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.

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:

Island Tourism Symposium

The Tourism Research Centre at the University of Greenwich, in partnership with the Observatory on Tourism for Island Economies (OTIE), is holding an afternoon symposium on island tourism, which will be held at our World Heritage Site campus in London on Friday 28th February 2020, 2pm-6pm.

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This event will be of interest to island tourism researchers, including postgraduate students, and will be an opportunity to network, discuss new research in island tourism, and learn more about the work of OTIE, Europe’s leading association for the study of tourism in island economies. This is a free event and the programme will include:

A Social Network Analysis of Island Tourism Enterprises: San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily

Prof. Giovanni Ruggieri, Researcher in Tourism Economics, University of Palermo, Italy

Tour of the Pacific Encounters Gallery: https://www.rmg.co.uk/see-do/we-recommend/attractions/pacific-encounters

Dr Aaron Jaffer, Curator of World History and Cultures, National Maritime Museum

Tourism and Hospitality Entrepreneurship in Islands

Paul Booth, Tourism Research Centre, Department of Marketing, Events and Tourism, University of Greenwich

Panel Discussion on Contemporary Issues affecting Island Tourism Destinations

Chaired by Dr Samantha Chaperon, Tourism Research Centre, Department of Marketing, Events and Tourism, University of Greenwich

Places at this event are free, but limited.  Please register you place here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/island-tourism-symposium-tickets-90634535335

If you have any questions about the event, please contact Dr Samantha Chaperon s.a.chaperon@greenwich.ac.uk

Event Management in the Chinese Century: CFP

There are now revised timelines for submission – see end of this post

With my colleague, Dr Mingguang Liu, from Zheijang International Studies University, we have just published a call for papers for a special issue of the journal Event Management on ‘Event Management in the Chinese Century’. You can read the full CFP here.

Changes in political economy, the rise of emerging economies outside of the traditionally USA-dominated trans-Atlantic region and the globalisation of culture enabled by democratised technological channels, have led to profound shifts in the balance of the global economy. Attempting to explain this geopolitical shift, commentators and academics have introduced terms such as the ‘Chinese Century’ (Beckley, 2012; Brands, 2018; Hartley, 2008; Hongling, 2015; Pan, 2013; Stiglitz, 2015), the ‘Pacific Century’ (Borthwick, 2018; Scott, 2008) and the ‘Asian Century’ (Atonopoulos, 2017; Morrison, 2014).

The aim of this special issue is to consider the impact of these macro-level changes on the events industry and research into events, and to help to address a geographical, but also an ideological and cultural, imbalance in events management research, which has tended to focus on the traditionally dominant global economies of North America, Western Europe and Australasia (Kim & Kaewnuch, 2018; Robertson et al., 2018; Spracklen & Lamond, 2016). Recent research has begun to engage with this new context in areas as diverse as education (Werner et al, 2018), events and public diplomacy (Wang, 2018), regional development (Hussain, et al., 2018), the growth of the Chinese events industry (Liu & Lou, 2018) and mega events (Liang, et al., 2016).

Anticipated themes

Papers for this special issue should engage with the context of the Chinese Century, and the implications of this for events management research and practice.  Relevant, recently published research has include the following thematic areas, suggesting that they are worthy of further examination, although the list is not intended to be exhaustive. 

  • Event Management Education
  • The Development of the Chinese Events Industry
  • The Political Economy of Events and Public Diplomacy using Events
  • Events and Regional Development
  • Innovation in the Events Industry
  • Events and Urban Development
  • Mega-Events

Manuscript submission

Authors should submit to James Kennell (j.s.kennell@gre.ac.uk). In the first instance, authors should submit an abstract for consideration and feedback, according to the timeframe below.

Timeframe

2nd Call for papers: February 2020

Abstracts for consideration: 31st March 2020

Feedback on abstracts: 10th April 2020

Submission of manuscripts: 6th November 2020

Planned publication date: 2021

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.

CHME 2019 – Transforming Hospitality

 

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CHME 2019 – Transforming Hospitality

21 May – 24 May 2019

University of Greenwich, London

Register now at www.gre.ac.uk/CHME19

The University of Greenwich are delighted to be hosting the 28th annual conference of the Council for Hospitality Management and Education – ‘Transforming Hospitality’ which has a focus on how hospitality enables us to understand the complex social and cultural structures and practices within which it operates. New multidisciplinary enquiries are redefining what hospitality is with a view to contributing to what hospitality is becoming – a tool that allows us to critically appraise the changes that are taking place in the world around us.

This conference aims to showcase insightful and influential research and help to set future research agendas within critical hospitality studies, hospitality management, health, and urban hospitality. To share the best practice in scholarship and pedagogy, this conference will also provide opportunities for those academics and industry professionals wishing to contribute to enhancing the value of pedagogic research.

Full details of the conference, including the call for papers, can be found at: www.gre.ac.uk/CHME19

Conference Tracks
Track 1: Hospitality Management
Track 2: Critical and Cultural Studies of Hospitality
Track 3: Learning, Teaching and Assessment in Hospitality Management Education
Track 4: Urban Hospitality
Track 5: Hospitality and Wellness

Attendance Fees:
Early Bird Fee: £440 Non-members, £340 Members, £210 Student

Full Conference Fee: £480 Non-members, £380 Members, £250 Student

One Day Fee: £200

Gala Dinner for your guests: £110

 

Register now at www.gre.ac.uk/CHME19

Dark Events

My latest article, written together with two colleagues from Turistica in Slovenia, has just been published in the journal ‘Event Management’.  The article brings together a lot of the ideas and concepts from dark tourism and puts them into a critical events studies context, to propose a classification for ‘dark events’ – events linked to tragedy and suffering.  We suggest that the concept of ‘darkness’, as it has been applied in tourism and leisure studies, is also useful for understanding certain types of events.  Our paper argues that the ‘darkest’ events come with the greatest management challenges, and proposes a model to help us to identify which events are at the ‘darkest’ in these terms.

vrsic-photo.-@mirocerar
A commemorative events held to remember Russian POWs who died during the first World War, on the Isonzo Front, in Slovenia                                                                        Photo: FB dr. Miro Cerar – uradni profil

The article is based on the analysis of commemorative events in the countries of the former Yugoslavia and uses examples from a number of Western Balkan countries.

You can read the abstract of our article below:

Dark events: Commemoration and Collective Memory in the Former Yugoslavia

This article develops a new understanding of the relative darkness of commemorative events that are linked to tragedy and suffering, by using examples of the many such events that take place within the countries of the former state of Yugoslavia. In order to do this, the article draws from the field of memory studies and, in particular, the concept of collective memory. A sample of commemorative events from the former Yugoslavia was investigated and qualitative fieldwork was carried to analyze them in terms of their role in collective memory. The analysis of these events allowed for the creation of a new scale of the relative darkness of commemorative events. The darkest commemorative events, which draw on autobiographical memory and hold a high degree of contemporary political significance, are judged to be the most dark and to present specific management problems because of this.

Key words: Commemorative events; Dark tourism; Collective memory; Yugoslavia; Balkans

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.

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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:

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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.

Sustainable Events and Historic Buildings

Our new paper, ‘The Role of Sustainable Events in the Management of Historic Buildings’, has been published today in the journal Sustainability.  This is an open-access journal, meaning that anyone can read and download the paper from here.

Trinity House

As the use of historic building as venues for commercial activity grows, events management professionals working in historic buildings are faced with a number of sustainability challenges, including conservation, preservation, social value and financial sustainability, as well as with satisfying their clients. In particular, these professionals are required to maintain the complex balance between the competing priorities of historic value and contemporary relevance. Little research has thus far investigated the role that sustainable events can play in the management of historic buildings, beyond considerations of the trade-off between conservation and income generation. This research analyses the contribution that events can make to the sustainable management of historic buildings, with an emphasis on understanding the perspectives of event managers within these properties, based on qualitative interviews with historic building event managers and stakeholders in London, United Kingdom. A key finding of the research is that event managers within historic buildings have complex views of sustainability that are specific to these properties and which are not captured in the mainstream events management literature. The paper contributes to the emerging literature on sustainable events and also develops earlier research on the role of events and other income-generating activities in historic buildings

Moon Festival

I’ve recently become involved with a fantastic new festival, as part of their advisory board.  Moon Festival is a unique multi-event festival, taking place now and culminating in events to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the moon landings in July 2019.

moon festival

Their really exciting programme, which celebrates the moon in ways involving different cultures, times and disciplines, includes film screenings, night boats, a food market with a lunar slant, music events, a street party and much more.  To find out more, visit their website, or follow on twitter, facebook and instagram.