Guesthouse Manager

Tourism is currently the fastest growing industry in South Africa. Overseas tourists find South Africa sunny, interesting and affordable, which makes it a very appealing holiday destination. Guesthouse accommodation, also referred to as bed and breakfast (B & B), is in high demand due to the general availability, as well as the more personal and informal atmosphere compared to hotels.

Guesthouse managers are in most cases, also the owners of their guesthouses, running their own small business. This therefore requires them to fulfil different roles and perform a variety of duties such as:

Administration: Making of bookings, managing of finances, ordering of supplies etc.

Maintenance: Upkeep of the interior and exterior of the guesthouse, the managing of domestic workers and gardeners

Planning of meals: Developing and compiling of menus, estimating food quantities and costs, purchasing of food supplies, preparation of food and supervision of kitchen helpers

Providing of information: on tourist attractions in the vicinity as well as on personal safety precautions.

Guesthouse managers work with tourists of different cultures and traditions, from all over the world and must, therefore, keep their different needs and requirements in mind.

Personal Requirements

  • able to work with all kinds of people
  • good communication skills
  • very versatile
  • knowledge of South Africa’s places of interest, geography, its unique history, politics and flora and fauna
  • organisational skills
  • interest in food and cooking
  • able to deal with unexpected situations

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

  • National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
  • National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course
Each institution has its own entry requirements.

What to Study

No specific training is required to manage a guesthouse. The courses listed below could provide suitable background:

Courses in Hospitality Management are offered at UJ, CPUT, CUT, DUT, TUT, VUT. Hospitality courses can also be followed at many TVETcolleges, eg. Northlink, Ekurhuleni West, Boland, SW Gauteng, False Bay, Tshwane South, Flavius Mareka.

Guesthouse Management.- Intec College

The Hotel Industries Training Board (HITB) provides in-service training, including the following courses:

  • Hotel management (3 years)
  • Commercial catering and restaurant management (CBMT)
  • Supervisory course
  • Facilitator’s course
  • Professional cookery (3 years)
  • On-the-job instruction course
  • IR course for middle management.
  • Several cooking schools offer appropriate training courses, taking from one to three years.
It is important to ascertain your particular areas of talent and interest. This is because some schools focus on innovative cooking skills, whereas others offer a more rounded approach to cooking, service and catering management.


  • game farms and lodges
  • guesthouses
  • lodges and motels
  • safari lodges
  • SA Tourism Board
  • self-employment, with own guesthouse

Further Information

Tourism Business Council (TBCSA)
3 Amethyst Street, Lyttleton Manor,
Corner of Lenchen Avenue,
Centurion, Pretoria
Centurion, 0046
Tel: (012) 664-0120

Getting Started

  • learn how to cook and practise at home
  • find vacation or part-time work as a kitchen assistant or cook
  • speak to chefs about this type of career and ask to observe them at work

Programmes by Study Institutions

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