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Tourism Research and Education Network (TRENd)

Banner Image: Hobart. Credit: Tourism Tasmania and Luke Tscharke.

The Tourism Research and Education Network (TRENd) is a network of researchers at the University of Tasmania who have an interest in tourism research and education.

Our goal is to support tourism researchers across the University of Tasmania by providing opportunities for the to meet and collaborate. TRENd also aims to extend these linkages to the tourism industry, with whom we have a very close relationship.

Past and current industry partners include Tourism Tasmania, the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service, the Department of State Growth, the Port Arthur Historic Site, Destination Southern Tasmania, Wine Tasmania, the Tourism Industry Council, the Huon Valley Council, Tahune Airwalk, Willie Smiths Apple Shed, the Old Woolstore Accommodation plus many small and medium enterprises throughout Tasmania and beyond.

In terms of education, TRENd aims to increase the research strengths and industry readiness of our graduates, so they possess the skills and knowledge required by the tourism industry in Tasmania, Australia and overseas.

We do this in a variety of ways:

A regular, supportive reading group for UTAS researchers- our reading group meets once a month to discuss classical literature and the latest research.

Funding for industry responsive research - TRENd has funded competitive research grants on Airbnb and development of the Premium drinks industry.

Lunchtime seminars, where UTAS staff share their research with the tourism industry and students and receive feedback- our seminars are held in the winter months where we share our latest research activities.

Memorandum of Understanding agreements with the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service and the Tasmanian Department of State Growth- these have resulted in research that has explored social media representations of Tasmania and the movement of tourists through the World Heritage Area.

News and Events

Tourism Research and Education Network

May 2019

Huon Valley Fire Forum

TRENd, in conjunction with the Institute for the Study of Social Change, held a fire forum. The event was designed to assist the Huon Valley Region that was badly affected by bushfires in the summer of 2019. The event was kindly sponsored by Wille Smiths and supported by Destination Southern Tasmania. The forum was led by Associate Professor Gabbie Walters of the University of Queensland who shared her research experience of how tourism destinations typically recover, following disasters. The event was attended by 50 members of the community.

Tourism Research and Education Network

February 2019

Tourist Tracking Symposium

TRENd, in conjunction with the Institute for the Study of Social Change and the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, funded a Tourist Tracking Symposium. The event was also sponsored by the Old Woolstore Apartments and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s One Planet Network. Around 90 people attended from the tourism industry, university sector and government. Keynote speakers included Professor Noam Shoval (Hebrew University, Jerusalem), Dr Amit Birenboim (Tel Aviv University), Professor Sara Dolnicar (University of Queensland), Professor Can Seng Ooi (University of Tasmania) and Professor Catherine Picketing (Griffith University). Topics discussed included: innovations in tourist tracking research; methods for tourist tracking; the use of social media data; and the ethics of tourist tracking.

Monthly Reading Group

At TRENd, members read, meet and discuss regularly. We read both classical literature and cutting-edge articles. We also invite interdisciplinary experts to give guest talks on different topics.

If you are interested in this group, please contact the group coordinator Alberte.

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TRENd Members

Hanne is a Lecturer in the School of Humanities at the University of Tasmania. She specialises in representations of Antarctica in cultural production, including in advertising. Hanne has spent five seasons working in Antarctica as a polar tourism guide and is particularly interested in how the tourist experience of the continent is constructed, both during voyages and via text and image back home.

Ma submitted her PhD thesis in 2019 investigating how Chinese socio-cultural backgrounds affect tourist experiences at Port Arthur Historic Site. Her research interests include Chinese outbound tourism, Chinese culture, tourist anxieties and travel behaviour, cross-cultural communication, and the use of digital technology - WeChat in tourism. She is also a research assistant at UTAS. Yue completed Bachelor of Marketing in Shanghai Ocean University and Master of International business at the University of Tasmania.

Research Themes

Our research is place based and has had significant impacts. TRENd members undertake research in the following theme areas:

Tourism Tracer

The Tourism Tracer project has received international acclaim and won numerous awards; it was the first project in the world to ethically track tourists across an entire destination for the duration of their stay. The success of the project has been featured in research publications and media stories around the world. The Tourism Tracer team is an official research partner of the Sustainable Development division in the United Nations World Tourism Organisation; the only Australian research group recognised in this division. In May 2018, the Tourism Tracer technology was commercialised, via licence arrangement with Tasmania IT firm, Go Gulliver.

Key Researchers:

Anne Hardy, Richard Eccleston, Jagannath Aryal, Kate Booth, Sarah Hyslop, Dugald Tinch.

Visitors from China

Visitors from China are also increasing in Tasmania. Researchers at TRENd reject simplistic and generalised understanding of the Chinese visitor market. Ma Yue has just completed a project looking at Chinese tourist experiences at Port Arthur. In an ongoing project, researchers here have assembled at 12-member team across Australia and Southeast Asia to examine the different strategies by destination management organisations serve and respond to Chinese visitors. Comparative lessons will be drawn.

Key Researchers:

Can Seng Ooi, Anne Hardy, Ma Yue, James Chin.

Tourism and social responsibility

There are a number of projects that deal with tourism and its contribution to the community. This includes the focus on making tourist attractions into learning destinations for young people in the community through the Children’s University Tasmania. Another project focuses on the challenge of job polarisation in the industry; it is just as important to create good jobs and not just increase employment. Social responsibility and justice are important in tourism, and researchers here have looked at an industrial dispute in a hospitality workplace to understand the complexity of being fair to diverse stakeholder groups.

Key Researchers:

Can Seng Ooi, Becky Shelley, .

Tourism and Agribusiness - Food, Wine and Drink

This theme has been explored from a number of angles, including barriers to entry, the supply chains of wine growers, best practice for craft brewers, new food initiatives, collaborative marketing and the behaviour of wine tourists through regional areas.

Key Researchers:

Alison Dunn, Gemma Lewis, Kim Lehman, Mark Wickham.

Digital Disruptions and the Sharing Economy

Researchers from UTAS have explored the impact of recent digital disruptors on the tourism industry. Recent projects have explored that impacts that Airbnb has had upon housing, hosting practices and conventions of Airbnb hosts, the regulation of the industry and the impacts of Airbnb on local economies. Other social media platforms have been explored vis a vis their relationships with tourism, including the use of Tinder and Grinder by tourists.

Key Researchers:

, Richard Eccleston, Louise Grimmer, Elleke Leurs, Anne Hardy.

Research Image Credit: Panopticon III, cell v 2019: flowers of the worlds gardens
Artists: Lilly Amos, Josephine Christensen, Holly Gregg, Bryce Schreuder


The University of Tasmania is a rapidly emerging leader in tourism education and research. Strong industry networks and a commitment to place based teaching and research underpin our approach to this rapidly emerging field of study.

Study options in Tourism

Research Degrees in Tourism

Available Research Degree Projects

For a full list of current University projects, refer to the Research Division – Available Research Degree Projects.


Tourism in Tasmania

This book is a truly Tasmanian project. It consists of 21 chapters, written by 27 scholars, most of whom are at the University of Tasmania, and published by Forty South. It is edited by Professor Can-Seng Ooi and Associate Professor Anne Hardy of the university. The book is written for the general audience.

The chapters cover a wide range of topics, including balanced tourism development, a tourism vision, cruise ship, Airbnb, heritage, nature, wine tourism, Chinese visitors, road kills, job polarisation, and using tourist attractions as a resource for the local community.

The diverse and contrasting perspectives reflect the complex relations between tourism and society.

The University of Tasmania is committed to place-based research and community engagement. This book offers a means by which the University of Tasmania can contribute towards discussions on the future of tourism in Tasmania.

Get the hard copy, which is available at all good book shops in Tasmania.



For further information about TRENd, please contact the TRENd Co-Director, Dr Anne Hardy.

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