René van der Duim, who used to be a part-time Special Professor of Tourism and Sustainable Development, has been promoted by the Executive Board of Wageningen University to full time Personal Professor at the Cultural Geography chair group. Wageningen is now in an ideal position to play an important role in research and education in the field of tourism nationally and internationally.
“René has in the past years developed in full the proposed research agenda on tourism and conservation,” says Claudio Minca, Head of the Cultural Geography chair group (GEO). “With his research we have now reached an important critical mass, with increased number of publications and PhD students, large funding, and a well established reputation nationally and internationally. The tourism and conservation agenda led by René is particularly relevant for the GEO group, one of the strongest clusters in tourism studies research in Europe, but also for the Environmental Sciences Department and, I believe, for Wageningen as an internationally recognized university.” Last year René van der Duim was appointed as Chair of the Board of ATLAS, the European Association of Leisure and Tourism Education and Research, a nomination that confirms how his scholarship is appreciated internationally. According to Claudio Minca, the promotion of René van der Duim is not only a reflection of an already existing successful research and teaching agenda, but also of the recently developed collaboration with the NHTV University of Applied Sciences in Breda and of the growing economic and political relevance of the relationship between tourism and sustainable development policies. “Tourism is not only constantly growing as an economic sector internationally,” Minca says, “but tourism research is also growing in terms of impact and international recognition as a scientific field. Wageningen is therefore in the ideal position to play a hegemonic role nationally, and a key role internationally, in developing research and education in the field of tourism in the years to come. Establishing a personal professorship in tourism clearly strengthens our position in the field, in a time when the competition for attracting students and research funding in tourism studies is certainly going to increase.” Claudio Minca finally adds: “René is a very good citizen of the group who has also been a source of inspiration and support for students and junior staff. This is a role that, as a chair holder, I appreciate very much.”