Tourism is currently the fastest growing industry in South Africa. Overseas tourists find South Africa sunny, interesting and affordable, which makes it a very appealing holiday destination. Guesthouse accommodation, also referred to as bed and breakfast (B & B), is in high demand due to the general availability, as well as the more personal and informal atmosphere compared to hotels.
Guesthouse managers are in most cases, also the owners of their guesthouses, running their own small business. This therefore requires them to fulfil different roles and perform a variety of duties such as:
- Administration: making of bookings, managing of finances, ordering of supplies etc.
- Maintenance: upkeep of the interior and exterior of the guesthouse, the managing of domestic workers and gardeners
- Planning of meals: developing and compiling of menus, estimating food quantities and costs, purchasing of food supplies, preparation of food and supervision of kitchen helpers
- Providing of information: on tourist attractions in the vicinity as well as on personal safety precautions.
Guesthouse managers work with tourists of different cultures and traditions, from all over the world and must, therefore, keep their different needs and requirements in mind.
- creating a 'home from home' atmosphere for guests
- becoming friends with repeat visiting guests
- the possibility of being self-employed and receiving compliments.
- the pressure and stress of peak seasons
- juggling menus to provide good food at reasonable costs
- working some evenings, holidays and weekends
- dealing with dissatisfied or overly critical guests
A guesthouse manager should:
- be able to work with all kinds of people;
- have good communication skills;
- be very versatile;
- have a knowledge of South Africa's places of interest, geography, its unique history, politics and flora and fauna;
- have organizational skills;
- have an interest in food and cooking;
- be able to deal with unexpected situations.
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course
Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.
Compulsory Subjects: English
Recommended Subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Consumer Studies, Tourism, Economics
No specific training is required to manage a guesthouse. The courses listed below could provide suitable background:
Courses in Hospitality Management are offered at UJ, CPUT, CUT, DUT, TUT, VUT. Hospitality courses can also be followed at many FET colleges, eg. Northlink, Ekurhuleni West, Boland, SW Gauteng, False Bay, Tshwane South, Flavius Mareka.
Intec College runs a course - Guesthouse Management.
The Hotel Industries Training Board (HITB) provides in-service training, including the following courses:
- Hotel management (3 years)
- Commercial catering and restaurant management (CBMT)
- Supervisory course
- Facilitator's course
- Professional cookery (3 years)
- On-the-job instruction course
- IR course for middle management.
Several cooking schools offer appropriate training courses, taking from one to three years.
It is important to ascertain your particular areas of talent and interest. This is because some schools focus on innovative cooking skills, whereas others offer a more rounded approach to cooking, service and catering management.
- Game farms and lodges
- Lodges and motels
- Safari lodges
- SA Tourism Board
- Self-employment, with own guest-house
Tourism Business Council (TBCSA)
P O Box 11655
245 End Avenue
Tel: (012) 654-7525 Fax: (012) 654-7394