Panelists Discuss Local and Global Tourism: Panacea or Placebo?

February 23rd, 2006 by Adam

cruise shipFour panelists will discuss the implications and impacts of tourism and travel as vehicles of globalization and change at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 15 at the Silver Center for the Arts. The program is presented under the auspices of the Saul O Sidore Lecture Series. This year’s lecture theme is Making Global Connections.

The panelists are PSU professors Grace M. Fraser and Mark J. Okrant, Csaba Miklós Kovacs of Babes-Bolyai University, Romania and Oriol Pi-Sunyer of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. They will address the perennial question, “Tourism development: for whom, by whom and to what end?” Patrick May, associate professor of geography and environmental planning and chair of the Sidore Committee will moderate the discussion.

Topics will include sustaining the cultural, economic, and environmental character of communities which host tourism, small island developing states (SIDS) and the repercussions of North/South tourism and development, the impact of sea, air, and cruise visitors on the finite resources and cultural integrity of West Indian islands, and the cultural-mythical space that previously little-visited locations have become in their quest to fulfill an image not of what they are but of what tourists imagine them to be.

Grace Morth Fraser, associate professor of anthropology-sociology at Plymouth State University, is a cultural anthropologist with research interests in conflict and law, applied anthropology and theories of tourism development and SIDS, and in food and food ways. She has written, lectured, and consulted about contemporary issues, including tourism, in the West Indies and organized PSU’s first ethnographic field school for students on the island of Dominica.

Mark J. Okrant is professor of geography and tourism development, and director of the Institute for New Hampshire Studies at Plymouth State University. He has coordinated tourism research for the State of New Hampshire since 1990, conducted tourism assessments in Aleut and Yupik communities in Alaska, and has presented tourism marketing and planning workshops in Alaska, Canada and Romania. Dr. Okrant was the 1998 recipient of the Association of American Geographers’ John Rooney Award, for excellence in applied tourism research.

Csaba Miklós Kovács studied at Babes Bolyai and at Corvinus University in Budapest. He is assistant professor in the human geography department at Babes-Bolyai University in Romania and has teaching experience in both elementary and higher education. His research includes the geography of tourism and the geography of population.

Oriol Pi-Sunyer is professor of anthropology and director of the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has conducted archeological and ethnographic fieldwork in Spain, Mexico, Guatemala and Venezuela. His current research focuses on the consequences of tourism for formerly inaccessible areas and societies of southern Mexico.

The Saul O Sidore Lecture Series was established at Plymouth State in 1979 to bring a variety of speakers to the University each year to address the critical political, social and cultural issues and events of our time.

For information call Dr. Patrick May, social science department, (603) 535-2501.

[ED. NOTE: the omission of the period after the middle initial in the Sidore name is not an error. PSU adheres to the wishes of the family in presenting the name in this format.]