I am René van der Duim, Special Professor Tourism and Sustainable Development at the Cultural Geography Group of Wageningen University. I live in Nijmegen together with Elize and we have 2 children; Daniël and Eveline.
Long time ago I graduated at NHTV in Breda (then called Dutch Scientific Institute for Tourism: Nederlands Wetenschappelijk Instituut voor Toerisme), after which I studied sociology at Tilburg University. I was also a lecturer on tourism, sociology and leisure studies in Breda until 1985. After working at the Stichting Recreatie in The Hague, in 1991 I returned to academic life being a part-time lecturer at Tilburg and Wageningen University and later full time at Wageningen University. I finished my PhD study in 2005.
I teach the 1st year BSc Tourism course Society, History and Globalization. But I also teach the course ‘tourism and sustainable development’ in the MSc Leisure, Tourism and Environment at Wageningen University. I also supervise BSc and MSc thesis projects.
However, most of my time is related to research. First, I supervise around 10 PhD students from the Netherlands as well as other parts of the world. At this point I have 5 PhD students from Africa (three from Kenya, one from Uganda and one from Tanzania). I was so lucky to be able to visit many countries in Eastern and Southern Africa on a regular basis, working together with other universities and academics, organizing ATLAS Africa conferences and executing research projects. In 2012 and 2013, I worked together with Machiel Lamers and Jakomijn van Wijk (Maastricht School of Management) on a research project specifically looking at tourism conservation enterprises as promoted by the African Wildlife Foundation.
Publishing articles and books is perhaps the most important part of my work. As some say: you either publish or perish. So apart from writing about tourism, conservation and development in Africa, I also write about actor-network theory and tourism and together with Machiel Lamers I will start writing about practice theory and tourism. I am also planning to start research focussing on innovation processes in tourism due to for example technological developments. So if you are interested in one of these topics, please send me an email or have a chat before or after one of the lectures. Looking forward to that!