Prof Melville Saayman

Prof Melville Saayman


Tourism Research in Economic Environs and Society

The role of tourism in the sustainable use of wildlife

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. Until March 2009, he had also been head of the tourism programme at the same university for a period of 17 years. 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 (130), technical reports (350) and in-service training manuals (8) have been published. He was study leader and promoter to 90 master’s and doctoral students and he has also presented more than 100 papers at international conferences. In 2011 and 2012 he was awarded researcher of the year North-West University. He is married to Andrea and they have two daughters – Dominique and Anaïs.