The Chair in Hotel and Tourism Management was established in 1990 as part of the Graduate School of Management, through initial funding provided by The Southern Sun Hotel Group.
The first incumbent of the Chair, Prof Johan Fourie, played a key role in establishing the Chair, until he passed away in September 1995. He was initially supported by Messrs Tibor Zsadanyi and the late Mr Rudi Cornelius, who moved on to pursue careers in the private sector during 1996 and 1997 respectively. In 1995, Mr Cyril Francis joined the Department and served a total of 18 years until 2012.At the beginning of 1996, Prof Ernie Heath, the former Deputy Executive Director of South African Tourism (SATOUR), became Head of the Chair and in 1997 became the first Head of the newly-formed Department of Tourism Management within the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. His term as head of Department ended in 2012 when he moved to the Department of Business Management. From the period 1997 until 2013, the following academics made a valuable contribution to the growth of the Department: Mrs Dorothy Queiros, Ms Mapula Tlhagale, Mr Hein Olivier, Dr Christel Botha, Mr Johann Engelbrecht and Ms Tania Pretorius. Prof Nic Alberts, former Director of the Graduate School of Management, joined the Department with the task of expanding the postgraduate programmes of the Department and developing a Tourism Knowledge Resource System (TourGate) for Southern Africa; while the late Prof Deon Wilson moved from the Department of Geography to the Department of Tourism Management. -The academic staff were supported by skilled administrative staff, including Mmes Urma Mollema, Lorette Richter, Venecia Jonker and Mariëtta van Rooyen successively.
Since 1993 numerous articles, research reports and book contributions have been generated and a number of papers have been delivered at international and national tourism academic and industry conferences. These include presentations at the international Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) conferences held in the USA and Europe, the annual ENTER as well as The Association for Tourism and Leisure Education (ATLAS) conferences.
In 2013 the Department was restructured into a Division and given a new home within the Department of Marketing Management. Prof Lubbe, who first joined the Department in 1997, was appointed as Head of the Division. She is joined by three other academic staff members who moved over from the former Department, namely Prof Felicité Fairer-Wessels (2003 – currently), Dr Anneli Douglas (2005 – currently) and Dr Elizabeth du Preez (2008 – currently). The focus of the Division is aligned with the University’s vision of becoming a top research intensive university by 2025. Given the maturing nature of the Tourism Industry, academics worldwide are taking up the challenge to take on a more critical and analytic approach to research in the field. As a result, a number of core research focus areas have been identified that are timely and relevant to current trends in the industry, but also the academic sphere. They include eTourism, Tourism Distribution, Business Tourism, Sustainable Tourism, Destination Marketing and Sports Tourism.
The Division aims to attract postgraduate students from a range of relevant undergraduate degrees, in order to stimulate integration between various study fields related to the vibrant and multifaceted tourism industry. Research outputs are aimed at international accredited publications in order to ensure that our students are exposed to globally relevant knowledge within the various subject areas.
In 2016, Prof Jarkko Saarinen from the University of Oulu in Finland was appointed as an Extraordinary Professor to the Division. On 1 January 2018, the Tourism Management Division was incorporated into the Department of Marketing Management.