Middlesex University Dubai successfully hosted the 4th Annual Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) Asia Pacific Conference (APAC) on 3rd and 4th December 2016. The conference theme is Pushing the Boundaries: Driving Tourism Innovation & Creativity Through Research.
Dr. Cody Morris Paris, Deputy Director of Middlesex University Dubai and Conference Co-Chair, said this theme “resonates with the spirit of Dubai and the UAE, where there have been significant investments to fulfill a vision of an innovation-driven economy with tourism playing a central role. Already one of the most visited cities in the world, home of the busiest international airport, and the birthplace of some of the world’s leading hospitality and tourism brands, Dubai is well on its way of reaching 20 million international visitors by 2020, the year of EXPO 2020.”
The 4th TTRA APAC conference follows successful previous conferences in Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne, and Tokyo. “We are coming to Dubai at the Far West of the TTRA Asia Pacific region. Dubai has been a leader in tourism leveraging its geographic advantages as a natural hub with long term investment and vision for our industry,” stated Carolyn Childs, TTRA APAC President and Conference Co-Chair.
TTRA International was founded in 1970 to support the travel and tourism industry’s growth and success through a focus on the quality, value, effectiveness and use of research in travel marketing, planning and development. Today TTRA continues to provide leadership for the global community of practitioners, educators, and users of travel research.
The Conference features nearly fifty leading researchers from industry, government, and academia from more than 15 countries including Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Seychelles, UK, USA, Italy, France, Jamaica, Finland, and the United Arab Emirates. The conference featured world renowned keynote speakers and panelists presenting on research and practice at the nexus of creativity, innovation, and tourism.
Mr. Gerald Lawless, Head of Tourism and Hospitality at Dubai Holding and Chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council gave a keynote talk on The Rewarding Union of Travel & Tourism and Cinematography. Prof. Sue Beaton, the founding president of the TTRA APAC Chapter, will launch the 2nd edition of her seminal book,Film-Induced Tourism, and has organized a special panel and paper track on Creating Tourism via Film, TV and Pop Culture featuring filmmakers, destination marketers, and academics.
Mr. Nasif Kayed, Founder and CEO of The Arab Culturalist and Dr. Jeff Dalley, New Zealand Department of Conservation and VP of TTRA APAC, gave opening keynote talks. In addition to the panelists and keynote speakers, more than forty academic papers will be presented by some of the world’s leading tourism researchers.
Dr. Morris Paris said “I’ve been a long time member of TTRA, it’s always been a fantastic community of researchers from the travel and tourism industry, academia, and destinations. Tourism research has always been central to the vibrant research culture at Middlesex University Dubai, and we have offered a strong undergraduate programme in Tourism since the Dubai campus opened in 2005. Next September 2017, Middlesex University Dubai will launch the first MSc in International Tourism Management in the UAE. ”