DHHS Masters graduate gets honourable mention

Posted on October 06, 2023

Ruan Henning of the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies received an honourable mention in the recent Association for Tourism and Leisure Education and Research (ATLAS) Master’s thesis competition. Ruan completed his Masters in Heritage and Cultural Tourism under the supervision of Prof Karen L Harris, the Head of the Department, which was awarded to him cum laude at the Autumn graduation in 2023. Ruan enrolled for a BHCS degree in the Faculty of Humanities at UP and triple majored in Heritage and Cultural Tourism, History and Anthropology. He completed an Honours in Heritage and Cultural Tourism, where he was actively involved in the running of UP Campus Tours. He also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education.

In his Master’s thesis entitled “Urban Tourism: A comparative tale of two cities, Cape Town and Tshwane”, he investigated the phenomenon of urban tourism in the global South and its impact in both the City of Cape Town, a coastal urban destination and legislative capital of South Africa, and the City of Tshwane, an inland urban destination and administrative capital of South Africa. He argued that urban tourism has become an important sector within the global tourism industry as it is able to serve a range of tourists and contribute to the local economy. He contends that the urban environment is usually seen as “standing alone” with regard to the operational aspects of tourism. However, it has become increasingly recognised as an integral part of the tourist experience.

Through the use of an extensive range of primary and secondary sources (literature, documents and statistics), the study produced comprehensive evidence of Cape Town’s strategy for tourism development and planning. This interesting thesis underscored that urban tourism can indeed be used as a tool for development and addressing poverty issues in the global South, with particular emphasis on the southern African region.

Ruan was the only nomination to receive an honorary mention from the global South and did his alma mater proud! He commented that: “Urban Tourism has long been a topic that has fascinated me as it brings together our complex human nature, history and culture into one unique urban collective. This dissertation proved to be one of the most daunting and challenging endeavours I have undertaken, yet it was one of the most rewarding, gratifying and fulfilling journeys I have embarked upon. It is, therefore, such an honour to have been able to share my research and receive this honourable mention from ATLAS. Moreover, I would like to share this honour with Prof. Karen Harris, as she has been a continued source of inspiration, guidance and encouragement throughout this life-changing journey”.

- Author DHHS

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