Interns at the ITRC

This spring and summer, the ITRC is hosting two interns, Junyan Chen and Liuchao Feng (Leo), from the University of Prince Edward Island. Both conduct their internship online and both are placed within the ongoing ITRC research projects on drive tourism and rural tourism routes, lead by Þórný Barðadóttir.  

The ITRC welcomes Junyan and Leo to the team! Here is how they present themselves:



Junyan Chen

My name is Junyan Chen and I’m pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Island Studies, Island Tourism at the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada. My research interests include tourism marketing, tourist experience and hospitality management.

My practicum research project with Icelandic Tourism Research Centre (ITRC) is about the social impact of rural tourist routes. I wrote a literature review to provide an overview of the studies on this subject to date in tourism research and future research directions. I have also given presentations at the school and ITRC. This is my first time doing research in the tourism industry and I have learned a lot and I am grateful for the opportunity provided by ITRC. Last but not least, I would like to give special thanks to my supervisor, Ms. Þórný Barðadóttir. I am looking forward to visiting Iceland in the future!



Liuchao Feng (Leo)My name is Liuchao Feng (Leo), coming from China. Right now, I'm an international student at the University of Prince Edward Island. I'm studying MA (is) which is Master of Arts in Island Studies and I’m doing the Island Tourism stream. MAIS is a two-year program and I'm currently at the end of my first year. I got my bachelor's degree in MIS (Management Information Systems) from Eastern Washington University in the US. I am interested in island tourism development and construction as I have worked for over 12 years in government related fields in my hometown in China. Also, I love traveling, especially to the island nations. The reason I came back to academic studies was that I found that, like some of the islands in Southeast Aisa, tourism is strong on these islands, but the islanders still live relatively poor, the islanders and local communities don’t actively participate in and benefit from tourism development. So, I made the decision to pursue a master’s degree in Island Studies (Island Tourism).

My practicum research project with Icelandic Tourism Research Centre is about the Rural Tourist Routes and my topic is ‘Exploring the Dynamics of Rural Tourist Routes: A Comparative Analysis of the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland, North Coast 500 in Scotland, and No.1 Rural Tourism Way in Guizhou, China’. So, my research question is to examine road conditions, driving experiences, and maintenance practices while considering the perspective of tourists and local communities to understand the complexities and factors influencing the success and sustainability of the rural tourist routes, by conducting a comparative analysis of the three specific routes. I’m so excited to be part of this research project because Iceland is my dream country to travel to, and hopefully in the near future I could be able to drive on the Iceland’s Arctic routes. I am very grateful to UPEI and ITRC for this research opportunity and I hope to be able to participate in more research projects with ITRC in the future!