Are you passionate about people and also happen to be hooked on holidays? Does the idea of working in travel and hospitality sound like a dream come true? Then you’re a prime candidate for a promising career in South African tourism!
In May (2019), Stats SA reported almost 16 million tourists visited the country in 2018. It’s not surprising, as South Africa ranks 6th out of the world’s 17 “megadiverse” destinations. The tourism sector also has one of the highest growth and employment opportunities in the country. In fact, 1 in 22 South Africans is already said to be employed by the industry in some way.
So, whether you’re a student starting just starting out or a seasoned career professional looking for a boost, here are some of the most popular tourism careers in South Africa for you to consider:
- Travel Agent
A Travel Agent is able to assist individuals or groups in planning and booking arrangements for business or recreational trips. This can include facilitating ticket purchases for transportation, reserving accommodation and renting vehicles, as well as booking packages or tours.
The average salary for a South African Travel Agent is ±R115,000.00 annually. Salaries can also climb as high as ±R600,000.00 a year with accrued experience and positions held at premium agencies.
- Tour Operator
Sometimes there is confusion about the difference between Tour Operators and Travel Agents. The distinction is that Travel Agents sell the packages that are created and provided to them by various Tour Operators. These professionals are specialists in providing their specific experiences to visitors.
The average salary for a South African Tour Operator is ±R196,000.00 annually. Salaries can also reach ±R500,000.00 a year with more experience and opportunities secured at top-line companies.
- Tourism Administrator
This position can either be related to tourism administration as a well-defined, regulatory and legal framework for tourism. It’s usually held within governmental organisations and these professionals ensure proper support is provided to tourism entities within an area, region or nation.
The average salary for a South African Tourism Administrator is ±R800,000.00 annually. Salaries are higher when candidates pursue Masters-level qualifications in the government sector, in tourism planning and development.
- Guest Relations Officer
A Guest Relations Officer is a customer service-oriented position that entails hosting visitors at an establishment such as a hotel or game reserve. From greeting and escorting guests around the premises (or to their rooms) to arranging reservations or experiences, this professional ensures a pleasant, satisfying stay for all.
The average salary for a South African Guest Relations Officer is ±R160,000.00 annually.
- Front-Desk Operator
This person usually represents the first point of contact with clients of a tourism business or guests at a hospitality establishment. They perform essential administrative duties including answering calls or emails, greeting clients, overseeing check-ins and bookings, as well as tracking budgets.
The average salary for a South African Tour Operator is ±R120,000.00 annually. Salaries can also climb to ±R240,000.00 a year with more experience and team management duties.
Travel and Tourism short courses
To get you started, why not consider our new online Introduction to Travel and Tourism short course? After all, it truly is one of the most rewarding industries in South Africa! Take a free virtual tour, experience our interactive course design and see how this short course can help you kickstart or boost your career! Take the free virtual tour now
Ready to take the next step? Send us an enquiry and a student advisor will be in touch if you’d like to discuss the possibility of an exciting career in South Africa’s booming visitor economy.