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Tourism at Otago is a highly research-active department

Our staff are committed to a range of relevant, on-going research projects. These include climate change and aviation, well-being and migration, environmental management, cultural tourism development, Aboriginal culture tourism in Australia, and the social practices and governance of leisure and events.

Current research projects within the Department of Tourism are listed below, categorised by surname in alphabetic order:

Julia Albrecht’s current research projects

Sustainability in destination management

This ongoing collaboration encompasses a range of projects that seek to identify factors and processes relevant to integrating sustainability in destination management. Several works take a comparative approach, looking at destinations in Austria and New Zealand.

Research collaborator

Dr Marco Haid (UMIT Tirol, Austria)

Involving children in destination planning and management

Although children are increasingly acknowledged as legitimate stakeholders in tourism destinations, representation of their interests has not yet been formalised in destination planning and management processes. This research project identifies and empirically assesses existing approaches to children’s involvement in destination planning and management, as well as the nature of destination concerns where children are seen as stakeholders.

Research collaborator

Eliza Raymond (Victoria University of Wellington; Centre for GOOD Travel)

Technology in tourism visitor experiences

This project explores and assesses current uses of technology in tourism products and experiences among tourism businesses in Otago and Southland. A key research aim is to obtain an understanding of the assumptions and attitudes behind the selection and use of technology in nature-based and cultural visitor experiences.

Research collaborator

Dr Stu Hayes (Department of Tourism)

Anna Carr's current research projects

Good Nature, Bad Nature

Good Nature, Bad Nature is a Marsden-funded research project exploring the current and future management of invasive species, and peoples' values associated with contentious species.

This study will help us understand how attitudes to invasive species are formed, and consequently how to generate support for their current and future management.

Research collaborators

  • Professor Brent Lovelock, University of Otago
  • Claire Dowsett and Matthias Spall, PhD students
  • Anna Clark, Research Assistant

Environmental management of tourism

This research focuses on ecotourism, ecopreneurship and sustainable SMTEs. From 1999 to 2002 Anna worked alongside Professor James Higham on a nationwide FRST funded project investigating Ecotourism in New Zealand: profiling visitors to New Zealand ecotourism operations. In 2005 Anna had an Otago Research Grant to study Māori owned nature tourism businesses.

Anna's interests here surround wilderness recreation planning and the history of alpine and polar region recreation. From 2009-2010 she has undertaken numerous externally funded projects in this area. Anna received SPARC (SportNZ) funding for a project on 'Family preferences, experiences and benefits associated with outdoor in Aotearoa' (Project Leader: Anna Thompson) and was co-investigator on two other projects 'Immigrants and the Outdoors' (Project Leader: Brent Lovelock) and 'Enduring Participation in Outdoor Recreation' (Project Leader: Brent Lovelock). Other notable research included visitor studies commissioned by the Department of Conservation in the Hakatere, Ahuriri and Ruataniwha Conservation Parks.

Cultural landscapes and cultural tourism development

Anna's PhD (1998-2004) examined the management of visitors' experiences of cultural landscapes in New Zealand. As a result she was an invited director of Te Ana Whakairo (Māori Rock Art Centre Trust) from 2007-2011. She continues to study how cultural identity influences tourism development and land management through cultural values for landscapes, visitor demand for cultural tourism, cultural tourism entrepreneurship and cross cultural visitor interpretation. Recently, she collaborated on a book chapter exploring cultural dissonance and indigenous peoples with Canadian researchers.

In 2012–2013 she was awarded an Otago Research Grant as Principal investigator with Diane Ruwhiu (Management). The ORG will explore Māori business networks.

Stu Hayes' current research projects

Measuring the economic value of the Te Manahuna Mackenzie Basin hydro canal fishery

This study is funded by Fish & Game New Zealand, the statutory managers of New Zealand’s freshwater sport fish. The study will gather key information about the expenditure of anglers fishing on the hydro-electric canals in Te Manahuna Mackenzie Basin, one of the most popular trout and salmon fisheries in New Zealand. Fish & Game New Zealand are interested in evaluating the overall economic impact of the canals fishery to the local community. The data will assist Fish & Game New Zealand in their planning and management of this fishery.

Research collaborators

  • Professor Brent Lovelock – Department of Tourism, University of Otago
  • Dr Viktoria Kahui and Joel Hjelte – Department of Economics, University of Otago

Inclusive leisure for the LGBTTQIA2S+ community in Aotearoa New Zealand

We know that the LGBTTQIA2S+ community around the world faces barriers to access, participation, and inclusion across the spectrum of leisure. Our study focusses on LGBTTQIA2S+ issues in relation to leisure participation from the communities' perspectives. One outcome of this study will be to produce a resource that will be made available to leisure providers globally (i.e., booklet of ‘best practice’ case studies, tips for improving inclusive practices etc.).

Research collaborators

  • Dr Willem Coetzee – University of Western Sydney, Australia
  • Hannah McKeeman – University of Otago

Use of technology in nature-based and cultural tourism visitor experiences and related product development

Technology offers a multitude of ways in which tourism products and experiences can be delivered differently. These range from fundamental changes that lead to completely different sets of products and experiences (such as Virtual and Augmented Reality) to comparatively minor adaptations (such as traditional products and experiences delivered online; traditional products and experiences with an added technical tool or component, for example use of an iPad to show a video pertaining to a site or attraction). It is not currently known how and to what extent tourism businesses in New Zealand make use of technological advances to improve or augment the products and experiences they offer. In a similar vein, we know little to nothing about their attitudes towards the relevant technologies that inform their related decision making (or the lack thereof). Our research seeks to explore and assess current uses of technology in tourism products and experiences among tourism businesses representatives in Otago and Southland.

Research collaborators

  • Associate Professor Julia Albrecht – University of Otago
  • Dr Naji Gharibi – Victoria University of Wellington

Good Nature, Bad Nature

Good Nature, Bad Nature is a Marsden-funded research project exploring the current and future management of invasive species, and peoples' values associated with contentious species.

This study will help us understand how attitudes to invasive species are formed, and consequently how to generate support for their current and future management.

Research collaborators

  • Professor Brent Lovelock – University of Otago
  • Associate Professor Anna Carr – University of Otago
  • Claire Dowsett, Matthias Spall, and Eru Metcalf – University of Otago

Understanding how purposeful interventions in tourism education shape students' global citizenship

In light of ongoing socio-ecological issues associated with tourism, there have been growing calls for tourism educators to develop curricula aimed at enhancing students' sense of what might best be termed 'tourism global citizenship', and in which values-based intended learning outcomes (ILOs) focusing on stewardship, ethics and mutuality are foregrounded. The purpose of this teaching-related research is to understand how, and the extent to which, if at all, planned interventions in tourism curricula influence students' global citizenship, with a particular focus on stewardship, ethics and mutuality. This research is being conducted in conjunction with the Degrees of Change collaborative project.

Research collaborators

  • Professor Hazel Tucker – University of Otago
  • Professor John Tribe and Associate Professor Brendan Paddison – York St John University, UK

Weaving Indigenous content into tourism curricula in Aotearoa New Zealand

In Aoteraoa New Zealand, where Indigenous culture is part of the fabric of society, tourism professionals are increasingly being called on to embed Māori values and ways of thinking in decision-making. Tourism students represent the crucial link between academia and the tourism industry. Subsequently, tourism curricula have an important role to play in enabling students to incorporate these values and knowledge into future tourism decision-making. This research asks, 'What best practice approaches inform effective engagement with mana whenua and Māori tourism professionals to ensure the integrity of Indigenous content in the curriculum?'

Research collaborators

  • Associate Professor Anna Carr – University of Otago
  • Sequoia Short – University of Otago

Honorary James Higham's current research projects

Climate change and aviation

This research programme was initiated in 2009 by a research project titled 'climate change and long-haul aviation to Aotearoa/New Zealand' (with Dr. Scott Cohen, University of Surrey).  
This project examined climate change perceptions and attitudes towards long-haul aviation in three European travel markets; Norway, the United Kingdom and Germany. This programme of research has diversified into various collaborative projects that address air travel consumer behavior, behavioural and psychological approaches to understanding contemporary leisure/tourist mobility, and the 'flyers' dilemma'.

Research collaborators

  • Dr Scott Cohen (University of Surrey)
  • Professor Stefan Gössling (Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies)
  • Associate Professor Paul Peeters (NHTV Breda)
  • Dr Christina Cavaliere (Stockton University)
  • Dr Arianne Reis (Southern Cross University)
  • Dr Martin Young (Southern Cross University)
  • Wiebke Finkler (University of Otago)

Selected publications

  • Peeters, P., Higham, J.E.S., Kutzner, D., Cohen, S. & Gössling, S. (2016). Are technology myths stalling aviation climate policy? Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment 44:30-42.
  • Higham, J.E.S., Cohen, S.A., Cavaliere, C.T., Reis, A.C. & Finkler, W. (2016). Climate change, tourist air travel and radical emissions reduction. Journal of Cleaner Production, 111:336-347. Special Issue on Sustainable Tourism
  • Young, M., Markham, F., Reis, A. & Higham, J.E.S. (2015). 'Flights of fantasy': A theoretical reformulation of the 'flyers' dilemma'. Annals of Tourism Research 54: 1–15.
  • Higham, J.E.S., Reis, A.C. & Cohen, S.A. (2015). Australian climate concern and the 'attitude-behaviour gap'. Current Issues in Tourism. 19(4): 338-354.
  • Young, M., Higham, J.E.S. & Reis, A. (2014). Up in the Air: A conceptual critique of flying addiction. Annals of Tourism Research. 41:51-64.
  • Higham, J.E.S., Cohen, S.A., & Cavaliere, C.T. (2014). Climate change, discretionary air travel and the 'flyers' dilemma'. Journal of Travel Research. 53(4): 462-475.
  • Cohen, S.A., Higham, J.E.S. & Cavaliere, C.T. (2011). Binge flying: Behavioural addiction and climate change. Annals of Tourism Research 38(3): 1070-1089.
  • Higham, J.E.S. & Cohen, S.A. (2011). Canary in the coalmine: Norwegian attitudes towards climate change and extreme long-haul air travel to Aotearoa/New Zealand. Tourism Management 32(1): 98-105.
  • Higham, J.E.S. & Shelton, E. (2011). Tourism and wildlife habituation: Reduced population fitness or cessation of impact? Tourism Management 32(4):1290-1298.
  • Cohen, S.A. & Higham, J.E.S. (2011). Eyes wide shut? UK Consumer perceptions on aviation climate impacts and travel decisions to New Zealand. Current Issues in Tourism 14(4):323-335.

Low Carbon Mobility Transitions

Initiated in 2013 this project addresses low carbon mobility transitions in tourism and transportation. A focus of this work has fallen upon climate change, aviation and academic/lifestyle mobilities. The research contends that little attention has been paid to the professional mobilities of members of the academic community, specifically in New Zealand. It aims to explore how institutional norms, policies and procedures as well as individual preferences and behaviours can impact upon and influence everyday mobility practices.

Research collaborators

  • Dr Debbie Hopkins (University of Oxford, UK)
  • Dr Caroline Orchiston (Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago)
  • Dr Tara Duncan (Dalarna University, Sweden)
  • Dr Scott Cohen (University of Surrey, UK)

Selected publications

  • Hopkins, D. & Higham, J.E.S. (Eds) (2016). Low carbon mobility transitions. Goodfellow Publishers: Oxford. ISBN: 978-1-910158-64-7 hbk; 978-1-910158-65-4 eBook.
  • Hopkins, D., Higham, J.E.S., Tapp, S. & Duncan, T. (2016). Academic travel in the Anthropocene: A comparative study of university policy at three New Zealand institutions. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 24(3): 376-397.

The social, political and economic risks of climate change to New Zealand

The University of Otago funded project explores the social, political and economic opportunities and risks to New Zealand arising from climate change. The multidisciplinary project deploys the 2014 5th IPCC Assessment to provide the context for a number of scenarios of climate change to the year 2100. It addresses expert insights into the impacts and implications of global climate scenarios for New Zealand's economic, social and political life. Objectives include assessment of the relative valence of impacts (the “mega-drivers”) and the strength of the interaction effects between them.

Research collaborators

  • Dr Debbie Hopkins (University of Oxford, UK)
  • Professor Colin Campbell-Hunt (Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago)
  • Dr Ben Wooliscroft (Department of Marketing, University of Otago)
  • Dr Lynette Carter (Te Tumu, University of Otago)
  • Dr Daniel Kingston (Department of Geography, University of Otago)
  • Dr Sara Walton (Department of Management, University of Otago)
  • Professor Ivan Diaz-Rainey (Department of Accounting and Finance, University of Otago)
  • Dr Chris Rosin (formerly Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago).

Selected publications

  • Hopkins, D., Campbell-Hunt, C., Carter, L., Higham, J.E.S. & Rosin, C. (2016). Climate Change and Aotearoa/New Zealand: A Review. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 6(6), 559-583.
  • Hopkins, D., Higham, J.E.S., & Becken, S. (2012) Climate change in a regional context: relative vulnerability in the Australasian skier market, Regional Environmental Change 13(2): 449-458. IF: 1.945.

Sustainable tourism and resilience

This programme of research addresses the spatio-temporal aspects of sustainable tourism and the increasing relevance of resilience planning in tourism systems.

Research collaborators

  • Dr Caroline Orchiston (Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago)
  • Dr Stephen Espiner (Lincoln University, New Zealand)
  • Dr Sam Spector (Queenstown Resort College, New Zealand)
  • Dr Adam Doering (Wakayama University, Japan)

Selected publications

  • Spector, S., Higham, J.E.S. & Doering, A. (2017). Beyond the biosphere: Tourism, outer space, and sustainability. Tourism Recreation Research, 42(3): 273-283.
  • Espiner, S., Orchiston, C. & Higham, J.E.S. (2017). Resilience and sustainability: a complementary relationship? Towards a practical conceptual model for the sustainability resilience nexus in tourism.
  • Journal of Sustainable Tourism
  • Bramwell, B., Higham, J.E.S., Lane, B. & Miller, G. (2017). Twenty-five years of sustainable tourism: Looking back and moving forward. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 25(1)
  • Bramwell, B., Higham, J.E.S., Lane, B. & Miller, G. (2016). Advocacy or neutrality? Disseminating research findings, and driving change toward sustainable tourism, in a fast changing world. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 24(1): 1-8

Sustainable marine tourism and cetaceans

This multidisciplinary programme brings together research in the social and natural sciences to address complex issues of sustainability relating to human interactions with cetaceans. Key collaborators in this field include Prof. Lars Bejder (Murdoch University), Dr. Rob Williams (University of St. Andrews) and Associate Professor Katja Neves (Concordia University).

Research collaborators

  • Professor Lars Bejder (Murdoch University, Australia)
  • Dr David Lusseau (University of Aberdeen, UK)
  • Dr Rob Williams (University of St. Andrews, UK)
  • Associate Professor Katja Neves (Concordia University, Canada)
  • Wiebke Finkler (University of Otago)

Selected publications

  • Higham, J.E.S., Bejder, L. & Williams, R. (Eds). (2014). Whale-watching, sustainable tourism and ecological management. Cambridge University Press. 418pp. ISBN: 978-0-521-19597-3.
  • Higham, J.E.S., Bejder, L., Allen, S., Corkeron, P. & Lusseau, D. (2015). Managing whale-watching as a non-lethal consumptive activity. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 24(1): 73-90.
  • Heenehan, H., Basurto, X., Bejder, L. Tyne, J., Higham, J.E.S. & Johnston, D.W. (2015). Using Ostrom's common pool resource theory to build towards an integrated ecosystem based sustainable cetacean tourism system in Hawai`i. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 23(4): 536-556.

Prospects for managing tourism development in protected areas in a period of transition (PROTOUR)

This research project, funded by the Norway Research Council (2012-2014), is a comparative analysis of protected area policy relating to tourism and recreation in New Zealand and Norway. The research includes a policy analysis exploring New Zealand conservation policy as it relates to tourism and recreation and a comparative analysis of visitor management planning in New Zealand and Norway.

Research collaborators

  • Dr Jan Vidar Haukeland (University of Life Sciences, Norway)
  • Dr Debbie Hopkins (University of Oxford, UK)
  • Dr Odd Inge Haukeland (NINA, Norway)
  • Professor Kreg Lindberg (Oregan State University, USA)

Selected publications

  • Higham, J.E.S., Haukeland, J.V., Hopkins, D., Vistad, O.I., Lindberg, K. & Daugstad, K. (2016). National Parks policy and planning: A comparative analysis of friluftsliv (Norway) and the dual mandate (New Zealand). Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events 8(2):146-175.

Brent Lovelock's current research projects

Good Nature, Bad Nature

Good Nature, Bad Nature is a Marsden-funded research project exploring the current and future management of invasive species, and peoples' values associated with contentious species.

This study will help us understand how attitudes to invasive species are formed, and consequently how to generate support for their current and future management.

Research collaborators

  • Associate Professor Anna Carr (University of Otago)
  • Claire Dowsett and Matthias Spall, PhD students
  • Anna Clark, Research Assistant

New Zealanders travelling abroad for medical services: Motivations, destination choice, behaviours and post-trip outcomes

This study focuses on the experiences of individual medical tourists. It investigates the motivations, destination choices, behaviours and experiences of medical tourists, using in-depth semi-structured interviews with a nationally recruited sample of returned medical tourists in New Zealand. The analysis addresses the extent to which medical tourism fits accepted models of tourist motivation, destination choice and behaviour. This research will offer useful insights into the process and experience of medical tourism and could ultimately assist with developing patient/traveller-focussed decision-making aids. The study will also be of value to policy makers and programme planners, dealing with new patterns of healthcare procurement.

Research collaborator

  • Dr Kirsten Lovelock (Dept Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago)

Exploring the nature of the medical tourism industry, India

This study is funded by a New Zealand India Research Institute grant. Utilising a case study approach based on medical tourism provision in Delhi, this pilot project explores: the nature of the medical tourism industry, and its relationship with local health service delivery, along with the connection between health care providers and the tourism industry. We document medical tourist experiences, the experiences of the health care work force and perceptions of health care stakeholders in this locale. This locality based study provides the springboard for a collaborative longitudinal multi-sited research programme which will address the implications of medical tourism for health care in India, and for health care and tourism systems more generally.

Research collaborators

  • Dr Kirsten Lovelock, (Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago)
  • Associate Professor Santosh Kumar (Institute of Health Management, Jaipur, India)
  • Associate Professor Monika Prakash (Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel , Gwalior, India)

Understanding Commitment and Enduring Involvement in Outdoor Recreation in New Zealand

This study provides an analysis of commitment and enduring involvement in nature-based outdoor recreation in New Zealand. It assesses the levels of commitment and enduring involvement as well as measuring the importance of a range of personal, social and environmental influences upon commitment and enduring involvement. It is one of the first comprehensive studies of ongoing commitment/involvement in outdoor recreation in New Zealand, it also is one of the first studies to expand on our understanding of the Sport Commitment Model outside of the competitive, and youth, sporting arena and into a nature-based recreational setting. Four key outdoor recreation activities are examined; hunting, fishing, mountaineering and tramping. Funded by Sport New Zealand research grant.

Research collaborators

  • Dr Anna Thompson (Department of Tourism, University of Otago)
  • Dr Carla Jellum

Destination Competitiveness for Hunting Tourism

An ongoing project, this study considers the factors that impact upon the competitiveness of destinations for tourism that involves hunting (big game) and shooting. Dr Lovelock has undertaken work in a number of destinations (Scotland, Poland, New Zealand) and will be shortly conducting fieldwork in Botswana and Tanzania that addresses the institutional, legislative, social, economic, political and environmental factors that impact upon the activities of hunting tourism operators and upon destination level competitiveness for this niche tourism activity.

Susan Mackenzie's current research projects

Regenerative tourism and community well-being in Aotearoa New Zealand

This research project investigates how destination managers and policy makers across Aotearoa develop regenerative destination management plans, and how community wellbeing is operationalised, measured and monitored these plans. As there is currently little agreement or definitive guidance on how to develop, manage, and/or monitor regenerative destination, or how to monitor of community wellbeing in tourism destinations, this research will inform policy and practice for government and tourism agencies.

Flow in adventure sport, tourism and recreation contexts

This ongoing line of research seeks to understand the antecedents, characteristics, and consequences of optimal psychological states such as 'flow' experiences (also known as 'the zone') across a range of adventure contexts for participants, competitors, and adventure guides.

Exploring links between psychological well-being and nature-based adventure

This ongoing line of research seeks to understand how nature-based adventure is linked to psychological well-being. This research has various streams as it spans nature-based adventure in recreation, sport, education and tourism contexts. Some recent applications of this work have included investigations of: adventure guide well-being, women's well-being in adventure guiding contexts, conceptualising models of the mechanisms underpinning psychological well-being in adventure contexts, and adventure sport participation and well-being.

Pooneh Torabian's current research projects

Travelling to and from New Zealand: Experiences of International Students

This research uses a critical mobilities lens to investigate the experiences of international students travelling to and from New Zealand. This study explores the inequalities for international students who currently live and study in New Zealand. Interviews with the students so far has illustrated the inequalities in terms of unequal access to freedom of movement and the means of travel such as a passport and visa. In addition, passports, visas, and other travel documents are more than just legal documents but are means through which governments can impose their authority and regulate international travel through and across their borders.

Research collaborator

  • Ali Mostolizadeh (Department of Sociology & Legal Studies, University of Waterloo, Canada)

'Vaccine Passports': Mobility Justice and unequal access to travel

Vaccine passport is a new term that has recently entered the vocabulary of nation-states and those involved in the travel industry. Although the introduction of vaccine passports would facilitate re-opening of borders and air travel and assists with reviving economic situation of nation-states, it also means that those who carrying proof of immunisation are the only ones who might be able to travel freely since the citizens of many countries will not have access to vaccines as well as vaccine passports in the near future. This study aims to illustrate how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the meaning of freedom of movement globally and how the introduction of vaccine passports perpetuates the inequalities in terms of unequal access to freedom of movement.

Arts and Migration: Women's Experiences of Resettlement and Integration

The aim of this research is to explore the role of arts and leisure in facilitating the community integration and resettlement of migrant women in New Zealand. The research question forming this Participatory Action Research ( PAR ) research is 'How can arts and leisure facilitate the community integration and resettlement of migrant women in Dunedin?' We have partnered with artists from the community to run workshops for women. Considering leisure beyond economic and functional spheres can help illuminate the negotiation of hybrid identities in unique surroundings through processes of adaptation, belonging and 'home' building. Through these workshops, women explore arts as a means to tell their stories of migration and resettlement into their new communities.

Funding for this project was provided by the Centre for Global Migrations at the University of Otago.

Research collaborators

  • Ali Mostolizadeh (Department of Sociology & Legal Studies, University of Waterloo, Canada)
  • Dr Neil Vallelly (Department of English and Linguistics, University of Otago)
  • Professor Vivienne Anderson (College of Education, University of Otago)
  • Dr Parisa Saadat Abadi Nasab (Research Assistant, Department of Tourism, University of Otago)

Arts behind bars: Māori Men's experiences of participating in arts programmes at Otago Corrections Facility

This research aims to examine Māori men's experiences of participating in arts programmes at Otago Corrections Facility. The arts programmes in prisons have a range of benefits for participants such as distraction from everyday institutional life, purposeful rehabilitation, skills development, and creative self-expression. This qualitative research project involves interviews with Māori men who are currently serving a prison sentence in Otago Corrections Facility to explore their experiences of taking part in arts programmes. Specifically, this study uses narrative inquiry to centre the voices of Māori men and develop a nuanced understanding of the significance of arts programmes in rehabilitation of incarcerated Māori in New Zealand.

Research collaborator

  • Rue-Jade Morgan (Foundation Studies, Otago Polytechnic)

Negotiating Parenthood: Exploring fathers' and mothers' transition to and from parental/maternity leave in academic world

Contemporary scholarship examining parental leave in university settings and its implications on career progression, while scarce, suggests that motherhood often disadvantages women's career progression. However, it is not entirely clear what institutional, interpersonal, and individual-level factors contribute to this disadvantage. This research project examines the role gender plays in shaping the experiences of pre/post-tenured parents who take parental leave. Conducting semi-structured interviews with male faculty who have become parents in the past five years, the study explores

  • a. How they negotiate the terms of their leave
  • b. What challenges they experience
  • c. What supports they require to transition back to work

Comparing fathers' and mothers' experiences of parental leave, we aim to better understand the role gender plays in shaping the experiences of these transitions. Given the steadily growing number of fathers taking parental leave, this research is both timely and important.

Funding for this research is provided by the University of Waterloo Gender Equity Grant.

Research collaborators

  • Dr Karla Boluk (Department of Recreation & Leisure Studies, University of Waterloo, Canada)
  • Dr Elena Neiterman (School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Canada)

Hazel Tucker's current research projects

Exploring 'value' in heritage value

Initiated in 2009 this project is aimed at opening and exploring debates surrounding heritage 'value', particularly relating to World Heritage. The project looks at the ways in which heritage construction for tourism can re-contextualize, or de-contextualize, culture and sites, thereby raising questions as to what is being valued, by whom and how? With current trends in 'critical heritage' moving away from the search for knowledge through formal structures and universal values and towards more nuanced approaches to heritage presentation, this project investigates ways in which heritage tourism can open up and be an expression of alternative values and narratives.

Research collaborators

  • Dr. E. Carnegie, (University of Sheffield, UK).
  • Dr. A. Emge (Germany)
  • Dr. J. Zhang (University of Umea, Sweden).

Selected publications

  • Tucker, H. and Carnegie, E. (2014) 'World heritage and the Contradictions of Universal Value', in Annals of Tourism Research, Vol 47, 63-76.
  • Carnegie, E. and Tucker, H. (2013) 'Interpreting the Shared Past within the World Heritage Site of Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey', in V. Golding and W. Modest (eds.) Museums and Communities: Curators, Collections and Collaboration, London: Bloomsbury (pp. 246-259).
  • Tucker, H. and Emge, A. (2010) 'Managing a World Heritage Site: The Case of Cappadocia', in Anatolia, Vol. 21(1), pp. 41-54.
  • Zhang, J. and Tucker, H. (2017) 'Knowing Subjects in an Unknown Place', in G. Hooper (ed.) Heritage and Identity, Florida: University of Florida Press.

Tourism, Narrative and Apocalyptic Thought

This programme of research explores links between tourism and apocalyptic thought. The idea that we are living in 'the end times' is gaining increasing scholarly attention because it impacts the ways in which societies engage with issues of ecological, economic and social concern. This research examines the relationship between apocalyptic thought and tourism, and in particular, 'last chance'/heritage tourism, defined as when 'tourists explicitly seek vanishing landscapes or seascapes, and/or disappearing natural and/or social heritage' (Lemelin et al., 2010). A current project under this programme is exploring the emotional / affective links between tourism and apocalyptic thought, with a particular focus on 'hope' and /or 'pessimism' production in tourism. Building on theoretical discussions on contemporary apocalyptic thought in the broader literature, this focus on hope/pessimism affect is aimed at facilitating critical developments pertaining to the management of tourism product design and delivery.

Research collaborators

  • Dr. E. Shelton (University of Otago, NZ)
  • Dr. J. Zhang (University of Umea, Sweden)
  • H. Bae (University of Otago, NZ)

Selected publications

  • Tucker, H., Shelton, E.J. and Bae, H. (2016) 'Post-Disaster Tourism: Towards a Tourism of Transition', in Tourist Studies, 1-22.
  • Tucker, H. and Shelton, E.J. (2014) 'Travelling Through the End Times: The Tourist as Apocalyptic Subject', in Tourism Analysis, Vol. 19 (5), 645-654.
  • Shelton, E.J. and Tucker, H. (2008) 'Managed to be Wild: Species Recovery, island restoration and nature-based tourism in New Zealand, in Tourism Review International, Special Issue: Zoos, Aquaria and Tourism, Vol. 11. No. 3, pp. 197-204.
  • Shelton, E., Tucker, H, and Zhang, J. (2017) 'A Political Ecology of the Yellow-Eyed Penguin in Southern New Zealand: A Conceptual and Theoretical Approach, in I. Lima (ed.) Wildlife Tourism, Springer Publishing

China / Chinese tourism research

This programme of research is aimed at exploring key issues pertaining both to the Chinese outbound tourist market and to domestic tourism within China. Importantly, the research includes critical reflection on how we conceptualise 'Chineseness' within this field. Whilst the Chinese outbound tourist market has been one of the fastest-growing international markets for destinations around the world, research to date on this market remains limited in scope and depth. This research programme aims to address this gap by responding to recent calls for more 'emic' approaches, plus the use of interpretative qualitative methodologies, in China/Chinese tourism research. Funding has been received in 2017 to undertake research into the on-tour experiences of Chinese package tourists in New Zealand.

Research collaborators

  • Dr. Jundan Zhang (University of Umea, Sweden).
  • Professor B. Wu (Peking University, China)
  • Professor A. Morrison (Purdue University, USA)
  • Jingru Zhang (University of Otago, New Zealand)

Selected publications

  • Tucker, H. and Zhang, Jundan. (2016) On Western-Centrism and “Chineseness” in Tourism Studies, Annals of Tourism Research, 61, 250-252.
  • Zhang, Jingru, Tucker, H., Morrison, A. M., & Wu, B. (2017). Becoming a backpacker in China: A grounded theory approach to identity construction of backpackers. Annals of Tourism Research, 64, 114-125.
  • Zhang, Jingru, Morrison, A. M., & Tucker, H. (2017). "Am I a Backpacker? Factors Indicating the Social Identity of Chinese Backpackers", Journal of Travel Research.

Performance of the Real

This programme of research is a multidisciplinary project that investigates why representations and performances of the real are particularly compelling. At its core is the study of how performance represents, critiques, enacts and constructs "the real"? Based at the University of Otago, this research programme is a funded research theme which hosts various conferences and symposia related to the “Performance of the Real” theme, including events on: Ritual and Cultural Performance; Performing Precarity: Refugee Representation, Determination and Discourse; Performance and Performativity of Violence.

Research collaborators

  • Dr S. Little (University of Otago, New Zealand)
  • Dr. R. Overell (University of Otago, New Zealand)
  • Dr. J. Cattermole (University of Otago, New Zealand)
  • Dr. C. Ergler (University of Otago, New Zealand)
  • Ms. H. Halba (University of Otago, New Zealand)
  • Dr. C. Wakes (University of New South Wales, Australia)
  • Dr. S. Suliman (Griffith University, Australia)

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