On the 20th August 2020, the Faculty of Hospitality and Sustainable Tourism successfully held a Webinar titled ‘Southern African Perspectives: Hospitality and Tourism Education in light of COVID 19’. The purpose of this webinar was to discuss Hospitality and Tourism Education in light of COVID 19 (during and after).
The panelists were Deans and Directors of Hospitality and Tourism in Southern African universities. The webinar discussed ideas on best possible ways of delivering quality Tourism & Hospitality Education and Research despite the pandemic. The webinar which targeted both international and Southern African academics, researchers, students, industry, government and general public was moderated by Ms Olivia Nthoi and Dr Tonderai Vumbunu both Senior Lecturers under the Faculty of Hospitality and Sustainable Tourism from Botho University.
The participants of the Webinar were from eleven countries, both international and regional, including Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi, Portugal and the United Kingdom. The panelists included academicians of great calibre as follows :
- Dr. Lameck Khonje Dean – of the School of Hospitality at Mzuzu University, Malawi
- Dr. N. Zengeni, Executive Dean – School of Hospitality & Tourism Chinhoyi University of Technology, Zimbabwe
- Dr. Wouter Hensens, Executive Dean – Hospitality Management, Stenden University, South Africa
- Dr. Oliver Chikuta Dean Faculty of Hospitality and Sustainable Tourism, Botho University, Botswana
- Prof. Elmarie Slabbert, Director of TREES (Tourism Research in Economic Environs and Society) & Head of Tourism at North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
The Panelists discussed challenges within the hospitality education sector, effective online teaching and learning, sustainable tourism development, university partnerships as well as opportunities for the changing landscape of tourism education in Southern Africa. Blended learning was identified as the key towards Hospitality and Tourism Development and in conclusion, student-centered learning was acknowledged as crucial for producing the 21st Century student who is not only emotionally intelligent but socially responsible enough to revive the industry, therefore, embarrassing the relevance of the Botho Graduate Profile which emphasizes on this approach to learning.