ITSA London Office

We have just launched the new London Office for the International Tourism Studies Association (ITSA) at the University of Greenwich.

Kennell

I chaired the event in my new role as Executive Director of the London Office and attendees were welcomed to the University by Professor David Maguire, our Vice Chancellor.

There were also two excellent presentations by Professor Xinran Lehto from Purdue University, the incoming President of ITSA, and Professor Wolfgang Georg Arlt, ITSA’s Vice President for Western Europe and the Director of the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute.

ITSA launch photo
A group photo from the event, to celebrate the launch

Attendees included visiting academics and researchers, journalists and industry representatives, as well as members of the Tourism Research Centre, which is hosting the new office.

ITSA is a leading international network of tourism researchers, with offices in China, the USA and now the UK.  If you’d like any more information about ITSA, have a look at the ITSA website or get in touch!

Urban Tourist Motivations: Why Visit Ljubljana?

Together with my colleagues Sanja Bozic, Miroslav Vujicic and Tamara Jovanovic from the University of Novi Sad, we have recently published an article in the International Journal of Tourism Cities that investigates urban tourists’ motivations for visiting Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.  You can read the article here.  If you would like to read it and don’t have access, please get in touch.  The abstract of the article is below:

The city of Ljubljana

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a new perspective on urban tourist motivations by applying the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) model to help to understand how tourists make decisions about which destinations to visit.

Design/methodology/approach – This study was based on 30 one-hour-long structured interviews with visitors to Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia. Respondents were asked to express their preferences between different pull-factor motives for their visit, using Saaty’s scale, and further qualitative data were collected to examine these preferences in more depth.

Findings – The results of this study indicate that the most relevant criteria and thus predominant factors in motivation for visits to Ljubljana are the Cultural and Nightlife pull factors, while religious and business motives are the lowest ranked factors. The paper argues that the results show the value of applying the AHP model to understand the role of pull factors in urban tourism destination choice.

Research limitations/implications – As a single-destination case study, it is important that the findings of this research are evaluated against similar studies in other cities. A limitation of this research is the fact that sub motives within major groups of pull-factor motives have not been explored in this study and this should be the subject of future, more detailed research.

Originality/value – This research shows the value of applying an under-used methodology to understand urban tourist motivations and knowledge gained through applying this method will be of value to destination marketing organisations as well as to researchers conducting future studies.

Big Events in Small Destinations

I recently spoke at the 2nd annual International Conference for Students in Tourism and Gastronomy, in Skopje, Macedonia.  My presentation was about how small tourism destinations, especially in emerging economies, can use major events as part of their tourism branding.  You can view my presentation below:

To get an idea of what my presentation was about, have a look at this short video about the recent stage of the World Triathlon Championship that was held in Jersey, a small island of 100,000 people off the coast of France.  With a worldwide television audience of 3 million people, hosting this event provided media exposure that Jersey Tourism could never afford.

This was a great event, which I also spoke at last year.  This year was even more successful, with presentations from Ljupco Janevski  from the Macedonian National Tourism Agency, Thiago Ferreria from Serbia4Youth and Prof. Dejan Metodijeski from the Goce Delcev University of Stip.  I’m looking forward to supporting the event again next year as it continues to grow and become an important tourism event in the region.

Travel Constraints for City Break Travel: Novi Sad, Serbia

I was recently very pleased to be invited onto the Scientific Committee for the 17th Contemporary Trends in Tourism and Hospitality conference in Novi Sad, Serbia.  With colleagues from the University of Novi Sad, we presented a paper on the constraints affecting city break tourists, based on research by my colleague Dr Miroslav Vujičić into visitors to the city of Novi Sad itself.  This is useful research for researchers and practitioners considering city marketing and urban destination management as it identifies the factors that impact on potential tourists’ decision to travel.  The abstract for this paper is below:

 

TRAVEL CONSTRAINTS FOR CITY BREAK TRAVEL – CASE STUDY: NOVI SAD, VOJVODINA, SERBIA

 

Miroslav D. Vujičić (1)*, James Kennell (2), Tamara Jovanović (1), Đorđije A. Vasiljević (1), Snežana Besermenji (1), Uglješa Stankov (1), Igor Stamenković (1)

(1) Department of geography, tourism and hotel management, Faculty of Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Trg Dositeja Obradovića 3, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia

(2) Department of Marketing, Events and Tourism, Faculty of Business, University of Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College, Park Row, Greenwich, London SE10 9LS

* Corresponding author: miroslav.vujicic@dgt.uns.ac.rs

 

Travel constraints in general can be described as barriers or blockages that inhibit continued use of recreation service, but maybe a better definition was given by Jackson (1991) which described them as factors that “limit the formation of leisure preferences and … inhibit or prohibit participation and enjoyment in leisure”.  Most researchers distinguish three categories of constraints: interpersonal (attributes of the individual) intrapersonal (social interaction) and structural (characteristics of the physical environment).

 

In recent times cities emerged as principal centres of human activity and can be perceived as places that facilitate a diverse range of social, cultural and economic activities and where tourism and entertainment form major service components. Novi Sad is the second largest city of Serbia, the capital of the autonomous province of Vojvodina and the administrative centre of the South Bačka District. This research deals with limitations for city break travel, for tourists who visit Novi Sad. The authors used the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) method with the aim to rank constraints in city break travel. Preliminary results indicate that structural constrains (0.633) are most dominant, followed by intrapersonal (0.199) and that the least dominant are interpersonal constrains (0.169).  The synthesis of results, 22 items in total, indicate that the most dominant constraints are:

 

  • Travel is too expensive (0.078)
  • Business obligations limit my travel (0.072)
  • Travel involves too much risk (0.060)

 

and the least dominant are:

 

  • I don’t have time to travel (0.017)
  • Too much traffic on destination (0.022)
  • I don’t have enough information about a place I plan to visit (0.029)

 

This research showed that most dominant constraint factors are structural in nature,  as shown by criteria weights on first level of hierarchy and the synergy of the results of criteria weights which acknowledge that fact. The study showed that the consistency ratio (CR), according to the AHP method, is 0.07 (CR<0.1), indicating that the study is reliable and accurate and that therefore there is no need for adjustments in the comparison between criteria.

 

Key words: Travel constraints, city break, Novi Sad, analytical hierarchy process

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.

UK Tourism Policy – A Punctuated Equilibrium view

Based on our ongoing research into tourism policy in the UK, Dr Samantha Chaperon and I recently gave this presentation at the International Conference on Tourism in Naples, Italy.

In our presentation, we present research where we tested the utility of the concept of punctuated equilibrium, for understanding recent changes in UK tourism policy.  Punctuated Equilibrium draws our attention to two different groups of people and organisations in understanding change and continuity in tourism policy.  Firstly, the policy community involved in framing, creating and implementing tourism policies in the UK.  Secondly, the role of issue networks in attempting to shift the tourism policy agenda – broadly speaking, this would be activity by non-governmental interest groups, such as lobbying and campaigning.

In our presentation, we presented two brief case studies.  Firstly, we explained how the conservative elements of the UK’s coalition government, which was elected in 2010, slowly worked to change the composition of the tourism policy community until they were able to achieve their ideological goal of significantly reducing public sector support for tourism, despite this having no real support from the broader tourism sector in the country.

Secondly, we discussed how a campaign with very broad support from industry, and from many politicians and organisations outside of this policy community had failed to achieve their aims of achieving a reduction in sales tax (VAT) on the tourism and hospitality sector.

We concluded that the perspective of punctuated equilibrium was helpful in explaining why a long period of stability in tourism policy and been broken by a series of quite dramatic changes in tourism governance in the UK.  Punctuated Equilibrium suggests that we should be able to explain the evolution of tourism policy through analysing the tension between policy communities and issues networks – our initial investigations have led us to conclude that, in the case of the UK, the policy community is the dominant part of this equation.  We plan to develop this further for a paper next year….

 

 

Policy Change and Tourism Policy in the United Kingdom

Along with Dr Samantha Chaperon, I have recently had a paper accepted for the 6th International Conference on Tourism, which is being held in Naples, Italy from 29th June to 2nd July this year.

ICOT2016_logo_2_site-300x101

The paper builds on our earlier joint work on UK tourism policy, and my own work in this area.  In our paper, we conduct a review of tourism policies in the UK between 1997-2015.  The abstract for our paper is below:

Under the New Labour government of 1997-2010, tourism policy in the United Kingdom was characterised by a high level of continuity between the policies of successive administrations.  Since 2010, the United Kingdom has had two different new governments. Each of these governments has launched a new tourism policy.  The Coalition government’s policy made fundamental changes to the funding and governance of tourism and the new Conservative government have enacted significant changes to the National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) for the United Kingdom and England.

This paper analyses the changes in the United Kingdom’s tourism policy between 1997-2015, using a combination of structural explanations based on exogenous factors and the perspective of punctuated equilibrium theory.  Research was conducted through content analysis of key policy and strategy documents including national tourism policies, policies of the devolved administrations of the United Kingdom, and other key documents such as NTO strategy documents and consultation records.  Although this study is based on the United Kingdom, the approach taken could be used to analyse periods of tourism policy change in other countries, especially those that have seen recent changes in government following the global economic crisis.

The paper concludes by showing that although structural explanations of tourism policy making are useful in examining the determinants of tourism policy at any given time, punctuated equilibrium theory helps to explain periods of change in tourism policy by drawing attention to the role of policy communities in setting policy problems and selecting potential solutions By utilising a theoretical approach that has not been applied widely in studies of tourism policy, but which has been used extensively in studies of other policy arenas, this paper shows the utility of incorporating theoretical perspectives from other parts of the policy studies literature when considering changes in tourism policy.  Recommendations are made towards the end of the paper for how this could be applied in future studies, including for international comparative analysis of tourism policy.

 

Tourism Minister visits Greenwich

The Minister for Tourism, the Rt Hon David Evennett MP, visited our campus at the University of Greenwich, to find out about our Tourism degrees.

The Minister spent time with students from the university’s Tourism Management degree courses as they discussed their studies, business ideas and career plans.

He said: “The future of the tourist industry is something very close to my heart, and without question its success depends upon recruiting talented people who are looking to make their mark in their careers. Greenwich’s students have shown me just how creative and enthusiastic they are.

tourism minister visit

“It is wonderful to meet young people with such a passion for their subject, and a privilege to listen to the ideas of such a highly enterprising group. It strikes me they could not have been studying for careers in this industry at a more ideal place than the University of Greenwich, and I look forward to them taking their ideas and skills out into the wider world.”

Tourism and Economic Development in Suffolk

This is the presentation that I gave last week, at the Suffolk Inside Out event in Ipswich.  This excellent event was organised by Events Management students from University Campus Suffolk, who brought together some great speakers and delegates from Suffolk to discuss the development of tourism and the visitor economy in the region.

The main points of my presentation were:

  • Tourism makes a strong contribution to the economic growth priorities of Suffolk,  and tourism stakeholders need to make that clear when they talk to politicians and policy makers
  • The majority of tourism in Suffolk (94%) is day visits, but day trip spending is around £25 per day, way below the national average of £31.  Increasing day visit spend should be a big regional priority.
  • The growth of staycations offers the opportunity for Suffolk to grow a high value domestic tourism market, but this is very competitive and tourism businesses should consider how to offer even more high quality, high value products to the top end of this market.

Carrying Capacity – new publication

My contribution to the new Springer Encyclopedia of Tourism, on Carrying Capacity, has just been published.  I blogged about this, and the possibilities for linking this concept to big data, last year -you can read this here.

tourist-in-becak

If you would like a copy of the entry for research purposes, please contact me directly.