Can Artificial Intelligence Help Pinch Poachers?
31 October 2019
The SA College for Tourism is a non-profit organisation established in 2001 by renowned financier and philanthropist Dr Anton Rupert. It provides professional training to young unemployed women from impoverished rural backgrounds, equipping them to take up skilled positions in the nature-based tourism industry.
The college trains 90+ young women in hospitality skills each year, with more than 92% finding permanent employment in their field once they graduate.
A recent visit by the 2019 ROAR Africa Women Empowerment group to the College’s Hospitality Training campus in Graaff-Reinet, allowed students to showcase their newly learnt skills. Upon arrival, guests were greeted with a welcome song and treated to a delicious high tea prepared by the students. After a tour of the campus, they were escorted to the Drostdy Hotel where they stayed for the duration of their visit to the Karoo. Currently, 80% of the hotel’s employees are graduates from the SA College for Tourism’s hospitality training division which provided guests with a glimpse into how professional the women are upon completion of their studies.
In addition to hospitality training, the college provides training to young men and women in the age-old art of wildlife tracking through its Tracker Academy, as well as eco-herding skills through a newly launched Herding Academy where the ancient skill of herding livestock is used to sustainably preserve nature. At the nearby St Olives Farm, the ROAR group was treated to a “sheep safari” during which they were introduced to the work of the Herding academy and met trainee herders, most of whom are women.
Andre Kilian, Executive Director of the SA College for Tourism says, “The interaction between the trainees and the ROAR group was definitely mutually beneficial. The visitors spoke highly of the programmes and felt inspired. The students, on the other hand, met a group of inspirational women, many who are leaders and influencers in their own right. This provided our trainees with inspiration and introduced them to a world of possibilities that lie ahead of them.”
Upon completion of their training, SA College for Tourism graduates are able to return to their communities as entrepreneurs with small tourism businesses or to work as part of the local eco-tourism industry within or around conservation areas.
The SA College for Tourism operates under the auspices of Peace Parks Foundation.