For an industry averaging R16.6 billion in hotel room revenue in 2017 and forecast to increase by an additional 5.6 % according to PwC’s Hotels Outlook, the tourism industry and its growth forecast remain as energetic as the industry itself. With this positive news, in an environment that is rife with economic and political unrest, not to mention a devastating drought in one of SA’s largest tourism regions, shouldn’t a career in this consistently growing industry be a serious consideration for school leavers or post gap year individuals?
Ronel Bezuidenhout, Principal and Managing Director for leading hotel school, the Capital Hotel School says, “Today, there are roughly 124 different roles available across food & beverage, housekeeping, front office and chef departments. This industry is possibly the MOST diverse environment to cater for varied personality types, and this won’t change much in the future.”
In South Africa alone, according to PwC’s Hotels Outlook report, 2017 saw a 7.2% increase in foreign visitors from outside the continent. The International Congress and Convention Association ranked Cape Town as the best business tourism city in Africa, and Euromonitor International ranked Johannesburg among the top 100 city destinations in the world* and six additional four-star hotels are scheduled to open in Durban, Johannesburg and Malelane between 2019 and 2021. “This is great news for people looking for a career path with unlimited growth potential,” says Ronel, “and if students prefer looking abroad for experience or to travel with the industry in one of the 124 plus roles, our international accreditation affords them that opportunity too.”
“Despite consistent technological introductions to the market, across an array of sectors, the hospitality industry remains one of the very few, that will always require human interaction,” says Ronel. According to Forbes.com, certain technologies like customer relationship management (CRM) systems have already been successfully rolled out, and Gartner highlights artificial intelligence (AI) like speak-to-order technology, augmented reality (AR) to better direct customers when on site, and biometric authentication (facial recognition) as key advancements to look out for in the future that will assist with the day-to-day, time-consuming tasks. The true opportunity lies in using people to focus on unrivalled customer service and rich, on and off-site experiences that will keep guests coming back.
Ronel says in light of the pace of technological growth facing the industry, “We are not oblivious to the generational requirement of staying ahead of the curb as far as technology is concerned – especially from an educational standpoint so have, and will continue to diversify our learning methods that make our intimate classroom environments interactive, using practical and blended learning teaching methods.”
PwC Hotels outlook: 2018-2022: South Africa – Nigeria – Mauritius – Kenya – Tanzania), www.pwc.co.za/outlook.
About Capital Hotel School
Capital Hotel School (CHS) is a leading hospitality management and professional cookery training establishment based in Pretoria. Since inception, CHS prides itself as a school that delivers quality courses that are accredited on a national and international level. CHS recently also developed, a blended learning approach – which affords students and full time employees in the hospitality industry an opportunity to upskill themselves or to acquire full qualifications within their field of expertise. This platform, named Hospitalit-e successfully incorporates regular online, practical and face-to-face tutor training and assessment; essential components to guarantee the success of hospitality training programmes.