He served on several boards as a director, including the South African Tourism Board (SATOUR), North-West Parks and Tourism Board, Institute of Environment and Recreation Management, National Zoological Council, South African National Recreation Council (SANREC), North-West Recreation Council (PROREC-NW) and North West Development Corporation. At an international level, he is a member of the executive committee of the Association of International Experts in Tourism (AIEST) and also serves on the World Tourism Organisation’s panel of experts. He became the first South African to be nominated as resource editor of the leading tourism journal, Annals of Tourism Research. He also serves on various other editorial boards and has published in most of the major national and international tourism journals. Currently he is active in the field of tourism and leisure economics and development. He became the first National Research Foundation (NRF) rated researcher in tourism in South Africa. From his pen, numerous leisure and tourism books (20), scientific articles (130), technical reports (350) and in-service training manuals (8) have been published. He was study leader and promoter to 90 master’s and doctoral students and he has also presented more than 100 papers at international conferences. In 2011, 2012 and 2015 he was awarded researcher of the year North-West University.
Prof Elmarie Slabbert is a professor in Tourism Management at the School of Tourism Management, North-West University (South Africa). She completed her PhD in 2005 and is currently one of the senior researchers at TREES, focusing on travel behaviour, the socio-cultural impact of tourism and marketing issues. Elmarie is the chairperson of the Southern African Institute for Management Scientists and deputy-chairperson of the Tourism Educators of South Africa. She has authored and co-authored 37 peer-reviewed articles, eight accredited conference proceedings and, since 2005, 34 master’s students and 19 doctorate students have completed their studies with success under her guidance. She is currently serving on the Research Forum of the Minister of Tourism. In 2013, she was the second runner-up for the Women in Science Award by the Department of Science and Technology. Over the last five years, she formed part of the top 20% of the North-West University, receiving the top achiever award.
Peet van der Merwe is currently a senior lecturer and researcher in Tourism Management at the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, School of Tourism Management. He obtained his degree in Recreation and Tourism Management in 1994, honours degree in 1995 and master’s degree in 2000 from the North-West University. He completed his PhD in 2004 in Tourism Management, was promoted to associate professor in 2010 and full professor in 2014. Peet received his NRF (C3) rating as a researcher in 2016. He also applied successfully for numerous NRF funding for projects, with the most recent focusing on land-use models for the private wildlife industry. As a researcher, he forms part of the NRF research unit TREES (Tourism Research in Economic Environs and Society) and currently lectures Game Farm Management to third-year students, and Ecotourism at honours level.
Peet’s field of expertise lies within wildlife tourism, hunting tourism, ecotourism (sustainable tourism) and marine tourism. Research outputs are as follows: Peer-reviewed publications (47), Popular articles (28), Projects (41), Research reports (35), Books (4), Chapters in books (5), Magister and PhD students completed (19), conferences attended (international and national) (54) and International guest lectures (3).
During her academic career at the North West University, she has been awarded numerous accolades namely Second best student in Faculty of Arts (2004), Golden Key Honours Society for outstanding academic achievement (2004-2007), Best student in Faculty of Arts (2005), Best student over three years in Tourism Management (2006), Best Ecotourism Student (2006), Best Third Year Tourism Student (2006), Best Tourism Honours Student (2007), Best Honours Student in School for Business Management Sciences (2007) and the ABSA bronze medal winner for best Master student at the North West University (2010). In 2012 she successfully applied for Thuthuka research funding from the National Research Foundation (NRF). Her research interests are in the fields of market segmentation in tourism with specific focus on events. As a full time researcher at TREES, Martinette has published various articles in accredited, national and international academic journals; and has presented papers at national and international conferences where she has won best paper awards on two occasions. She currently serves on the editorial board of the esteemed international journal, Event Management and acts as subject editor and reviewer for numerous journals including Tourism Analysis, Acta Commercii and the South Africa Journal for Sport, Physical Education and Recreation. She is currently recognised as established young researcher according to the South African National Research Foundation rating system and in 2013 she obtained an Y1 research rating. Martinette was the North-West University’s Most Productive Junior Researcher in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Dr Marco Scholtz is a full-time senior lecturer for the subject 'Tourism Research' as part of the honours programme at Tourism Research in Economics, Environs and Society at the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University. In 2009, he obtained his BSc degree with Botany, Zoology and Tourism as main subject. He went to obtain his BCom Honours degree in Tourism Management in 2010 and his MCom in Tourism Management in 2011. He was also awarded the prize ‘Best Master student’ in tourism management for 2010. In 2014 he obtained his PhD in Tourism Management with the main focus on the social impact of tourism. His current interests in tourism research includes social impact studies, cultural heritage studies and the social media use in tourism. To date, Dr Scholtz has published various articles in international and national peer-reviewed accredited journals, as well as presented papers at various national and international conferences. He serves as member of the e-Review of Tourism Research journal and has reviewed multiple papers for various journals. He has twice obtained the NRF KIC Travel Grant which aided him in presenting his research papers at international conferences. Furthermore, he acts as study leader or promoter for various post-graduate students. Lastly, he has taken part in various tourism research projects, including the ongoing project termed ‘Green Bubbles’ which is funded by the European Union.
Lindie du Plessis specialises in tourism competitiveness and management issues. She is dedicated to the development of her students and follows an innovative approach towards class presentations by integrating blended learning. Prof Du Plessis has been dynamically involved in the industry by assisting in various tourism projects, such as the development of training material for DEAT (Department of Environment and Tourism) as well as NYDA (National Youth Development Agency). She is accredited with CATHSSETA (previously known as THETA) as an assessor, facilitator, coach, mentor, developer and designer. Prof Du Plessis has also received funding from the NRF as part of the Thuthuka project and two KIC grants to further foster industry relationships and research. She has co-written a book for the game farm industry called: Hunting and game farm tourism (2013), which is also being used by students as the textbook for TMBP321. She has been responsible for eight chapters in various tourism textbooks. She has successfully delivered master’s- and PhD-degree students as supervisor or promoter and is still involved with various post-graduate students. She has published more than 20 accredited articles. She has acted on the editorial board for the Journal of Revenue and Pricing and was a panel member for the National Department of Tourism. She is also a member of the AIEST (International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism) and The Southern African Institute for Management Scientists. She is passionate about the tourism industry and acts as guardian for Tourism honours students in community projects to organise events for charity on an annual basis. She also qualified herself as an adventure guide, tour guide, advanced lifesaver, 4x4 advanced driver and guide.
Karin Botha is an associate professor in the School of Tourism Management at the North-West University She obtained her degree in Tourism Management and Psychology in 2003; followed by her honours degree in 2004, MCom in 2009 and PhD in 2012; all in Tourism Management. As researcher in the entity TREES (Tourism Research in Economics, Environs and Society), Karin’s special interest and research expertise focus on events marketing; specifically, in the area of consumer behaviour and consumer profiling at arts, culture and culinary events. Karin has been involved with various research projects/surveys, especially relating to the South African festivals and events industry. She has published national and international articles in peer-reviewed academic journals and accredited conference proceedings within this field, and has presented these research findings at conferences in South Africa and abroad. She is actively involved as study leader for post-graduate students, examiner of master’s and PhD students, and regularly reviews articles/papers for academic journals and conferences. Karin has contributed to chapters in peer-reviewed tourism textbooks and is involved with the development of learning material for Tourism subjects at the University. She received an Institutional Excellence in Teaching Award (ITEA) in the highest A-rated category from the University in 2008 and in 2012, as well as two best paper awards at international academic conferences. She is also a member of the Golden Key International Society and the Southern Africa Institute for Management Scientists (SAIMS).
Pierre-André Viviers is an associate professor at the North-West University (NWU), Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa. He obtained his BCom Tourism degree in 2000 and his BCom Honours degree in Tourism Management in 2001. His master’s degree was completed in 2006. He completed his PhD in 2010, which was titled: Measuring community perceptions: An instrument for sustaining festivals. During his academic career of 16 years at the North-West University, he has been awarded numerous accolades, namely an (A grading) ITOU award for training excellence from the North-West University in 2007 and 2013. He received the Golden Key International Honour Society award for the best lecturer in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the North-West University in 2006 and has been named the best lecturer in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the North-West University in 2007. In 2014, he received the Vice-chancellor’s Award as the promoter of the best master’s degree at the NWU. Pierre-André has published various articles in accredited, national and international academic journals, and has presented papers at national and international conferences, where he has won best paper awards on three occasions. His main focus of teaching and research is event tourism and marketing.
Dr. Serena Lucrezi PhD: Dr. Serena Lucrezi works as a post-doctoral research fellow for TREES at the North-West University, Potchefstroom campus, South Africa. She obtained an Honours degree in Zoology at the University of Dundee, Scotland, UK, and a PhD in Marine Ecology obtained from the University of the Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia. Her work focuses on two research areas. The first involves the use of ecological indicators, including ghost crabs and coastal dune vegetation, to assess ecological impacts of recreational and other human activities on sandy beaches and coastal dunes. The second involves the study of environmental awareness, knowledge, and perceptions in coastal tourism, particularly scuba diving and beach tourism and recreation. She has authored 20 scientific papers.
Alicia Fourie is a senior lecturer in the School of Economics at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus) where she teaches Introductory Economics to undergraduate students. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Law and Economics, her Honours degree in Economics and her Master’s degree in Economics at the North-West University. She recently obtained her PhD in Economics with her thesis title being: 'A case study of determining the economic literacy of introductory economics students in South Africa'.
As a researcher, Dr Fourie has a passion for economic education. In 2012, she was appointed as the liaison for South Africa for HETL (Higher Education Teaching and Learning), representing the HETL among the global higher education community.