Professor Berendien Lubbe, a Research Associate of the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies presented a paper to the Travel and Tourism Research Association’s 2019 European Chapter Conference, hosted by Bournemouth University’s Department of Tourism and Hospitality in Bournemouth from 8 to 10 April 2019.
The theme of the conference was Tourism in the era of connectivity and covered a very wide range of themes inclusive of the widest range of tourism research. The conference connected the different concepts of connectivity, personalisation, tourism development and marketing towards cocreation of tourism experience. It explored how these experiences can support the cocreation of value for all stakeholders and address a range of components of connectivity.
Professor Lubbe (co-authors Prof Karen Harris and Ms Kholadi Tlabela from the NDT) presented a paper entitled “Bridging the knowledge/practice gap: a case study on an effective government/university research partnership”.
A topic highlighted in a number of presentations at the conference was the ongoing debate on the academic knowledge generated by universities and its diffusion into industry practice and government policy, or the so-called knowledge-practice gap. The paper presented by Prof Lubbe analysed the research collaboration between the NDT and five universities in South Africa since 2012 as a case study on effectively overcoming this gap. The paper described the overall objectives of the programme, the type of research projects allocated to universities, the scientific nature of the research process, the factors that determine the success of the programme and the progress of the programme, highlighting the challenges experienced by both government and the universities.
The paper was well received and Prof Lubbe has been invited to submit a full article to the accredited journal Tourism Review for publication.
Professor Lubbe, who joined the the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies in 2019, also recently presented an Entrepreneurial Workshop for Heritage and Cultural Tourism (EFK) third year-students, focussing on “The potential of tourism entrepreneurship in South Africa”, and facilitated by EFK 320-lecturer Mr C.R. Botha.
The Workshop focussed on the vital importance of entrepreneurship in the tourism industry of South Africa, with Professor Lubbe emphasising key components such as:
- why South Africa needs entrepreneurship now more than ever (with an national unemployment rate at almost 28%);
- why the tourism industry is ideal for entrepreneurship (considering youth unemployment reaching record highs at almost 50%);
- while simultaneously providing a stark “reality check” on the future “megatrends” entrepreneurs will have to face and overcome.
Her presentation also emphasised tourism’s resilience; its potential for economic growth, poverty alleviation, job creation and professional independence; as well as its “labour-intensive” nature and “multi-sectoral” influences and affiliations.
This Workshop aimed to inspire students to explore and pursue entrepreneurship in the wider tourism industry, as a viable career path after completing their undergraduate studies at the University of Pretoria (UP).