Tourism in South Africa has added just over 40 000 new jobs to the economy over the five-year period from 2012 to 2016. Growth in this sector is steadily increasing, thanks to many disruptors in the industry.

As a result of the digital age, hospitality and tourism world-wide is much more accessible and faster; not forgetting cheaper. Africans, for examples, are drastically travelling within their African borders due to the visa-free rules, which means domestic tourism has increased.

Disruptors such as Airbnb and online travel agencies are filling many gaps that have been created by the digital age. This could only mean good news for a millenial jobseeker such as yourself; because tech-savvy - check, innovative - check, and technologically advanced - check!

Here are some tips to make the new digital age of hospitality and tourism work to your favour:

Get a mentor

Jonathan Steyn, convenor of the Wine Business Management programme at University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business; and Graham Wood, partner at hospitality management company PMR Hospitality Partners, say the younger generation and older generation could help each other with skills and knowledge transfer. According to a McKinsey & Company research, successful leadership-development interventions are roughly five times more likely to succeed if they involve senior leaders acting as project sponsors, mentors, and coaches: “Leaders in the industry need to be taught the vernacular of leadership far earlier in their careers and mentors and can help achieve this. Additionally, supportive mentorship can ensure that any formal training is embedded into daily work so that learning can be implemented,” Steyn and Wood say.

Become an influencer

Dawn Robertson, CEO of Gauteng Tourism said in 2013 that the tourism industry needed to capitalize on the ability of bloggers to act as influencers and embrace technology. Five years later, Robertson’s words are still relevant. Social media influencers today have aligned themselves with noteworthy brands to create brand awareness, and employers are also very keen to see what kind of following a potential candidate has. Who knows, you too can become one of 101 top SA bloggers, travel influencers and travel agents who are active on social media.

Don’t stop learning

Just because you’re done with college or varsity, it doesn’t mean the learning stops, especially about your country and your sector. Keeping an eye out for The South Africa Yearbook: Tourism, for example, will expand your knowledge, and help identify many gaps and opportunities in the industry you’re in. It will help you take part in conversations such as Twitter #TravelTuesday, and potential brands and employers will see more value in partnering with you, or even employing you. This downloadable book keeps you up to date with current legislation policies in tourism, it identifies who the key players in tourism are, and keeps you up-to-date with latest travel trends and niche markets in SA.

Image credit: Charis Tsevis