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.

Funded PhD Scholarship

With two of my colleagues at the University of Greenwich, we are offering a funded PhD scholarship to come and work with us, evaluating a major regeneration project over three years, in south-east London.

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You can view the full description, and find out about the application process here.  If you’d like to contact me about this directly, please just get in touch, but I’ve included some brief information below:

Description:

Are you interested in assisting with the evaluation of a large-scale regeneration initiative in London? A fully-funded studentship developed by Arup, The Social Innovation Partnership and the University of Greenwich is available for a student to qualitatively and quantitatively track changes in Thamesmead over time.

The Role

Thamesmead is a town that was established in the 1960s with the intention of being a ‘model city,’ built with utopian architecture, green spaces and waterways along the banks of the river Thames. Peabody’s mission is to improve, grow and look after Thamesmead for the long-term. Because Peabody owns much of the land, housing and retail, and natural spaces in the area, it is in the unique position to take a holistic, area-wide approach to its regeneration. Peabody has engaged Arup, TSIP and the University of Greenwich to jointly manage the Thamesmead Evaluation Framework.

The PhD student will make a significant contribution to the overall evaluation of the Thamesmead Plan, and will carry out research with practical implications. The research focuses on public space, culture, arts and heritage and community cohesion, and the lived experience of place.

This studentship will be supervised by a team specialising in urban and cultural regeneration, with additional support from Arup, a world-leading urban consultancy firm. The student is expected to work closely with the supervisory team, key internal stakeholders and external contractors. The student researcher will also train Peabody staff and/or local residents in data collection methods.

The Candidate

The candidate will hold a relevant postgraduate qualification, will be experienced with qualitative and quantitative research methods and willing to conduct fieldwork within the locality.

For further information please contact the supervisor: Dr. Menna Jones, M.T.Jones@greenwich.ac.uk

Bursary available (subject to satisfactory performance):

Year 1: £15,009 Year 2 and 3: In line with RCUK rate

The successful candidate will receive a contribution to tuition fees equivalent to the university’s Home/EU rate, currently £4,327, for the duration of their scholarship. International applicants will need to pay the remainder tuition fee for the duration of their scholarship. This fee is subject to an annual increase. Scholarships are available for three years, full-time study from the date scholars first register as an MPhil/PhD student with the university. Applicants must meet the programme entry requirements.

For additional information about the scholarship please go to: www.gre.ac.uk/research/study/research-studentships-and-scholarships

 

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.

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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

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.

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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.

 

Turizmijada 2015

Last week, I gave a presentation at the Turizmijada 2015 event in Tivat, Montenegro. This was the 8th annual event hosted by the International Association of Students of Tourism and Hospitality.  You can see my presentation, on ‘Sustainable Tourism Development in the Adriatic Region’, at the end of this post, or by clicking here.

Tivat, Montenegro
Tivat, Montenegro

The event was held in the beautiful Bay of Kotor, on the Adriatic coast and brought together hundreds of students and faculty members from a range of countries.  It was a very international event – most of the delegates came from Balkan countries such as Montenegro, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia, but there were representatives from much further afield, including the UK and Japan.  One of the supporters of the event was Porto Montenegro, a huge new luxury super yacht marina development which is making a massive contribution to tourism development in Tivat, and in Montenegro more widely.

Bay of Kotor, Tivat, Montenegro
Bay of Kotor, Tivat, Montenegro

Turizmijada has three strands to it – the academic conference, a sporting competition for universities in the region and entertainment for the delegates.  The academic conference was excellent, with presentations from academics from Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro and the UK.  The second day of presentations was hosted by the always excellent Dr Rob Davidson, a former colleague from the the University of Greenwich and now the director of MICE Knowledge.

Peter Gulobovic, the organiser and host of Turizmijada
Peter Gulobovic, the organiser and host of Turizmijada

This was my first time at Turizmijada, and my first time in Montenegro. I’m sure I’ll be going back in the near future.  The event is well organised and full of energetic and engaged tourism students, who are really focused on how to develop tourism in the region.  The opportunity to meet colleagues countries that have fast growing tourism industries is excellent and I’ll be looking to include many of the projects that I’ve encountered as case studies in my teaching at the University of Greenwich next year.