South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation

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An analysis of skills required for selected sectors of the tourism industry

Melville Saayman, Susan Geldenhuys


Tourism is a relative newcomer to the academic repertoire and literature on the subject revealed a plethora of issues which need to be addressed when offering training programmes in tourism and hospitality studies. One of the most significant problems is the fact that tourism educators, guided by their individual biases, design tourism curricula with little or no input from the industry. The aim of the research is to determine what skills are required by industry for travel agents, tour operators and tourist guides. A two-pronged approach was followed: A literature study as well as a survey. For the survey a questionnaire, covering a wide range of variables divided into eight categories, was used to obtain the opinions of travel agents, tour operators and tourist guides. The surveys were conducted as structured telephonic interviews with representatives of cities and towns in Gauteng Province, Republic of South Africa. The results indicate which aspects are rated as important by the industry that should be included in tourism curricula. The results were divided into three categories namely tourism specific, general and business knowledge.

(S. African J. for Research in Sport, Physical Ed. and Recreation: 2003 25 (1): 83-96)

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