking for career opportunities in the South African Tourism Industry, then you are looking in the right place. Here are some reasons why:

Many Career Avenues

When it comes to the tourism industry, there are many opportunities one may look into such as

  • Sightseeing
  • Attractions
  • Entertainment
  • Accommodation
  • Transportation
  • Food & Hospitality

This list is not exhaustive, there is much more that can be done. The potential target market is also diverse including both holiday makers and businesspeople. Within that diversity one can determine their specific niche, deciding to operate on a local basis, a national one or on the international field.

Opportunities in Government

Tourism is one of the industries that continues to grow, even when South Africa is experiencing a challenging economic climate. As such, it is one of the industries that the government looks to for establishing economic growth opportunities for municipalities. Look out for career opportunities within the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, where you can apply for a post as a Tourism Officer amongst others. The Department of Local Economic Development (LED) and Planning deals with SMME’s and Tourism where the focus is building local economies through tourism. Within those departments there are various opportunities. Be on the lookout on their websites for positions.

Opportunities in the Private Sector

Opportunities in the private sector are endless for those with a background in tourism. Here are just a few:
Travel Agent: work with travel agencies helping people book their trips and holidays
Tour Guides and Tour Operators: here you would be responsible for taking tourists to their desired destinations
Hotel Operations: hospitality is at the heart of the tourism industry and many positions in hotels require a person who has been educated in tourism and hospitality
Sales and Marketing: If you are interested in marketing as well as travel, consider establishing yourself in the sales or marketing of tourism.
Event/Conference Organising: with a big contingent of the tourist population being business people, event and conference organising is a strong career opportunity

Opportunities for the Entrepreneur

Holiday makers are often looking for a unique experience. With South Africa being such a culturally diverse place, the chance to make your own business using the “Township Experience” or the “village life tour” remain a largely open market. If you can provide an experience that is both safe and entertaining, with the right marketing on online tourism and government sites, then you can potentially tap into a very fruitful market.
If the entrepreneurship route speaks to you, put together a sound business plan and consult the government departments mentioned above to see what help you may get in terms of accessing funding for your business idea.

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