Dr. Anja Pabel
Lecturer in Tourism at Central Queensland University, Australia
EMERGING SCHOLAR PROFILE
Dr Anja Pabel is an early career researcher and lecturer in tourism at Central Queensland University, Australia. She holds a PhD in tourism, which was awarded in 2015 from James Cook University, Australia. Her PhD thesis titled “Assessing and enhancing humour in the tourism setting” investigated the role of humour in tourism. More specifically, it examined ways in which humour influences the tourist experience by making tourists feel comfortable, connected and more mindful. The findings are considered from the perspective of positive psychology, where humour itself is regarded as a character strength that contributes to peoples’ well-being and happiness. She is immensely proud to have co- authored a book titled Tourism and Humour, with her PhD supervisor Prof Philip Pearce, which explores some of the effects that humour has on the tourism experience. Other humour based research outputs were published in journals including Annals of Tourism Research and Tourism Management Perspectives.
Apart from research looking into the tourism-humour relationship, other themes of her research portfolio relate to tourism development in her local area of Tropical North Queensland (TNQ), Australia. As part of this focus she has looked at the impact of issues such as the use of social media for marketing purposes at small regional leisure destinations; coral reef tourism; wildlife tourism opportunities including the cassowary; and the demand and supply of indigenous tourism in TNQ. Anja has published most of this research as academic journal articles, book chapters and conference papers.
Anja received a Bachelor of Business with first class honours from James Cook University. Her honours thesis examined how certified scuba divers perceive their Great Barrier Reef experience compared to other global coral reef destinations. She is currently co- editing a book on coral reef tourism with Prof Bruce Prideaux. As a tourism resource, coral reefs bring various benefits to the local communities that rely on them as a food source, and for employment and recreational opportunities. This book adopts a multidisciplinary approach incorporating coral reef science, management, conservation and tourism perspectives. Involvement in this book project allowed Anja to learn more about the challenges that various coral reef locations are currently facing.
Anja is actively engaged in a variety of academic and industry initiatives. She was invited to act as a reviewer for academic journals including the Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing; Sustainability; Hospitality & Society, Leisure Sciences and Tourism Planning & Development. She is a member of the Council for Australasian Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE), the Australasian Humour Studies Network (AHSN) and the Centre of Tourism and Regional Opportunities (CTRO). Through these memberships, she has had the opportunity to present her work at international conferences and to build her networks.
As part of her industry engagements, she facilitates a series of humour workshops for tourism industry stakeholders. These workshops are organised and supported by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s Entrepreneurs Tourism Programme. Under the title of “Using Humour in Tourism for a Terrific Customer Experience”, the sessions aim to give workshop participants a better idea of how they can use humour to establish rapport with their customers. She has facilitated these workshops in Cairns, Port Douglas and Mareeba in 2017, with more sessions scheduled to take place in Alice Springs and Darwin in 2018. Anja enjoys presenting these humour workshops and feedback from the workshop participants has been very positive.
Currently, Anja is one of the convenors of the 24th Australasian Humour Studies Network (AHSN) conference to be held at Central Queensland University’s Cairns campus on 2-4 February 2018. The conference theme is “Humour: How does it Travel?” with scholars from various disciplines presenting on all topics related to how humour travels, whether between times or places, genres or forms, from creator to recipient, from one hearer to another, as well as humour about travel (e.g. tourism, exotic locations etc.). This is Anja’s first experience as a conference organiser, making it a challenging yet exciting experience for her.
In her free time, Anja enjoys stand-up paddle boarding, travelling and going for long walks with her dog.
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