Section: Overview
Key publications
Research funding
Supervising & teaching

Key details

Areas of expertise

  • Visitor economy
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Destination development
  • Digital technologies
  • Teaching and learning in higher education

Available to supervise research students

Not available for media queries

About Madelene Blaer

Dr Madelene Blaer (neé McWha) is a Research Fellow in the School for the Visitor Economy (SVE) and Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities (ISILC) at Victoria University.

She joined Victoria University as Visitor Economy Programs and Pathways Manager in January 2022. Her previous academic roles have included Lecturer in the Graduate Tourism Program at Monash University and Lecturer and Course Leader of the Tourism and Hospitality Degrees at William Angliss Institute. Prior to this, she taught in the Business School at La Trobe University.

The focus of her multidisciplinary teaching and research is primarily related to sustainability and digital technologies in the visitor economy, including tourism, hospitality, events, business and higher education contexts.

She is an elected board member of TTRA (Travel and Tourism Research Association) Asia Pacific Chapter, serving in various roles since 2016, including Vice-President and Academic Co-Chair, and has staged conferences in Australia, China, Fiji, UAE, Vietnam and USA.

She was recognised as an Emerging Tourism Scholar by e-Review of Tourism Research in 2018 and has attended as an invited speaker at international universities and industry events, including the Indonesia Sustainable Tourism Awards (ISTA) in 2019 and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 2021. Her work is published in a number of books and high impact academic journals, including Annals of Tourism Research, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Tourism Management, Current Issues in Tourism and Tourist Studies.


  • PhD, La Trobe University, 2016
  • Master of Tourism (First Class Honours), La Trobe University, 2011
  • Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Hospitality Management), 2009

Key publications

Year Citation
2022 Orsua, N., Cheer, J. M., & Blaer, M. (221230). Gender empowerment in tourism development: Female bungalow hosts in Vanuatu (pp. 177-190).

doi: 10.4324/9780429019968-14

2022 McGrath, G. M., Blaer, M., Ong, F., Lockstone-Binney, L., Wilson-Evered, E., & Whitelaw, P. (220101). Simulations in e-Tourism Learning and Management (pp. 1851-1870).

doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-48652-5_48

2019 Blaer, M. (190101). Reimagining emulative journeys: from classical texts to contemporary travel writing in the digital age. (pp. 73-82). CABI.

doi: 10.1079/9781786394590.0073

2019 McWha, M. (190101). Simulated Pedagogies and Autoethnographic Reflections (pp. 245-254).

doi: 10.1007/978-981-13-0638-9_22

Year Citation

doi: 10.3727/152599523X16907613842156

2024 Blaer, M. (240101). Animal rescue tourism: digital technology-enhanced approaches to support voluntourist engagement, animal welfare and rights. Tourism Recreation Research, 49(3), (471-485).

doi: 10.1080/02508281.2022.2046991

2023 Blaer, M. (230301). Interactive webcam travel: supporting wildlife tourism and conservation during COVID-19 lockdowns. Information Technology and Tourism, 25(1), (47-69).

doi: 10.1007/s40558-023-00242-3

2020 McGrath, G. M., Blaer, M., Williams, M., Wilson-Evered, E., & Whitelaw, P. (201001). A Suite of System Dynamics T&L Simulations and Games Based Upon the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education, 32(4), (194-205).

doi: 10.1080/10963758.2019.1685890

2020 Blaer, M., Frost, W., & Laing, J. (200401). The future of travel writing: Interactivity, personal branding and power. Tourism Management, 77

doi: 10.1016/j.tourman.2019.104009

2020 McGrath, G. M., Lockstone-Binney, L., Ong, F., Wilson-Evered, E., Blaer, M., & Whitelaw, P. (200101). Teaching sustainability in tourism education: a teaching simulation. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, (1-18).

doi: 10.1080/09669582.2020.1791892

Research funding for the past 5 years

Please note:

  • Funding is ordered by the year the project commenced and may continue over several years.
  • Funding amounts for contact research are not disclosed to maintain commercial confidentiality.
  • The order of investigators is not indicative of the role they played in the research project.

Indonesia Tourism Skills and Research Project
From: Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions
Other investigators: Dr Joanne Pyke, Dr Ancy Gamage, Dr Xiaocui Lou
For period: 2023-2023
Not disclosed

Supervision of research students at VU

Available to supervise research students

Not available for media queries

Currently supervised research students at VU

No. of students Study level Role
1 PhD Associate supervisor

Currently supervised research students at VU

Students & level Role
PhD (1) Associate supervisor


Details of this Researcher's career are currently unavailable.