Employment opportunities in the South African hotel industry with special reference to tourism

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The continued growth of the South African tourist industry was assumed and projections up to year 2020 were made to establish the corresponding growth in employment opportunities in the hotel industry. Overseas tourism is sensitive to and dependent on many factors. These were identified and the performance over the past two decades for bona fide overseas visitors, excluding mere border crossings, were extrapolated, accepting that oscillations about the suggested trend line will become greater in the future. In order to predict the growth of domestic tourism, cognisance had to be taken of the demographic development of the various population groups. The distribution of wealth among the various groups was estimated in the short, medium and long terms. On it depends the choice of accommodation when going on holiday. An evaluation was made of the employment pattern in the South African hotel industry. Published data from the Central Statistical Services and the Bureau of Financial Analysis (BFA) of the University of Pretoria were used. The 1982 Manpower Survey of the BFA proved particularly useful in establishing the present distribution of skilled staff in the industry by hotel grading and by geographical area. Performance ratios were calculated relative to capital invested and to revenue earned. The lowest staff to room ratios were used as criterion for optimal and most efficient usage of staff. The model thus developed with the aid of the Hewlett Packard STATP computer program, was based on actual present performance of a certain category of hotels. Unlike other approaches reported in the literature, a clear distinction was here made between skilled and unskilled labour. This distinction is considered to be of prime importance to any developing country where a shortage of skilled staff generally prevails, in contrast to a vast supply of untrained labour.

Bibliography: pages 111-113.