Two researchers from the Durban University of Technology (DUT), Zikho Qwatekana and Ndivhuho Tshikovi were awarded the Best Paper Award in the Alliance of Guangzhou International Sister-city Universities (GISU) Research Symposium, which was held recently in Parramatta, Australia.
The theme of the GISU Research Symposium was “Explored business rejuvenation, resilience, and creativity in the post-pandemic world.” DUT is a proud member of the Alliance of Guangzhou International Sister-city Universities (GISU), which includes 20 members and affiliate members. The alliance represents five continents, 17 countries, 19 sister and friendlier cities.
Qwatekana and Tshikovi’s paper is titled: “Acceleration of Technology Adoption Post-COVID: Lessons and Challenges from Tourism in South Africa.”
According to Qwatekana, a lecturer in the Department of Ecotourism at DUT, GISU aims to strengthen the ties and exchanges between Guangzhou’s international sister cities and their local universities and provide a platform for member universities to share international academic resources, encourage education and scientific and technological cooperation, enhance the vitality of urban development, and promote urban development.
Qwatekana who is currently pursuing his PhD studies indicated that his interest lies in sustainability, community development through tourism, and governance. Speaking briefly about their winning paper, Qwatekana said: “The submitted paper highlighted the potential of technology adoption in South African tourism, addressing challenges like infrastructure limitations, digital divides, regulatory considerations, and industry resistance to change. Paper recommends the necessity of overcoming these hurdles for maximal technology leverage in the tourism sector.”
Tshikovhi, a Postdoctoral Fellow at DUT was ecstatic when their paper was announced as the Best Paper at the closing ceremony. Both researchers attended the event online due to funding constraints. However, not being there physically did not stop them from celebrating their achievements. They feel this accomplishment underlines DUT’s academic prowess and its involvement in global initiatives.
DUT Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation, and Engagement, Professor Fulufhelo Nemavhola, who recently attended the Alliance of Guangzhou International Sister-city Universities (GISU) hosted by the Western Sydney University, in Australia, commended Qwatekana and Tshikovhi for representing the university exceptionally at the 2023 GISU Research Symposium. Expressing his delight at the announcement that two DUT researchers clinched the Best Paper award at this international symposium, Prof Nemavhola emphasised the significance of this achievement. He reiterated that such global recognition reaffirms DUT’s commitment to excellence not only at a regional and national level but also on the African continent and the global stage.
Pictured: DUT researchers, Zikho Qwatekana and Ndivhuho Tshikovi who won the Best Paper award at the 2023 GISU Research Symposium in Australia.