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PGR Event 4th July 2022: The future for tourism and leisure fieldwork in times of crises

The tourism and leisure industry has found itself in a number of different crises, not least due to the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, but also an increased awareness of sustainability and sustainable development. Destinations continue to face disruption, affecting travellers and businesses alike. Another group that is affected in equal measures by the aforementioned crises encompasses students, researchers and academics involved in tourism and leisure research. The online PGR event, organised on behalf of the GLTRG, aimed to provide a platform mainly for PhD students and postgraduate researchers to discuss these issues and find ways to move beyond crises, whilst engaging in tourism and leisure fieldwork research.

The free online event featured three sessions; the first being a keynote by Professor Michael A. Di Giovine (Chester University of Pennsylvania, USA), who spoke about how the agenda for future tourism and leisure fieldwork beyond crises could look like. His talk was commented on by two PhD students, who not only reported about their own projects, but provided an insight into how they had to adapt due to Covid-19 and what this meant for their research. We were delighted to welcome Roxane de Waegh (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand) and Clive Allanso (University of Brighton UK) as discussants for this session. Cristina-Alexandra Trifan (University of Westminster, UK) moderated the session and led through the questions posed by the international audience of PhD students and academics. In the second session, Dr Christy Hehir (University of Surrey, UK) provided invaluable insights into publishing, social media and online presence for PGRs, with a focus on how to generate impact. This session and its engaging discussion were moderated by Katharina Bürger (University of Brighton, UK). The event concluded with a relaxing yoga session by Nicola Wright (Brighton, UK), highlighting the importance of physical and mental well-being in academia and beyond.

The international audience agreed that Covid-19 and other crises had indeed impacted on their own research, and often led to changed research agendas. And yet, speakers and discussants concluded that any crisis can be considered as an opportunity to explore new topics, utilising new research methods.

This event was jointly organised by the postgraduate representatives of the GLTRG, Cristina-Alexandra Trifan (University of Westminster, UK) and Katharina Bürger (University of Brighton, UK). Thank you to the GLTRG committee for their support in the planning stages of this event and for providing a platform to discuss these pertinent scholarly questions with other PGR students.

About Katharina Bürger

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