BU Prof Tapped for World Conference

November 13, 2013

BRANDON, MB – A Brandon University (BU) professor will be a keynote speaker at the first-ever international  conference on spiritual tourism,  the United Nations World Trade Organization (UNWTO) Spiritual Tourism for Sustainable Development, later this month in Viet Nam.

Dr. Dan Olsen, Department of Geography (web)Dr. Daniel Olsen, Chair of BU’s Geography Department, is one of a handful of scholars in the world studying the links between tourism and spiritualism. Tourism, Religion and Spiritual Journeys, which he co-edited and released in 2006, has become the seminal book on this emerging sector.

“Since the dawn of time, people have travelled to places in search of spiritual renewal or the meaning of life,” says Dr. Olsen. “This sector is now experiencing enormous growth, particularly in south-east Asia, and our conference will explore the impact of tourism on local culture, environment, and business.”

The two day conference will draw policy makers, spiritual leader, and representatives from the tourism industry, NGOs and academic institutions. Dr. Olsen is the only academic invited to speak and his remarks will set the context for the event, from which a declaration on spiritual tourism is expected.

“In 2012, a billion tourists crossed international borders, many seeking spiritual encounters,” Dr. Olsen says. “This type of travel transcends all religions and includes virtually all destinations. We need to talk about it now to properly prepare.” The conference runs November 21-22 in Ninh Binh City, Viet Nam.

Brandon University, founded in 1899, promotes excellence in teaching, research, creation and scholarship; educating students so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders.

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For more information, please contact:
Dr Daniel Olsen
Associate Professor, Dept of Geography
204-727-9766
Olsend@brandonu.ca
Glen Kirby
Communications Officer
204-727-9762
kirbyg@brandonu.ca