Dark Tourism and World Heritage Sites

Our new paper, on Dark Tourism and UNESCO World Heritage Sites (WHS), has just been published in the Journal of Heritage Tourism. In the paper, we report on research that we carried out in Greenwich, London, with stakeholders of the Maritime Greenwich WHS. We found that stakeholders were broadly supportive of tourism development in the area, but had very negative views of dark tourism and didn’t support the idea of developing dark tourism products or service in Greenwich.

Our Greenwich campus

We suggest that, for anyone considering developing dark tourism in complex, urban WHS, real consideration should be given to working with the very diverse set of stakeholders that sites like these necessarily have. We were surprised that our respondents didn’t tend to focus on the multiple and often difficult histories of a site that is so intimately tied to war, conflict and the British Empire, but given the recent sensationalist media on dark tourism that tends to emphasise shock value, this perhaps made sense. You can read the abstract below and the full paper is here.

“Dark tourism has attracted increasing academic attention, but the extent to which it exists as a separate form of tourism from heritage tourism is not yet clear.  Despite the growth of UNESCO World Heritage Site designations, little research has considered the relationship between dark tourism and World Heritage Sites.  Because the development of dark tourism is beset with ethical concerns, heritage professionals can have negative perceptions about the acceptability or attractiveness of it for the sites that they are involved in managing.  This research used a qualitative Delphi Panel method to evaluate stakeholder perceptions of the potential development of dark tourism to the Greenwich Maritime World Heritage Site in London, United Kingdom.  The findings show that stakeholders are broadly supportive of tourism to the site and positive about future tourism growth.  Despite this, they did not support the development of dark tourism to the site because it was perceived as inauthentic, tacky and sensationalist.  In order to address this issue, recommendations are made that future attempts to develop dark tourism at WHS should involve enhancing the knowledge of stakeholders about dark tourism, and of the resources within their sites that could be included in a dark tourism offer to tourists.”

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.

A new Events Strategy for Visit Greenwich

Along with my colleague, Pamela Zigomo, we have just launched the new Events Strategy for the Royal Borough of Greenwich, following research that was commissioned by Visit Greenwich and the Royal Borough of Greenwich Council.

The launch event was held at the University of Greenwich, and you can view all the presentations and the strategy document itself on the Visit Greenwich website.

JK Events Strategy
The launch event

“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.”

Job opportunity: Lecturer in Tourism and Hospitality at the University of Greenwich.

We have just advertised a new job in our department at the University of Greenwich.  We’re hoping to recruit a new lecturer in Tourism and Hospitality to join our department of Marketing, Events and Tourism.  Ideally, we’re looking for someone who can bring knowledge of marketing, entrepreneurship, business development and innovation to our team, but we’re open to applications from candidates with a range of expertise.

You can view the job description, and download the application pack here.

Image result for universit yof greenwich

We have a dynamic and research-active tourism and hospitality team at Greenwich as part of our Tourism Research Centre, and our undergraduate degrees have been consistently ranked top in London.  This is an opportunity to work with a group of research-active academics who teach engaged, satisfied students on degree programmes with great industry links.

If you would like to discuss this opportunity, please do get in touch with me via j.s.kennell@greenwich.ac.uk.

2 Events Management academic posts at the University of Greenwich

We’ve just advertised two posts in Events Management in our department in the Business Faculty at the University of Greenwich.

Our Greenwich campus
Our Greenwich campus

We’re looking for two lecturers or senior lecturers to join us to help deliver our successful Events Management BA and MA programmes and also to be part of the team launching our new BA Hospitality Management degree.

We have an exciting department, with a large student body studying Marketing, Events, Tourism and PR and a research group with staff carrying out research and publishing in all of these areas.  Our campus is on the gorgeous World Heritage Site in London, just down the road from the O2 and across the river from Canary Wharf.

You can read the full job description and apply here.  The closing date for applications is 28th February 2014.