A busy few weeks under the belt for the Tourism Boot Campers . They completed their technical training in week 3 at the state of the art HBS e-Learning hub, kindly hosted by the V&A Waterfront . Thank you to Chrissy from Earthstompers Adventures for giving of her time to train the candidates on excel costing, budgeting and email formulation. This training is invaluable and so pivotal for their future roles in the Tourism Industry.
Week 4, by far the most fun section of the course, sees them gaining first had experience on what is on offer at the Cape Town Attractions. We would like to express our gradidute to our Industry partners that support this initiative by waivering entrances fees and sharing their inspirational stories of their career jounery.
Danchwa Cloete, Learning and development Coordinator from Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company entertained them with his quirky sense of humour and stories about the strange habits of their visitors. He encouraged them to apply for positions via their anual seasonal recrutiment drive.
Fikile Sizwenya, Visitor Services at the Two Oceans Aquarium guided the excited candidates around their exhibts sharing his vast knowledge of marine life. He inspired them with his success story of starting off as a security guard and working his way up the ranks to become a full time Visitors Services employer.
Yolande West , Sales Manager, Tsogo Sun shared insights and opportunities within the Hotel Industry and guided the Boot Campers around their establishments in the city centre. The candidates now understand and are able to differentiate between the different star grading and room types of the different hotels. Yolande mentioned that one can only succeed if one is prepared to work hard, go the extra mile and always put the guest first.
The rest of the week sees them enjoying the splendour of the Cape Winelands and Cape Peninsula, guided by freelance Tour Guide, Nicole Van Heerden. The final assesment will be an oral presenetation of all their educational experiences which we aim to post on next week’s blog. Watch this space to see who made it through….
The focus for Week Two was to consult on more complex Cape Town itineraries and to upskill the candidates with front of house, oral presentation skills, attentive listening and critical thinking skills. We would once again like to thank our Industry Partners who gave of their time this week to lecture in their area of expertise.
Clive from Cape Town Tour Guide delivered a presentation on customising tour options in and around the Western Cape. From archaeological tours of the West Coast Fossil Park to private photography tours of the Cape Peninsula. He gave an overview of what type of specialised tours they may have to deal with in their future positions as reservations reservations consultants.
Mpumelelo Sefalane, the Community Organiser from Airbnb South Africa shared some inspiration for the more entrepreneurial minded candidates. He explained the co-hosting upliftment program which they have undertaken in the communities and encouraged the candidates to attend the meet-up which is taking place at Bandwidth Barn in Khayelitsha on Wednesday 28th April.
On Wednesday 21 March, Human rights day the candidates headed out on a self discovery tour of the Cape Town City Centre and the V&A Waterfront. The candidates were tasked to visit and enquire on entrance fees and opening times of various attractions and restaurants in and around the CBD. Their presentation skills were put to the test when they were requested to verbally present their feedback and experience of their city tour.
The week ended with an oral assessment moderated by Quintin from Bikes’n Wines and Pieter Geldenhuys, PG Tops and Travel. The candidates needed to confidently model a physical client interaction consultation for a customised three day itinerary in Cape Town including additional activities and restaurant bookings.
Congratulations to Baxolise, Nosiphelo, Thandokazi and Una and who have progressed to Week 3 of Tourism Boot Camp 3.0. We wish them all the best with the technical training where they will sharpen up their computer and excel skills.
The third Tourism Boot Camp commenced on Monday 12 March at PG Tops and Travel office’s with six eager candidates ready to take up the challenge of learning practical skills to better prepare them for their careers in the Tourism Industry.
The candidates who hail from Khayelitsha, Namibia, Observatory, Kraaifontein and Bellville South unanimously agreed that the main reason they applied to Tourism Boot Camp is to help them get jobs in the Tourism Industry as most of them do not have any work experience in the Industry.
Baxolise Mahasha, who is originally from Gauteng has returned for her second attempt even more determined to succeed this time around. She says she is more confident and more geared up in terms of what is expected of her this time around. She aspires to pursue a career as a Reservations Consultant.
The first week’s course curriculum covered Cape Town Tours and Logistics training by Pieter Geldenhuys, Monade van Eeden and Lauren-Lee Isaacs from PG Tops and Travel. In depth training of the Cape Town highlights included : Cape Peninsula tour, Cape Town City Center tour, Langa Township, Robben Island Tour , Aquilla Safari and the Cape Winelands.
Zile’ de Kock from Marine Dynamics orientated the candidates on the Shark cage diving and Whale watching tours offered in Gansbaai and Hermanus. Thank you once again for your time, Zile the girls found your session very informative and are very excited about the possibility of doing an educational in the not too distant future.
The candidates were taught the the core principles of consulting which they readily applied to their timelines and consults as part of their Friday assessment. The good news is that all six candidates have made it through to week two where they will be trained on Front of House, Oral Presentation skills, Attentive Listening and Critical Thinking Skills. They will also be addressed by AirBNB, Capetowntourguide.com and their week 2 assessment will be done in conjunction with Bikes n Wines.
Congratulations to the Tourism Boot Camp candidates who graduated last week, we are so proud of you: Anathi Maqolo, Zintle Mtsi, Zikhona Dunga and Kamva Deliwe.
We wish them all the success with the first step of their journey into the Tourism Industry. Their two week practical placements started this week and this is where they are at:
Anathi, has been placed at Giltedge for the two week period where she was shadowing in the Golf and Sports Department for her first week.
“I was nervous at first but I did okay,” says Anathi of her first day at Giltedge. “They are letting me in on their admin work for consultants where I am checking availability for golf tee-off times, accommodation, restaurants and transfers.” Anathi also spent a week with the team of the Zambezi Queen, a related business. She has now been offered a contract as an admin assistant with PG TOPS Travel and Tours.
Zintle has been offered a 6 month internship contract at Wesgroin the Leisure Tourism Department. She sent us a message to let us know that: ” My first day at Wesgro went really well. Everyone here is super friendly and I even got to meet the CEO, Tim Harris. I am very happy.”
Zikhona is enjoying the busy environment of the Bikes&Winesoffice where she has stepped in to assist with reservations and administrative work . Industry partner Quintin Smith has generously assisted Boot Camp for fleshing out our customer service component, based on the onboarding process for Zikhona in their retail space. Although she is not yet riding a bike she says she will be a pro once she gets used to all the work, look out for her on the trails!
Kamva did her internship with Once in Cape Town. They were suitably impressed, and she has interviewed for the duty manager position. She is on the look out for a visitors services or front of house position in the industry where she can share her outgoing nature and welcoming smile with visitors. Watch this space….
The final week of the classroom training concluded on Friday. The week primarily consisted of a focus on technical skill sets.
We thank the V&A Waterfront for generously offering the use of their HBS E-Learning Centre for the technical training. Chrissy Human from Earthstompers Tours once again gave generously of her time to train Zintle, Zikhona, Anathi and Kamva in both the art of building multiple day costings from the ground up, as well as incorporating those costings into the client facing consulting process.
This was hard work, so the gang was quite happy to break in the half week for a quick trip up Table Mountain, courtesy of the good folks at the Table Mountain Cableway.
By Thursday, PG took over to complete the Bootcamper training, where profitability on quotes, distinction between RACK and STO rates and competitive pricing practice was woven into the methodology.
PG and Leanne also played UBER driver for the candidates to ensure they make it to their various industry appointments. Week 5 sees Anathi (Giltedge), Zikhona (Bikes n Wines) placed with industry partners, with Zintle and Kamva hoping to be placed in due course.
A big thank you to all our industry partners for all your inputs!
Week 3 of Tourism Boot Camp was a busy and fun week for the four candidates that progressed through to this stage. By far the highlight of the course to date since the candidates had the opportunity to experience first hand the amazing Cape Town’s highlights on their educational trips.
Thank you to Two Oceans Aquarium for hosting a behind-the-scenes tour of their incredible facilities. Ingrid and Jenni from Two Oceans Aquarium guided them around and shared their vast knowledge of both the exhibitions and the Tourism Industry.
The candidates were then accompanied by Jessy Lipperts, from Planet Pilgrims on a city walking city tour where they got to take in the sights of the City Hall, Green Market Square and the Company Gardens. Thank you Jessy for enlightening the group on the cultural and historic landmarks in the CBD.
PG Tops and Travel’s Johan was the guide on their Cape Peninsula Tour the following day. He related well to the group, being a successful Boot Camper himself. After a scenic day out the candidates freshened up at their overnight accommodation. Thank you to the team at Once in Cape Town who kindly sponsored their overnight stay so that they could attend the industry launch event.
The launch event, held at the office of Classic Portfolios at The Africa Hub was a great opportunity for the prospective employers to meet the candidates ahead of their two week practical placement which starts next week 12-23 February.
To end off their busy day the group was treated to an authentic African dining experience hosted by Gold Restaurant. Thank you for your generous hospitality, it was an unforgettable experience.
The following day the group headed to Gansbaai to do the Whale Watching Tour with Marine Dynamics. The weather played along beautifully and the boat trip was a first for most of the candidates.
Activities, restaurants and combination tours were the focus of week two’s curriculum. The Boot Campers learnt about various activities that are offer on in Cape Town, Winelands and Overberg in order to increase the product offering and learn the skill of upselling.
A special note of thanks to the Industry partners who gave of their time this week:
Clive De Bruyne, owner of The Cape Town Tour Guide Co, certified private tour guide and travel consultant shared his extensive knowledge on customizing itineraries and special niche offerings.
The Boot Campers were tasked to work on real examples of email enquiries which gave them a realistic insight into the specialrequests and complexities that high season can add to logistics. The timeline and consults involved complex itineraries and called on them to use their initiative and knowledge.
Zikhona Dunga, originally from Queenstown in the Eastern Cape says the highlight for her so far on Boot Camp is learning the four principles of consulting and applying them to her life and career knowledge. Kamva Deline from Capricorn Park, Muizenberg adds that she has learnt to make timelines within a consult which will stand her in good stead for future work opportunities.
And how are the boot campers feeling after two weeks…
“ I have gained so much knowledge within a short period of time. It has been challenging, but a kind of challenge which motivates me to want to understand the industry more” says Zintle Mtsi from Guguletu. Anathi Maqolo from St Francis echoes her sediments and says she is feeling confident and has learnt a lot.
Well done to all that made it through to this week which will be a week full of exciting educationals.
The second Tourism Boot Camp kicked off on Monday 15 January at the PG Tops offices. Six eager candidates from Langa, Masiphumelele, Muizenberg, Kraaifontein and Gugulethu arrived to begin their journey in the Tourism Industry.
The recruits arrived somewhat reserved, but by the end of the first week there is a great vibe in the classroom and they are all finding their grove, growing in confidence and soaking up the knowledge.
A high standard has been set with the average of the mid-week assessment coming in at 87%. Well done and keep it up! Thank you to our industry partners who have offered of their time to deliver the course content, we really appreciate your efforts. A special mention of thanks this week to:
Pieter Geldenhuys, from PG Tops and founder of Tourism Boot Camp who has lead the classroom sessions covering: core principles of consulting and product training on Cape Town highlights, Cape Peninsula tours and the Winelands.
Bianca and Imogen from Luxury safaris who shared their knowledge and passion for the Cape Winelands and local safaris to include Aquilla and Sanbona.
Zile De Kock from Marine Dynamics who orientated the students on Whale watching and Shark cage diving in the Overberg.
We look forward to introducing the candidates who successfully progress through the weekly assessments at the Industry launch event on 31st January 2018.
Applications are now open for the next course commencing on 12 March 2018. Apply now.
Leanne Knorr has recently joined the PG TOPS team to spearhead the Boot Camp Initiative. Leanne shares our passion for building local talent as opposed to deploying foreign interns. We believe there is space for both, and she is determined to find and develop our best young people.
Leanne is excited to be pursuing a career where she can combine her Marketing, Tourism and Project Management experience. Her career spans over 18 years in the tourism industry, including being part of the FIFA World Cup Event team as Cape Town Tourism ‘s World Cup Marketing Manager. Other highlights of her career include being part of the campaign team behind having Table Mountain awarded as a New7Wonder of Nature.
Leanne describes herself as an adventurer. Having travelled extensively for over 10 years, in South East Asia, Europe, the United States and Israel, during which time she swept streets, picked tomatoes, worked as a chef on a yacht in the Caribbean, spent time at a ski resort and did some office work. Leanne says she is glad to be settled in the Western Cape and fulfilling a meaningful role within the Tourism sector.
Her core personal values are undoubtedly trust, respect and honesty. She works hard at maintaining a well-structured life and work balance and when she’s not at work you will find her chasing waves, riding her mountain bike or running up the mountains.
Among the things she likes most about PG Tops and Travel so far are her cool boss, great colleagues and the relaxed yet buzzing work environment . She says “ I am honoured to be part of the Tourism Boot Camp team and will thrive on implementing this well -structured strategy to leverage all platforms to create awareness and publicity to support this incredible opportunity offered to our youth wishing to pursue a career in the Tourism Industry”.
We are recruiting for the next Tourism Boot Camp which kicks off on 15 January 2018.
Apply now if you are looking for an opportunity to fast track your career into the Tourism Industry or if your organization would like to offer the successful applicants a practical orientation with a view for future employment.
The classroom sessions will be held at the PG Tops offices from 9-4pm Monday through to Friday. Our process is constructed on a week-by-week basis with a progression test to continue through to the next week . The ultimate aim is to place the successful candidates within the Tourism Industry for practical experience and possible future employment.
The structure for the 6- week program follows:
WEEK 1: TOURS PORTFOLIO (CAPE TOWN BASED)
WEEK 2: ACTIVITIES PORTFOLIO (CAPE TOWN BASED)
WEEK 3: RESERVATIONS PROTOCOLS, EDUCATIONALS and INTRODUCTION TO PRICING
WEEK 4: PRESENTATION SKILLS AND TECHNICAL TRAINING (CONSULT FOCUSED)
WEEK 5 & 6: INDUSTRY PLACEMENT (INTERNSHIP)
The course is completely free of charge and whereas there is no guarantee of future employment the experience and knowledge you will gain will be invaluable for future progression in the Tourism Industry.
Applications are limited and will close on 15 December 2017.