To mark World Tourism Day, Mireille Wenger, the provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities which includes Tourism, lauded the vital contribution that the province’s tourist guides make to the tourism and hospitality sector at a graduation of 38 tourist guides in Langa, Cape Town.
Addressing the graduation, Minister Wenger said: “What a pleasure it is to join you to celebrate your fantastic achievement on your graduation as tourist guides in the most beautiful, vibrant and incredible province. I’d like to congratulate each of you for achieving a 100% pass rate and to celebrate being Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA) accredited (NQF level 4) tourist guides, with a focus on cultural sites.”
The course included modules on how to conduct a guided culture experience, how to care for visitors, how to research and design a guided experience, as well as minimising and managing safety risks. Participants also completed first aid training. In addition, they visited several cultural sites as part of a practical learning component including Robben Island, Hout Bay, Langa and Athlone.
The 38 tourist guides are from the communities of Langa, Athlone, Mitchells Plain, Hanover Park, Mfuleni, Khayelitsha, Hout Bay, Nyanga and Robben Island completed their training during August 2023.
The course was sponsored by the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) in partnership with the City of Cape Town, and achieved a 100% pass rate, enabling the participants to register with DEDAT as legally qualified tourist guides, as the next step.
“Just as we celebrate these achievements, I am very excited to share with you that in our upcoming peak tourism season, we are expecting an impressive 215 international flights into Cape Town every week. This means, that for the first time ever, we are expecting to exceed one million inbound seats. This is truly very exciting because we know that the tourism and hospitality sector contributes so much to our economy and to job creation in the Western Cape” continued Minister Wenger.
The latest research shows that in 2022, international tourists visiting the Western Cape generated an impressive R24.3 billion, supporting 10 600 jobs.
This means that for every 100 international tourists to the Western Cape, R2.1 million in direct tourist spend was generated, contributing R500 000 to the provincial Gross Domestic Product, enabling two local jobs, and supporting the movement of R1.4 million worth of air cargo.
Looking ahead, the Tourism and Hospitality sector has immense potential to contribute to the economy and to support even more jobs in the province. This is why our bold and ambitious economic plan in the Western Cape, ‘Growth For Jobs’, or G4J, has a specific focus on doubling the number of visitors to our province by 2035.
Concluding her address, Minister Wenger said: “As tourist guides you are ambassadors of the province and of South Africa. While South Africans are known for our wonderful hospitality, tourist guides are also tasked with sharing our incredible cultural heritage with the rest of the world. It is the experience that guides help create for visitors that will keep them coming back and spread the word about this amazing destination so that more and more visitors decide to come and see for themselves.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Government.