Head of Tourism, Kahuzi-Biega à Tshivanga
Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Location: Tshivanga, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBNP), DRC
- Reports To: Park Director
- Collaborators: Site Manager, Program Manager, Communications and marketing staff, Logistics, Protection, Administration and Finance, and other departments and teams as needed
- Direct Reports: All staff in Tourism Department
- Start Date: ASAP
The primary objective of the Head of Tourism is to lead the tourism team in the delivery of a professional tourism service in KBNP. The Head of Tourism will be responsible to strengthen the tourism program within the park following the results of a 2022 tourism evaluation and strategy for KBNP.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has been active in Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBNP) since the early 1950s. Since the 2000s WCS have been providing technical support to ICCN (Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature) – the government agency responsible for protected areas and wildlife – in managing the Park and supporting local livelihood and land tenure programs for communities and civil society living around the Park. IN 2022 WCS and ICCN signed a 10-year public-private partnership (PPP), which delegates management of the KBNP to WCS, through the Park Management Unit (PMU). The PMU is led by the Park Director and is the executive body in charge of all day-to-day management activities, operations and personnel in the KBNP. The Head of Tourism is one of six Heads of Department in the PMU. The Head of Tourism is based on site at the Park headquarters in Tshivanga, South Kivu Province. The KBNP has a large staff of more than 300, and the number will keep increasing throughout the duration of the partnership.
The expansion of tourism is a top strategic priority for the park, both for sustainable financing of Park operations, and also as an important source of revenue that can be shared with local communities. The KBNP presents a challenging environment and an incredibly promising opportunity; the candidate will need to clearly demonstrate they have the necessary experience and skills with which to manage and grow a complex program.
The Head of Tourism will work closely with the Park Director, Site Manager and Program Manager, to manage the existing tourism services within the park and strengthen and expand tourism operations. This will include tourism related infrastructure, products and services, habituation of great apes, and relationships with the private sector. The Head of Tourism will also need to work closely with communications and marketing staff to increase and improve communications and marketing of the park in relation to tourism.
Leadership and team management
- Build and oversee a diverse tourism team and provide capacity building and mentoring to team members as required
- Encourage a culture of professionalism, participatory learning and adaptive problem solving, so that team members create and deliver improved tourism services
- Maintain strong working relationships with the Park Director, Deputy Park Director, Site Manager and Program Manager, and other park departments as needed
- Provide day to day management for the tourism team (visitors management and reservations, receptionist, park guides, relationships manager) and habituation teams (habituation officers and trackers), formed of both ICCN and WCS staff
- Oversee a program of recruitment and professional training for tourism staff, ensuring opportunities for indigenous peoples and women within the tourism team’s expanding workforce
- Participate in annual park operational planning and lead quarterly and monthly work planning for the tourism team
- Oversee the adaptive implementation of recommendations within the 2022 KBNP tourism evaluation to enhance and expand delivery of tourism in KBNP, and update the park’s tourism strategy as needed
- Supervise and guide all tourism related activities and services in KBNP, including habituation teams and activities, administration and visitor management, maintenance of tourism related infrastructure and transportation, tourism communications and marketing, and management of relationships with the private sector
- Coordinate closely with other park departments to ensure tourism services are delivered on time and to a high standard (e.g. logistics and infrastructure for transportation, maintenance and
- Assess the park’s tourism needs on a regular basis and communicate these needs to the PMU, Site Manager and Program Manager
- Support the development of tourism related guidelines, protocols and standard operating procedures (e.g. related to health and service delivery) and lead the development of agreements with tour operators and other private sector stakeholders
- Oversee a professional marketing campaign to increase tourism within KBNP, contracting out specific tasks as needed and in accordance with WCS policies and procedures
Reporting and communications
- Provide substantive inputs to regular donor progress reports in relation to tourism activities and deliverables
- Contribute to fundraising proposals for the tourism portfolio
- Work closely with the communications department to produce tourism communications as needed (e.g. flyers, brochures, public tariffs, social and other media)
- Engage with private sector stakeholders as needed in line with the tourism strategy, including existing and potential tour operators and service providers
- Represent the park in tourism related forums as required, such as conferences, fairs, exchanges and other public events
- Liaise and maintain productive relationships with NGO partners supporting tourism and habituation within KBNP to coordinate work under one operational plan
- At least 5 to 10 years’ experience in tourism management in Africa, with experience in Central Africa highly desirable
- Proven ability to manage, motivate, and train a team of field personnel
- Experience in delivering tourism services in protected areas preferred
- Knowledge of great ape habituation and tourism a strong advantage
- Proven ability to work sensitively with diverse groups of people such as those of different cultures, nationalities and backgrounds
- Excellent written and spoken communication skills in French and English
- Proven ability at developing work plans and budgets, and producing progress updates
- Strong commitment to wildlife conservation
- Proactive, resilient, team-oriented, creative, and ambitious
- Willingness to live in a multicultural environment
How to apply
Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, skills and experience, should apply through the application tab below by September 15, 2023.
WCS is an equal opportunity employer dedicated to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and look for future team members who share that same value.