This signified the completion of the first phase of a research project entitled, ‘Understanding the Concept of Cross-Border Guiding in Southern Africa’ which was commissioned by the NDT.
The chief researcher, Mr Richard Wyllie and one of the supervisors, Prof Karen Harris (both of the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies), gave an insightful presentation which was very well received. Other team members include Prof Chris Boonzaaier (Department of Anthropology and Archaeology), Ms Alida Green (UP Archives) and Ms Chanel Turner (Department of Historical and Heritage Studies). The research on cross-border guiding, which began in July 2012, is a relatively new concept in tourism studies and it has the potential to expand over a number of years. The purpose of this study is to create an understanding of cross-border tourism and guiding specifically in southern Africa with a view to make recommendations on a harmonised regulatory and training framework for this form of guiding in southern Africa.
Professor Harris was originally approached by Ambassador Kingsley Makhubela (Director General of NDT) as well as Mr Bernhard Meyer (Chief Director: Research and Knowledge Management) in 2011 to collaborate on a ground-breaking research project concerning cross-border tourism in southern Africa. The high calibre and professionalism of student graduates from Heritage and Cultural Tourism working in the field made the University of Pretoria an obvious choice.
The Department of Historical and Heritage Studies has signed a four-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the NDT. This partnership involves partnering with national government to undertake research projects regarding the development and expansion of cross-border tourism in Africa. This research collaboration with government has provided research opportunities and bursaries for current postgraduate students in the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies to gain valuable experience in the tourism industry.
The team from the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies and Archaeology and Anthropology has far exceeded NDT’s expectations. Apart from being invited to present their findings at various government meetings, Richard Wylie and Prof Karen Harris, have also been asked to assist the NDT on compiling a feasibility study on “The harmonising of guiding standards” across the region.