April 27: Marketing and Consumer Studies Professor Named AABS Emerging Scholar
Associate Professor Brent McKenzie was presented with the 2010 Emerging Scholars Award by the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies (AABS). The award was used to finance his travel to Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius to conduct field research about Dark Tourism. The field studies in Estonia included interviews with owners of a firm that provides Soviet Tours in Tallinn; an interview with a tour guide who conducts Soviet Tours in Tallinn; and an interview with a representative of the Tallinn tourism bureau. In Riga, he conducted an interview with a representative of the Latvian Institute to discuss the role of Soviet tourism in Latvia and an interview with a representative from the Latvian Tourism Development Agency. In Vilnius, he conducted an interview, and a tour, with a guide at the Museum of Genocide Victims, an interview with a tourist who visited Grūto parkas ("Stalin World"), and an interview with a representative of the Lithuanian tourism bureau.
To date, in addition to his presentation, "Remembrance versus Nostalgia: 'Dark' Tourism in the Baltic States", at the 2010 Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies Conference, Dr. McKenzie has conducted a seminar at the Estonian Business School in Tallinn, "Country/Destination Branding: 'Dark' Tourism in the Baltic States"; a presentation at Tartu University, "Conscience to Commerce: 'Soviet' Tourism in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania." His paper entitled "Soviet Tourism in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania: Ethics versus Experiences" will be presented at the 2011 TTRA (Travel, Tourism, Research Association) Europe Conference in France.
Dr. McKenzie is a leading Canadian expert on the retail sector and shopping behaviour in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as his current research into the study of Dark Tourism in the Baltic States.