Contributing to Tourism Month celebrations in the Eastern Cape

Posted on October 09, 2013

Prof Ernie Heath, from the Department of Business Management, was the guest speaker at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Business School’s Strategic Conversations Anthology, which formed part of the September Tourism Months celebrations. The theme of his talk, namely “The Changing Global and Local Tourism Environment: Is the Eastern Cape Capitalising on the Opportunities”, was very relevant and timely, particularly in the light of the Eastern Cape’s abundance of natural and cultural tourism resources that are still largely untapped, but which are in line with key global market trends.

During the constructive and lively debate that followed, the importance of an inspiring shared vision and agreed-upon strategic framework to guide tourism in the province into the future, was reinforced. Global tourism trends that provide opportunities for the Eastern Cape were also highlighted, which include significant growth in experience-seeker special interest markets for which the Eastern Cape could have considerable appeal; the exponential growth in the use of the Internet and social media as marketing platforms for destinations such as the Eastern Cape; and the increasing demand for “green” destinations.

Some of the key critical success factors highlighted for the Eastern Cape’s future sustainable tourism competitiveness centred around tourism education, training and capacity-building; relevant research and knowledge management; and the facilitation of an enabling environment for community engagement and entrepreneurial advancement.

Further collaborative projects in the above regard are currently being explored in consultation with NMMU colleagues.

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