Acting the part: emotional intelligence and travel agencies

Our new paper ‘Acting the part: Emotional intelligence and job satisfaction as predictors of emotional labor in travel agencies’ has been published open-access in the journal Tourism and Hospitality Research.

Because the paper is open-access, anyone can read it for free, and I have copied the abstract below.

Skadarlija street,  Belgrade
Skadarlija street, Belgrade

“Employees of retail travel agencies in sales roles can have long-lasting, direct contact with tourists which, in the case of poor customer service, can be extremely problematic for businesses. Because of this, it is important to understand how employees manage their emotions to help them to remain satisfied with their work, thus contributing to the satisfaction of tourists. However, job satisfaction, emotional intelligence and emotional labor in tourism have not previously been studied together as variables in a single model. This research analyses the mediating role of emotional intelligence in the relationship between job satisfaction and emotional labor in travel agencies, as well as job satisfaction as an antecedent of emotional labor. Data were collected from 160 employees of 45 travel agencies in the Serbian cities of Belgrade and Novi Sad. Results show that employees’ emotional intelligence mediates the positive relationship between job satisfaction and emotional labor. Management implications: Increasing employees’ emotional intelligence through training and development and actively recruiting employees with high emotional intelligence will reduce emotional exhaustion and improve customer satisfaction for retail travel agencies. Future research should include employees from other countries, in order to make comparisons and to validate results, as well as to test the created model by structural equation modelling (SEM), involving some other possible mediators, such as socio-demographics, personality traits or work motivation.”

Tourism Policy Implementation in Bangladesh

Our new paper, on the implementation of tourism policy in Bangladesh has just been published online in the journal Tourism Recreation Research. If you don’t have access, and you would like to read it, please just get in touch!

Cox’s Bazar by Idolhunter Lckuang CC BY-SA 3.0

“National tourism policy in Bangladesh is a relatively new development and this research is the first to focus on the implementation of tourism policy in Bangladesh. Taking a social constructivist perspective, interviews were carried out with 13 elite stakeholders, from the public and private sectors, who are associated with the creation and implementation of tourism policy in Bangladesh. The data were analysed qualitatively using a content analysis approach to examine perceptions of the policy implementation process, and its success. In the case of Bangladesh, it is the persistence of hierarchical governance structures that appears to be hindering the effective implementation of tourism policy. This can be seen in the selection of priority areas by the government, the preferred policy instruments, and in the ways in which the private sector is being incentivised to support national tourism development.”

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

Journal of the Geographical Institute “Jovan Cvijić” SASA

I have recently been invited to join the Journal of the Geographical Institute “Jovan Cvijić”, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, as an Associate Editor for the Human Geography section.  The journal is published by a national academy which is the most prominent academic institution in Serbia, founded in 1841.

cover image of the journal

I am delighted to become involved with this excellent journal, which has an online archive stretching back to 1951, and which publishes papers related to tourism which are aligned with the journal’s focus and scope.  It is listed on various academic databases and has recently been accepted for listing on ESCI (Web of Science) and Scopus.

If you would like to discuss a potential submission with me, please just get in touch.

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:

 

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

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

Call for Papers – Special Issue “Tourism, Governance and Sustainable Development”

With my colleague Professor Franciso Antonio dos Anjos, from Univesidade do Vale do Itajaí in Brazil, we are editing a special issue of the journal Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050), on ‘Tourism, Governance and Sustainable Development’.

sustainability-logo

 

You can read the full call for papers here, and find out more about the journal here.  If you are interested in submitting for this special issue, please just get in touch with any questions.  The final deadline for manuscript submissions is 22nd February 2019.

Effective governance is a fundamental condition for the sustainable development of tourist destinations. The inherent complexity of tourism also requires that its development be accompanied by efficient planning and management processes based on the basic principles of sustainability.

Previous studies in tourism governance have identified the shift from government to governance in tourism policy; the emergence of new networked and postmodern forms of governance affecting tourism; the changing roles of destination management organizations and the complexities of tourism governance in a globalized world. However, much of this research has been carried out in the developed core countries of the international tourism industry. There is a need to bring together new research on this topic from more diverse geographical and socio-economic perspectives, as well as to re-examine the area of tourism governance in light of the many contemporary crises affecting the sustainability of tourism destinations.

Dark Cities: A ranking of Europe’s top tourism cities in terms of dark tourism

With my colleagues Raymond Powell and Christopher Barton, we’ve just had a new paper published in the International Journal of Tourism Cities.  In the paper, we analyse the content of the websites for the Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) of each of Europe’s top ten most visited cities.  We carried out content analysis using key words and concepts associated with dark tourism, in order to see whether the DMOs were promoting dark tourism as part of their offer, and whether this was related to their success as a destination.

“Dark tourism can be defined as tourism associated with the visitation of sites which have death, tragedy or suffering as an ingredient in the mix of visitor motivations in some way or other” (Powell et al 2018: 2)

We found that there were very significant differences in terms of that what extent each of these destinations promoted their dark tourism offer on their tourist websites, but that this didn’t seem to be obviously connected to their success in attracting tourists.

darkness ranking table
Source: Powell et al 2018

This was only a very small sample of destination websites, and although it does at first glance appear that the more ‘dark’ you are, the less visited you are, it is difficult to be sure of this at this stage of the research.  What was clear from our data, however, was that European city destinations vary enormously in terms of how their promote their dark tourism offer.

Our next piece of research on this project will look at a larger sample of the top 100 city tourism destinations in the world, with a more sophisticated content analysis methodology.   Recent research suggests that the dramatic growth in academic research into dark tourism hasn’t been mirrored by its acceptance in the tourism industry.  We aim to look at this from the DMO perspective, to discover whether this is the case for city tourism.

Dark tourism: Cemetery tourism

I was interviewed briefly early in the year for the industry publication, funeral service times.  You can read the final article here, or by clicking the image below.  Along with a colleague, Raymond Powell, I’ve had a book chapter published before on dark tourism and we have a journal article in the International Journal of Tourism Cities coming out on the topic of dark tourism and European cities, scheduled for the start of 2018.

The star of this industry article however, is Sheldon Goodman, the co-Founder of Cemetery Club, who spoke at an event hosted by our Tourism Research Centre in May. Sheldon gives an excellent account of cemetery tourism and the cemetery tours that he leads.  If you’re looking for an interesting case study to support your own research into dark tourism, Sheldon’s work is great place to start.