National Department of Tourism makes bursaries available for postgraduate studies in Tourism Management
By Tourism Management Division
Posted on 05 March 2013
The Memorandum of Understanding signed between the National Department of Tourism (NDT) and the University of Pretoria in 2012, establish a formal basis of cooperation in support of tourism research and skills development activities between the NDT and UP. The NDT has made funds available to provide financial assistance to a number of postgraduate students at honours, masterís and doctoral level in pursuing tourism-related research studies commissioned by the NDT.
These studies can form part of broader research projects being conducted by the Tourism Management Division, where students work on specific sub-topics within a project, or it can be independent projects required by the NDT and in which the student displays a particular interest.
The bursaries present exceptional funding and work-related opportunities to students who wish to further their studies in Tourism Management. The NDT also provides an internship programme, experiential learning for qualification purposes (students need to obtain credits for work-related activities while they study) and short-term career-oriented exposure to activities at the NDT, which help students to ease into careers.
The MoU with the NDT also gives research opportunities for the Tourism Management Division’s staff to continue researching issues such as domestic tourism in South Africa and South Africa’s competitiveness as an international tourist destination that drive tourism in South Africa today.
The first research project for the NDT has been completed and presented to the NDT on 1 February 2013. During 2012 a research team within the Tourism Management Division, namely Prof Berendien Lubbe, Dr Felicite Fairer Wessels, Dr Anneli Douglas, Mr Cyril Francis, Mrs Elizabeth Kruger and Mrs Eileen Geldenhuys, collectively developed a unique methodology to analyse the supply of tourism products for the five key domestic market segments identified by SA Tourism. The aim of the study was to determine the particular experience needs of these markets with specific reference to accommodation facilities, food and beverage services, packages and tours, attractions and events as key product categories. Four tourism nodes were selected in different provinces and information and data was collected through qualitative interviews with key industry stakeholders in the Central Karoo, West Coast, Bushbuckridge and OR Tambo regions/nodes. The results show that in each of the four nodes the ability of the current product offering to meet the needs of the five segments differs, and suggestions specific to each market and node were made to address this.
A comprehensive report was delivered to the NDT and staff members of the Tourism Management Division will be participating in a research colloquium on 12 March 2013 to disseminate the findings on a nationwide platform. Not only does this research have implications for industry and tourism professionals in South Africa, but the value of the methodology and model developed for this project could potentially also have far-reaching scientific implications for analysing how supply meets demand in tourism regions.