September 22: University Launching New Tourism Research Group
Culinary and pro-poor tourism are a few of the latest travel trends that will be investigated by a new University of Guelph-led research team. The School of Hospitality and Tourism Management will launch the Tourism Research Collaborative (TRC) Sept. 27 with a talk by Luc Durand, vice-president of Ipsos’ Montreal office, who will discuss “Naked Foods: Canadians’ Taste for the Authentic.”
“We are seeing a growing popularity in people travelling to places specifically for the authentic food,” said Prof. Statia Elliot, a TRC researcher. “Luc Durand is a leading expert in this area and will be sharing some of the latest research findings on Canadian food habits, preferences and trends.”
The Guelph event is being held on World Tourism Day and will include a presentation of current TRC research projects.
The new group hopes to encourage experts from different areas, including food safety, geography, nutrition and rural development, to collaborate with researchers in hospitality and tourism.
“We want to create synergies between all disciplines at the University of Guelph as well as related research happening at other universities,” said Elliot. “Right now we have people working on similar projects separately, and we are hoping this new collaborative will help bring them together to produce better-quality research.”
The group also aims to involve U of G graduate students, she said.
The TRC will be based in a cutting-edge research information lab developed in Macdonald Institute in 2005 with funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation. The lab’s computer systems will allow for high-level data mining research and access to current Statistics Canada figures.
As part of the research initiative, two Chinese tourism experts are currently visiting the Guelph campus. Mei Yang and Lingyun Zhang will spend a year with U of G professors investigating pro-poor tourism, which involves investigating ways tourism can provide economic and social benefits to developing communities.
“The collaborative is also planning to utilize Guelph’s expertise in food to advance food tourism and hospitality research,” said Elliot.
The launch begins at 3:30 p.m. in Room 300 of Macdonald Institute and is open to the public.