2016-2017 Colloquium Series

The Tourism Studies Working Group is pleased to announce
How to Create Memorable Tourist Experiences.
The Particular Case of the Wetlands.

Lola Teruel
PhD Assistant Lecturer and Head of Tourism Studies,
Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain
María José Viñals
Professor at the Higher School of Architecture,
Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain

Friday, August 5, 2:00 PM
Gifford Room, 221 Kroeber Hall
University of California, Berkeley

Tourism at natural areas has been considered as a consolidated product from many years ago. These natural areas, due to their special characteristic and their conservation, need to implement public use tools in order to assurance their value resource preservation and also to facilitate tourist memorable experiences according with their expectations. To reach this conversation aims in wetlands is a challenge for the site manager because this ecosystem is difficult to mobilize, moreover it is a very complex natural area for managing public use and for developing some tourist activities. This conference was prepared for the International Wetlands Convention (Ramsar Convention) and it intended to give new ideas about how to approach wetlands to a general public, considered as the major segment of the demand.

Speaker Bios:

Lola Teruel is actually PhD Assistant Lecturer at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (UPV), Spain. Also, she is the Head of the Tourism Studies.

Graduated in Tourism in 1997 and Public Relations and Publicity in 2005, she obtained her Postgraduate studies in New Technologies applied to Tourism Information Management in 2001. Recently, she got his Phd. at the Polytechnic University of Valencia.

She has been working as assistant teacher in the Tourism since 1998, combining her academic activities with research projects in the field of ecotourism and protected areas.

Her expertise concerns natural and cultural heritage communication and commercialization, tourism site promotion in a sustainable way, tourist demand studies, in practice as well as in research, in association with local, regional and national administrations around Mediterranean countries (Italy, Jordan, Morocco, etc.), specially in Spain.

Dr. María José Viñals is full Professor at the Higher School of Architecture in the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), Spain. She took a MA and a PhD in Geography at the Universitat de València-Estudi General (Spain). Dr. Viñals was the Director of the UPV International Office (2005-09) and director of the Spanish Wetland Centre (Fundación Biodiversidad, Spanish Ministry of Environment) during four years.

Her field of expertise focuses on Natural and Cultural Heritage Planning and Management, Public Use and Conservation of Natural Protected Areas and Heritage Sites, Tourism and Heritage Interpretation.

She usually teaches in undergraduate and graduate Environmental Sciences, Tourism and Architecture studies. Furthermore, she has been the director of several professional masters and courses in Spain and other countries (Italy, Portugal, Morocco, Tunisia, Australia, Nicaragua, Argentina, Uruguay, Jordan, Ecuador, Honduras, etc.). She has mentored and supervised the research work over a hundred of graduate students and has directed eight doctoral theses.

Dr. Viñals has led interdisciplinary teams, that have conducted research in various aspects of protected areas and world heritage sites, particularly addressing issues related to the outdoor recreation planning and managing, and natural and cultural tourism resources. She has been also consultant to the Spanish Ministry of Environment, International Spanish Agency for Cooperation and Development (AECID), to the International Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, UNESCO Word Heritage Centre, to the UN World Tourism Organization, and advisor to World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Dr. Viñals has published more than a hundred fifty international research works (papers, books, conference papers, book chapters, etc.) devoted particularly to heritage and tourism management. Currently, she is an evaluator of the National Agency for Assessment and Accreditation (ANECA) of the Spanish Ministry of Education.

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