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Demand for executive hotel managers in Africa
The significant rise in the African middle class across the continent is giving more exposure to the hotel industry and creating rising demand for employment in the sector.
At the recent Meetings Africa Conference, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom said in his opening address that arrivals to South Africa from other countries in Africa grew by 11% in 2016, while overseas arrivals increased by 18%.
“Travel and tourism now contributes around 3.3% to Africa’s GDP, and supports over nine million jobs directly, or 3% of total employment. The World Travel and Tourism Council forecasts that the number of jobs in tourism will grow this year,” said Hanekom.
This has led HVS Consulting, the global hospitality-consulting firm, to open a branch of HVS Executive Search Africa. Based in Cape Town, HVS ES focuses on corporate positions, general managers and heads of department in the hotel industry across the continent.
“One of the challenges of running hotels in Africa is finding good quality staff. Then once you’ve found them, you’ve got to retain them because with the huge number of hotels opening up across the continent, they can always be poached for better conditions, or slightly higher salaries. So you can spend a lot of time and money training staff, but the minute another hotel opens, they’re looking to poach the good staff,” said Tim Smith, managing partner at HVS in Cape Town.
Smith says the huge amount of churn and lack of staff loyalty in the industry is mostly due to the fact that a lot of staff are not properly looked after. “Taking care of staff builds staff loyalty, which reduces the cost of recruitment and promotes rising service levels. This impacts positively on the guest experience, making it a long-term driver of revenue,” he says.