Carter Hunt gives talks at Zhejiang University in China

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Carter Hunt, assistant professor of recreation, park and tourism management (RPTM), gave two guest lectures in October at the Asia Pacific Center for the Study of Leisure (APCL) at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. The lectures focused on Hunt's field-based research in Latin America and his work on word cloud analysis of tourism journal article titles and keywords. 

"I had lively discussions after both presentations with the APCL graduate students," said Hunt. "It was a rewarding experience for me."

According to Hunt, Zhejiang University is a member of the World University Network, which also includes Penn State. In addition, emeritus professor of recreation, park and tourism management at Penn State Geoffrey Godbey is working there temporarily as a scholar-in-residence.

Hunt's first presentation at the APCL was titled "Ecotourism in Latin America: An Anthropological Approach to Project Evaluation." He discussed his use of anthropological methods to address the question: "How does tourism work for the rural poor involved in ecotourism and nature-based tourism around parks, protected areas and private reserves in different regions of Latin America?" He briefly described five projects in Peru, Nicaragua and Costa Rica that offer opportunities to better understand the factors contributing to the success or failure of ecotourism projects.

In his second presentation, titled "Searching for the Sun in the Clouds: Observing Trends in the Titles and Keywords of Tourism Journals," Hunt demonstrated how he and RPTM graduate students Jie Gao and Lan Xue generated word clouds based on the titles and keywords of four tourism journals in the years 1982, 1992, 2002 and 2012. 

"This approach provides a fascinating snapshot into shifts in the priorities of tourism researchers over the last four decades, thus tracing the history of theoretical development in the field of tourism," he said. "Not only do themes and concepts visibly shift in prominence over time and between journals, but also variance within the keywords and titles of the same articles in the same journal in the same year is observable."

Zhejiang University posted a story about Hunt's visit to the APCL on its website the day after he gave his presentations. "The feedback all indicates the talks were very well received," he said. "I greatly enjoyed my interactions with the students and their faculty adviser Dr. Pan Liyong, all of whom were very engaged and gracious."

Last Updated November 06, 2013