Professor Neil Carr

Since obtaining his PhD in tourism geography from the University of Exeter in 1998, Neil has worked at the University of Hertfordshire (UK), the University of Queensland and the University of Otago which he joined in 2004. In 2009 he was promoted to Associate Professor, and in 2014 he took on the part time position of Associate Dean (postgraduate) in the Otago Business School. He served as the Head of Department of Tourism at the University of Otago between 2015 and 2020.

Neil’s research encompasses a variety of interests that utilise tourism and leisure experiences as a cross-disciplinary lens through which to view behaviour; with a particular emphasis on children and families, identity formation, risk, gender, animals (particularly, but not exclusively, dogs) and animal rights, zoos, freedom, and sex and the sexual. As such, his research is firmly situated within a social science/humanities framework but at the same time clearly links into the applied reality of tourism and leisure as both social phenomena, areas of academic research, and global industries.

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Dr Willem Coetzee

Willem completed a PhD in sustainable tourism in 2004 and joined the department in 2015. As a member of the LGBTTQIA+ community, his research focus is on: Sustainable tourism; Inclusive events & Festivals.

In this context, he has explored specific issues among stakeholders in and around protected areas in Southern Africa, the impacts of nature-based tourism on surrounding communities, and the impacts of tourism in water-stressed destinations. His recent publications revolve around perceptions and consumer behaviours of attendees at sporting events and festivals. Willem has been involved in a range of tourism supply-and-demand projects in small towns and the formulation of tourism feasibility studies for communities.

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Dr Pooneh Torabian

Pooneh Torabian is a Lecturer at the Department of Tourism. Prior to joining the University of Otago in 2019, Pooneh was a PhD Candidate and sessional lecturer at the University of Waterloo in Canada. She was awarded a Doctoral J. Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada for her PhD research. The focus of Pooneh’s PhD work was on tourism mobilities, Canadian dual citizens, and their border crossing experiences post 9/11. Through use of critical mobilities and intersectionality as broader frameworks, her research accentuated mobility as a right while highlighting the interplay of (im)mobilities and inequalities.

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Professor Brent Lovelock

Brent is head of the Department of Tourism at the University of Otago. He holds an honours degree in Forestry Science and his PhD explored visitor management in protected natural areas. Brent’s research focuses on sustainable tourism development, addressing social and environmental outcomes. Much of his research has involved community based tourism, and how we can bring value to communities through tourism, and also on the visitor experience and impacts within natural areas.

Brent also has an interest in the ethics of tourism, his research exploring a number of ethical quandaries in tourism, including: the ethics of consumptive wildlife tourism (hunting and fishing); travel for medical and dental tourism; and also travel to politically-contested destinations. Brent sits on the editorial boards of Tourism Planning & Development, Journal of Ecotourism, and Human Dimensions of Wildlife.

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Professor Hazel Tucker

Hazel has a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Durham, UK. Hazel's PhD was an ethnographic study of tourism and social change in Goreme, a cultural tourism destination and World Heritage Site in central Turkey. She has a number of published articles in refereed journals and books, is author of Living With Tourism: Negotiating Identity in a Turkish Village (Routledge 2003), and is co-editor of Tourism and Postcolonialism (Routledge 2004) and Commercial Homes in Tourism (Routledge (2009).

Hazel holds a Visiting Professorship at Napier University, Edinburgh, and is Co-President of the International Sociological Association Research Committee 50: International Tourism (2018-22) as well as Associate Member of Equality in Tourism and the Critical Tourism Studies Asia Pacific Consortium. Hazel serves as an Associate Editor for Annals of Tourism Research and is an editorial board member of 10 other journals. Hazel is also a steering committee member of the University of Otago's Performance of the Real interdisciplinary research theme.

Hazel’s main research objective lies in the advancement of critical interpretative methodologies and theory regarding tourism’s influence on socio-cultural identities, relationships and change. Since her doctoral research, she has continued to track tourism development and change in the Cappadocia region of central Turkey, focusing particularly on entrepreneurial and destination developments, gender and tourism work, heritage representation and tourism and emotion.

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Dr Stu Hayes

Stu holds a PhD in tourism (University of Otago), a Masters in tourism (University of Otago) and a Bachelor’s degree in tourism studies (University of Central Lancashire). Stu’s research focuses mainly on higher tourism education, with an emphasis on postgraduate tourism education, cross-cultural teaching and learning, and curriculum hybridization. Additionally, Stu researches into the relationship between tourism, recreation and natural resource management. Linked to this, Stu has undertaken several consultancy projects in collaboration with Fish and Game New Zealand. Stu’s research has been published in leading academic journals across tourism, education and recreation.

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Ismail Shaheer

Ismail is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Tourism, University of Otago (New Zealand). Ismail completed a PhD in tourism (University of Otago) and a Masters in Tourism Marketing (University of Surrey, UK). His research focuses on tourist behaviour, ethics, social media, political and ethical consumerism. His recent works explored the influence of video games on tourism and the use of social media as a vehicle to call for destination boycotts to stop animal abuse. Before undertaking his doctorate at the University of Otago in New Zealand, he worked at the Maldives Tourism Promotion Board (now Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation) for more than ten years marketing the Maldives as a tourist destination.

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Amie Seymour

Amie is a Project Manager at Conference Innovators. She completed a Bachelor of Applied Management majoring in Event Management at Ara Institute of Canterbury (New Zealand) and has more than five years’ experience delivering events in an academic context.

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Early Career Researchers on committee

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Abbas Alizadeh

WLC22 Rajesh Nautiyal 200x200

Rajesh Nautiyal

WLC22 Naresh Nayak 200x200

Naresh Nayak

WLC22 Reni Polus 200x200

Reni Polus

WLC22 Zahra Rahmani 200x200

Zahra Rahmani

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Dr Parisa Saadat

WLC22 Animesh Tripathi 200x200

Animesh Tripathi

WLC22 Sherry Tseng 200x200

Sherry Tseng

WLC22 Yunzhen Zhang 200x200

Yunzhen Zhang