Griffith University’s Professor Susanne Becken has been recognized for her contribution to sustainable tourism with two prestigious awards.

Professor Becken has been named the 16th recipient of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) Ulysses Prize, as well as Tourism Recreation Research’s Best Article of the Year 2019 award.

The UNWTO Ulysses Prize is awarded annually to a distinguished scholar for outstanding contributions to innovation and knowledge in tourism, while the Best Article of the Year award has been given to Professor Becken for her piece, Decarbonising tourism: mission impossible?

The academic’s paper identifies six challenges of decarbonising the tourism industry and says “only systemic changes at a large scale will be sufficient to break or disrupt existing arrangements and routines”.

“My passion is rooted in a deep sense of urgency that we are facing with multiple crises on this planet, and the role tourism plays in it — both negative and positive – but also the belief that better knowledge and critical thinking can help us address these more effectively,” Professor Becken said.

Professor Becken humbly acknowledged both awards, saying she is happy her research is raising awareness of tourism’s impact on climate change.

“I am really pleased that my work on climate change is recognised, because it gives profile to the importance and scale of the actual issue,” she said.

“It also shows that institutions, such as the UNWTO, do not shy away from academics who challenge the status quo and present alternative models and ideas.”