Members of the Fourth Estate - Media
Before I move on, let me acknowledge
Ms Mmaditonki Setwaba - DOG in Tourism Department Mr Marks Thibela - CATHSSETA CEO
Mr Thato Mothopeng - SATOVITO National Coordinator
Mr Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa - TBCSA CEO Ms Hanellie Du Toit - SATSA CEO
Ms Sthembiso Dlamini - GTA CEO
Ms Nannie Kubeka - Gauteng Head Conventions & Events Bureau Distinguished guests
Let me express my profound appreciation to all of you for attending this media launch for the National Tourism Careers Expo (NTCE) 2023, which celebrates its 13th anniversary this year, especially during September which is widely regarded as Tourism Month.
This initiative is a collaboration of the Department of Tourism, Culture Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Education Training Authority (CATHSSETA) and the Gauteng Department of Economic Development, represented by the Gauteng Tourism Authority (GTA) as the host Province and the Implementing Agency.
It provides a critical opportunity and platform to interact with our future leaders, game changers, risk takers, future policymakers and nation builders. These are young people with a penchant appetite for learning and growth.
The tourism sector needs to attract these kinds of people into its tourism value chain.
In our quest as government to rebuild the sector to ensure its sustainability for future generations and the need to drive its growth, a pool of talent will have to be developed, underpinned by a demand-led skills supply.
Tourism is the world's fastest-growing employment sector that continues to adapt to new trends and the NTCE is designed to bridge the information gap between the industry, government, learners, and educators.
The aim of this Expo is to drive the goal of the National Tourism Sector Strategy to create an additional 300 000 tourism job opportunities by 2026.
Themed "Tourism Investment for People, Planet and Prosperity," it aims to showcase the plethora of opportunities that exist in tourism as the sector works towards economic recovery.
This theme seeks to highlight how the Government, Sector Stakeholders and the Private Sector have invested in tourism to drive initiatives that create opportunities for people, by investing in education and skills, for the Planet by investing in sustainable infrastructure and accelerating green transformation and also for Prosperity through investing in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship.
Last year the UNWTO hosted the first Global Youth Tourism Summit and concluded with the launch of the Sorrento Call to Action, a bold and ground-breaking vision for young people to be active participants in the tourism's restart and growth as a pillar of sustainable and inclusive development.
This was hugely important for UNWTO and the tourism sector, as well as the young talent from every region who will be supported through being given a platform to voice their ideas about tourism's future.
The theme also gives expression to our vision of the NTCE to be a leading platform for communicating career path, job and entrepreneurial prospects and further education opportunities in the tourism sector.
Our mission is to inspire the present and prospective tourism learners and unemployed youth to rise to new heights in search of tourism careers and professional opportunities.
The purpose of the NTCE is to provide a platform for the sector to create awareness of the available careers and professional opportunities in the tourism industry and give the learners an opportunity to interact with their potential employers.
More importantly, its objectives seek to highlight the skills development challenges, potential solutions as well as initiatives and programmes that are set to drive tourism recovery within the sector
Furthermore, to showcase partner contribution towards skills development, education and training, inclusive growth initiatives in the tourism sector.
Our government has identified the tourism sector as one of the critical intervention areas within the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, as tourism is a key driver of the economic recovery in the country.
As the Department together with our stakeholders, have collaborated to develop the robust Tourism Sector Recovery Plan anchored on three interlinked pillars or strategic themes: protecting and rejuvenating supply, reigniting demand and strengthening enabling capability for long term sustainability.
Tourism is a people-centred interactive service industry that strives to create memorable travel experiences and the industry is highly competitive, innovative and always adapting to new trends and technologies.
Career opportunities in tourism are limitless. The hospitality and tourism industry presents a unique career path for professionals specialising in creating the finest tourist experiences.
Therefore, tourism is a conduit for people to learn new things, and discover the world through its diverse cultures. Careers found in the tourism value chain range from food and beverage, cruise ships, transport, adventure tourism, travel trade, events and conferences, tour operators, tourism entrepreneurs and travel bloggers - the list is endless and the opportunities are limitless.
In the NTCE 2023, learners are invited to follow their passion and find their niche in the tourism value chain.
I thank you.