Cultural tourism and the new silk roads

I recently gave a keynote speech at the 2020 World Culture and Tourism Forum in Xi’an, China. I spoke about the role that cultural tourism could play in the new Silk Road developments.

In my presentation, I focused on how cultural tourism could form a part of the new ‘Silk Roads’ in the context of China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, but also about how cultural tourism might change in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can view my presentation below.

Tourist motivations for small european cities

Our latest article has just been published in the journal Sustainability. It is open-access, meaning anyone can read it with no paywall. In the article, we propose a new fuzzy-logic model for analysing tourist motivations, which shows how they can change across different age groups. The research was carried out in Novi Sad, in Serbia, which is typical of many small European cities who are trying to develop sustainable urban tourism by attracting different age-groups. Hopefully, the findings of our research will be useful for other cities facing similar issues. You can read the whole article here, and the abstract is below.

“Tourist motivation, as a core of travel behavior, significantly influences consumer intentions and has attracted academic attention for decades. A plethora of studies analyse sets of internal and external motivators, while methodologies that exclusively focus on a single factor, such as age, that can sometimes have a determining influence in multi-attraction destinations, are less prevalent. This study introduces a fuzzy logic approach to develop a new model for analysing the internal motivations of different-aged consumers in multi-attraction urban destinations. Fuzzy models, as a mathematical means of representing vagueness and imprecise information, have the capability of recognizing, representing, manipulating, interpreting, and utilizing data and information, which typically for urban tourist motivations, are vague and lack certainty. This research tests the model in a real-life setting, using the example of Novi Sad, a mid-sized European city, which is typical of many similar cities who are attempting to develop sustainable tourism by attracting older tourists. The new model shows how tourist motivations for multi-attraction destinations are affected by age, through a specially developed m-file for MATLAB, so that it can be applied and tested in other tourism contexts. Theoretical and practical implications for sustainable destination management and marketing are described.”

Cultural Tourism during the COVID-19 Pandemic

I took part in a webinar on cultural tourism organised by MEKST this week, about the ways in which cultural tourism and cultural events are being affected by the Pandemic, and how this might be dealt with in the future. Also taking part were Nemanja Milenković, the Director of the Novi Sad European Capital of Culture 2021 foundation, and Dusan Medin, from the University of Donja Gorica in Montenegro.

You can watch a recording of the whole webinar, below:

Interpreting History Conference

On 19th September, I’ll be speaking at the Interpreting History conference at Alexandra Palace in London.  This looks set to be an excellent event, with a focus on how to interpret historical sites and stories for visitors and tourists.  I’ll be talking about dark tourism, and ways in which destinations can interpret their dark histories to attract this market.  You can view the whole programme and book here.

Alexandra Palace
Alexandra Palace- the conference venue

Curated by the England’s Historic Cities consortium, the host of this one day conference will be Dr Jonathan Foyle, architectural historian and self-confessed “historic buildings obsessive” whose TV appearances uncover those stories that makes history relevant to today’s audiences. Jonathan will be joined by a raft of UK and international speakers from leading visitor attractions, tourist boards, heritage bodies, and companies which are currently leading the agenda in digital and interpretation innovation.

Alongside the conference, there will be an exhibition to allow participants to see demonstrations of or to experience for themselves new interpretive technologies and to discuss in depth with their developers.  And there will also be an opportunity for everyone to experience the £27m renovation of the Theatre and East Court at Alexandra Palace, this wonderful Victorian landmark.

Dark Cities wins ‘Highly Commended’ Emerald Literati Award

Our recent paper on dark tourism, ‘Dark cities: a dark tourism index for Europe’s tourism cities, based on the analysis of DMO websites’ has been awarded a ‘highly commended’ award in the 2019 Emerald Literati awards.  This means that the paper is free to download for the next six months.  You can read the abstract of the paper below:

 

ROOTS Project Launch Event

Next month, I’ll be speaking at the launch event in Ireland of the ROOTS project, an EU-funded project that has the aim of supporting small businesses across Europe to take advantage of cultural tourism opportunities.

roots project

Along with partners in Ireland, Romania, the U.K., Denmark and the Netherlands, we’ve been working together over the last eighteen months to develop this project, with ERASMUS+ funding, which will soon provide a series of free online manuals and training kits that will be rolled out to train small business owners and managers.

At the launch event, which is free to attend, I’ll be speaking about how small destinations can use events to promote themselves and to encourage tourism, using examples from cultural heritage destinations across Europe.

Cultur WB

Last week, I was very pleased to be invited to speak at the launch of the Cultur WB network, in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina. Cultur WB is a new network to support the development of Cultural Tourism across the Western Balkans region that has been set up with ERASMUS+ funding in a project with partners from Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Austria and Germany.  When I was there the project was also bringing in new contributions from the UK, Greece and Albania.

44989627_2241049259303253_5586950736320659456_n
The Cultur WB partners in Sarajevo

The Cultur WB project aims to not only strengthen ties between people working on cultural tourism as practitioners and researchers in the region, but also to to develop life-long-learning programmes for people working in tourism and new Masters programmes in cultural tourism.  At the launch event, I gave a presentation on how small and emerging destinations can use cultural events to develop their tourism, and how we should think about measuring the impacts of these events.  You can view the presentation below:

44956554_261796661204708_5763084488976367616_n

The launch event was fantastic, with presentations from politicians, academics and practitioners.  Sarajevo itself is an amazing city and the organisers of the event, Sarajevo Meeting of Cultures, are doing an incredible job of trying to get their city onto the Cultural Tourism map, which I have no doubt they are succeeding in.

Sun, Sea and Shrines – Cultural Tourism in Phuket, Thailand

Our new paper on the diversification of tourism in the Thai island of Phuket has just been published in the journal Geographica Pannonica.  This is an open access journal and so the paper is free to download and read – just click here to open the PDF.

dest-phuket

In the paper we look at the need for diversification in the tourism offer of Phuket, away from ‘sun, sea and sand’ tourism that can sometimes be problematic for the destination, and towards cultural heritage tourism that makes use of the many attractive heritage sites on the island.

In order to make recommendations for the diversification of tourism products on the Thai island of Phuket, this paper applies the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method to rank the attractiveness of six cultural heritage sites in the island of Phuket to make recommendations for sites that could be incorporated in to cultural tourism development in the region. In addition, it applies a quantitative-qualitative evaluation structure with weighted criteria, based on local expert opinion. The research identified which of the many potential cultural tourism sites would be the most attractive to tourists and shows the utility of the AHP method, combined with quantitative-qualitative evaluation, for decision making in tourism destination development contexts

Dark Tourism – Free public event in Greenwich – 4th May 2017

Through our Tourism Research Centre at the University of Greenwich, we’re hosting a free, public event on Dark Tourism, on 4th May.  This will be from 5-7pm and will end with a guided walking tour of the dark history of our Old Royal Naval College campus in London.

“Dark tourism can be defined as tourism associated with the visitation of sites which have death, tragedy or suffering as their main theme” (Powell & Kennell 2016:304)

Western tourists look at Khmer Rouge victims (HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images)

We have three different presentations at the event, from:

This is a free event, but places are limited.  To register please email businessevents@gre.ac.uk with your name and contact details and outlining any special dietary/disability requirements.

This event is linked to the forthcoming special issue of the International Journal of Tourism Cities, on Dark Tourism and Cities, being edited by John Lennon and Raymond Powell.

Conference: New Spaces in Cultural Tourism

Contemporary Trends in Tourism and Hospitality – CTTH 2017 is an International conference regarding research in tourism, leisure, hotel management and multidisciplinary studies such as events and meeting industry, entrepreneurship in hospitality, creative industries etc.  I am on the Scientific Committee for this year’s event, the 17th in a successful series.  Information about the conference from the organisers is below:

This year the conference is being held in September (1-2 September, New Rectorate building, University of Novi Sad) and the working title of the conference is “New Spaces in Cultural Tourism”. The main aim of the conference is to put emphasis on the importance of cultural and event tourism as important factors for improvement of tourism and general economic image of certain country or region. The Conference is traditionally organized by the Department of Geography, Tourism and Hotel Management, Faculty of Sciences, University of Novi Sad and this year it is being held during The Street Musicians Festival because we want to emphasize how New spaces – the refinement of streets and city public spaces that possess valuable architectural heritage, but also the decentralization of the city’s cultural offer and specific cultural contributions to the local community – are very important for cultural tourism.

We hereby invite you to our International conference which regards research in cultural tourism, event and festival tourism, event management, leisure, hotel management, gastronomy, creative industries and multidisciplinary studies. More about the conference can be found at our official website.

 

Important details about Keynote Speakers can be found here.