UP presents at Annual Department of Tourism Research Seminar

Posted on April 19, 2023

The Department of Historical and Heritage Studies (DHHS) represented the University of Pretoria (UP) at the Annual Department of Tourism Research Seminar at the Manhattan Hotel in Pretoria on 24 March 2023. This annual platform aims to disseminate research findings and exchange ideas between tourism stakeholders and practitioners to enhance industry strategies, planning and policy decision-making from a distinct higher education and training perspective. The event forms one of the cornerstones of the Memorandum of Understanding signed more than a decade ago between UP DHHS and the Department of Tourism, which aims to build research capacity in the tourism industry's public and private sectors. In particular, this is focused on the Heritage and Cultural Tourism sector, one of Africa's fastest-growing economic sectors and has been identified by Higher Education and Training as a scarce skill. This year the research event was themed, 'Advancing tourism growth and development through research: Phased recovery and building resilience'.

For the 2022 – 2023 financial year, DHHS researched and presented "The piloting and refining of the Domestic Tourism Remodelling Model (DTRM) [Phase II]" – a unique model that was devised by the DHHS team. This was a follow-on project from the 2021 – 2022 financial year entitled, "Remodelling the local domestic tourism market in South Africa within a COVID-environment [Phase I]". The former focused on the practical application and industry deployment of the DTRM model. In contrast, the latter focused on conceptualising and developing the DTRM model from a theoretical perspective.

Professor Harris, Principal Investigator for both research projects, presented the key findings from Phase II at the event. In her address, she stressed the need to refocus, revitalise and re-energise domestic tourism in South Africa from a sustainable bottom-up developmental approach. Concurrently, it highlights the need to go beyond the "status quo" of domestic tourism to elevate, uplift and empower grassroots communities, more often than not disregarded in the tourism value chain. In this context, it emphasises the importance of reimagining, reinvigorating and reassessing the tourism product on the supply side of the domestic tourism value chain by using the DTRM model that encapsulates and exhibits "iconic, uniconic, multi-cultural and sensory components".

Professor Karen Harris presenting on the key findings of the research project: "The piloting and refining of the Domestic Tourism Remodelling Model (DTRM)".

Professor Harris also showcased the potential of the DTRM model from a hyper-local point of view by outlining the narrative-induced stakeholder participant workshops conducted in the Z.F. Mgcawu District Municipality in the Northern Cape province of South Africa as part of Phase II of the research project. The UP team for both these research projects included: Mr C.R. Botha (Senior Researcher), Ms Tiffaney Morolong (Senior Administrative Officer), as well as Ms Danolien Van den Berg (Junior Research Officer).

Various public and private stakeholders from across the South African travel, education and service sectors attended the Tourism Research Seminar. The previously mentioned Memorandum of Understanding between the entities above has also been extended for the 2023 – 2024 academic year.

Watch the session here:


- Author C.R. Botha

Copyright © University of Pretoria 2024. All rights reserved.

FAQ's Email Us Virtual Campus Share Cookie Preferences