Keynote speakers for the 25th Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research

Reidar J. Mykletun

Reidar Johan Mykletun (PhD) is Professor Emeritus at the University of Stavanger (psychology), Visiting Professor at Molde University College (event management), and runs his own company Professoren AS in Norway. His research themes include adventure tourism and extreme sports; event and festival management; work-related issues like work environment, stress and health; organisational leadership; demographic change and the ageing workforce, as well as age management. 

Reidar J. Mykletun has worked as the Head of Research at the Rogaland Research Institute for six years and another six years as the Dean of the Norwegian School of Hotel Management. He initiated the Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism and was one of its Chief Editors from 2000 to 2013. Furthermore, Reidar is a member of the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters, the Scientific Academy of Stavanger, the European Academy of Management, and the European Association of Work and Organisational Psychology. He has received the Price for Research Excellence by the Rogaland Research Institute and participates in several journal editorial and review boards.

At this conference, Reidar J. Mykletun will share his extensive knowledge and first-hand information on the development of the Nordic tourism and hospitality research in the past 25 years. Can you think of a better expert for this task? Neither can we.


Muchazondida Mkono

Mucha Mkono (PhD) is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia. Without a doubt, Mucha will be one of the future stars of tourism research and, already now, her list of publications is outstanding. In her recent research, Mucha has addressed, for instance, the theme of “reflexive tourist” in the context of slum tourism and currently she examines the ethics of trophy hunting, inspired by the social media outrage over the shooting of Cecil the Lion in her home country, Zimbabwe.

Remarkably, a few years back Mucha Mkono completed her PhD in just two years, while publishing 11 refereed journal articles at the same time. In her PhD study, she used the idea of "cultural entertainment" to describe the process of adding aspects of indigenous culture to food service. For the academic excellence and significant contribution to her field of knowledge, the Southern Cross University awarded her with the Chancellor's Medal.

At this conference, Mucha Mkono will share insights on the dichotomies she has grappled with when trying to understand tourism experiences in Africa. As a researcher, she often draws from her African background, as well as from social media, tackling a range of themes including food experiences, authenticity quests, poverty, and moral-ethical dilemmas.

Tom Selänniemi

Tom Selänniemi (PhD) is the Director of the Finnish Nature Centre Haltia and has over 25 years of experience in tourism research and business. Before entering the business sector, Tom made a 10-year academic career in the anthropology and sociology of tourism. In his PhD research, Tom examined the anthropology of Finnish outbound package tourism and, later on, became an expert on sustainability issues within tourism and hospitality. 

Tom Selänniemi was the chair of the Tour Operators’ Initiative for Sustainable Tourism Development (TOI) for seven years, and worked for a decade for the largest Finnish tour operator Aurinkomatkat – Suntours, holding the position of Deputy Managing Director for three (of those) years. Before his current position as the director of Nature Centre Haltia, Tom worked as a consultant for investments in sustainable tourism and as the director for corporate relations at UNICEF Finland.

At this conference, Tom Selänniemi will present his views on combining academic and industry perspectives as well as discuss the sustainability of mass tourism versus the unsustainability of ecotourism. 

Stuart Roper

Stuart Roper is Professor of Marketing at the University of Bradford, School of Management and also a visiting professor at the Turku School of Economics at the University of Turku. Stuart is a well-known authority in the field of corporate branding and reputation management and he has published work specifically on two main areas of research: brands and litter and branding's effect on the self-esteem of children.

Prior to entering academic life, Stuart Roper spent 10 years as a marketing manager in the telecommunications sector. He has also worked with diverse business organisations such as major retailers, manufacturers, and business-to-business service companies as well as the not-for-profit sector oragnisations.

At this conference Stuart Roper will present his ideas on the difficulties of place branding which without a doubt is a major challenge for all tourism destinations.


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