South African DMC, African Link Travel and Tours (ALTT) has launched the African Link Tourism Training Academy (ALTA) and registrations are open.

After hosting tourism students for job shadowing and training for over 20 years, CEO of African Link Travel and Tourism, Bunny Bhoola, noticed that the students, although well versed in theory, struggled with its practical application.

“What you find is that the lecturers and teachers providing the training to these students often don’t have practical industry experience themselves. Without that practical experience it becomes very difficult to translate that same passion for the industry,” said Bhoola.

Operating from ALTT’s premises, ALTA offers students a unique, practical learning experience at an operating tourism business.

“We have a network of partners in our area, and have good relationships with several stakeholders around the Freedom Route. Through this network we will be able to give students the opportunity to learn and interact with multiple aspects of the industry,” said Bhoola.

While she recognises that young people may be shying away from the tourism industry, having seen all the jobs lost to COVID-19, she told Tourism Update that, just as the tourism industry would survive, so would the desire to work in tourism.

“COVID-19 has actually given us an opportunity to upskill young people. I predict that there will soon be a change in the predominant age group of those working in tourism. At the moment it is largely an older generation, and I would recommend to those older people in the industry to do a course in teaching and training. It’s so important to transfer that wealth of knowledge.”

Bhoola encourages all tourism businesses to be involved in practical training of students to empower the youth and develop a capable, more employable workforce for the future.

Registered with the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations, ALTA students will qualify with a National Qualification Framework Level Five.

Over the course of 18 months students will cover six months of practical work as well as 12 months of theory. Students are exposed to the following industry sectors:

  • Events and exhibitions project management
  • Travel agencies
  • Cruise lines
  • Airports
  • Hotels, lodges and guest houses
  • Restaurants
  • Meetings and conference management