Both NUST and CPUT run hotel schools that are open to the public and serve as training platforms for students in the tourism and hospitality fields. Some of the facilities are run by students with guidance from the staff. Boniface Mbidzo, the Head of Industry Services at the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB), said that despite the financial constraints, the National Development Plan 5 requires the sector to grow the arrival numbers of tourists in Namibia. He further commendsed the initiation of such workshops.
Thembisile Molose, the CPUT Director of Granger Bay (Hotel School) and Dr Tshinakaho Nyathela, a CPUT Senior Research Lecturer, gave detailed presentations of the programmes offered by their university. This includes Master’s and Doctorate programmes in Hospitality and Tourism.
NUST’s programmes are revised every five years to assess curriculum development needs. This workshop enabled staff in the Faculty of Management Sciences to make comparisons with CPUT in order to improve the programmes on offer.
Dr Erling Kavita, an Associate Dean in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism, stated that currently the department offers four programmes and there are hopes to expand this in the near future. Kavita specifically mentioned that the introduction of a Bachelor of Culinary Science is on the cards, a qualification he says the industry desperately needs.
Tourism in Namibia is a major industry contributing billions of dollars to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with over one million tourists visiting Namibia annually. In 2015, an estimated 100 000 jobs were created in the sector. However, there are challenges that pose a threat to the growth industry’s, which include poor customer care and a shortage of skilled personnel. These are some of the challenges NUST aims to address.