Department of Recreation and Tourism
“Developing preferred graduates for the tourism industry”
The staff of the Department of Recreation and Tourism (DRT) welcome you to the University of Zululand. We will offer you a conducive social environment for self-development. We also hope you will enjoy your stay with us but more importantly that you will acquire the knowledge and skills that are required in the dynamic tourism industry. The tourism industry is one of the largest and most diverse industries in the world, with sectors (and subsectors) such as Travel Organisers (tour operators; tour brokers; travel agents; conference organisers), Transport (airlines; bus/coach operators; car rental companies, etc.), Accommodation providers (hotels, guest houses; Bed and Breakfast; farm houses; Airbnb; etc.), Visitor attractions (natural; human-made; cultural; social), Destination management (national tourism organisations; provincial tourism authorities), Commercial and industrial (souvenir shops; manufacturers of goods; the tourist trade), Events management (corporate; social; cultural); Policy makers (South African National Department of Tourism; Department of Home Affairs), Support services (Tourist guides; travel insurance; travel trade press). We prepare you to work in any of these sectors, or start your own tourism-related business at the end of your study. Our industry is quite attractive and dynamic; hence we train you to be future-fit for future employment or entrepreneurship within the industry or any other service sector.
The Department of Recreation and Tourism [DRT] was opened at the University of Zululand in January 2000 (then known as the Centre for Recreation and Tourism) within the Faculty of Arts. This was in direct response to the call by the national government that listed Tourism as one of the priority areas which requires skills some of which are regarded as “scarce skills”. In all its activities the Department of Recreation and Tourism is guided by its vision, mission and goals which are based on the broad vision, mission and values of the University of Zululand.
The Vision of the DRT
The vision of the DRT is in line with that of the University of Zululand. The DRT is committed to being the leading comprehensive academic department of the University of Zululand providing sound knowledge in the field of Recreation and Tourism and quality career focused undergraduate and post graduate programmes including research in partnership with the local and global community.
The Mission of the DRT
Also in line with the Mission of the University, the DRT is committed to:
- providing access to students from diverse backgrounds;
- providing relevant career focused programmes that are responsive to the needs of the community; as well as
- generating knowledge through research and disseminating it through teaching, publication and forming partnerships with local and global community.
Goals of the DRT
The goals of the Department are as follows:
- Provide multidisciplinary knowledge and skills in the field of Recreation and Tourism which are geared towards:
- addressing the needs of the local and global community.
- equipping students with the knowledge and skills that are necessary for them to be assimilated within the dynamic tourism industry either as employees or entrepreneurs.
- providing the learning environment which promotes and enhances participation, creative thinking, problem solving and a sense of self.
- providing the learning environment that enhances bridging the gap between theory and practice.
- Provide Recreation and Tourism programmes with theory, research and practical components for both undergraduate (Service and Work Integrated Learning) and postgraduate (Internship) students.
- Engage in community-based projects which are aimed at community upliftment, capacity building and providing information about recreation and tourism.
There are many activities and supporting structures that take place in the department to assist students in their academic work. These supporting structures come in different forms.
In an attempt to give individual attention to the students, the Department in collaboration with the Teaching and Learning Centre has engaged the services of Tutors. Tutors play an important role towards mentoring of first year students and also assist them in doing their academic work. This is done with a view of giving students opportunities to achieve their maximum potential in their academic work.
Guest Lectures from External Stakeholders
Time and again, the department invites speakers from the tourism industry to present lectures to students. These speakers address students on various topics with an aim of further enlightening them on some topics that are discussed in class. This also is an attempt to ensure that the content presented in class is in line with what is happening in the tourism industry.
Although it is not the responsibility of the department to find bursaries for students, the department has made an attempt to contact some public and private organisations to give bursaries to needy, committed and dedicated students. In order to qualify to apply for these bursaries you need to excel in your academic work. Organisations that offer bursaries to our students include National Department of Tourism (NDT), The Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality, and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA), uMhlosinga Development Agency, Moses Kotane Institute (MKI), National Research Foundation (NRF), etc.
Collaboration with other Academic Institutions
The Department makes every attempt to work in collaboration with other academic institutions nationally and internationally. This is to enhance sharing of knowledge and expansion of students’ academic horizons. In 2020, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Aveiro in Portugal (Teaching and Learning, and Research exchange). We collaborate with University of Pretoria (South Africa), University of Johannesburg (South Africa), University of Oulu (Finland), Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences (Finland), and Sheffield Hallam University (England) on the prestigious Erasmus+ Project, which is co-funded by the European Union (EU). This project is aimed at strengthening university-enterprise cooperation in South Africa to support regional development by enhancing lifelong learning skills, social innovations and inclusivity (SUCSESS).
As a registered student in the Department of Recreation and Tourism, you automatically become a member of the Tourism Student Society. You are therefore expected to participate fully in all the activities that are organised by the Students Society.
The Tourism Student Society organises various departmental activities such as educational excursions, debates, Tourism Day, farewell functions for final year students, fundraising campaigns. Your active participation and cooperation in all the activities organised by the Society is encouraged at all times. Some of the activities that are organised by the Society are credit bearing depending on the nature of the activity.