Tourism industry can fight unemployment


The Deputy Minister of Tourism last week said the tourism industry is one sector that can fight unemployment among the youth in South Africa.
Thoko Xasa was addressing various guests at the opening ceremony of the 7th National Tourism Expo at the Sand du Plessis Theatre in Bloemfontein.
The opening ceremony was attended by various delegates from the Department of Tourism (NDT), the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality & Sport Education Training Authority (CATHSSETA), and the Free State Department of Economic Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA).
Xasa further said there is an unlimited opportunity for learners in the tourism sector.
"We have made great strides since the start of the programme seven years ago. We are very excited to introduce tourism as a career choice. Through this program we can help fight unemployment in South Africa," says Xasa.
At the same time the MEC for tourism in the province, Sam Mashinini, urged learners to get involved. He hopes that learners will stop seeing tourism as an inferior subject.
"It is important for us to invest in young people. The goal of this event is to get learners involved. We must stop seeing tourism as an inferior subject at school," Mashinini concluded. 
The expo provided learners with an opportunity to visit various exhibition stands hosted by leading local and international companies, educational institutions and small businesses involved in tourism in South Africa.
Young people were given an opportunity at the Youth Business Zone to present their business propositions to a panel of judges.
Learners were further educated through a Virtual Class Room programme which deals with tips on how to prepare to find a job, including compiling a CV and preparing for interviews.
The aim of the three-day exhibition is to position tourism as a valued and vibrant career of choice.
The three-day event concluded on Saturday. – Mark Steenbok