Ernie Heath is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Pretoria, where he was Head of the Department of Tourism Management for fifteen years. He is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Applied Sciences, Bremen, Germany and served on the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Education Council. He has extensive tourism experience, particularly in the spheres of tourism futures, community tourism advancement, attractions and events management, destination marketing and strategic tourism leadership.
Prior to joining the University, he was Director of the Institute for Planning Research at the University of Port Elizabeth and Deputy Executive Director of South African Tourism. He is co-author of fifteen books on tourism; has delivered more than ninety papers, including fifteen keynote addresses, at international conferences and has published more than two hundred research, consultancy and other reports in this field.
Recognition that he has received for his tourism work include the Skål International Presidential Award for his contribution to the development of tourism in South Africa; a Fellowship from the Tourism Society of Britain; the Chairman’s Award from the Indian Ocean Tourism Organization (IOTO) for compiling IOTO’s first strategic plan; a United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Themis Award; a Laureates Award from the University of Pretoria for Innovation in Teaching; a Best Teacher Award from the University of Applied Sciences, Bremen, Germany in 2010 and 2016; a Best PhD Seminar Supervisor Award at the Advances Tourism Marketing Conference, Slovenia, 2011; co-recipient of the Award for the Best Research Paper at the International Conference on Tourism and Events, Belfast, 2012; recipient of an Alumni Achiever Award from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, 2012; and a Tourism Educators South Africa (TESA) Lifetime Achiever Award, 2018.