. Lab lead:
As the founder of the Urban Leisure & Tourism Lab, urban sociologist and associate professor Roos Gerritsma was there at the start of the lab in 2015.
When her traineeship on Bali fell through, International Tourism Management student Luca von Prittwitz applied for the Reinvent Tourism lab curriculum. She pitched her and other student’s ideas during a meeting at Pakhuis de Zwijger, after which she was asked to stay a little longer. She is ‘the voice of the students’ on the team, and is now also working on her thesis on fair tourism. ‘Theory turns into practice in the lab; there is no more pretending. At first, you have to get used to the freedom you are allowed but after that things get very inspiring. You can become much more creative because in the lab you have the freedom to devise everything yourself’.
5 questions for Luca…
What is your educational background?
I trained to be an editor in Germany and I am now finalising my International Tourism Management study at Hogeschool Inholland in Amsterdam, Diemen.
What do you contribute to the lab as a learning community?
As a student, I see things from a different perspective, and because we collaborate intensively with students this is definitely an asset for the lab. It is useful that I have some experience of the curriculum offered, and I also share the idealistic attitude that prevails throughout the lab. We all believe that we can make the world a little better and that we shouldn’t wait for it to happen by itself; we need to take one another by the hand and simply make a start somewhere. I think I can also add value because I am an ambitious and open-minded person, albeit a bit of a perfectionist at times. And I like to be challenged and be able to impact things in a positive way.
What is your favourite spot in Amsterdam-North?
Ceuvel, Skate café, Pllek; it is difficult to make a choice and it also depends on what mood I’m in!
Finish this sentence: for me, leisure and recreation mean…
… to be able to let go of all problems and burdensome thoughts, to simply enjoy the moment, the people around you and the mere fact that you’re alive.
What factors do you think are key for the positive development of the tourism, recreation and events industries?
More dialogue and discussions with the people who are genuinely involved. Some extra resilience might also come in handy for when things are not running smoothly and there is too little action (climate crisis, inequality etc.). This is not what life is really about, or what will help us – people – to sustain our existence. I would like to suggest that we focus more on a healthy society.