A team from Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) Tourism Research Group recently travelled to Munster Technological University (MTU) campus in Cork to participate in the ATLAS Conference on tourism. Delegates from over 28 countries gathered recently to reflect on a variety of themes including wellness, sustainability, culture, heritage, and tourism education.
ATLAS is the Association for Tourism and Leisure Education and Research and is an academic and industry network with members in over 60 countries. This year the conference explored the future of tourism internationally asking, ‘What Matters Now to the Global Tourist?’.
The DkIT Tourism Research group presented on several significant subjects during this symposium. Acting Head of Department and Research Group Director at DkIT, Dr Kevin Burns offered a paper on tourist behaviour focusing on how tourists perceive and react to other tourists. He also spoke at the launch of Festivals and the City: The Contested Geographies of Urban Events published by the University of Westminster Press, in which he and Dr Daithí Kearney have a chapter reflecting on Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Drogheda.
For this conference, Dr Daithí Kearney collaborated with Dr Susan Motherway from MTU and presented a paper on new initiatives by Siamsa Tíre, the National Folk Theatre of Ireland that sought to diversify the tourist experience, in part as a response to changes in tourism in the aftermath of COVID-19.
DkIT lecturers Lorraine Dunne and Maria Roddy Freyne joined Kevin to present a paper on their experiencing the development of a Coastal and Maritime Tourism MOOC, informed by their involvement in an Erasmus+ funded project with partners from universities in the Netherlands, Estonia, Latvia and Finland.
DkIT doctoral student Leandro Pessina, whose research is exploring the potential for music and tourism in Co. Louth, was selected to participate in the doctoral seminar. He said:
‘It was a wonderful opportunity to share my research with others and get their perspectives on how I might develop it’.
Teresa O’Rourke, who is also currently completing her doctoral studies in the Institute on new approaches in tourism enjoyed the opportunity to attend the conference as it facilitated insights and examples that could place her research in an international context.
The conference was inspiring as the team met with colleagues and shared ideas in advance of the new semester as they welcome students on the BA (Hons) International Tourism Management at DkIT.