Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Dr Madelene Blaer (neé McWha) is a Lecturer in the Department of Tourism at Monash University. With a research profile in tourism studies, her academic achievements include publications in a number of reputable high-impact academic journals, including Annals of Tourism Research, Tourism Management, Journal of Sustainable Tourism and Current Issues in Tourism. In 2018, she guest edited a special issue for Tourist Studies that reviewed the ways in which popular media can be engaged through tourism. Her PhD, for which she received an award from the Council for Australasian Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE) and an Australian Postgraduate Award from the Australian Government, highlighted that digital innovations in publishing and online interactions have dramatically changed the contemporary travel writing profession and experience. She continues to contribute research to the field of tourism and the media, including explorations into the ethical dilemmas of twenty first century travel writers, the nature of the travelling self and writing for the anti-tourist, while extending new research into using simulations as a teaching and learning tool to develop sustainable destinations and the digital tourism economy.

An advocate for scholarly teaching practices, Madelene has a student-centered pedagogy and adopts educational technologies and innovations, including active, experiential and blended learning to enhance students' academic and career outcomes. She has been awarded for her teaching and innovation in her previous roles as a lecturer at La Trobe University, where she worked in the Business School and taught undergraduate courses in tourism, hospitality and event management and the postgraduate Master of Business Administration, and as a lecturer and course coordinator for the tourism and hospitality degrees at William Angliss Institute. She has experience supervising Higher Degree Research students in the areas of tourism and digital and social media.

Her belief in connecting academia with industry led Madelene to executive and leadership positions on industry led committees and boards. After being a long-term member, she joined the Young Tourism Network (YTN) committee, firstly as an Event Coordinator and later as Deputy Chair. In this role, she and a sub-committee prepared the winning application for the 2017 RACV Victorian Tourism Awards where YTN won the category for Outstanding Contribution by Volunteers. Earlier in 2016, she was elected onto the board of Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) Asia-Pacific Chapter (APac) and held the position of Treasurer. She more recently became the Academic Co-Chair of the TTRA 2019 International annual conference after coordinating and staging international conferences for TTRA APac in China, United Arabic Emirates and Vietnam and TTRA 2018 International annual conference in the USA.

Research interests

Tourism and the media

Travel writing and travel writers - including travel authors/ journalists/ bloggers and social media influencers

Tourism and the media - including social media, film, television and literary tourism

Digital and social media marketing for travel and tourism

Education/Academic qualification

Tourism, PhD, La Trobe University


Award Date: 27 Nov 2016

Tourism, Master of Tourism (First Class Honours), La Trobe University


Award Date: 1 Dec 2011

Business, Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Hospitality Management), La Trobe University


Award Date: 1 Dec 2009

External positions

Board member, Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) Asia Pacific Chapter (APac)c

2017 → …

Deputy Chair, Young Tourism Network


Research area keywords

  • Tourism
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Travel writing
  • Tourism development
  • Digital media
  • social media
  • Research methods
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