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Doctoral Degrees (Cultural and Heritage Tourism)

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    Tourism disasters, crises and the risk-fear nexus: tourists perceptions of Durban as a tourism destination.
    (2019) Phoofolo, Taemane Augustinus.; Ndlovu, Joram.
    Tourism is an important economic sector in many countries worldwide. Many governments are placing a higher priority on tourism development because it leads to increased foreign exchange income and creates employment opportunities. However, the tourism sector is prone to both natural (floods, drought, diseases) and man-made (crime, unemployment, poverty, war, terrorism) disasters, crises and risks which invariably affect not only the tourists but the functionality, sustainability and competitiveness of a destination. The cumulative impact of disasters, crises and risks can result in the death of people, destruction of fauna and flora, displacement and suffering of people. Other effects include, the destruction of human settlements, physical infrastructure such as roads, railway lines and habitats of animals. The prevalence of disasters, crises and the risk can affect tourists’ travelling patterns and destination choices. Thus, rendering some places unsafe and unattractive. The aim of the study was to examine stakeholders’ perceptions regarding crises, risk responses and other factors that accentuate the vulnerability of tourists and destinations to a myriad of problems. The study sought to analyse the tourists’ perceptions on the relationship between tourism disasters and risk-fear nexus in Durban. The main objectives were to assess the potential disasters, crises and risks which tourists are exposed to while in Durban, the subsequent impacts of such disasters, and the possible disaster mitigation measures. In this study, the mobility, disaster, risk-perception theories and the model of international tourism decision-making process were used to interrogate the disaster-risk discourse. The study utilized a mixed method approach which enabled the researcher to unpack disasters, crises and risks ‘through the eyes’ of tourists and key informants in order to gain a thorough understanding of the dynamics concerned. Interviews were conducted with 399 tourists who visited Phezulu Cultural Village, Cabana Beach Resort and Botanical Gardens in Durban. The results were then analyzed SPSS. The results revealed that natural disasters such as floods, drought, and diseases pose a serious threat to the tourists and the tourism sector in the country. Consequently, that has an impact on the image and sustainability of the destination. The results show that man-made disasters, crises and risks like xenophobia, political instability, unemployment and poverty were the most prevalent. Therefore a concerted effort must be taken to prepare for crises and resort to recovery and reduction as some measures to mitigate them. Furthermore, the dynamic nature of disasters, crises and risks require a holistic approach which views the situation from “a wide sweep of contexts, from temporal and spatial, historical, political, economic, cultural, to social and personal. Finally, the study recommends engendering community resilience as a key measure in managing disaster. Further systematic research must be conducted to analyse the factors which increase the vulnerability of tourists to disasters, crises and risks, and to explore various ways of enhancing mitigation measures.
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    The Osun Osogbo festival in Nigeria: an investigation of Nigerian migrants in South Africa as homebound tourists and festival participants.
    (2021) Umejei, Aboshioke Lillian.; Marschall, Sabine.; Cele, Nokuthula Peace.
    This study investigated how members of the diaspora negotiate their identity during and through their return travel back to their home country. It explored the perceived significance of the tangible site, the intangible beliefs and the values which members of the diaspora attached to the Osun Osogbo sacred grove. The grove, which is the abode of Osun goddess, is one of the major cultural heritage destinations in Nigeria. Using the Osun Osogbo festival in Nigeria, the study focused on Nigerians, based in South Africa, who travel back to their birth country as VFR (Visiting Friends and Relatives) and festival participants. The study investigated the significance of migrants reconnecting with their cultural roots while exploring their spirituality. In a broader sense, the research looked at how the process of migration affected diasporic relationships to home, cultural roots, and spiritual beliefs, by probing the diasporic visitors’ experiences of travelling home, their beliefs, behaviour, and activities they engage in. This qualitative study draws from in-depth interviews, conducted with Nigerian migrants based in Durban, South Africa. The conceptual framework for the study was drawn from the concept of ‘the tourist gaze’; tourism as a sacred journey and identity theory. The study significance is hinged on its contribution to literature on heritage management and cultural tourism development from a Nigerian, and African context; as well as the cultural and heritage awareness it creates for Africans in the diaspora. Findings from the data collected showed that the search for a "familiar difference" was a major motivation for these return journeys. Furthermore, participation at the festival, for some attendees, goes beyond entertainment and merry making, but it is also necessitated by a host of other alternative motives. The study revealed a blurring on the distinction between tourism, pilgrimage, culture, and heritage tourism. Drawing from the findings, the study concludes that strengthening the relationship with home and root reconnection was the greatest motivation for these homebound tourists and festival participants. Enhancing cultural tourism in Africa (and in Nigeria in particular) will best be achieved if religion can be separated from culture.
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    The impact of events on sustainable tourism development in Durban: an evidence-based enquiry.
    (2018) Mejabi, Ekundayo Ilesanmi.; Ndlovu, Joram.; Cele, Nokuthula Peace.
    Sustainability has become one of the key elements of development for most tourist destinations. Some cities have adopted a sustainable development strategy as a long-term solution in improving socio-economic, cultural, and environmental practices. Traditionally, destinations have used events to achieve community enrichment, protect the natural environment, and create or maintain national pride. The aim of this research was to analyse the impact of events on sustainable tourism development in Durban. This research focused on the event tourism sector and its impact on the economy, environment, politics and the socio-cultural being of the host community. The objectives were to discuss the role of events in profiling a destination and the extent to which they could serve as catalyst for repeat visitation; the study sought to analyse the perceptions of key stakeholders regarding the contribution of events to socio-economic growth of the City. In carrying out the research, a mixed method approach was used. A total of 400 questionnaires were researcher administered and 25 in-depth interviews were conducted. The results show that there are economic spin offs resulting from visitor spending during major events in the City. Furthermore, the study shows that although events can be used as a tool for sustainable tourism development, the challenge is the unbalanced racial structure within the industry, poor state of the economy, and limited access to business start-up capital for SMMEs. The study concludes that events play a vital role in socio-economic growth and development of the tourism sector in Durban and recommends multi-stakeholder collaboration and partnerships to ensure sustained tourism growth.
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    Local community participation in coastal tourism: experiences from Nonoti Beach in KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2018) Gumede, Ntshekane Goodness.; Ojong, Vivian Besem.
    This study investigates the extent to which the rural community of Nonoti Beach participates in coastal tourism taking place in their ancestral land. During the apartheid era, this community was forcibly removed to make way for agriculture and the area was later identified for tourism development. After 1994, the first democratic government of South Africa made it its priority to restore the displaced communities back to their land through land reform and redistribution, and the community under study is one of the communities that received land through the land claims process. Fourteen years after the settlement was made on this land claim in favour of the community, but the government and other stakeholders with vested interest in coastal tourism have not delivered on the promise made to the local community to provide them with low cost housing and to develop a coastal resort that was to benefit this community through profit sharing and in other ways. Previous studies have been conducted on other communities with a similar experience but no study has been carried out to understand the experiences of Nonoti Beach Community from their own perspective as a significant stakeholder as well as from the perspective of other stakeholders with a stake in coastal tourism. The objective of this study is to investigate the level of participation of the local community in coastal tourism and to assess the strategies in terms of skills development as well as strategies to assist them as new land owners to live sustainably on restored land. The role of various stakeholders to give post-settlement support and to ensure that land ownership through restoration results in sustainable livelihoods, leading to poverty eradication is also assessed. The policies regulating coastal tourism are also evaluated to find out if they enhance or limit the local community participation and, lastly, the model is proposed to assist in improving local community participation, thereby ensuring that the benefits accruing to them are maximized. This study is anchored on the sustainable livelihoods framework, the Stakeholder Theory, the Social Exchange Theory and the Common Property Resource Theory. This study was conducted using a mixed method approach and data was collected using in-depth interviews, focus groups and questionnaires in order to have a varied and in-depth understanding of the phenomenon under study. The participants in this study were the members of the local community, which is predominantly black and two adjacent communities that are predominantly white to compare the understanding of tourism as well as the awareness of marine and coastal governance. The other participants that were sampled are the government agencies, the district municipality, the democratically elected leadership and tourism enterprises operating around Nonoti Beach. The findings of this study show that the various stakeholders’ interests are often times conflicting, and this study recommends that various stakeholders come out with a coordinated plan to create a balance between their conflicting interests for the benefit of the local coastal resources, the local community and the local cultures. This study proves that the level of understanding of coastal tourism and associated benefits amongst the local community is limited, and as much as the land was restored back to the local community, but they were not fully capacitated to live sustainably on this land. It was also discovered that South Africa has adequate policies regulating coastal tourism and associated marine environments, but the greatest challenge lies with their implementation. The findings above are all contradictory to sustaining livelihoods. Since this is a PhD study, a model of local community participation is proposed, based on the gaps that were identified in the existing community participation models as well as gaps in the policy regulating marine resources and coastal tourism in the study area. The proposed model serves as part of the researcher’s recommendations for enhancing local community participation in coastal tourism to ensure that maximum benefits accrue to them, consequently, leading to sustainable livelihoods.