West Highland College UHI’s Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research has just welcomed its first PhD student, Jelena Farkić, from Serbia. CRTR was recently awarded The Moffat Charitable Trust Adventure Tourism research studentship, co-funded by the University of the Highlands and Islands for the period of three years, examining “Hospitality and adventure tourism: soft skills and natural knowledges”. Ms. Farkić will be reading for a social-sciences based doctorate under the supervision of Dr Peter Varley, the Director of the Centre. Her study will be in the area of tourism experiences in the outdoors and the ways in which these can be facilitated and enhanced by highly skilled guides.
Dr Varley explained: “The West Highlands, and the Lochaber region in particular, offer a massive range of adventurous journeys and wild excursions, but it is important to develop the human capital in the region to help to unlock this potential for the tourism market. Ms. Farkić’s study will provide the building blocks of knowledge which will enable a world-class guiding community to develop in the Highlands, and ultimately what might become an exportable training programme for guides from around the world.”
The scholarship itself is a major award, and of great benefit to the award holder. Jelena, who is settling in to her life in Fort William for the next three years, is excited at the prospect of studying here. “I was working as a teaching assistant in the Faculty of Sport and Tourism at Educons University in Serbia when I heard about this opportunity through a colleague. I immediately recognised myself in the description as I had already been working in the area of nature-based tourism. So I applied, and then found myself packing my life into a suitcase to come to Fort William. To be able to focus all of my energies on reading and research in this amazing area is a great opportunity. The Moffat Charitable Trust Scholarship is a tremendous award, and I am greatly honoured to be the recipient. I’m looking forward to really becoming part of the growing research and tourism academic scene in Fort William over the next three years.”
Source: West Highland College UHI