With two masters and a PhD in her suitcase, Chaitanya Suárez Rojas left sunny Gran Canaria and landed in a snow white Umeå in February to learn more about Environmental Economics. CERE looks forward to learning more about her analysis of consumer and ﬁrm behavior when it comes to whale-watching tourism that made up her thesis.
After a bachelor’s in environmental sciences and a Master in Natural Protected Areas at the Autonomous University of Madrid, Chaitanya took a second Master this time on Coastal Management at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It was during the second master that she met Professors and CERE friends Carmelo León, and Matías González. They advised and encouraged her to do a PhD on Tourism, Economics and Management at the University Institute for Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development (Tides). She took their advice and defended her thesis “Whale-Watching Tourism in The Nautical Sector: Consumer Behaviour and Firm Prospects Towards Sustainability” last October. The thesis analyses the characteristics of both nautical tourism consumer and ﬁrms and ﬁnds a need for the nautical tourism industry to support animal welfare and environmental health as well as adopting a corporate ethical stewardship.
While doing her masters, she worked in both the Sierra Nevada National Park in Granada, Spain and the Los Flamencos Fauna and Flora Sanctuary in the Caribbean region of Colombia, quite the contrary to her present location. So how did she end up here? Tides and CERE have a close relationship and she met both Runar Brännlund and Magnus Lindmark and took part in a seminar they had on sustainable development that piqued her interest. “Here I expect to ﬁnd common key issues and synergies that CERE and partner University Institute for Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development can research together”, says Chaitanya.
She also hopes to enjoy the snow during her three month stay and try all sorts of winter activities.