Tourvest Destination Management (TDM) has launched the TDM Guiding Academy – a training and development facility to assist and improve the knowledge and professionalism of all tourist guides in South Africa.
The Academy combines the theoretical understanding of tourist guiding with a practical component that is directly linked to real-world operations. Students will travel with expert guides and receive on-the-job training and mentoring while they complete their curriculum. On successful completion of the course, students will have an opportunity for a full-time employment contract at TDM.
“We started seeing a shortage of youngsters in the system and our concern was that, especially between the ages of 21 and 35, there is a shortage of language-specific guides. We started investigating and saw that guiding was not seen as an attractive career option and sustainability wasn’t guaranteed,” said Lee Luizinho, TDM Touring and Guides Manager.
The company announced the Academy in May at the Tourism Indaba and began the recruitment phase on August 1. Tourvest aims to transform its recruitment, employment and training models to be flexible towards current market conditions through the Guiding Academy.
Luizinho said there were certain requirements to get into the Guiding Academy and Tourvest wanted to make it a sustainable model for the company and government. “This is a great opportunity for people looking for a career change or youngsters looking to start a career in the tourism industry. The Academy is about giving these individuals the opportunity to gain skills and first-hand knowledge to become tourist guides.” “
As a business, we believe that the tourist guide is one of the most important components of any tour. By partnering up with accredited training providers and external consultants and development gurus, Tourvest has established a training model that will improve tourist guiding throughout our business and ensure that our clients get charismatic, passionate, well-spoken, and problem-solving experts who are in the business of making memories,” said Felicity Vieira, TDM Chief Marketing / Procurement Director.