The public sector plays an essential role in the growth and development of visitor attractions. The government and tourism-related authorities are usually involved in the tourism industry and activities either directly by initiating tourism-related policies, plans, developing infrastructure and facilities or indirectly by nurturing organizations that foster tourism. In line with this, understanding the roles and responsibilities of the public sector in developing visitor attractions is vital in the Leisure Attraction Management module.
Hence, the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Events (SHTE) organized a virtual Tourism Speaker Series on ‘The Public Sector and Visitor Attractions. This guest lecture session has been conducted as a part of a teaching and learning process. It is also aimed to explore the roles and responsibilities of the public sector (government) in developing tourism/ leisure attractions.
Around 25 students from Bachelor of International Tourism Management (Hons.) and Foundation in Arts programmes joined this 2-hour session. Prof. Johan Richard Edelheim, Professor of Tourism & Media Research, Faculty of International Media and Communication, University of Hokkaido, Sapporo, Japan was invited as a guest speaker to share his expertise and experiences in tourism attractions. He clearly explained the roles and responsibilities of government, types of public sector involvement, power and influence of policies, and factors that lead to failure and success of visitor attractions.
He also shared some relevant case studies to illustrate real-life examples. His interactive teaching method continuously attracted the students and encouraged them to participate in the lecture session actively. Moreover, the Q & A session became more interactive when there was an inquiry about the roles of education industries in enhancing the public sector and tourism industry. Besides being a Professor at the University of Hokkaido, Japan, he holds various responsibilities such as researcher, editor, managerial roles, adjunct and visiting professor in various universities, including Taylor’s University.
He also published numerous journal articles and book chapters on tourism and hospitality. In 2015, he published a book titled Tourist Attractions from Objects to Narratives, which was relevant to the Leisure Attraction Management module. Besides attending the e-Learning lecture and tutorial session, the students were given an opportunity to explore the practical knowledge from the experts. The lecture series was a very insightful session for the students.