International Forum on SA-China Tourism Cooperation

Prof Tshilidzi Marwala
The Hon. Mr Amos Mahlalela
Minister Li Zhigang
Mr Xie Jinying
Mr Liu Shijun

On Wednesday 4 August 2021, the UJ Confucius Institute (UJCI), the Centre for Africa-China Studies (CACS) and the School of Tourism and Hospitality (STH) hosted an inaugural webinar on South Africa-China Tourism Cooperation.

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 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, including:

  • Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg, who delivered the welcoming address;
  • The Hon. Mr Amos ‘Fish’ Mahlalela, South African Deputy Minister of Tourism, who delivered a keynote address; and
  • The Hon. Mr Li Zhigang, Minister of the People’s Republic of China to South Africa, who delivered a second keynote address.

Other speakers included:

  • Mr Xie Jinying, director-General of the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism; and
  • Mr Liu Shijun, Secretary General of the World Tourism Alliance.

The webinar format 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 by Prof Diane Abrahams, Director of the STH, and Prof Luo Qiuju of Sun Yat-sen University. The panel included Prof Robin Nunkoo, STH research associate and Distinguished Visiting Professor from the University of Mauritius; Dr Albert Kimbu, STH research associate from the University of Surrey; and Prof Li Shina and Prof Huang Zhuowei of Sun Yat-sen University.

The second session focused on the business aspects of the tourism industry. It was co-chaired by Prof Tembi Tichaawa, Academic Head: Tourism  of the STH, and Prof Chris Rogerson, Distinguished Research Professor at the STH. The panel featured Mr Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa; Prof Yan Jinsong, Director of the International Institute of China Tourism Academy, and Prof He Liehui, representing the Zhejiang Tourism Association.

The opening ceremony was co-chaired by Prof Peng Yi, Co-Director of the UJCI and CACS, and the closing ceremony by Prof Kelvin Bwalya, Vice Dean of UJ Business & Economics. The closing address was delivered by Mr Victor Tharage, Director-General of the South African Department of Tourism. Prof Ylva Rodny-Gumede, Head of the Division for Internationalisation in the School of Communication at UJ, delivered a vote of thanks on behalf of the university.

The Forum was streamed live on the UJ and STH Facebook pages, and was also recorded. To replay the entire event, click on the button below.