HOD delivers international keynote address to WFTGA

Posted on March 14, 2023

In celebration of International Tourist Guide Day (2023), Professor Karen Harris, Head of Department: Historical and Heritage Studies at the University of Pretoria, delivered a keynote address to the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA). This presentation entitled, “Thinking outside the box: The tourist guide and the Domestic Tourism Remodelling Model (DTRM)”, focused on how tourist guides can be positioned within the newly developed DTRM to catapult them and their service offerings to new heights within domestic tourism landscapes across the globe.

This presentation similarly echoed how the tourist guide’s multifaceted roles and their inherent responsibilities must be reconsidered, redesigned, revolutionised, reignited, reinvigorated, reconfigured and regenerated (what she coined the “R-factor”) within the construct of the DTRM to ensure that guides, and their tour products, go beyond the “status quo” of a pre-COVID 19 environment. In this context, Professor Harris likewise stressed the importance and need to start “thinking outside the box”, especially regarding tourist guiding and how the profession needs to mitigate the “new realities” of travel in a post-COVID-19 landscape head-on. In this milieu, she argued for tourist guides to go beyond the conventional iconic attractions so often frequented by international tourism and to rather embrace experiential, authentic and unique experiences in domestic tourism spheres where uniconic destinations, multi-cultural and sensory elements take priority as suggested within the DTRM devised by her and Mr CR Botha.  

Professor Harris concluded the presentation by highlighting how the universal applicability and potential of the model can uplift and enhance the supply side of the tourism value chain, using the tourist guide as a catalyst to unlock the “WOW factor” within domestic tourism products internationally. 

- Author C.R. Botha

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