UWA Travel and Tourism Research Cluster
The UWA Travel and Tourism Research Cluster (TTRC) brings together researchers and students from across The University of Western Australia (UWA) with the aim of contributing to scholarship and teaching in the areas of travel and tourism.
The TTRC builds on the deep and rich history of travel and tourism scholarship at UWA across a diverse range of fields including marketing, management, economics, geography, anthropology, and biological sciences.
The UWA Travel and Tourism Research Cluster aims to:
- Share knowledge and raise awareness of current and future research in the field travel and tourism;
- Develop UWA’s capacity for interdisciplinary, collaborative approaches to challenging and significant research problems in travel and tourism;
- Foster greater collaboration between academia, industry, and policymakers.
Associate Professor Joanne Sneddon's research focuses on the role of personal values in tourists’ decisions, experiences, and behaviours. She has conducted studies on visitors’ values and interpretation in zoos and aquariums, with a focus on motivating visitors conservation behaviours in both adults and children.
Professor Julie Lee's research focuses on two main substantive themes: (1) how values theory can add insight into tourist attitudes and behaviours, and (2) understanding international and cross-cultural travel behaviour. She is also interested in the development of methodologies that provide new insight in tourism research.
Dr Fang Liu is researching destination branding, and tourist experience and learning across nature-based tourism (e.g., ecotourism and wildlife tourism), adventure tourism, and agritourism. Her current projects include adventure tourism and destination brand building, designs of heritage tourism products and service, sustainable tourism, tourist learning and pro-environmental behaviour, and the image processing of tourism-related symbols. Dr Liu has also recently published on the effects of COVID-19 on Chinese citizens’ lifestyle and travel.
Dr Arnold Japutra has conducted studies on destination brand equity and brand premiums. He is interested in the relationship between individuals and brands (e.g., destination brands), particularly with the presence of new technologies. For example, he recently published an article about the relationship between tourists and intelligent voice assistants. He has also conducted a number of studies on how mindsets influence tourists’ behaviours. In a recent publication, he found that tourists with growth mindsets have a higher tendency to choose more adventurous holiday activities. On top of this, he has worked on other issues in tourism, such as rural tourism and human resource management.
The Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy (CEEP) has conducted a number of studies on the economics of dive tourism, particularly the relationship between shark conservation and dive tourism. Their research on the contribution of shark-dive tourism to the economy of Palau has been quoted by the President of Palau in The United Nations General Assembly.
CEEP has also been investigating the economics of recreational fishing, including analysis of the travel costs incurred by fishers to provide insights into the benefits they experience from fishing, and the consideration of recreational fishing in the design of marine reserves.
Dr Ana Manero has been developing the field of surfing economics in Australia, which aims to understand and protect the total value of surfing resources. She is currently collaborating with The University of the Sunshine Coast on a study to calculate the economic value of the Noosa World Surf Reserve, in Queensland.
Dr Katarina Damjanov is currently working on research which explores the evolving modes and itineraries of space travel and tourism, in particular the integration of VR/XR technologies in space exploration and their role in the conditioning of tourist practices and experiences.
Tourism and Indigenous Cultures
Dr Gretchen Stolte is currently working to explore the intersections between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural practices and cultural tourism in Queensland and Western Australia. Her work aims to create an ethnographic narrative that complicates the stereotype of ‘selling culture’ as a more active and engaged form of Indigenous agency.
Professor Erika Techera is working on marine environmental governance including protected areas, species and ecosystems across the Indo-Pacific region. She has published on shark and ray tourism laws in Australia, marine-based tourism laws in the Maldives and Pacific islands, and more broadly on the legal governance of eco-tourism. Her current research includes options to enhance Indian Ocean marine-based tourism laws to support blue economy goals.
Dr Julian Clifton's research focuses on the interaction between tourism and coastal communities in developing countries, with specific reference to ecotourism, volunteer tourism and marine-based tourism activities. He has undertaken field-based research in these areas in Indonesia, Burma, Seychelles and Central America.