Tourism minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk has issued a challenge to the tourism training industry and backed it up with R7.5 million in funding. Speaking at the fifth anniversary of the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa on World Tourist Guide Day, the minister said that tourism training institutions and the tourism industry have been grumbling at each other for some time.
The industry complained that the training facilities were not producing properly skilled graduates, and the training institutions complained that the industry never identified what skills they were most in need of. "I am therefore issuing a challenge – to both the institutions and the industry: we have six months to get our house in order."
He has allocated the money to a partnership between the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, THETA (the Tourism Hospitality and Education Training Authority), the National Business Initiative and the Tourism Business Council of South Africa. By June, the alliance is expected to create a Skills Plan that satisfies all those involved. This plan will be presented to parliament during the budget vote. Minister challenges tourism industry to "get its house in order"