New Zealand's unique landscapes and people have made tourism one of the drivers in our national economy. It’s a dynamic industry with exciting potential, but at what cost? That's where policymakers, communities and businesses need relevant research, says Simon Milne, Professor of Tourism at AUT and Director of the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute (NZTRI).
"They need quality research to help them make the right decisions about the type and pace of tourism development," he says.
"These are decisions that affect everyone's lives."
Professor Milne's recent work with NZTRI has focused on better understanding the links between information technology, tourism and local economic development. He has considerable international experience in local and regional economic impact assessment, tourism strategy development, small and medium enterprise performance and industry sector analysis.
He completed his PhD in economic geography at Cambridge University in 1989 and taught at McGill University, Montreal from 1989 until 1998 where he established the McGill Tourism Research Group.
Professor Milne brings a global perspective to his work, having conducted tourism research in: New Zealand, the Caribbean (Grenada, Tobago and Cuba), Canada, Mexico, the South Pacific (Cook Islands, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Niue, Tuvalu, Marshall Islands, Samoa), Kenya, the Philippines, Vietnam and Russia.
Professor Milne has worked as a research consultant for a range of New Zealand and international organisations, including the United Nations Development Programme, UNESCAP, the World Tourism Organisation, the European Union, Luxembourg Development, CIDA, the Chilean Regional Development Agency (CORFO) and the Organisation of American States.