The Department of Tourism in partnership with UNISA Graduate School for Business Leadership (UNISA SBL) hosted a breakfast session for the Executive Development Programme (EDP) for Women in Tourism on Friday, 22 July 2016. The EDP breakfast was a session where the tourism partners offered their support to 20 women who have been selected for the EDP pilot programme intake.
The 20 candidates are women in management positions from different fields in the tourism sector, they will embark in the 18 month part time programme offered by UNISA SBL. Professor Sasha Monyamane UNISA SBL Chief Operating Officer stated that UNISA is proud and excited to be in partnership on such a unique programme, and share the same commitment in empowering women.
Prof. Monyamane encouraged the candidates to be focused and determined in order for the programme to be a success. “You need to take ownership of this programme to make sure you pave the way for those who will come after you, and always remember that from today onwards you will be the ambassadors of the programme” said Prof Monyamane.
The tourism industry has grown in leaps and has become one of the major economic contributors globally; there is a need for women in high position to make decisions.
A word of commitment and support was offered by Hilton Hotels Cluster Human Resources Manager South Africa Mr. Peter Thomas, who reassured the candidates that the Hilton group is dedicated to women empowerment and skills development. “Hilton Hotels is youth and women oriented, we are proud to part be part of a programme that advocates for women in the industry,” said Mr. Peter. Research conducted by the Department in 2010/2011 to assess the status of transformation in the tourism sector revealed that there was little progress in the areas of ownership and management of tourism businesses by black people.
The study showed that only 18% of the Exempted Micro Enterprises (EMEs) and 21% of the Qualifying Small Enterprises (QSEs) had achieved the ownership target of 21%, and only 23% had been achieved by large tourism enterprises.
Ms. Beulah Mosupye Chief Director Domestic Tourism stated that out of 52% population of women only 8% are in executive levels and involved in decision.
Department of Tourism has shifted from policy making to policy making and implementing and invested time and funds in order to make sure that programmes of such magnitude are a success.
“Women influence productivity in the industry, therefore we need to invest in them in order to grow the industry, as the department advocates for transformation in the sector.” Women in the industry need to encourage each other and learn from each other,” said Ms. Mosupye.
Mosupye said the department is always looking for partnerships which will help in meeting the goals and the mandate being set out. “As the department we would like to congratulate and wish good luck to our 20 candidates who will be participating in this 18 month long programme,” said Ms. Mosupye.
Through UNISA, graduates participating in the EDP will be adequately equipped with management skills and the confidence to start and grow their own tourism businesses, thus changing the skewed patterns of business ownership in the sector, and creating a pool of black industrialists for the future. For enquiries:
Mr Trevor Bloem Department of Tourism Spokesperson Cell: +27 (0) 82 771 6729Email: email@example.com