Emerging Scholar Profile- Dr. Naomi F. Dale
Dr Naomi Dale is an Assistant Professor of Management and Program Director of the Bachelor of Event and Tourism Management for the Faculty of Business, Government and Law at the University of Canberra. Naomi has been teaching and researching in the Tourism Discipline at UC since 2006. She was the recipient of an Australian Post Graduate Award scholarship and in 2013 completed her PhD investigating destination choice by school excursion groups in Australia.
Dr Dale’s research is concerned with Learning and Engagement in Tourism. This incorporates research in the specific areas of educational tourism, indigenous tourism, policy impacts of curriculum, and visitor research at cultural institutions and national capital attractions. It also captures emerging research interests in the application of social media, and strategies for engagement through e-platforms (in teaching, tourism and events). Other key areas are around the shared economy, consumer behaviour and marketing.
Naomi was an invited special issue editor for the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management which gathered articles on the theme of thresholds and learning outcomes in tourism, hospitality and events. The editorial, “Perspectives to implementing threshold learning outcomes in tourism, hospitality and events education” was published in the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management (Vol. 30, pp. 1-3, 2017) along with an article by Dr Dale discussing the “Semantics of Learning Outcomes across institutions, industry and governing bodies”.
Research in progress is around the use of social media in tourism experiences and the impact that has on engagement and satisfaction and also the types of images captured and shared by visitors. We understand that increasingly social media is being used as a part of a tourism experience. What we don’t understand is what impact being ‘connected’ is having on the experience and engagement. This research is framed by the understanding that travel photographs simultaneously represent and deny reality and we are seeking to understand how capturing images for sharing online (or not) enhances or negatively impacts on participation in iconic tourism experiences. Initial analysis of the qualitative data from our participants’ experiences at a five-star accommodation and tour weekend at Jamala Lodge confirms photography is not simply capturing an image for private use, and that the immediacy of sharing with friends and family impacts on the purpose of the images captured.
Outside of traditional academic impact, her research on shaping industry practice and influencing government policy is particularly notable. For example, the research conducted around school excursion tourism is utilised by the Department of Education and Training toward policy and funding decisions for the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate (PACER) which sees funding go to schools who visit cultural attractions in Canberra with links to the National curriculum. This research is also critical in securing funding from the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government who uses the research to understand the economic impact of school excursions to the ACT and Region.
Other research outputs providing impacts for end-users of research include important industry publications such as the “Report on the Size and Effect of School Excursions to the National Capital” which was launched by the Chief Minister at Parliament House, and the Accommodation Strategy Parliament House for the Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS). For this report Dr Dale was approached to be part of the tender team by Cox Architecture for expertise in tourism and visitation to Canberra. Naomi also led the teams providing a tourism strategy for the newly amalgamated Snowy Monaro Regional Council, and service quality indicators for cycle tourism destinations with CycleLife HQ.
Demonstrating Naomi’s developing international profile is the facilitation and co-ordination since 2013 of the Visitor Research Forum. This sees academics and industry practitioners coming together to present current research on visitors and has an impact on both academics and industry as the dialogue opportunities strengthen research in the discipline. This forum is co-hosted by University of Canberra with The University of Queensland. Recently the forum was held in New Zealand, where it was hosted by Te Papa in Wellington, and Melbourne by Museum Victoria. The Visitor Research Forum is the only opportunity for this kind of knowledge sharing and collaboration in Australia and New Zealand.
Dr Dale has been the National Capital Attractions Association (NCAA) President since December 2015. This role represents the Canberra and Region Tourism industry in a number of ways such as membership meetings and advocacy activities. The role as president includes being the Award Owner for the Canberra & Region Tourism Awards, a Board member representing the ACT on the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) which incorporates the National Tourism Awards, national tourism accreditation (ATAP), Star Ratings and representation on the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) Tourism Committee. The president’s role also brings membership to National Capital Educational Tourism Project (NCETP) Joint Venture in partnership with Deputy Director-General of Enterprise Canberra (ACT Government). These leadership roles enable direct access to national policy creation and decision making and representation of Canberra and the University in those negotiations.
Naomi is passionate about all things visitors and tourism and seeing people engaged in these spaces. Whilst wearing many of the above hats she is also a mum, keen traveller, food and wine enthusiast and avid sports fan.
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