Articles tagged with: Tourism and Environment

  • New book examines human rights issues in tourism

    After almost a year of travel restrictions and stay-at-home mandates, many Canadians are looking toward a future when they might visit distant locales once again.

    Atsuko Hashimoto, Associate Professor in Brock’s Department of Geography and Tourism Studies, hopes that before hopping on a plane, people might first consider how travel may impinge on the rights of others.

    To help readers understand the implications of tourism across a range of topics related to human rights, Hashimoto published Human Rights Issues in Tourismat the end of December, following a historical year for both the tourism industry and human rights worldwide.

    “When we started writing this book, no one could have foreseen all the changes that 2020 brought,” says Hashimoto. “We have seen many pro-democracy demonstrations and the rise of rights activism around the world, the number of asylum seekers increasing exponentially and a global pandemic that has, for the most part, stopped non-essential travel, or ‘taking a holiday,’ resulting in many people’s rights to work being severely compromised.”

    Human Rights Issues in Tourism is part of Routledge’s Tourism, Environment and Development Series.

    Co-authored with colleagues Elif Härkönen of Linkoping University in Sweden and Brock Political Science alumnus Edward Nkyi (MA ’11), the book covers a background of human rights issues related to tourism, from sustainable development goals to politics, before taking deeper dives into specific issues such as human security, displacement, discrimination, privacy, free movement, labour conditions, sex tourism, the environment and Indigenous rights.

    “I like the idea that tourism is a window to what is happening in society,” says Hashimoto. “Readers may be surprised to realize how our own behaviours are, without us noticing, hurting other people.”

    Hashimoto, whose research has long focused on the empowerment of women in rural communities and other disadvantaged groups, says it’s important to acknowledge the part tourists may play in the relationships that exist between globalization, tourism and human rights.

    “Can you imagine as an international tourist that the resort hotel you are staying in used to be a local fishing village?” she says. “The villagers were removed from the area so that the hotel could be built and local access to the beach is now denied. Almost everything in the resort hotel is imported from other countries, so local suppliers benefit very little — even the traditional Indigenous souvenirs sold in the hotel have been mass produced in another country and imported.”

    Hashimoto encourages potential tourists to think of any trip they plan as a visit to someone else’s home, determining if and how their visit will benefit local people and how their mode of transportation may contribute to climate change, another serious human rights issue examined in the book.

    “You are taking a vacation for relaxation and fun, but your enjoyment should not be a burden to others,” Hashimoto says.

    STORY FROM THE BROCK NEWS

    Tags: , , , , , ,
    Categories: News

  • Brock expert says decisive action required to make post-COVID-19 tourism sustainable

    What will post-pandemic tourism look like?

    A Brock University tourism expert believes COVID-19 is an opportunity to “reset tourism along the lines of sustainability, if our country, and the world, make massive changes in order to be more integrative and resilient.”

    The federal government designated $4.5 million from the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund for Niagara Falls Tourism over the weekend, with an eye on marketing to domestic travellers as a response to a drop in international visitors.

    “With the potential to lose 50 per cent or more of tourism revenue this year because of COVID-19, marketing and promotion has to be one of the solutions to the problem, so it’s great to see Niagara Falls receive $4.5 million to get the ball rolling,” says David Fennell, a Professor in Brock’s Department of Geography and Tourism Studies. “We see how important Niagara Falls is as a major gateway community in Ontario and Canada, relative to other large urban centres such as Toronto, which received $7.9 million.”

    However, Fennell, who also serves as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Ecotourism, sees much bigger opportunities to strengthen tourism by improving the environmental sustainability around the industry, provided there is strong leadership and ample education.

    “For many, sustainability is just a term that gets in the way of economic benefit,” Fennell says. “However, increasingly — especially if we look at the actions of other countries — future success in tourism is being embedded in a sustainability agenda.”

    This is due in part to consumer demand, with travellers “now more than ever, demanding low-carbon options in accommodation and transportation, greener technologies, and other sustainability dimensions,” he says.

    Fennel suspects that even when international travel resumes on a larger scale, tourists may avoid popular destinations, partially because of the risks now associated with crowds, and partially because of what he anticipates will be a higher “social cost” associated with tourism.

    He notes that in Niagara, the mass tourism of Niagara Falls itself is contrasted by many other specialized attractions, such as wineries to art venues, which don’t always see the constant traffic of casinos and hotels and find it more difficult to rebound after a disaster. He suggests that with greater co-operation across the region, this might improve.

    “Getting sustainability right in our geopark is of considerable importance, because we feel it can be an excellent model for Ontario, Canada and the rest of the world,” Fennell says.

    He sees two possible scenarios that could result from efforts to build sustainability in tourism.

    One involves new technologies, policies, practices and knowledge around how people and organizations navigate the new realities. The second is business-as-usual, where “others are left holding the bag with all the negative socio-cultural, economic and environmental problems that go along with tourism.”

    “We often succumb to akrasia, or weakness of will, as tourists,” Fennell says. “Even though we know that Option A is the right or good course of action, we often choose Option B because it enhances our experience, even at the cost to something or someone else — like a ride on a donkey or elephant that has been severely abused.”

    For this reason, Fennell says, “educating tourists and the tourism industry on the impacts that we create from our travel is absolutely critical if we are to make the right changes.”

    STORY FROM THE BROCK NEWS

    Tags: , , , ,
    Categories: News

  • Tourism student receives 2019 President’s Surgite Award

    Some of the brightest young minds at Brock University were recognized Tuesday for their displays of leadership and contributions to both the Brock and wider Niagara community.

    Ten Brock students were selected from across the University to receive the President’s Surgite Awards, which honour the hard work they’ve completed throughout their educational journey.

    The cross-section of students have amassed impressive resumés packed with academic accomplishments, volunteer experience and community contributions — making them fitting recipients for one of the University’s most prestigious honours.

    The awards were presented by Brock President Gervan Fearon and Anna Lathrop, Vice-Provost, Teaching, Learning and Student Success, during a luncheon to celebrate the recipients on Tuesday, April 2.

    After spending time learning from each award winner about their areas of focus and highlights of their Brock experience, Fearon encouraged them to reflect on their scope of leadership.

    “What happens is we often look at ourselves as individuals and don’t realize we’re impacting and influencing so many of the people around us,” he said. “All of those influences represent your scope of leadership, which is often broader than your job and touches on your volunteer work and the example you’ve become within the community.

    “You’re all leaders and examples to your peers, who then aspire to be able to achieve the same level of excellence. When you multiply that out to the wider scope, you become an inspiration to humanity because you’re defining possibilities.”

    Fourth-year Medical Sciences student Dhruv Jivan was humbled by the honour and said he is grateful to have had such a rich university experience.

    “Brock is such a loving and connected community. That environment allows you to thrive,” he said. “I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world.”

    Through the University, Jivan spends time volunteering at the Brock Centre for Health and Well-Being, which has helped to shape his future path.

    “I’ve grown so much during my time with the centre,” he said. “My love for the geriatric community and my passion for working with them has grown exponentially since I’ve been there.”

    Lathrop told the students she’s confident the “future’s in good hands” with them at the helm. “Thank you for being at Brock and for making big differences in the world as you move forward in life,” she said.

    The 2018-19 President’s Surgite Award winners include:

    • Olivia Poulin (Business Administration — Marketing)
    • Jonah Graham (Tourism and Environment, Minor in Geography)
    • Dhruv Jivan (Medical Sciences)
    • Meghan Hickey (Medical Sciences)
    • Fayyaz Rizvi (Biological Sciences)
    • Nicolas Sardella (Biotechnology, Co-op Option)
    • Daislyn Vidal (Biological Sciences)
    • Wei Wang (Business Administration)
    • Leila Meskine (Mathematics and Statistics)
    • Taylor Lidster (Biological Sciences)

    Story reposted from The Brock News.

    Tags: , , , ,
    Categories: News