EMERITUS PROFESSOR DAVID SIMMONS
During his 40 years at the University David have established New Zealand’s first specific tourism degree and an academic team to support local and international post-graduate research students. For the last decade he was also Chair of the University Research Committee and / or University Principal Research Strategist.
David has extensive leadership and management skills particularly in interdisciplinary environments. He has led three major research programmes funded by the NZ government. These are ‘Flows and management of tourism and its impacts in New Zealand’ (1996 – 2005) which resulted in a tourism planning toolkit for the Ministry of Tourism and accompanying text book and 54 industry publications; ‘Enhancing the financial, economic (and Sustainable) yield from tourism in New Zealand’, for TIAnz, Min Tourism, TNZ (2007); and ‘Enhancing the spatial dimensions of tourism yield’ (2008 -2010) funded from the then FRST platform. In more recent times he contributed to the establishment governance groups for two National Science Challenges: Resilience to Nature’s Challenges; and Building Better Homes Towns and Cities.
Recent personal research work has been directed at understanding transient communities in New Zealand, and the tourism – biosecurity interface, and tourism governance. Most recently he has been engaged by Stafford and Associates on the South Island Destination Management Plan (2019 – 2020) and an Arthurs Pass (SHW73) reframing exercise (2020). Under my leadership and advocacy Lincoln University has established ‘Sustainable Tourism for Regions, Landscapes and Communities’ research centre which stands as one of the few significant investments to address longer term research needs for the sector,
During his career David has also been selected to work on international tourism (planning and governance) programmes in Cambodia (WWF), Mauritius (UNDP), Niue, Vanuatu (UNWTO/UNDP), Nepal (ITTO, MFAT and WWF), India (WWF), Sarawak (E. Malaysia), DPR (North) Korea (UNWTO), and more recently the sustainability platform for the Azores (Govt of Portugal).
In terms of international engagement he was the Director of Research for Australia’s Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (2008 – 2010), and is the chair of the EarthCheck Global Research Institute. Both of these have a sharp focus on tourism sustainability its measurement and management. David is frequently called upon for international conference keynotes to outline the principles and pathways to sustainable tourism, its measurement and management.
His academic achievements are recognised by being elected as a fellow of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism, and the Council of Australasian Tourism and Hospitality Educators (CAUTHE). David is a founding member of the Eden New Zealand (Trust) which has the goal of bringing an Eden Project to the residential red zoned land in Christchurch.