The Congress brings together leisure professionals from academia, government and industry to promote informative, stimulating and challenging discussion on the latest issues in leisure.
The theme of the Congress is ‘Leisure: Learn well, live well. As the world continues to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on well-being leisure in our lives is of crucial importance to help us learn and live well. It is within this context that “Learn Well” reflects how we learn through leisure and the strong education focus in Dunedin, which is home to one of the world’s leading universities’. “Live Well” reflects how leisure contributes to individual and community wellbeing at local, regional, and international levels.
Together, these components of the Congress theme speak to the relevance and application of academic leisure theory and research to the practice of living well, and refer to academic, industry and practitioners alike. Leisure encompasses tourism, sport, recreation (active and passive, indoor and outdoor), hospitality and events.
As such, the Congress is ideally situated as we hopefully emerge from the worst of the pandemic, to examine how leisure can help us in moments of crises and in constructing a new, sustainable norm.
Delegates will have many opportunities to learn from a wide variety of stakeholders (local and national government, industry, not-for-profit organisations) about initiatives related to all aspects of leisure.
The 17th World Leisure Congress will also give everyone working and researching in the leisure field the opportunity to come together to reflect on what we have learned and begin to chart where we want leisure research and the position of leisure in people’s lives to go moving beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The opportunities are immense and the Congress offers a unique moment in which to begin to grasp them.
Dunedin and New Zealand in general also offer myriad leisure experiences for visitors to the Congress to embrace and learn from. Be it walking on a beach, exploring our unique natural and cultural heritage, or engaging in more adrenaline fuelled activities such as bungee jumping.
On behalf of the conference organising committee, I look forward to welcoming you to Dunedin.
Professor Neil Carr
University of Otago Department of Tourism