Posted on March 05, 2013
The North-South-South Student Mobility Programme between the universities of Pretoria and Oulu is based on the exchange of postgraduate students and enables a BCom (Tourism Management) postgraduate student specialising in ecotourism to participate in this programme on a biennial basis.
A number of postgraduate students in Tourism Management have benefited from this programme. Marnus Botha completed an MCom with specialisation in Tourism Management degree during 2011/2012. The title of his dissertation is "The role of biodiversity in national parks on visitor experiences: a case study of Oulanka National Park in Finland and Golden Gate Highlands National Park in South Africa." The research was done on a sample population that represented day and overnight visitors at both parks using non-probability convenience sampling. Results indicate a strong relationship between the level of biodiversity and visitor experience, illustrating the importance of nature management regulations for national parks. The study contributed towards the development of a Biodiversity Tourism Management Guideline (BTMG) framework for national parks and a research article will be published in a special edition of Koedoe later this year. The expected outcome is also to present a paper at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Australia in 2014.
Tanya Reynders, also a BCom (Tourism Management) postgraduate student, is currently registered in Finland for an MCom with specialisation in Tourism Management. The draft title of her dissertation is "Personality traits of volunteer tourists", although the focus of the study has yet to be finalised.
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