Blog log Reply

It is the end of September and we are at the end of the first three months of “blogging with a plan”. In July we started with four posts per week: one Research, one Guest post, one News and one WFL and now is a good time to take stock.

In total we had 3171 views over the period. The top page was the Research page explaining the topics that staff members do research on. It is closely followed by September’s Tourism Month page. The top post was Riaan’s on the Impact of tourism on poverty, followed by Carike’s post on Chinese FDI in Africa.

The top-10 ranking of countries where the visitors came from was South Africa, the UK, US, Belgium, India, Philipines, Thailand, Italy, Ukraine and Singapore.

If you wondered, RPP stands for the Raymond Parsons Project. Prof Parsons is in the building, but we still need to get him on the blog. If you want to get an idea of what to look forward to, have a look at his excellent paper delivered at the Peet Strydom colloquium: Political economy. More…

Nuus uit die Skool Reply

Hierdie was ‘n kort, maar bedrywige week in die Skool vir Ekonomie. Net so voor die lente-reses en Aardklop wil ons graag die volgende stories deel:

Dr Arno van Niekerk in aksie by ECON621

  • Ons het vroeër al berig van die Honneurs Internasionale Handel se uitstappie na Durban en Richardsbaai. Hier is hulle volle verslag met lekker baie fotos: 2012 HonneursToer
  • Dinsdag het Prof Wilma Viviers, Drs Henri Bezuidenhout en Andre Heymans en Mnr Requier Wait die Ekonomiese Vereniging van Suid-Afrika se raadsvergadering in Johannesburg bygewoon.
  • Donderdag het Prof Philip Mohr ‘n gaslesing aangebied by ‘n ECON121 groep. Ons het ‘n kort video gemaak.
  • Prof Krugell het by ‘n TREES seminaar gepraat oor “groen”-toerisme navorsing. Laai sy skyfies hier af: Green tourism seminar
  • Vanoggend het Dr Arno van Niekerk van UFS by die ECON621 klas ‘n bespreking gelei oor Global economic governance en die gevolge van die finansiële krisis. Daar is ‘n hele klomp interessante goed gesê oor regulering, instellings en deelname deur die gemeenskap.

Nuus / News special report Reply

The 27th of September is the UNWTO’s World Tourism day. In the School of Economics a number of our academics are closely involved in tourism economics research along with our colleagues of th research area: Tourism Research in Economics, Environs and Society (TREES). Our blog has a page dedicated to tourism month where we have been sharing our research results.

Linking tourism and Economics

The obvious link between tourism and Economics is large contribution that tourism activities make to the economy. Globally, the tourism sector is expected to grow by 4-5% in 2012, reaching one billion tourist arrivals. In South Africa the sector contributes approximately 7% of GDP. In contrast, mining contributes about 9% and manufacturing around 15%. The sector employs more that 1.1 million people.

Our research is concerned with different aspects of tourism and economics. The work presented at the forecasting workshop showed that tourism demand can be sensitive to changes in prices and income. Prof Egon Smeral showed that the business cycle is important. When an economic slowdown puts pressure on consumers’ budgets, people swap foreign trips for domestic vacations. In a recovery this can quickly switch around as people raise their expenses to their former levels, “vacationing with the Joneses”. More…

RPP Guest post 1

RPP is our code for the weekly blog post, op-ed by the School’s celebrity economist / pundit / opinionista, but he will probably only start writing later in the year, so in the meantime we are filling in with some guest posts.

This week Frans Dreyer reports from the Free State Maize farmers’ day.

Free State Maize ( held their annual national farmers day in Potchefstroom on 20 September 2012 at the Elgro Hotel Convention Centre. The aim of the farmer’s day was to give a conservative forecast of the coming production and marketing season to farmers and interested parties. This year Free State Maize organised a special guest speaker in the form of the well-known economist from the Efficient Group, Dawie Roodt.

Free State Maize CEO, Mr. Adriaan Snyman, started the farmer’s day with a domestic and international soft commodity market presentation. Some of the interesting facts presented included world production figures. As a percentage of world production of maize, North America produces 40%, South America 9.6%, EU 6.6%, FSU 4%, China 20% and last but not least, South Africa produces 1.3%. The corresponding figures for shares of soybean world production were: North America 32%, South America 49% and China with 5%. Noticeable here was the fact that although China only produces 5%, it consumes 28% of production, making them a very large importer of soybeans. More…