UPCT celebrates the “Year of the Masks” at virtual year-end function

Posted on December 10, 2020

On 4 December 2020 the Heritage and Cultural Tourism honours students held their annual year-end-function in celebration, and reflection, of their year at the helm of the University of Pretoria’s Campus Tours (UPCT) located in the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies (DHHS) within the Faculty of Humanities.

For the first time this annual event, took place in a virtual setting due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic with UPCT’s business activities accordingly dubbed by the year’s all-female team as the “Year of the Masks”. The focus for the aforementioned occasion naturally was very much centred on the various challenges and opportunities this global phenomenon brought on for UPCT and its rich eighteen year legacy. 

UPCT provided the student “voice” to the international ATLAS webinar series. From left to right: Nompilo Molaqa, Jabu Ntuli, Siobhan Jansen van Vuuren, Sindiswa Gubula Noelien Wilsnach and Nusrat Goolam Mahomed (UPCT Team of 2020)


The event also commemorated various collaborations UPCT embarked on during the year: TUKS FM, Junior Tukkie and the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria. 


Nusrat Goolam Mahomed of UPCT  and the TUKS FM teams



UPCT breaking barriers with virtual innovation alongside Junior Tukkie


UPCT guides conducting social distanced cultural tours in the Javett Centre


Additionally this virtual affair also featured the various successes and innovations the team had since lockdown restrictions were imposed across South Africa. That included with EBIT Week; the creation of University of Pretoria Virtual Campus Tours (UPVCT) – Interactive; as well as the formulation of “COVID-19 Bubble Tours”.  

UPCT conducting virtual tours for prospective students during EBIT Week


Creating immersive environments on campus by way of UPVCT - Interactive


Conducting regulation compliant “COVID-19 Bubble Tours” on the Hatfield Campus of the University of Pretoria


This year-end-function also featured UPCT’s participation in a recent international webinar entitled, “University of Pretoria Campus Tours – Before, During and After COVID-19” hosted by the Association for Tourism and Leisure Education and Research (ATLAS).


UPCT participating in the ATLAS international webinar series
surrounding the impacts of COVID-19 on the African continent

During the event the team of 2020 also outlined how their mission, vision, strategic objectives and portfolio responsibilities had to adapt to campus restrictions as well as how new strategies needed to be devised to keep not only UPCT active within DHHS, but also profitable as a business entity at the University of Pretoria by way of Enterprises @ UP.

As CEO of the aforementioned institutional entity, Mr Deon Herbst noted, “UPCT is very much at the forefront of business and is most definitely a key marketing pillar for the University of Pretoria” and despite the many trials and tribulations thrown at the members of UPCT, he added that “UPCT as always found a way to adapt and excel, and that UPCT has very much entered a new dimension for doing business” by creating a world-first for immersive environments and digital marketing by way of UPVCT – Interactive.

Mr Deon Herbst also congratulated the 2020 team and Professor Karen Harris, DHHS Head of Department and UPCT coordinator, for the group’s ability to become accustomed to COVID-19 regulations as well as a new digital interface and virtual environment for conducting guided tours across all Faculty’s at the University of Pretoria. He concluded by noting that UPVCT should be seen as the gold standard for “doing business” in challenging times.


- Author CR Botha
Published by Ian Macqueen

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