The Modern Nomad – A Transnational Research Project on Backpacker Tourism
A project initiated by the Association for Tourism and Leisure Education (ATLAS) by creating the International Backpacker Research Group of multidisciplinary expertise required studying all the facets of backpacker behaviour and motivation. The group has set out a research agenda and currently works on a structured research plan of using common questionnaires/interview schedules across different countries to provide comparative international data.
As a Coordinator of the Group Ateljevic has produced the comprehensive literature review (in conjunction with her colleague Dr Stephen Doorne from the University of South Pacific) that has been necessary for development of a research framework (in press).
Activities and outputs
In the role of a Coordinator Ateljevic is organising the next symposium of BRG members, which was first planned to be held in India (University of Goa) in November this year. However it has been proven difficult to organise it in India and it has now been decided to lay it to Thailand in February 2005 instead.
She is organising the conference in conjunction with the University of Strathclyde (more specifically with a lecturer Jithendan Kokkranikal who originally comes from India, has connections with the local Tourism Department and will assist to host the conference). This kind of collaboration has also strategic implications in the light of the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Strathclyde and AUT to foster staff and student exchanges and collaborative research.
The New Zealand Tourism Research Institute has considerable experience assisting local government in developing research studies and tourism strategies to capitalise on their unique features.
Areas of research include:
Tourism Policy and Planning: the successful development of tourism destinations depends upon the creation and maintenance of understanding between key stakeholders. Much of our research is focused on approaches to increase levels of input by residents and business into the tourism development process. We are particularly interested in developing cost effective ICT based tools to enhance participation (community informatics). This focus fits with requirements facing developers under the NZ RMA and with the growing emphasis around the world on community consultation (see, for example, current NZ local government reform).
Urban Tourism: Much tourism research in New Zealand is focused on rural/wilderness environments. Our base in the largest city in the country places us in an ideal position to emphasise urban tourism. We focus on the following areas: labour market and training needs; urban regeneration; urban sustainability; urban park use and management.
Tourism Industry Restructuring: Important shifts that are occurring in the structure of the tourism industry. The NZTRI focuses on restructuring that is driven by ICT, global economic change and a range of other forces. Our attempts to understand and communicate these changes include a desire to conduct comparative research across industry sectors and nations, regions and communities in New Zealand and elsewhere.