Posted on June 13, 2012
The Conference got off to a flying start with a very constructive and lively panel discussion, involving the Ministers of Tourism for Mozambique and South Africa, which was moderated by Prof Ernie Heath from UP’s Department of Tourism Management.
According to Prof Heath, Honourable Fernando Sumbana, who has been Minister of Tourism for Mozambique since 2000, and Honourable Martinus van Schalkwyk, who has held the national tourism portfolio since 2004, provided very insightful and encouraging perspectives on the tourism challenges and opportunities in Southern Africa. Key issues that were debated, include opportunities to unlock benefits of aviation in Africa; harnessing technology to enhance the sub-continent’s competitiveness; strategies to ensure collaboration between public and private sector tourism stakeholders; Southern Africa’s readiness to host travellers from the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries; and ways to minimise the barriers to travel in Southern Africa.
Based on the key issues raised during the Tourism Ministers panel discussion, it was very encouraging to note that the twelve doctoral studies that are currently being completed in the Department of Tourism Management at the University of Pretoria are addressing various strategic issues that can not only add value to the body of knowledge in the tourism sphere, but can also inform future tourism policies and strategies in the region. Key strategic areas being addressed by the doctoral students include South African aviation policy in Africa; e-marketing and rural tourism competitiveness; the compatibility of ecotourism and mining; environmental behaviour of sport event spectators; and community participation in transfrontier parks.
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