‘Tourism, hospitality could offer alternative routes to employment’

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As South Africa grapples with a high unemployment rate, the tourism and hospitality sector could offer alternative routes to employment. That’s according to Alan Campbell, Sales and Marketing Director of ANEW Hotels & Resorts.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Africa Travel Indaba, which is underway at the Durban ICC, Campbell says the industry presents a wealth of opportunities that often go unrecognised, especially by matric students.

“Youth unemployment sits at just over 40% in SA which is a shame when you consider tourism (which is) expected to grow at roughly 7.6% a year and we need to attract more youngsters. There is a big skills gap since when during COVID hit, and when people left the industry. And we need to find youngsters who want to go into the hospitality and travel industry,” says Campbell.

Campbell says contrary to what some believe, the industry is stable and viable.

“The hospitality industry has perhaps historically been perceived amongst older generations to be an unstable and a less viable avenue as a career choice.  However, the industry is healthy. International tourist arrivals from January to December 2023, totaling 8.5 million, representing a remarkable 48.9% increase when compared with the same period in 2022. This spike underscores the country’s enduring appeal as a premier travel destination,” adds Campbell.

PODCAST | How the tourism sector can offer alternative routes to employment: 

Travel Indaba 

The Travel Indaba brings together exhibitors from various African nations and buyers worldwide to showcase a collection of products from across the African tourism sector.

Speaking to SABC News from the indaba, Tourism Minister, Patricia de Lille, says the country’s tourism sector is making a steady recovery after COVID-19.

Travel Indaba | ‘This is a boost for eThekwini and KwaZulu-Natal province’: Sibusiso Gumbi