A world away from the bustle of his home city of Tehran in Iran, Reza Gohari was drawn to study a Masters of Ecotourism at UWA Albany as a unique opportunity to further develop his career in tourism.
From studying, working and teaching in the industry, Reza has developed a keen interest in tourism research and development. The Albany based course offered him the chance to study and experience a vastly different environment to his home country, and a ‘google-earth’ view of the UWA Albany campus at the Old Post Office sold it for him.
Loving the peaceful, friendly natural environment of Albany and the south coast region, Reza enjoys the tranquillity and fascination of observing all creatures in nature - from tiny spiders to families of visitors.
He says that places such as the Albany Heritage Park on Mounts Clarence and Adelaide offer “a perfect example of ecotourism - combining nature, culture, history and a variety of physical activities all in one beautiful area”.
Now in his second year of studies at UWA, Reza is embarking on ground-breaking research on the supply and demand of ecotourism experiences in the Great Southern region.
Ecotourism is “sustainable tourism that relies on nature-based attractions; employs best practice environmental management; contributes to conservation; involves local communities; offers effective interpretation; and generally favours smaller scale operation”, said Reza.
The UWA Albany based project will see Reza conduct interviews and research activities with visitor centres, tourism stakeholders and operators throughout the region. The aim is to find out what eco-tourism experiences actually exist here now; how many visitors to our region are considered to be eco-tourists; their preferences for ecotourism activities; the potential for ecotourism growth in the region, and how this potential can be developed to better meet tourism supply and demand.
The results of Reza’s research will provide the basis for a management framework for promoting sustainable ecotourism activity in the Great Southern.
So taken with all that the region has to offer, Reza hopes to further his studies in Albany after completing his Masters in Ecotourism.
David Stacey (UWA Media and Public Relations Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716
Paula Phillips (UWA Albany Centre Manager) (+61) 8 9842 0810