DHHS co-hosts ATLAS Africa Conference

Posted on February 18, 2022

On 14 February 2022 (Valentine’s Day), the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies (DHHS) in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Pretoria (UP) co-hosted the Association for Tourism and Leisure Education and Research’s (ATLAS) Africa Conference. This international conference organised by newly elected ATLAS Africa Coordinators Professor Karen Harris (Head of Department) and Mr C.R. Botha (DHHS Lecturer) aimed to re-engage, re-start and re-invigorate the Africa chapter of ATLAS with a conference appropriately themed: “Falling back in love with tourism: An African affair”. 
The conference was opened by Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UP, Professor Tawana Kupe, and the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Professor Vasu Reddy who both enthused about the relevance of tourism as a global force. More than 40 papers were presented, to an audience of over a 150 delegates from more than 25 countries from Africa and beyond. Over 10 online sessions were held, on an array of themes that included: “African tourism for Africans”; “African tourism threats and opportunities”; “African tourism and protected areas”; “African tourism and cultural communities”; “African tourism and food”; “African tourism and technology”; “African urban and rural tourism”; “African tourism employment and promotion”; “African coastal, marine and island tourism”; as well as “African tourism transport and infrastructure”. 
UP had a sizeable presenter presence at this international event with various staff members, and postgraduate students, delivering papers, chairing sessions and leading critical debates from an array of multidisciplinary perspectives. Prof Harris opened the conference with an address entitled: “Out of Africa – Into Africa: The historical periodization of tourism” which challenged the conventional notion of tourism history, contending that African tourism took on a different trajectory. 
Other UP presenters and papers included:
Faculty of Humanities:
  • C.R. Botha – “Benchmarking best practice in Africa: A conceptual model for tourist guiding”;
  • W. Senoamadi – “Making African tourism safe: The case of South Africa”;
  • L. Govender – “Ethnic identity and culture as drivers of travel choice: The case of South Africans as domestic tourists”;
  • B. Lubbe – “The past, present and future impact of air transport on tourism in Africa and South Africa”;
  • D. Van den Berg – “Africa’s first people, Africa’s last voice: Is tourism the key to cultural survival?”;
  • V. Verkerk – “Virtual reality: Saving South Africa’s tourism?”;
  • R. Henning – “#lovecapetown: An African urban tourism model”;
  • H. Nel – “Lighting the Cape of Storms: Lighthouse tourism along South Africa’s Atlantic coastline”;
  • R. Wyllie – “Community-based tourism in marine protected areas in Africa”. 
Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences:
  • H. Fisher and G. du Rand – “Promoting South African indigenous cultural foods through contemporary menu adaptions”. 
Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences:
  • K. Tlabela and A. Douglas – “Information exchange and memorable visitor experiences in South African Visitor Information Centres”;
  • A. Mazenda and B. Ripinga – “The impact of the determinants of levy collection on revenue in Gauteng’s graded accommodation establishments”. 
The conference received outstanding reviews from an array of continental and international stakeholders for its initiative to not only enhance Pan-African collaborations, but to also promote the strategic objectives set forth by the African Union (AU) in terms of “Brand Africa” and “Agenda 2063”. 
Recordings of the ATLAS Africa Conference can be found on Youtube.
- Author CR Botha
Published by Ian Macqueen

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