As a researcher, Ben specialises in nature tourism with a main focus on birdwatching tourism as a potential sector for tourism development. Ben obtained his master degree in Cultural Geography at the University of Groningen. Next to his work at ETFI, Ben teaches at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences.
Ben carries out applied research for governmental organisations and entrepreuners active in the leisure and tourism industry. He specialises in nature tourism with a main focus on birdwatching tourism as a potential sector for tourism development and management. Furthermore, Ben ensures that students of bachelor’s programme Tourism Management of NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences learn more about futures research and scenario planning by involving them in ETFI’s research projects.
Ben obtained his master degree in Cultural Geography at the University of Groningen. His thesis focused on the role of merging architecture and nature into build objects aiming for responsible tourism development and management in natural environments. During his professional career, Ben accomplished dozens of customer satisfaction reviews, strategy formation research, trend studies, feasibility studies and monitoring research.
Ben Wielenga contributed to these projects
Linking sustainable growth and nature protection
Visitor research tourism in Leeuwarden
Future-proof living labs
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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 areas08 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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Ask your question to Ben
Ben is happy to tell you more about nature tourism and birdwatching tourism.