Ben Wielenga

Nature-based tourism
Birdwatching tourism

Ben Wielenga studied International Tourism Management at NHL Stenden University and obtained a master’s degree in Cultural Geography at the University of Groningen. He has a strong interest in the intersection of nature-based tourism. Ben has worked on various projects for diverse organizations and published several scientific articles and book chapters on nature-based tourism, birdwatching tourism, and architourism in natural areas. Additionally, he is involved as a coordinator and lecturer in the International Tourism Management program at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences.

Ben Wielenga contributed to these projects

Customer Satisfaction Survey Wagenborg Passenger Services

Wadden Gastronomy baseline study of visitors and residents

Waddengastronomy monitoring entrepreneurs

Visitor study – municipality of Leeuwarden 

Linking sustainable growth and nature protection

Visitor research tourism in Leeuwarden

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Ben Wielenga wrote these blogs

How do we give students the opportunity to shape the future of tourism?

18 December

ETFI has been part of NHL Stenden's Leisure & Tourism Academy for ten years. This means that we are inextricably linked to education. At the end of the year, it is time to look back and see what we have done. In this case: what is the current state of affairs when we look at our (structural) contribution to education? In this blog, we will briefly discuss how we introduce students to the world of tourism research.

Will transformative experiences become the “new normal”?

24 September

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the experience economy was also increasingly provided by meaningful or transformative experiences. A term that gives organisations the opportunity to distinguish themselves from the competition, especially in a saturated market of experiences. Transformation focuses on the realisation of personal ambitions, goals, growth and the creation of a learning climate. Offering personalised, interactive and authentic experiences is the magic word here. Sometimes this is one, but usually several meaningful experiences that lead to emotion, changing sense of time, increased focus and concentration, involvement of all senses and eventually may establish potential altered behaviour and a different way of looking to the world.

The role of architourism in nature areas

08 April

Our sustainable tourism expert Ben Wielenga has recently successfully completed his research into the role of architourism in destination development and management in nature areas. The Tij Bird Observatory, which opened in April 2019, was studied as a case and various involved parties were interviewed. To put it simply, architourism is a concept where observing buildings and architectural structures is the main motivation for tourists.

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Ben is happy to tell you more about nature tourism and birdwatching tourism.