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.”

Tourism, Governance and Sustainable Development

With my colleague, Professor Francisco Antonio dos Anjos, we have just edited a special issue of the journal Sustainability.  This is an open-access journal, so it is free to everyone to read and download.  There are fifteen papers in the special issue which deal with issues related to sustainable tourism in countries as diverse as Iraq, Colombia, Slovakia and Indonesia.

One of our aims with this collection, was to add to the tourism governance literature, with research from developing countries and on using new methods and approaches.  This special issue certainly does that, and you can read a summary of the contents in our editorial piece.

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

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.


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’.



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.

Sustainability – journal editorial board

I have just joined the board of the open-access journal Sustainability. The journal is an international and cross-disciplinary scholarly, open access journal of environmental, cultural, economic and social sustainability , which provides an advanced forum for studies related to sustainability and sustainable development.  I have joined the editorial board for the ‘Sustainability of Culture and Heritage’ section.


The journal has an impact factor of 1.789 and is indexed in SSCI, SCIE, Scopus and other well-used research databases.

I have been reviewing for this journal for a while, and I’ve been impressed by the diversity and the quality of the papers, and the speed of their reviewing and publishing process. Typically, reviewers’ comments are fed back to authors within a month and publication takes place online within a week following acceptance.  If you are interested in publishing in this journal, in my area, or if you would like to propose a special issue, please just get in touch for a chat.


An ERASMUS visit to Germany

I’ve recently returned from an ERASMUS teaching exchange visit to Germany.  I visited the Fachhochschule Stralsund – University of Applied Sciences, in the beautiful medieval city of Stralsund, in the north-east of the country.  While I was there, I taught MA and BA students studying tourism management and destination development.

The Hanseatic town of Stralsund
The Hanseatic town of Stralsund

My teaching in Stralsund focused on issues connected to sustainability – in particular responsible tourism and product development for sustainable tourism.  In a similar way to my recent talk on responsible events, I concentrated on my view that the concept of sustainability is a failed one – we’ve been talking about sustainability for 30 years and it is about time that we generated some new ideas and new behaviours.  I’ve put up some of my slides from my ERASMUS teaching below.

The Business School at the Fachhochschule Stralsund
The Business School at the Fachhochschule Stralsund


Responsible Events

I recently gave a talk on ‘Responsible Events’ at the Event Horizons conference in Cornwall.  You can see the presentation below.  ‘Responsibility’ is a new way of thinking about sustainability.  In this presentation, I argue that ‘sustainability’ has been the least successful policy agenda of the last 50 years.  Top-down policies, frameworks and industry standards haven’t delivered sustainable events or helped us to make global development more sustainable in general.


The concept of responsible events puts the emphasis on what the events industry is good at: bringing people together, using technology creatively and producing amazing experiences.  Instead of implementing dry management standards to brand events as ‘green’, we should be designing events that help event managers and event customers to share the responsibility to create positive impacts on the environment and society.

The presentation below was originally just made up of images – text has been added.