The Private Hotel School’s Dr. Deborah Johnson recently participated in the 32nd annual EuroCHRIE (International Council for Tourism and Hospitality Educators) conference held in Dubai and hosted by The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management. By Tourism Tattler contributor, Charlene Nieuwoudt.
More than 250 delegates from over 50 countries met to discuss cutting-edge research results related to tourism and hospitality education and to develop professional networks.
Dr Johnson, the Vice Dean of Innovation and Strategic Planning at the The Private Hotel School in Stellenbosch presented a paper pertaining to hospitality education as part of a special segment entitled Charting the Future: Hospitality and Tourism Education in Africa.The focus of her paper was the challenges currently facing tourism and hospitality educators in Africa. She based her presentation of numerous interviews with various educators and professionals throughout Africa to obtain their perceptions regarding the challenges this industry currently face. “The indication was that there is a lack of quality standards regarding tourism and hospitality education as well as a lack of first-class curriculums,” she says. “Other challenges sited in the interviews included uncoordinated levels of education, not enough education providers with accepted accreditation, the lack of industry relevancy in current offerings, and the lack of qualified and experienced staff.”
Despite these challenges, the potential for growth in terms of tourism and hospitality on the continent is vast. In 2013 the World Bank indicated as much and claimed that 1 in every 25 people in African should be able to find employment in this industry.
Dr. Johnson is passionate about the tourism and hospitality industry in Africa: “It is vital that we actively research this industry regularly so that we can keep up with the changing demands and realise the potential for growth,” she says. “Industry leaders should share their successes and the formation of collaborative relationships between institutions will increase in importance.”
Earlier this year Dr. Johnson was appointed to the management board of EuroCHRIE and also serves as their area consultant for Southern Africa.
CAPTION TO MAIN IMAGE: EuroCHRIE Management Board: Prof John Lohr. Prof John Fong, Ms Belinda Nwosu, Mr Richard Ginioux, Dr. Anders Justenland, Prof Liz Ineson, Prof Jan Willem Meijerhof, Prof Jouni Ahonen, Prof Kevin Nield, Mr Henri Kuokkanen, Dr. Deborah Johnson, Mr Christian Perette, Mr Bill Samenfink, Dr. Steven Rhoden and Dr. Susan Horner.