May 4 – 11 2013, Croatia

 Professor Adele Ladkin was invited to participate in the 8th International Tourism and Hospitality Academy at Sea (ITHAS), a week long sea voyage incorporating academic lectures and site visits based on the theme of Special Interest Tourism.

Founded in 2005 and held in 2013 for the eighth time, ITHAS 2013 was hosted by the Faculty of Economics & Business of the University of Zagreb. 108 people participated in the study voyage from four participating universities.  These were the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business, Croatia; Munich University of Applied Sciences, Department of Tourism, Germany; Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences, School of Tourism and Services Management, Finland; and University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics, Slovenia. The programme was expertly put together by the founder of ITHAS, Professor Nevenka Čavlek from the University of Zagreb, with the boats provided by the tour operator I.D. Riva Tours.

The purpose of ITHAS is diverse.  It gives students the opportunity to undertake site study visits to experience first hand the operational aspects of tourism, students benefit from academic lectures from international tourism experts, and the bringing together of the different universities on the boats allows for cultural exchange and practice in working with diverse cultural groups.

The 108 participants sailed on four boats, with each day typically involving lectures during the sailing times, with site excursions on foot and by bus when each destination was reached.  Destinations included Makarska, Ploče, The Island of Brač, Vodice and Zadar in Croatia, and Medugorje Pilgrimage Site and Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The students from each university also gave presentations of their home universities and a review of tourism in their respective countries.

The voyage ended in Zadar on May 11th, in time to join with the International conference ‘Myths of Tourism’ organised jointly by the University of Zadar and the University of Zagreb.

Professor Ladkin said “This was a fantastic opportunity for the students.  We had a packed schedule with many different activities and learning experiences.  We all agreed it was an extremely worthwhile trip.  The weather was also kind to us, with calm Seas!”

During the voyage, Professors Ladkin and Čavlek undertook a pilot study for their forthcoming research on experiences of maritime entrepreneurs in tourism being undertaken in collaboration with I.D.Riva Tours.

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