The National Tourism Careers Expo (NTCE) experienced record attendance with over 18 000 visitors attending the interactive exhibition designed to showcase the career opportunities available in tourism.
The NTCE, which ran from 23-25 September, is supported by the National Department of Tourism (NDT), Department of Economic Development and Tourism KwaZulu-Natal and CATHSSETA (Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Education and Training Authority), previously known as THETA. With this year’s theme being “Make it Happen” the expo is now in its third year and aims to drive South Africa’s National Tourism Sector Strategy’s goal of creating 225 000 tourism jobs by 2020, and ensuring there are sufficient numbers of skilled people to fill these positions.
During the expo popular highlights included Chef Citrum Khumalo’s cooking demonstrations with learners being wowed by the Chef and his team of enthusiastic proteges as they shared advice and tips on cooking and how to get ahead in the catering industry. Equally popular amongst the learners was the mixology zone where learners got to grips with the art of mixing non-alcoholic drinks under the guidance of a professional cocktail maker. Speakers Corner, where tourism entrepreneurs and industry experts shared their success stories, was also a hit amongst learners as they interacted directly with the speakers, asking questions and participating in some of the demonstrations. A virtual classroom set up enabled learners to pick up useful information about searching for a job.
Fifty private sector companies exhibited at the expo providing interactive, edutainment experiences for the learners. “The NTCE also provided an opportunity for companies to spot enthusiastic, passionate youths who meet their internship or learnership requirements,” says deputy minister of tourism Thokozile Xasa. The private sector further showed their commitment to skills development by offering a number of bursaries, learnerships and internships to learners attending the expo.
Over 500 educators attended tourism focussed educator workshops with three sessions being held each day of the expo. Topics like responsible tourism, entrepreneurship and service culture in tourism were covered by speakers from the industry.
The NTCE moves location every three years and provinces interested in hosting the next expo will be asked to bid. For more information on the expo visit www.tourismcareers.co.za.