Accreditation of Institutions for Tourism Education in the RSA
Education (and training) for the tourism industry has been available at formal and nonformal educational institutions in South Africa for many years. Very little co-operation between the various institutions has taken place on establishing the educational needs of the industry, and, consequently, courses which range from a few days to three years, have been established with little cognisance of what is available from other sources. As a result of this insular approach to curriculum development, and an inherent sense of superiority by the institutions towards one another, almost no recognition is afforded to students wishing to continue with the studies at another institution, despite similarities in course content. Because of the (some say inspite of) past political policy of this country, only about 0,025 % of the world travelling public visit South Africa. Perhaps because of this isolation, the service offered to the travelling population has been criticised and, compared to world standards, found to be alarmingly poor. The reason for the poor service was perceived to be the fragmented and unco-ordinated education offered by more than 36 educational institutions. A comparative investigation was therefore conducted in five first world and developing countries, into criteria for tourism course development, and subsequent evaluation and accreditation. It was hoped to identify material and approaches which could be incorporated into local tourism courses, leading to an improvement in the service offered by tourism industry employees following international level instruction. A literature study into the importance of the tourism industry for South Africa, particularly the social, cultural, political and economic impacts, was also undertaken, as well as a factual survey on the state of tourism education in South Africa, to assess the relevance of these impacts on tourism.