University of New Haven Hospitality Professor Discusses Sustainable Tourism and Travel
Jan Jones, a hospitality and tourism expert, recently spoke with a global digital marketing company about the tourism industry, as well as the importance of "voluntourism" – a combination of volunteering and travel.
March 12, 2019
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
Jan Jones, an instructor in the University of New Haven’s Hospitality and Tourism Department, has traveled around the world, conducting research and presenting her work on sustainable tourism development and management. One of her focus areas is "voluntourism," an increasingly popular form of international travel that combines volunteering and tourism.
While the term may be new, Jones recently told the digital marketing agency ProfileTree in a video interview that volunteering and tourism have been linked for centuries. And, she says, it is an important part of the tourism industry.
"It's the idea that not everyone wants to go and stay in an all-inclusive resort," said Jones. "They want to get immersed in a culture. Volunteering is one way that you can do that."
Jones, who grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada, became fascinated with tourism while visiting Cuba. Her work has enabled her to work with small business owners in Jamaica, and she has collaborated on a project in Jordan that explored the impact of using voluntourism as a national tourism strategy.
"What I love about the University of New Haven is that I feel they want us to be innovative and try new things."Jan Louise Jones, Ph.D.
"I loved working in Jordan because usually sociologists aren't brought in until there are problems," said Jones, who has a Ph.D. in recreation and leisure management. "The company we worked with recognized that there's a need to ask about cultural impact before starting this type of industry."
Jones, who has been conducting research for the past 20 years and has served on international scientific committees, has explored the interests of tourists and travelers, as well as the role of culture in tourism.
A former adjunct faculty, Jones is now in her first year as a full-time faculty member at the University of New Haven, where she discusses sustainable tourism with her students.
"What I love about the University of New Haven is that I feel they want us to be innovative and try new things," Jones said. "That's the kind of teacher I am."