I recently gave a keynote presentation at the 2nd International Planning and Creativity Competition, in Hangzhou, China.
In my presentation, I highlighted three issues affecting the development of higher education for events in the UK:
Articulating the value of a degree in events management, as opposed to ‘just’ having industry experience or completing work-based training.
How to effectively teach about creativity and technology, when most events degrees are taught in business schools.
The questions of whether we we helping to develop and enhance the ‘profession’ of events management, or just creating individual professionals.
This event brings together academics, industry figures and students from across China for presentations, workshops and and an event planning competition for undergraduate students. Last year, I was able to speak at the event in person, and a group of our students from the University of Greenwich took part in the competition. Hopefully, we will be back next year. You can view my presentation below:
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.
I recently gave the keynote presentation below as keynote for the Zhejiang Global Exhibtion Forum in Hangzhou, China. You can view the presentation, below. In it, I emphasised three areas of potential collaboration: the fusion of creative and tech; incentive travel; city-city partnerships for event destinations.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
In my presentation, I explained the origins of the term overtourism and showed how important it had become in the media for explaining the impacts of tourism. But, I also suggested that the term wasn’t very useful for tourism researchers as we already had some fundamental concepts that helped us to explain these impacts, as well as the destination management knowledge to fix them.
A core part of this presentation was the idea that a lot of the current media reaction to tourism is the very old-fashioned idea that mass tourism and, by extension, mass tourists themselves, are somehow bad for destinations. However, the real issue is how we make sure that we harness the great positive impacts of tourism and manage the negative impacts successfully. I also used examples from UK seaside towns and around the world to suggest that the real danger facing most destinations is actually undertourism.
“This report proposes the development of a strategic approach to the creation, programming and promotion of events in Greenwich, under the brand ‘Royal Borough of Greenwich Events’. The report identifies clear opportunities for Visit Greenwich to take a more strategic approach to events within the tourist and visitor offer of the destination. With its partners, Visit Greenwich should aim to use events to enhance the positive impacts of tourism and visitation in Greenwich.”
Attendees included visiting academics and researchers, journalists and industry representatives, as well as members of the Tourism Research Centre, which is hosting the new office.
ITSA is a leading international network of tourism researchers, with offices in China, the USA and now the UK. If you’d like any more information about ITSA, have a look at the ITSA website or get in touch!
I recently spoke at the 2nd annual International Conference for Students in Tourism and Gastronomy, in Skopje, Macedonia. My presentation was about how small tourism destinations, especially in emerging economies, can use major events as part of their tourism branding. You can view my presentation below:
To get an idea of what my presentation was about, have a look at this short video about the recent stage of the World Triathlon Championship that was held in Jersey, a small island of 100,000 people off the coast of France. With a worldwide television audience of 3 million people, hosting this event provided media exposure that Jersey Tourism could never afford.
The majority of tourism in Suffolk (94%) is day visits, but day trip spending is around £25 per day, way below the national average of £31. Increasing day visit spend should be a big regional priority.
The growth of staycations offers the opportunity for Suffolk to grow a high value domestic tourism market, but this is very competitive and tourism businesses should consider how to offer even more high quality, high value products to the top end of this market.