The Department of Historical and Heritage Studies (DHHS) was well represented at the annual international conference of the Association for Tourism and Leisure Research and Education (ATLAS) held in Ireland in September 2022.
Professor Karen Harris, Head of the DHHS, Mr CR Botha, lecturer in DHHS, and Ms Danolien van den Berg, doctoral candidate in the department all presented papers at the conference which focused on “Tourism 22 and beyond – what matters now to the global tourist?”.
Over 180 delegates, representing some 26 countries, presented papers in various tracks, and deliberated on the post-pandemic global tourism crisis, as well as the future prospects of international and domestic tourism in the context of global warming and the environmental footprint.
Keynote speakers Prof Melanie Smith from Budapest Metropolitan University (Hungary) considered the issue of wellness and health in her paper, “Whose Wellness is it Anyway? Responsibility and Restoration in a Post-Covid World”, while Prof Dimitrios Buhalis of Bournemouth University (United Kingdom) focused on “Smart and ambient intelligence tourism”.
As the ATLAS Africa chapter representatives, Prof Harris and Mr Botha also attended the board meeting where they reflected on the successful ATLAS Africa conference hosted by DHHS in February 2022.
Chair of ATLAS, Prof Tara Duncan of Dalarna University, Sweden, reiterated that it was “fabulous, a really great event”. The plans for the ATLAS Africa chapter were also discussed including an African continent-wide postgraduate writing project: “Actioning African Tourism: travelling forward”.
The DHHS is also in the process of setting up and coordinating an African-wide network of universities offering heritage-related degrees to create a more vibrant and inclusive academic research and teaching forum to deliberate on tourism, hospitality, and leisure within the global South.