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Clocktower.Wednesday 31 January 2018 2:57pm

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Head of Tourism at the School of Business Professor Neil Carr says Otago's recognition as a World Leisure Centre of Excellence is a "major milestone."

Research and learning in tourism stands to significantly benefit from the University of Otago being given access to a prestigious global network, the World Leisure Organization (WLO).

The University has just been recognised as a new World Leisure Center of Excellence (WLCE), which Otago's Head of Tourism Professor Neil Carr says is a major milestone as it opens up access for University researchers to a global network of leisure researchers and educators.

“It's very positive for Otago that our research and teaching programme has been recognised as being world class.”

Professor Carr says quality leisure experiences are becoming increasingly central to modern life, and it's important that research and research-informed teaching can provide meaningful insight into enhancing the human condition.

“Being part of a global network will benefit students and staff, creating an important link between academic programmes and research ideas for our teaching and for our researchers. Students wanting to be the leaders of tomorrow now have access to a growing international network of Centers of Excellence,” he says.

The center will be known as the WLCE University of Otago, and will be situated within the Department of Tourism.

Founded in 1952, the World Leisure Organization (WLO) is a world-wide, non-governmental association dedicated to discovering and fostering the leisure experience as a force for human development and well-being.

The appointment of The University of Otago as a WLCE also becomes a great opportunity to expand the network´s activities and strengthen leisure advocacy in a new regional area for the WLO,” says WLO Chief Operating Officer Dr Cristina Ortega.

“The WLO Board of Directors' unanimous decision acknowledges the University of Otago as having highly qualified international research and teaching staff, including top class facilities. The research specialisation of the Department of Tourism on wellbeing, growing personal and ecological wellbeing through tourism and leisure, were some of the strong points highlighted by the evaluators,” she says.

The focus for leisure research at Otago is wellbeing, with projects focused on growing personal and ecological wellbeing through leisure, which includes tourism, recreation, events, and hospitality.

As part of a growing commitment to the work of the World Leisure Organisation, Dr Trudie Walters of the Department of Tourism has recently been appointed to the WLO Board of Directors.

For further details, please contact:

Professor Neil Carr, University of Otago Business School Department of Tourism.

Dr Cristina Ortega Nuere, Chief Operating and Academic Officer of World Leisure Organization.

A list of Otago experts available for media comment is available elsewhere on this website.

Electronic addresses (including email accounts, instant messaging services, or telephone accounts) published on this page are for the sole purpose of contact with the individuals concerned, in their capacity as officers, employees or students of the University of Otago, or their respective organisation. Publication of any such electronic address is not to be taken as consent to receive unsolicited commercial electronic messages by the address holder.

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