Madeleine (Madz) Crouth

Madeleine (Madz) Crouth

Teaching Assistant, AUT
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) 
Bachelor of International Tourism in Destination Management

Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Porou

For Madeleine (Madz) Crouth, a connection to tourism runs in her family.

“My sister and brother-in-law are both flight attendants, so I first learned about the tourism industry from them. I then decided to enrol in a diploma in tourism at another tertiary institute, and just fell in love with critical tourism and having a bigger impact by using tourism as a vehicle of change.”

With her passion for tourism sparked, she soon decided to continue her studies and further her understanding of the tourism industry.

“I was looking at different tertiaries to continue my studies, and AUT stood out to me. I liked that AUT is accredited by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and it became clear that the university is aligned with a critical understanding of tourism’s ethical, cultural, social and environmental dimensions, and with policy change in tourism.”

Finding her path
Madz says that hearing her AUT lecturer discuss voluntourism was an eye-opening experience and inspired her to make a positive difference to the tourism industry.

“I know every student dreams of that lecturer who will change their life, and I certainly had that experience. I remember sitting in my sustainable tourism class in my undergraduate degree and watching my lecturer, Professor Alison McIntosh, talk about voluntourism; where tourists travel to third-world countries to have a holiday and do some volunteering while they’re there.

“That was a concept I disagreed with, so I emailed Alison and we had a bit of a discussion of the topic. It spoke to me so deeply, and I realised I could have a bigger impact on tourism than I had initially thought.”

After realising that she could help change tourism for the better, Madz started looking at some of the more problematic aspects of the industry, including dark tourism and human trafficking in tourism. In her Bachelor of Arts (Honours), she continued to pursue this interest and investigated how airlines can help fight human trafficking.

“My honours degree dissertation was a thematic analysis of human trafficking awareness materials circulated within the airline industry. I was looking at how some airlines are implementing policies to improve awareness of human trafficking and victim identification.”

The next step on her journey
After graduating with her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in March 2023, Madz is now planning to build on her previous research and enrol in a PhD later this year.

“I finished my honours dissertation, and it gave me a taste of research is but I felt I wasn’t done. Research has given me the chance to do something meaningful, and it’s great to have the support from AUT to encourage me to come back. My PhD research will broaden the scope of my research to a global level, again looking at the aviation industry and how they facilitate human trafficking. The one thing we know is that people will globalise and it’s not just the people who visit a country and want to see it, but there is also crime that comes with it.”

While she is still preparing for her PhD, Madz is already back at AUT and loves sharing her passion for tourism with the next generation of students as a teaching assistant.

“I’m teaching level 5 and level 6 courses, and have enjoyed being back in the classroom with new students. This experience humbles you but also inspires you to go back to the basics. Talking to the students and encouraging them to make the most of all the support services available to them is a really nice contrast from being behind a computer. It continues my journey and prepares me when I hopefully in the future present to conferences or the UN.

“I don’t think I’ll ever leave academia but I’d like to use my academic values to make bigger changes, such as petitioning to the UN and other organisations that need shaking up. Eventually I’d like to be working with the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization toward a more sustainable and socially friendly tourism industry.”