Tourism Policy Research after COVID-19

My new article has just been published in the Skyline Business Journal, called ‘Tourism Policy Research after the COVID-19 Pandemic: Reconsidering the Role of the State in Tourism’.

The article is open-access, meaning anyone can read it. I argue that the decisions that governments around the world have taken to intervene in their tourism industries means that we need to re-think the role of the state in tourism. You can read the abstract below and access the whole article here.

Travel Luggage Sea - Free image on Pixabay

“Over the last thirty years of research into tourism policy, there has been a dominant assumption that the appropriate role of the state in tourism is mostly settled. The state has a legitimate role in the tourism industry, but it is essentially one of ‘steering and not rowing’. This assumption has developed against the backdrop of the neoliberal shift towards small states, powerful markets and light touch policy interventions in industry. This research note argues that the measures that have been taken by governments around the world in respect of their tourism industries, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, are sufficiently significant and long-term to warrant a re-appraisal of the role of the state in tourism. Specifically, this note makes the case for a renewed focus on research into tourism policy in non-Western contexts, where the role of the state has not been as constrained by the neoliberal shift, and for an increase in international comparative policy research, which has been notably absent in the tourism policy field to date.”

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 Entrepreneurship and Industrial Restructuring

Our latest paper, on industrial restructuring and tourism entrepreneurship in Serbia, has just been published. This is an open access paper that you can download and read, for free, from here. The abstract is below:

Aerial view Orthodox church Lazarevac, Kolubara, Serbia

National culture can influence entrepreneurship by creating a specific cultural framework that defines the possibilities for the recognition of opportunities for entrepreneurial activities, as well as their social desirability. Very large corporations, especially those that dominate a region, also have their own organizational cultures, which in turn influence local social culture, and which can constitute a specific subculture within society. The “Kolubara” mine is the largest in Serbia, employing more than 11,000 workers. As most of its employees are living close to its headquarters, the small town of Lazarevac (Central Serbia), the culture nurtured within this organization and among its employees is heavily intertwined with the social culture of the inhabitants of the town. The GLOBE (Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness) approach was used to investigate the relation between this organizational culture and national culture, by measuring the nine GLOBE cultural dimensions of the “Kolubara” employees and of the inhabitants of Lazarevac. The results of this are discussed and analyzed in the context of the ongoing economic transformation in many post-socialist economies. This study highlights the readiness of the people of small industrial towns, such as Lazarevac, to adapt to this ongoing transition and to undertake entrepreneurial activities in tourism during periods of industrial restructuring and the growth of service industries in former industrial areas.

Tourism and Hospitality Entrepreneurship in Islands

Our new paper, on entrepreneurship in the tourism and hospitality industries in island contexts, has just been published in the International Journal of Hospitality Management. In the paper, we conduct a systematic literature review on the topic, which has received little attention up to this point. The abstract is below. If you would like to read the paper, please just get in touch.

“Entrepreneurship is vital to the success of tourism and hospitality and in turn the sector makes an important contribution to many island economies.  Despite this, far too little attention has been paid by researchers to tourism and hospitality entrepreneurship in islands (THEI).  A systematic review of the literature was conducted to provide a platform for further research and to help investigators set their research priorities and thereby advance understanding of this important field.  Using the Scopus database and the PRISMA technique, a total of 132 articles were included in bibliometric and thematic content analyses. The review revealed that, although there has been an increase in THEI research, this has tended to focus on the Asia-Pacific region rather than the European and North American contexts.  It was also found that, hitherto, the generalizability of much THEI published research is limited.  It is therefore suggested that researchers consider redressing this geographical bias and conduct more quantitative and comparative THEI studies.  Further opportunities exist for scholars to investigate the characteristics and behaviors of tourism and hospitality island entrepreneurs as well as the impacts of the industrial and spatial aspects of THEI.”

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.

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.

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.

Overtourism vs. Undertourism

I gave the presentation below as a keynote at the 12th International Iguassu Tourism Forum, which was part of the Festival des Cataratas in Foz do Iguacu, Brazil.

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.

Foz
The fantastic team who organised the event

Any Stupid Questions About…Tourism: Podcast

This week, I’m interviewed on the ‘Any Stupid Questions’ podcast, on a show that is all about tourism.  Three very funny comedians ask me questions about tourism, and I do my best to answer.  You can listen by going to Acast or iTunes, or by clicking on the image below.

ASQ

“This week, host Danielle Ward is joined by Dr James Kennell, principal lecturer on Tourism, Events & Hospitality at Greenwich University in London, who can tell us literally everything about tourism. Danielle is joined by comedians Jessica Fostekew (The Guilty Feminist ) and Nat Tapley (The Revolution Will Be TelevisedHistoryHit.tv).

Questions asked and answered include:

  • How many Queens does our economy need?
  • Why shouldn’t you pay attention to Americans and Brits on TripAdvisor?
  • When’s the best time to book a holiday?
  • Why is foreign money easier to spend?

….so if you’ve sort of been guessing the answers based on a gut feeling, why not listen and find out for sure? And then subscribe to stay equally informed about other issues, as we get around to them.

All our guests are on Twitter, so go and say hello – @jameskennell @jessicafostekew and @natt, and Danielle is @captainward. And the show itself now has a Twitter account: @AnyStupidQs. Follow it for information about upcoming episodes, recordings, and extra bits of the show that had to be cut for any reason (usually it’s just a bit off-topic; this week it’s because we wanted the show to be under 45 minutes long).”