The goal of this virtual international forum, hosted under the theme, “Opening New Horizons” was to foster tourism collaboration, facilitate an exchange of knowledge and to discuss the strategic alliance between South Africa and China, amid a global pandemic.
The forum featured a number of high-profile speakers and delegates from both countries, amongst them UJ’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tshilidzi Marwala who delivered the welcome address, and South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Mr. Mr Amos ‘Fish’ Mahlalela and Honorable Mr. Li Zhigang, Minister of the People’s Republic of China to South Africa who each delivered a keynote address.
Director-General of Ministry of Culture and Tourism, China, Mr Xie Jinying, and Mr Liu Shijun, Secretary General of the World Tourism Alliance further delivered a congratulatory address.
The webinar program included two academic sessions highlighting some of the trends, opportunities and challenges confronting the sector in the current global context. The first session was co-chaired and commented by STH Director, Prof Diane Abrahams, alongside Prof Li Shina from Sun Yat-sen University. The panel included STH research associate and Distinguished Visiting Professor, Prof. Robin Nunkoo, from the University of Mauritius, STH research associate, Dr Albert Kimbu from the University of Surrey, as well as Prof Huang Zhuowei of Sun Yat-sen University.
The second academic session, jointly chaired and commented by Prof Tembi Tichaawa and Distinguished Research Professor at the STH, Prof Chris Rogerson included a business focus. The panel featured the CEO of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), Mr. Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, Prof Yan Jinsong, Director of the International Institute of China Tourism Academy, and Professor He Liehui representing the Zhejiang Tourism Association.
Prof Peng Yi and Dr Monyae David, the Director of the UJ Confucius Institute and Centre for Africa-China Studies co-chaired the opening ceremony. Director-General in the National Department of Tourism, South Africa, Mr Victor Tharage delivered the closing speech, with Prof Ylva Rodny-Gumede giving a vote of thanks on behalf of UJ during the closing ceremony that was chaired by Prof Kelvin Bwalya, the vice dean of UJ business & Economics.
The forum was broadcast live on through the UJ and STH Facebook pages.