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Thriving in the Hospitality Arena: Not for the Faint-Hearted



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Simphiwe Dlamini, a passionate lecturer at the IIE School of Hospitality and Service Management in Rosebank, believes that the hospitality industry is not for the faint-hearted. Based in Kempton Park, she emphasises that thriving in hospitality demands patience, resilience, passion, and hard work.

With six years of industry experience and an additional six years as an academic lecturer, Dlamini is committed to furthering her academic journey. Planning to complete her Master’s degree next year, she aims to enrol in PhD studies to assume more senior roles in academia.

Dlamini sees substantial growth potential in the hospitality industry, especially considering South Africa winning the prestigious award for the best country in the 2023 Telegraph Travel Awards. SA’s diverse landscapes, cultural heritage, wildlife, and adventure tourism offerings position the hospitality sector for significant growth.

While recognising that the industry traditionally values attitude and trains for skill, Dlamini notes a growing demand for educated staff with the right skills. She suggests aspiring professionals should consider pursuing degrees and diplomas in hospitality to meet this demand.

Dlamini underscores the importance of innovation, sustainability, and service excellence in maintaining the industry’s growth trajectory. Leveraging South Africa’s unique offerings, she envisions continued attraction of visitors, contributing to economic development and creating more job opportunities.


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When asked about her role at the IIE School of Hospitality and Service Management, Dlamini highlights the institution’s emphasis on a professional campus culture, broad industry knowledge, and skill development. She encourages prospective students not to fear the industry but to embrace the challenge.

The school prepares students by blending theory with practical experience, sending them into the industry to work on essential skills. Dlamini advises students on ownership, preparation, and learning readiness, highlighting the importance of daily planning.

Reflecting on her mentors, Dlamini acknowledges industry leader Thuthukile Moloto, General Manager at the Protea Hotel by Marriott Durban, Umhlanga. She rates the South African hospitality industry as excellent, offering brilliant job opportunities and economic benefits.

Regarding future qualifications for managerial positions, Dlamini predicts that MBAs will become increasingly important in the next five years. Stressing the centrality of service management in the hospitality industry, she notes that service is the product offering, making it the core of the industry’s existence.


When describing the key attributes of a good hospitalian, Dlamini underscores professionalism, effective communication, outspokenness, and relevant experience. For those considering a career in hospitality, she concludes with a simple yet profound insight: “If you love it, then you can do it. Anybody can academically pass hospitality, but it is those who have the heart for service who win in this industry.”

Source: Hospitality industry is not for the faint-hearted

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Picture: Supplied by African Reporter


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