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option 1

The Ultimate Attraction: Escaping Through Heritage

The practice of leisure tourism as one of the most pervasive and persistent markers of modernity owes a great deal to the concept of heritage. Indeed, the histories of heritage and of tourism overlap considerably and have long fed off one another. Heritage too is a powerful and essentially modern construct. If we accept that to varying degrees, tourism is an act of escape, then heritage not only provides a gateway for escape but also an important destination. This presentation will examine the construct of heritage as the ‘ultimate’ tourist attraction and argue that societies have long constructed heritage sites that are deliberately designed to attract the tourist. This challenges the idea that there is something intrinsic in heritage but rather, through carefully constructed narratives, aesthetic manipulation and symbolic and political positioning, it is capable of being transformed into the most desirable of tourist experiences. Over a long period, the tourism sector has been adept and proactive in such transformatory practices, often in spite a more reactionary attitude from heritage producers and managers. Of course each sector can learn from one another but neither can defy the demand from ‘tourists’ seeking to engage with the past.  To ‘visit’ the past works with imaginaries and opens up vast possibilities that meet social needs for identity, belonging and meaning.

dr. mike robinson, director, ironbridge international institute for cultural heritage


option 2

Social Listening: how to do it and how to use it

Note: this session will be offered in 2 parts - Part I will cover text analysis and Part II will cover network analysis with social media data.

The workshops will explain to participants how to study online communities and social networks and apply some of the new tools and methods for analyzing and visualizing social media data developed by the Social Media Lab. Participants will learn how social media is changing the ways in which people communicate and disseminate information and how these changes impact the social, economic and political structures of modern society. The broad aim is to provide researchers with the skills needed to help decision makers with additional knowledge into the behaviors and relationships of online network members by extracting actionable insights from large social media datasets. One such tool is Netlytic, a cloud-based text and social networks analyzer that can automatically summarize large volumes of text and discover social networks from conversations on social media sites such as Twitter, Youtube, blogs, online forums and chats. Participants are encouraged to bring their laptops to follow the workshop instructions.

Dr. Anatoliy Gruzd, Canada Research Chair in Social Media Data Stewardship; Director of the Social Media Lab; Associate Professor, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University

Philip Mai, Manager of Academic Communications, Ryerson University


option 3

Storytelling Insights: Making Research Compelling for Decision-Makers

As researchers, we love stats, data, and facts.  They are the bread and butter of what we do best and are the cornerstone of evidence-based decision making.  But too often, we get caught up in providing the data, charts, the graphs, the sources, the important details on the data, the caveats and the methodologies that our audience becomes overloaded and tunes out. This can happen as often with CEOs as with researcher colleagues.

There is so much information available, that one of the core skills of the modern researcher is to communicate your analysis and findings in a way that engages your audience, helps them understand why your research is important and guides them to make decisions – whether that is a government policy, a marketing strategy, an investment decision, or even to continue reading your research.

Storytelling offers clues on how to keep your audience engaged and tuned-in.  This workshop will review techniques to use stories as structure and hero in your presentations; stories that will be remembered and inspire action.

Chantz Strong, Executive Director, Destination Canada

Michel Dubreuil, Manager, Research, Destination Canada

Dmitry Shkolnik, Digital Research Analyst, Destination Canada


option 4

exploring the potential and the promise of memory-work in tourism scholarship: qualitative research methods workshop

Memory-work is a critical, collaborative, qualitative, feminist research methodology, and is becoming increasingly popular in leisure and tourism studies.Developed by Frigga Haug (1992, 2008), memory-work grew out of feminism as a way to highlight the potential of research collaboration where the voices and experiences of women are central. Indeed, with its focus on social justice, memory-work offers a methodological approach that can encourage an assessment of issues of power as they are expressed through tourism, including researcher-participant relationships and systems of domination including patriarchy, class, sexuality, and race.     

The 80-minute workshop will bring together tourism scholars to consider the potential of memory-work for tourism research and teaching. The goal of this workshop is to have participants get a sense of the memory-work approach.  The workshop begins with a very brief introduction of the main tenets of the methodology as well as some discussion of its use in tourism studies and elsewhere. Next, in order to illustrate how the methodology works, participants will be asked to reflect on their personal travel experiences and to write a short memory to be shared with the group. After reading the memories, a short, collective analysis will be facilitated and the process will be discussed in relation memory-work’s potential to tourism studies. As the workshop will illustrate, however briefly, memory-work is rather demanding. It requires a considerable amount of time and commitment by all involved. Nonetheless, the workshop will offer participants a sense of how the methodology works and will have an opportunity to ‘practice’ memory-work on their own and with the group. 

dr. heather mair, associate professor, university of waterloo

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