Dr Irma Booyens


Work, Employment and Organisation

Personal statement

I am a lecturer in the Work, Employment and Organisation department, mostly on our tourism and hospitality courses. Tourism is one of my key research interests which I have approached from the theoretical frameworks of human geography, development studies, tourism management and innovation studies.

Before joining the Strathclyde Business School, I was a Senior Research Specialist in the Economic Planning and Development unit at the Human Sciences Research Council in Cape Town where I worked on a range of projects with policy impact. I also have experience as a tourism and business studies lecturer and as a consultancy researcher.

I am affiliated as an associate researcher with the School of Tourism and Hospitality at the Univeristy of Johannesburg, South Africa, where I held a post-doc position and also completed my PhD.


Has expertise in:

    I understand the research process well and have been involved at all of its stages from conceptualization and proposal writing to research design, supervision; and co-supervision of various projects; collaboration on large national projects/ studies; data collection (primary and secondary), data analysis, synthesis and interpretation; report writing and dissemination.

    Futher areas of expertise are:

    - Mixed method research

    - Project management

    - Policy and/ strategy formulation

    - National surveys

    - Indicator development

Prizes and awards

TWAS/DFG Collaborative Visit Grant
NRF researcher rating
Newton Mobility Grant
Scarce Skills Doctoral Scholarship
Young researcher excellence award
Best student in course work: Masters in Development Studies

More prizes and awards


PhD Geography, University of Johannesburg, 2015

Masters in Development Studies, University of the Free State, 2008

Post-graduate Certificate in Education, University of Pretoria, 2002

B.Com Tourism Management, University of Pretoria, 2000


The Cultural Centre of GugaS’thebe as a Transformative Creative Space
Booyens Irma, Mkuzo Ndipiwe, Morgan Marco Brent
Developing Creative Economies in Africa Spaces and Working Practices (2021) (2021)
The Evolution of Township Tourism in South Africa
Booyens Irma
Tourism, Change and the Global South (2021) (2021)
Social washing and customer misbehaviour in the hospitality sector : a problem that remains unreported
Hadjisolomou Tasos, Baum Tom, Nickson Dennis, Booyens Irma
29th Annual Council for Hospitality Management (2021)
Education and skills in tourism : implications for youth employment in South Africa
Booyens Irma
Development Southern Africa Vol 37, pp. 825-839 (2020)
Tourist and resident perspectives on 'slum tourism' : the case of the Vilakazi precinct, Soweto
Hoogendoorn Gijsbert, Lesatsi Nthabiseng, Malleka Thabisile, Booyens Irma
GeoJournal Vol 85, pp. 1133-1149 (2020)
Tourism innovation and sustainability : implications for skills development in South Africa
Booyens Irma, Motala Shirin, Ngandu Stewart
Sustainable Human Resource Management in Tourism African Perspectives (2020) (2020)

More publications


Tourism and business studies lecturing and supervision

Research interests

My research interests include local and regional economic development and planning; social innovation; innovation measurement; tourism innovation; tourism sustainability; tourism livelihoods, employment and workplace issues; creative industries - employment and spatial perspectives.


Confronting customer abuse and harassment during the Covid-19 crisis? Evidence from Scotland’s hospitality industry
Hadjisolomou, Tasos (Principal Investigator) Baum, Thomas (Co-investigator) Booyens, Irma (Co-investigator) Nickson, Dennis (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2022

More projects


Work, Employment and Organisation
Duncan Wing

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