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Title: Edu-tourism destination selection motives : a focus on study-abroad programmes at universities in the Western Cape, South Africa
Authors: Abrahams, Elhaam 
Keywords: Tourism -- Study and teaching (Higher);Students -- Travel;Foreign study;Tourism -- International cooperation
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Abstract: Destination selection motives studies cannot be over-emphasised around the phenomenon of educational tourism as such studies provide a unique platform through which to gauge the edu-tourism destinations’ attractiveness and strategies to improve on programmes for prospective students. Extant studies on the edu-tourism industry have largely drawn on data obtained in the Global and lacking in African data. In the context of South Africa’s edu-tourism industry, and regarding the motivations of study-abroad students, the present study is the first of its. In this regard, the current study identified the need to focus on this gap as the researcher observed the benefit of the study abroad industry as a means of diversifying tourism activities through educational tourism. Underpinning this study was the understanding that determining the motives of study-abroad students in the Western Cape are pivotal for the future planning, management and sustainability of educational tourism as well as enhancing the industry for prospective students. Therefore, the aim of the study was to determine the motives of international students participating in study-abroad programmes at universities in the Western Cape, South Africa. A combination of quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques, as well as primary and secondary sources was used. The target population in the study involved students participating in a study-abroad programme at universities in the Western Cape as well as key informants at various university international offices in the Western Cape, South Africa and in Baden-Württemberg Germany. A total of 75 questionnaires and five key informant interviews were administered to the participants using online resources consequent on the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The key findings revealed the profile of study-abroad students to be undergraduate exchange students from European countries who were financially independent, and mostly pursuing business-related qualifications. Most student respondents were between 18 to 24 years of age, seeking both a good educational and fun-packed tourism-related experience. Furthermore, the study uncovered that, when it comes to socio-psychological push factors, the excitement of living abroad, meeting new people, and gaining international exposure in their field of study often takes precedence over aspects like marketing, financial consideration, and regulatory considerations. The destination attributes pull factors were also explored through factor analysis, with five factors being generated. In order of importance, Environmental; Social; Quality; Marketing and Socio-Political factors emerged as the leading motivating factor that attracts students to the Western Cape. In addition, it was determined by the conclusion of the quantitative data that the choice to study abroad is influenced by both pull and push factors, and that addressing both is critical to the success of the sector and its capacity to recruit students. The main destination-alluring qualities should be acknowledged but marketing efforts should include cultural experiences of the students, the viability of academic programmes, and the general appeal of the Western Cape. Furthermore, while the COVID-19 pandemic brought attention to the study abroad sector's vulnerabilities, it also highlighted the importance of resilience. The recommendations made could lead to the improvement of the study abroad subsector and the educational tourism industry as a whole. The findings may also serve as further fodder for discussion among interested parties to revive the lucrative edu-tourism industry and develop fresh strategies for boosting the market share of study-abroad programmes in the Western Cape. The results may also be used by universities in other South African provinces to persuade them to follow the recommendations made by the Western Cape for best practices in study-abroad and to carry out original research, adding to the limited body of knowledge on edu-tourism in general and in South Africa specifically.
Description: Thesis (MTech (Tourism and Hospitality Management))--Cape Peninsula University of Technology, 2022
Appears in Collections:Tourism Management - Masters Degrees

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