In this time of global crisis and uncertainty, we put the call out to leaders, CEOs, strategists and consultants to sit down and tell us, in their own words, what is going on and what is going to happen next in this vital global industry.
Meagan McGuire is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Seattle's Southside Tourism Authority. She has a master’s degree in anthropology from Washington State University and a well-deserved CDME designation from Destinations International.
In Meagan’s own words:
“Anthropology is the study of what makes us human, and humanity is complicated.
Anthropologists seek to understand what makes us human by examining the different aspects that contribute to that makeup. This includes studying human past through archaeology and evolutionary history, analysing language, and exploring the complexities of society and culture. Travel and tourism as a significant component of what makes us human has increasingly become a subject of anthropological research.
The issues that tourism leaders today are grappling with are also being examined at the academic level. Prevalent topics include the authenticity of the tourist experience, the scope and interest of the tourist’s gaze, how travel transforms the traveller, and the cultural impact of tourism on destinations.”
That said, anthropological analyses are not always easily accessible by the people who manage tourism programmes, which is why Meagan launched anthropologicaltourism.com.
This website was developed to provide a platform for academic researchers and destination management professionals to share research and case studies. The goal is to enable better communication and a more complete perspective on travel and tourism as an economic driver, social dynamic, and transformational process.
For tourism professionals, using an anthropological lens can contribute to a better understanding of the many subjects that intersect with tourism, such as the traveler, meeting planners, military reunion planners, tour operators, residents, hospitality proprietors, the policy-makers, and many more.
For Meagan McGuire, “understanding” is the key to shaping the future of tourism.