Tourism Boot Camp 2018 kicks off

tourism boot camp

The second Tourism Boot Camp kicked off on Monday 15 January at the PG Tops offices. Tourism Boot Camp aims to bridge the skills gap for unemployed youth through skills transfer and industry placement.

South Africa has over 60% youth unemployment. Despite this, the tourism sector is struggling to find capable travel professionals to service this growing and essential sector of the economy.

This untenable situation is now being addressed by Pieter Geldenhuys, founder of PG TOPS Travel and Tours. The boutique operator has been operating in Cape Town since 2008, and has successfully trained numerous young people who had no industry experience prior to joining PG TOPS Travel and Tours.

Pieter is now translating this model into Tourism Boot Camp, a social initiative aiming to upskill unemployed tourism graduates. During the program they will be armed with the final practical requirements to get them closer to gainful employment. Disillusioned job seekers, new entrants and candidates lost to industry will be given the necessary skills during a grueling four-week practical course at the PG TOPS office, close to Cape Town International Airport. They will then be placed with industry partners for medium-term paid internships, with the prospect of long-term employment.

About the Tourism Boot Camp course

Applicants are pre-screened and 10 successful candidates are then admitted to the course every two months. Tourism Bootcamp follows a week-by-week format, where candidates need to successfully pass the weekly written examination in order to proceed to the next week. The format is as follows:

  • WEEK 1: Cape Town touring options
  • WEEK 2: Cape Town activity options
  • WEEK 3: Practical site visits, guest lectures from different industry sectors, office protocols
  • WEEK 4: Technical and presentation training, communication skills, consulting introduction
  • WEEK 5-6: In-industry placement

The course is currently wholly funded by PG TOPS Travel and Tours. Industry response has been positive and quality candidates are lining up to take on the challenge during Tourism Boot Camp.

Contact Pieter Geldenhuys or Leanne Knorr (Project Manager): or 021 380 0266 for more details. Tourism Boot Camp: PG TOPS Travel and Tours:

Applications are now open for the next course commencing on 12 March 2018. Apply now.

2018’s first intake

Six eager candidates from Langa, Masiphumelele, Muizenberg, Kraaifontein and Gugulethu arrived to begin their journey in the tourism industry.

tourism boot camp
A new intake of fresh faces with tourism-friendly smiles

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.

tourism boot camp
Pieter Geldenhuys from PG Tops and Zile de Kock from Marine Dynamics share their knowledge on tourism in the Western Cape

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.
tourism boot camp
The class listens attentively

We look forward to introducing the candidates who successfully progress through the weekly assessments at the industry launch event on 31 January 2018.