On Tuesday 17 November Sustainable Society and Tourism Research Network Northern Netherlands (TOREN) at the University of Groningen organised a unique symposium that focused on tourism studies, research and practice in Northern Netherlands.
This symposium brought together academics, stakeholders in the private, public and not for profit sectors to talk about the importance of one of the most puzzling contemporary, socio-cultural phenomena: travel and tourism.
The symposium started at 11 o’clock in the morning on one of the sightseeing boats in Groningen to facilitate the launch of the book: Affective Tourism: Dark Routes in Conflict, by Dorina Maria Buda (Rosalind Franklin Fellow & Assistant Professor at the Department of Cultural Geography, University of Groningen). At the book launch two critical scholars from New Zealand Alison McIntosh (Professor of Tourism and Hospitality, Waikato University, New Zealand) and Hazel Tucker (Associate Professor at the Department of Tourism, University of Otago, New Zealand) spoke about the contribution this book makes to science. To complete the book launch, the author herself Dorina Maria Buda talked about her own journey of writing the book.
After the book was officially launched on the boat sailing the Groninger canals, the guests were invited to walk to the Groninger Museum where the second part of the symposium started at 13.15 hours. During this second part, Tourism Research Network Northern Netherlands (TOREN) was officially launched. TOREN is an interdisciplinary nexus of key researchers which has started in January 2015. The goal of the network is to create a shared intellectual environment in tourism studies in our northern region but also nationally and internationally. TOREN collaborates with colleagues at universities of applied sciences in the region, and also with national and internatioal networks of tourism.
A range of knowledgeable speakers offered reflections and suggestions on how to grow this platform, and build bridges between academia, society and industry in ways to give a voice and a recognisable identity for tourism research and practice in the Netherlands. The speakers were: Dorina Maria Buda (University of Groningen), René van der Duim (Professor of Tourism and Sustainable Development at Wageningen University & Research Center), Jonas van Dorp (Business Development Manager Groningen Airport Eelde), Alison McIntosh, Hazel Tucker, and Oeds Westerhof (Leeuwarden Cultural Capital 2018).
In the second part of the day, after the coffee break, a panel of discussants took questions from the audience. In the panel there was Monique Koolman from the Department of Economic Affairs at theMunicipality of Groningen, together with Luis Manuel Garcia at the University of Groningen, and Oeds Westerhof the director of Leeuwarden European Capital of Culture 2018.
Alison Mcintosh delivered the final keynote address mentioning three main themes which emerged from the symposium: 1) the importance of collaborations and networks; 2) place, people and emotions; 3) transformations, thinking about new ways of research and ways to adapt knowledge. The event finished with Alison McIntosh’s inspiring words, guests were afterwards invited for drinks.
To sum up, this was a successful and inspiring symposium, which has enhanced existing routes of knowledge and collaborations for tourism research and practice, as well as created and opened new routes.
The symposium was hosted by Groninger Museum, moderated by Atze Lucbach and logistical support was offered by Groningen Congres Bureau.
Tourism Research Network Northern Netherlands (TOREN): Dorina Maria Buda firstname.lastname@example.org
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