Knysna Tourism is working with the Francois Ferreira Academy, a cookery school based in George, and Skål International Garden Route, to bring a free Tourism Ambassador Course to Knysna.
The three-day course is aimed at staff employed in shops, hotels, petrol stations, restaurants and other relevant tourism-based products, activities and services, to enable them to assist with information about Knysna. It will be run by Debbie Thomas, a lecturer at the Academy, and will cover the following:
• The Travel and Tourism Industry in general
• South African Food Heritage, with an emphasis on local foods and dishes
• General knowledge such as animals and birds in the area
• Garden Route attractions, natural, manmade and cultural
• Knysna attractions
• Knysna festivals
• Knysna restaurants, location and types of food
• Knysna hotels and accommodation establishments, location, price bracket and types of accommodation
• Customer service
• A 4-hour tour of some of Knysna’s attractions
The normal cost of the course is R1,000 per person but, thanks to sponsorship from Skål, the fees have been waived and the course will be free. All applicants will be interviewed on 26 February at 10:00 at the Knysna Municipal Library and 20 will be selected for the course, which will take place on 7, 8 and 9 March.
The trainees should already be employed as they will not receive a salary for being an ambassador although, where relevant, they may receive tips from visitors they have assisted with information. The daily programme will include a light lunch and tea and coffee.
The students will be required to write a short test on completion of the course, in order to receive a certificate from the Francois Ferreira Academy. They will also be required to do a refresher one-day course every six months to keep them up to date with changes, new attractions and so on. The one day course will cost R300.
On successfully completing the course, participants will be given a Knysna Ambassador badge with the Knysna Tourism logo, and a sticker for the establishment they work for, to say that they belong to the Tourism Ambassador Programme.
The course will be introduced to towns and cities across the Garden Route. Chairperson Elmay Bouwer said that Knysna Tourism is very pleased to support a programme which encourages locals to be Knysna Ambassadors.
“It’s not just a great service for our tourists, but these motivated ambassadors could use their training to get better jobs at higher salaries,” she said.
Potential applicants for the course should contact Thandeka at the Francois Ferreira Academy on 044 884 0765.