Shireen Onia is a serial entrepreneur, training and development enthusiast and motivational speaker. But her favourite titles are wife and boy mom! She has an eye for local food, fashion and travel influenced by an illustrious career in tourism, travel, hospitality, property and customer service dating more than 20 years back. Shireen has owned and operated businesses within the Property, Marketing and Fast Food sectors and she is determined to revolutionise every industry she enters by offering unique and exciting products which inspire! Her property company, Propati, takes the hassle out of managing your Airbnb listing, while its sister company Propa-Clean allows individuals to enhance their career as domestic workers or office cleaners through detailed and relevant training courses. Shireen has also developed highly competitive packages with numerous advantages for individual, team and organisational growth and development through her change management company, ServiceGurus, which has long been known as a trusted training provider in the hospitality and tourism sector. Shireen is known for her professional demeanour and high standards along with her passion for mental health advocacy and personal growth. We spoke with Shireen to learn more about her journey.
How did you get started in the tourism sector?
I completed my first preliminary wine course at Cape Wine Academy in 1999 followed by a National Diploma in Hospitality Management at Granger Bay Hotel School in 2001 and got my first taste of hospitality as a service ambassador at Balducci’s. There have been many qualifications and courses in between but my proudest achievement is working from top to tail in some of the most prestigious establishments including Primi World, Cape Grace Hotel, Cape Milner Hotel, Table Bay Hotel, Emperors Palace, and even Boca West Country Club – Florida, USA. It is this hands-on experience that has made me so passionate about delivering world-class service!
What is your advice for women starting out in the tourism sector?
Life – not just tourism – is filled with ups and downs. You’ve got to be assertive, educate yourself continuously, work smart and surround yourself with a tribe that supports your purpose.
What are your top-3 must-do activities when visiting or exploring the Western Cape?
I love visiting different wine farms, especially those that are kid-friendly. When experiencing local restaurants, I go for those that offer consistently good food and customer services like Four And Twenty Cafe. I am also a very adventurous restaurant hopper and love to try different cuisines and experiences – highly recommend Kloof Street House.
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