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Unisa hosts first ITSA conference in Africa

Unisa hosts first ITSA conference in Africa body.png

Unisa will host the Seventh International Tourism Studies Association (ITSA) Biennial Conference from 6 to 10 August 2018. More than 300 delegates from all over the world are expected at the event.

Coinciding with Unisa’s 145 celebrations, it is the first time the conference will be hosted on the African continent. Previously the conference took place in Asia, Europe and Australia. In an invitation in its March newsletter to ITSA members, the conference is described as a highlight of the year in the rainbow nation.

Locally, winning the bid to host the conference was also met with a lot of enthusiasm. The South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB), Gauteng Tourism Authority (GTA), and the City of Tshwane (CoT) have already pledged their support for the conference. Tourism employs more people than any other sector and remains a vital contributor to the South African economy, says Professor Ciné van Zyl, chair of the conference organising committee.

By being the first African host of the ITSA conference, Unisa is contributing to ITSA’s efforts to bring people together and reduce language and cultural barriers. This is an ideal opportunity for scholars from Africa to engage with delegates from across the world and to generate more cooperation and networking among tourism scholars, she says.

The theme of the conference is collaboration and co-creation opportunities in tourism. Tourism and hospitality academia, students, and industry stakeholders are amongst the target audience for conference to be held at the CSIR International Convention Centre (ICC).

The conference covers a wide range of topics which combine interests across a broad spectrum. Tourism professionals, academics, industry stakeholders, and government organisations who wish to keep at the forefront of the latest developments and trends in the sector are invited to attend.

The key themes of the Seventh Biennial ITSA Conference in the City of Tshwane, South Africa, are:

  • Tourism cities and urban tourism
  • The Brazilian, Russian, Indian, Chinese and South African (BRICS) outbound tourism market
  • Tourism policy, planning and governance
  • The Blue Ocean Economy and tourism
  • Teaching and learning in tourism and hospitality
  • Wildlife Tourism, conservation and nature-based tourism products

The conference will coincide with the Second International Tourism Educators South Africa (TESA) International Conference. This is another first for institutions of higher learning in South Africa that offer programmes in tourism and hospitality.

ITSA stages biennial and themed conferences and is responsible for the publication of its academic journal, The International Journal of Tourism Cities.

The call for papers for the conference is open until 30 April. Check out further information here.

*By Ilze Crous