I am one of the first African researchers to explore Nation Branding (NB) in tourism. Nation branding [also referred to as place branding] is a niche multi-disciplinary field of study within conventional marketing management. It involves the evaluation and management, thereafter of the image, perception and positioning [awareness and reputation] of a country/place in the minds of multiple stakeholders, including tourists. To date, my research has contributed to niche areas of tourism, including how macro dimensions - such as perceptions of how a country is governed, the culture and heritage of a country, its competitive advantages, immigration regime and inherent perceptions of a country’s citizens – influence the travel behaviour of tourists [their preferences and travel intentions]. Moreover, my research focus on the COVID-19 pandemic as a contemporary dimension influencing travel behaviour has provided academics and tourism practitioners with critical insights into how crisis-induced perceived risk factors such as physical, psychological, social and financial risk have affected the psyche of tourists and constrain tourism demand. My completed research spans two inter-linked themes in tourism Nation Branding and its subsequent influence on tourists’ travel behaviour. Since 2017, I have completed three research projects and authored and co-authored over 20 published articles in local (25%) and international journals (75%).
NWU, Potchefstroom Campus, Building E3, 228