Latest News24 April 2013
The SA College for Tourism Tracker Academy continues to successfully train highly skilled trackers who are extremely sought after in the conservation sector. The Academy has shown that traditional tracking skills have a tremendously valuable role to play in modern conservation. Since the Academy’s inception in 2010, 100% of the tracker graduates have found permanent employment in the animal monitoring and habituation, eco-tourism and wildlife protection sectors. Two graduates have even been contracted to start a jaguar habituation project in the Pantanal in Brazil, thus proving that tracking skills can have an impact far beyond the shores of Africa. → read more…
Winner of the 2012 BHP Billiton Achiever Award and the 2012 Mail & Guardian Investing in the Future Education Award
Although Africa currently accounts for only 4% of the global tourism market, the continent’s wealth of natural diversity offers a unique opportunity to expand this market through nature-based tourism. In order to capitalise on the rapid growth of tourism worldwide, ecotourism destinations in Africa – and southern Africa specifically – need professional staff and the necessary infrastructure to cater for those who come to experience Africa’s natural wonders.
The SA College for Tourism has recognised these opportunities and provides professional training for hospitality staff and trackers.
The SA College for Tourism was established in 2001 by Dr Anton Rupert, renowned financier and philanthropist and at the time chairman of Peace Parks Foundation, in partnership with international agencies and public donors. The College operates under the auspices of Peace Parks Foundation and, like the Foundation, supports the principles of responsible tourism while minimising exploitation. It is the first training centre in southern Africa to focus its training programmes on the development of operational and management skills for the lodge and guesthouse industry. In addition, it offers courses in the age-old skill of wildlife tracking to preserve this precious indigenous knowledge. Every year 90 young women and 16 young men – all unemployed and from impoverished rural backgrounds – are sponsored for a year-long training course in hospitality service skills and tracking skills respectively.
One of the outcomes of the establishment of Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs) or peace parks in southern Africa is creating an economically sustainable livelihood for the people living in or adjacent to these parks. It is the aim of the SA College for Tourism to return its graduates to their villages and towns to work in the lodges and guesthouses and for the game reserves that form part of the tourism infrastructure of these peace parks. Upon graduation, these young people are also equipped to establish themselves as entrepreneurs in small tourism businesses.
In 2012 the College won the following two awards:
- BHP Billiton Achiever Award – Best Training Programme: Tourism
- Mail &Guardian Investing in the Future Education Award
Should you like to know more about the SA College for Tourism, please contact André Kilian, Executive Director, on +27 (0)49 892 2244.
If you would like to make a donation to the SA College for Tourism please contact Alrika Hefers on +27 (0)21 880 5141.
Donors supporting the SA College for Tourism
The SA College for Tourism would like to thank the following donors currently supporting its work, as well as past donors listed in previous years' Annual Reviews.
South African supporters
Rupert Nature Foundation
MARSH (incorporating Alexander Forbes Risk Services)
Mrs Wendy Appelbaum
Mr Stephen Falcke
Mrs Erna Meaker
Mr Julian Ogilvie Thompson
Mrs Sally Roux
Koos & Rona Rupert Educational Trust
Mr Francois Smith
Mr JJM (Boetie) and Mrs Caroline van Zyl
Mr Ruggero Magnoni (Italy)
Mr Ueli and Mrs Rosmarie Meier-Berchtold (Switzerland)
Mrs Barabara Pudel (Switzerland/Italy)
Mr Hansjürg and Mrs Franziska Saager (Switzerland)
Mrs Irene Staehelin (Switzerland)