In August PhD student Jennifer Holland had the opportunity to attend the Royal Geographic Society Annual Conference in London. The event highlighted the excellent research being carried out at the School of Sport and Service Management in cruise research and risk in tourism.
A session titled ‘Geographies of cruise tourism: Navigating the field(s) of inquiry’, co-convened by Dr Jo-Anne Lester, provided a forum for critical debate on knowledge production, access and empowering marginalized voices, social justice, and creative methods and methodologies including researcher positionality and reflexivity. The event was very well received and innovative in its approach to cruise research, bringing together respected researchers from across the world including presenters from India, Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, and the UK.
Representing the University of Brighton, Dr Clare Weeden shared her current work (in collaboration with Dr Nigel Jarvis) on small ship tourism in the Myeik Archipelago in Myanmar, which analysed social, environmental and economic impacts. Jennifer also shared her recent work on methodological challenges emerging from researcher positionality in her PhD study on ocean cruising.
Significantly, Jennifer had the opportunity to convene her first conference session, titled ‘Tourism and Geographies of Risk’, which provided a forum for researchers from across the UK, Europe and Canada to present their recent work in risk and tourism. The session explored perceptions of risk, risk communication, safety and security in travel and tourism, destination strategies, planning and management of risk, risk seeking behaviour in tourism, regional and global geopolitics and risks related to niche tourism such as polar cruising, war tourism or extreme sports.
While at first a little bit daunting, Jennifer says looking back: “The experience of convening a session at such a large conference with such well-respected academics was fantastic and a great opportunity to develop skills and networking with other researchers from around the world.
“Plus it was great to represent the University of Brighton at such a prestigious event!”