Practitioners' passion for local tourism reignited

Posted on October 28, 2015

Senior tourism officials from around South Africa enjoyed the opportunity to be part of an energetic tour to Freedom Park in Pretoria as a practical component of the Capacity Building for Tourism Practitioners course presented by the Continuing Education at the University of Pretoria Trust (CE at UP).

Having the opportunity to be on the opposite end of the tourism chain and experiencing being cultural tourists themselves, it was an opportune moment to note what they could do in practice to improve their own work in promoting their respective tourist destinations.

Ms Mavis Chavalala, Tourism Officer at Bela-Bela Local Municipality, reflected on her participation: ‘Although I did tourism in school, things keep on changing. I have learned things I did not know before and even ways of doing things better.’

She added that the tour helped delegates even more than expected, as they have had to learn how other practitioners work. ‘The tour was very relevant and it was nice getting to experience what it is like being on the other side.’

Freedom Park is a centre of knowledge that aims to deepen the understanding of South Africans as a diverse yet unified nation. It strives to accommodate all of the country's experiences and symbols in order to relate a single, coherent story while celebrating the ideals of liberty, diversity and human rights. Freedom Park houses a museum and a memorial dedicated to chronicling and honouring those who contributed to South Africa's liberation and continual development.

Mfundo Ngcangca, Acting Registrar at the Department of Tourism in the Free State, was also pleased with the experience and knowledge gained. ‘It’s good to revise what you have done in the past so that you can go back to the community and implement those changes,’ he said. Speaking on the tour, he added that he was impressed and challenged to ensure improvement back [in the Free State]. ‘We need to ensure that the people responsible for tours are innovative and must provide historic and accurate information to tourists.’

Also commenting on her experience of the course, Nandipha Conjwa, Tourism Officer at Ugu South Coast Tourism, stated, ‘I really enjoyed the course, especially dealing with legislation. It helped me remember some things I had forgotten.’ She recommends the course to everyone working in tourism and said that she would share what she has learnt with her colleagues back home.


The Capacity Building for Tourism Practitioners course was presented by CE at UP as an in-house training solution for the National Department of Tourism. The department nominated tourism practitioners from local and district municipalities, as well as provincial departments from around the country, to brush up on their tourism skills. For more information on courses presented by CE at UP, visit


- Author CE at UP

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