Two hundred and ten new graduates have joined the tourism sector as Mpumalanga Tourism Monitors, following the completion of their safety and guiding training.

Their role is to enhance safety awareness at key tourist destinations and reduce crime aimed at tourists, providing rapid response to criminal activity for visitors to the province.

A graduation ceremony for the cadets hosted by the Tourism Department took place on Friday in Nelspruit.

“Skills development is an essential instrument to address poverty alleviation and job creation. The Tourism Monitors Programme is part of the broader government intervention that involves training, mentorship and deployment of unemployed youth in identified tourism attractions and sites,” said Deputy Minister of Tourism, Fish Mahlalela, while addressing the graduates.

The department launched the Tourism Monitors Programme in the 2017/2018 financial year, initially in Gauteng, before extending it to all nine provinces.

“As Mpumalanga we are excited to be part of this initiative that offers young people an opportunity to participate and benefit from the development opportunities in the tourism sector. The exposure of these young people through this programme has empowered them with work experience through placement at various tourist attractions within the province,” says Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency CEO, Johannes Nobunga.