Prof Melville Saayman is currently director of the research focus area TREES (Tourism Research in Economic Environs and Society) formerly known as the Institute for Tourism and Leisure Studies, at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus) in South Africa. TREES is the leading Tourism research entity in Africa.
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 (110), technical reports (300) and in-service training manuals (8) have been published. He was supervisor and promoter to 80 master’s and doctoral students and he has also presented 85 papers at international conferences. In 2010 he was nominated the second most productive researcher and in 2011 and 2012 the most productive at North-West University. He is married to Andrea and they have two daughters – Dominique and Anaïs.