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ICRETH Projects

We undertake a range of funded projects for a range of grant awarding bodies and other agencies, including businesses. The following projects provide a flavour of our interests and capabilities. Please contact us if you are interested in collaboration.

Current Projects

Plus Icon Absorptive capacity in the events sector
Principal investigator: Professor Rhodri Thomas

Research Team: Dr Emma Wood

Funder: International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA)

Date: 2013 – on-going

Summary: This project seeks to measure the absorptive capacity of businesses in the events sector. The measurement tool for capturing absorptive capacity has already been developed and used in the context of the hotel sector. The intention is that by measuring absorptive capacity, insights into the competitiveness of the sector and its propensity for innovation will become available.

Outputs: Thomas, R. and Wood, E (2014) Innovation in tourism: Re-conceptualising and measuring the absorptive capacity of the hotel sector.Tourism Management available online.
Plus Icon Abu Dhabi Professional Development Programme
Principal Investigator: Jackie Mulligan

Other team members: Phil Clements, Sharon McElhinney, Glenn Bowdin, Sofia Rebelo, Julia Tum, Jane Welbourn, Dr Emma Wood, Michelle Lanham

Funder: MPI and Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority

Date: 2011 - on-going

Summary: The development of a professional development programme based on research to support and enhance competitiveness in MICE within Abu Dhabi. Research has included focus groups in the States and Europe, desk based research to produce a portfolio of innovative courses.

Outputs: Research and recommendations report, Blog on professionalizing for the future, Presentations at IMEX, WTM, EMEC, Confex 2012, ITB Berlin

Principal Investigator: Dr ShiNa Li

Funder: British Academy

Timeframe: 2013 – 2014

Summary: Advanced dynamic econometric modelling, which can evaluate the causal relationships between tourism demand and its influencing factors, is a very useful and important approach. These influencing factors include e.g. income, prices, exchange rates, and various events including crises (e.g. September 11th attack), special events (e.g. the Olympics) and policy changes (e.g. UK Airport Departure Tax on tourism). The results of the econometric models are very useful for tourism policy formulations. I will acquire this modelling through working with Professor Haiyan Song at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and then apply it to tourism impact and policy analyses.

Principal Investigator: Professor Rhodri Thomas

Research Team: Dr Neil Ormerod

Funder: Rugby Football League (RFL)

Date: 2014

Summary: This project provided an economic impact assessment of the Magic Weekend – a festival of rugby league – and additional data relating to spectators which will be used by the client to refine the event.

Outputs: Report to client

Principal Investigators: Professor Rhodri Thomas and Professor David Parsons

Other team members: Dr Tom Fletcher and Dr Ulrike Kachel

Funder: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Timeframe: 2013 - 2014

Summary: BRASS was funded by ESRC as an inter-disciplinary research Centre at Cardiff University between 2001 and 2012. This study represents ESRC’s post investment review and evaluation against its goals.

Output: Research report for ESRC
Plus Icon An Evaluation of the Impact of ESRC's Economics Centres
Principal Investigators: Professor Rhodri Thomas, Professor David Parsons and Kenneth Walsh (external)

Other team members: Professor Ian Strange and Dr ShiNa Li

Funder: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Timeframe: 2013 - 2014

Summary: This study represents ESRC's evaluation of the impact of its major investments. It utilises track forward and track back methods to trace impact.
Plus Icon HRD in 2020: a hop-on hop-off city tour
Principal investigator: Professor Jeff Gold (Leeds Beckett University)

Other researchers: Julia Calver (Leeds Beckett University), Gennia Cuthbert (Sunderland University), Sue Davison (ETC Training and Institute of Virtual Leadership) , David Devins (Leeds Beckett University), Iestyn Hughes (Royal Bank of Scotland), Paul Tosey (Surrey Business School)

Summary: HRD professionals need to be proactive in persuading clients of the legitimacy of their expert knowledge and potential to act in a field recognised as the disciplinary domain of learning and development at work. It can be also argued that a key part of such expertise has to concern the values and interests of those who face uncertainty and difficulty in relation to learning at work. Clearly, as we look towards 2020 and beyond, there is a need to reassess commonly held views about controlling event and give more emphasis to how we can create a future with creativity, imagination and not a little humility. This paper presents four scenarios through a `hop-on, hop-off’ tour, inquiring into their implications for HRD and the journeys that could lead us towards the future.

Paper and presentation at international HRD conference Portugal 2013.
Plus Icon Keep It Real for Destinations: a guide to incorporating Wise Growth in communications with visitors, residents and businesses
Principal Investigator: Dr Davina Stanford

Funder: VisitEngland

2013 / 2014

Summary: A series of Action Plans have been developed by the industry to deliver on the Strategic Framework objectives for tourism in England 2010 - 2020. The Action Plans were the product of extensive consultation and collaboration with England’s tourism industry. Wise Growth is the term used in place of sustainable tourism to link and balance the growth aspirations of the Strategic Framework with principles of sustainable tourism. The project was commissioned to develop a toolkit aimed at destination organisations and any other organisations that work in promoting and managing destinations. The toolkit will help destination marketers understand how the principles of Wise Growth can be communicated to both residents and visitors alike. Case studies have been researched and are used throughout to illustrate the 8 Wise Growth principles.

Outputs: An online toolkit for destination organisations which outlines what, when, why and how they can best communicate their Wise Growth actions and aspirations.
Plus Icon MPI Future of Meetings Study
Principal Investigator: Jackie Mulligan

Other team members: Dr Reinhold Behringer, Ben Dalton, Samantha Dixon, James Musgrave, Dr Alex Kenyon, Steve Jones, Daniela Carl, Glenn Bowdin, Tony Rogers, Jonathan Moss

Funder: MPI, Jumeirah Hotels, Omni Hotels Group, PSAV

Date: 2011 - on-going

Summary: Major research study identifying future trends in the meetings industry, considering technology, social media and political, economic, environmental, social changes. The research examines future trends through literature reviews, expert interviews, surveys, social media tracking, action research and focus groups. The work includes research reports, presentations, case studies and new educational materials to support the sector to prepare for the challenges and opportunities of the future

Outputs: Mulligan, J. Wood, E and Moss, J (2012) Future of Meetings industry report for MPI
Presentations at EMEC 2012
Plus Icon Ninki Nanka Trail Feasibility Study, The Gambia
Principal investigator: Lucy McCombes

Other researcher: Dr Simon Woodward

Funder: World Bank

Timeframe: 2012-ongoing

Summary: In a move to spread the benefits of tourism more widely across the country, we were commissioned to prepare a feasibility study for a 5 day excursion linking a number of important cultural and natural heritage sites along the River Gambia. The concept was originally proposed in the 2004 Tourism Masterplan for The Gambia but only recently has funding become available to explore whether or not the proposal is viable. Our work included an audit of potential tourism resources along the river from Banjul to Janjanburegh; an exploration of the likely impacts of tourism in communities that have to date experienced little attention from international visitors; an assessment of how tourism can support livelihoods in these communities; and a technical and financial assessment of the project’s viability. The report is currently being reviewed by ASSET (the Gambian organisation charged with developing responsible tourism in the country) and its partners to ascertain whether or not a full investment appraisal should be commissioned.

Output: Final report illustrating the technical and financial feasibility of the proposed excursion.

Plus Icon SUCRET
Principal Investigator: Dr ShiNa Li (UK) Associate Professor Suping Shen (Yunnan Normal University, PR China)

Research Team: This project will draw on the resources of many ICRETH colleagues.

Funders: Leeds Beckett University, Yunnan Normal University, PR China, Yunnan Education centre for International Exchange of Yunnan Provincial Department of Education, PR China.

Date: 2013 - Ongoing.

Summary: A collaboration between the three partners with a view to enhancing research, consultancy and knowledge exchange relating to events and tourism in China. Initial projects include a conference on sustainable events and tourism to be held in Kunming, Yunnan Province, during late October 2014.
Principal Investigator: Professor Peter Fredman, Mid Sweden University

Research Team: Professor Peter Fredman (Mid Sweden University, Sweden) Professor Klas Sandell (Karlstad University, Sweden) Dr Christine Lundberg (Leeds Beckett University, UK) Dr Maria Lexhagen (Mid Sweden University, Sweden) Dr Sandra Wall Reinius (Mid Sweden University, Sweden)

Funder: The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

Date: 2013-2015

Summary: The main purpose of this project is to analyse trends in recreational use of the Swedish mountain region at different spatial levels to support and critically examine a sustainable development in the light of the Swedish national environmental objective “En storslagen fjällmiljö”.

The Swedish mountain region has a long history of recreational use, but more recently new activities and changing recreation behaviours have been observed. Such changes will largely impact many dimensions of future sustainability of the region. The project will therefore take advantage of previous studies of mountain recreation in Sweden to analyse current use and trends with special focus on activities, experiences, benefits and impacts. Besides analysing trends in more traditional use, the project will emphasise contemporary recreational phenomena that are of utmost importance for future development: outdoor events, sportification and indoorisation of traditional outdoor recreation activities, the use of new technology and social media. Through a mixed method approach, quantitative information will provide input to a qualitative analysis of impacts on sustainable development in general with special emphasis on key parameters of the environmental objective “En storslagen fjällmiljö” (e.g. soundscapes; intra- and inter recreation conflict; environmental, social and economic impacts), and indicators to support the associated specifications of this objective.
Plus Icon Understanding the Green Tourist, Sustainable Tourism Powys
Principal Investigator: Dr Davina Stanford

Research Team: Javiera Villarino, Laura Higa Eda and Dr Xavier Font

Funder: Sustainable Tourism Powys

Date: 2013 / 2014

Summary: The objectives of this work were to provide a definition and profile of the ‘green visitor’, including the values, expectations and aspirations of the green visitor, and what primarily motivates them when choosing a holiday destination; to determine what factors influence visitors in relation to sustainability; to establish how this market can be better targeted to encourage more ‘green’ visitors to Powys and then subsequently marketed through the Powys County Council tourism marketing platforms; and to recommend how the Green Powys product can be best represented in an honest and open way and how this could be further developed as a product or series of linked ‘green’ offers. An analysis of online marketing for 100 businesses in Powys was undertaken by Respondeco which illustrated that accommodation businesses could improve the messages that they deliver through their websites to attract more green tourists. A key issue is that businesses need to sell the experience they are offering, and how it benefits the consumer, to reach the right market.

Outputs: A client report which outlines opportunities for the development of the Green Tourism product in Powys.

Recently Completed Projects

Plus Icon Critical success factors for donor funded project’s success and failure
Principal Investigator: Dr Xavier Font

Funder: United Nations Environment Programme

Date: 2011

Summary: Policy Delphi research of critical success factors for donor funded project success and failure. The purpose of this project is to inform the project selection criteria for the Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism, and incorporates an analysis of what a range of donors, consultants and beneficiaries consider best practice and standard practice in donor funded projects.

Outputs: Journal article for the Journal of Sustainable Tourism, with Harold Goodwin and a third author. Industry report for UNEP recommending policy changes.
Plus Icon Economic Impact of Wildlife Tourism in East Yorkshire
Principal investigator: Dr Simon Woodward

Other team member: Professor Harold Goodwin

Funder: Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (YWT)

Date: 2010

Summary: The team prepared an economic impact appraisal associated with current levels of wildlife tourism in East Yorkshire and then identified opportunities for enhancing these benefits by increasing penetration into the existing market, product development and strengthening the local supply chain.

Outputs: Presentations based on the research were made at a regional seminar launching the research study in Bridlington in 2010, and an update will be presented at an international conference to be hosted by YWT in East Yorkshire in October 2012
Plus Icon Exploring the barriers to South Asian cricket players’ entry and progression in coaching
Principal Investigator: Julian North

Research Team: Dr Thomas Fletcher, Dr David Piggott, Dr Steven Gilbert, Professor Kevin Hylton

Funder: England and Wales Cricket Board

Date: Jan-May 2014

Summary: Commissioned to explore barriers to South Asians entering and progressing in coaching. Case studies of Yorkshire and London were provided.

Outputs: Preliminary findings report and final report. Further dissemination planned.
Plus Icon An economic impact assessment of RFL's Magic Weekend 2013
Principal Investigators: Professor Rhodri Thomas

Other team members: None

Funder: Rugby Football League (RFL)

Timeframe: 2013

Summary: An economic impact assessment of the 2013 RFL’s Magic Weekend (a festival of rugby league). The matches was played on the 25th and 26th May, 2013, at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.

Output: Research report for the RFL
Plus Icon MPI Global CSR study
Principal Investigator: Jackie Mulligan

Other team members: James Musgrave, Dr Simon Woodward, Dr Alex Kenyon, Dr Xavier Font, Steve Jones, Daniela Carl, Irene Evangelista, Marianna Kornilaki, Glenn Bowdin, Tony Rogers

Funder: MPI and IHG

Date: 2011 - 2013

Summary: Major research study identifying the value and importance of CSR in the meetings and hospitality industry supported by MPI Foundation and sponsored by Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG). The research examines perspectives, levels of engagement and role of CSR in purchase decisions from policy, planner and delegate perspectives. The work includes research reports, presentations, case studies and new educational materials to support the sector to engage in CSR

Outputs: A series of publications have been produced and include two State of CSR reports, articles on CSR drivers, CSR regulation and CSR rationales for engagement
Presentations at IMEX, WTM, EMEC, Confex 2012, ITB Berlin
Plus Icon A social impact evaluation of the Shoreditch Festival
Principal Investigator: Dr Emma Wood and Professor Rhodri Thomas

Funder: Shoreditch Trust

Date: 2008

Summary: Working with the research department of the Trust to develop a methodology for assessing the social impacts of the Shoreditch Festival to ascertain whether this was an effective means for reaching the Trust's objectives. Development of methods, implementation support, analysis and interpretation of findings.
Plus Icon Analysis of the sustainable tourism market and gap analysis for the Chilean industry to develop a sustainable tourism industry
Principal Investigator: Dr Xavier Font

Funder: CORFO (Chile)

Date: 2012

Summary: Analysis of the market for sustainable tourism and gap analysis for the Chilean industry to develop a sustainable tourism industry. Includes analysis of market size and evolution for sustainable tourism, to identify opportunities for Chile, gap analysis of the Chilean industry performance along its value chain, strengths and weaknesses for the Chilean tourism industry to capitalize on this market opportunity, preparation of a multi-stakeholder work plan.

Outputs: Reports analysing the market demand for responsible tourism, the credibility of Chile as a sustainable tourism destination, the business opportunities for Chile from applying sustainability actions, the value chain analysis of the tourism industry, the industry gaps and routemap for a public-private sector partnership to improve the competitiveness of Chile through sustainable tourism. Journal article planned based on the survey of 465 Chilean companies’ sustainability practices and motivations (with Steve Jones and a third author).
Plus Icon An economic impact assessment of Blackpool's tourism events
Principal Investigator: Professor Rhodri Thomas

Funder: Visit Blackpool

Date: 2010 - 2011

The study consisted of an economic impact assessment of eight events that were organised, supported and/or promoted by VisitBlackpool, the local authority’s specialist tourism marketing organisation. The events were: The Air Show, Nocturne Cycle Race, UDO World Street Dance Competition, Ride the Lights, Illuminations Switch-on, World Fireworks Championships, Showzam! and the Illuminations. All were held between August, 2010, and February, 2011. Data for the study were gathered by a team of well-qualified research assistants who interviewed a total of 2432 attendees.
Plus Icon An Evaluation for ESRC of the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, data and methods (WISERD)
Principal Investigators: Professor David Parsons

Other team members: Professor Rhodri Thomas and Kenneth Walsh (external)

Funder: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Higher Education Funding Council Wales (HEFCW). This project was led by P&A Research and Consulting.

Timeframe: 2012 - 2013

Summary: WISERD was funded by ESRC between 2008 – 2012 as a cross-institutional and multi-disciplinary research based in five universities (Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, Glamorgan and Swansea). This study represents ESRC’s post investment review and evaluation against its goals.

Output: Research report for ESRC and HEFCW
Plus Icon An exploratory study of reasons for declining attendance in rugby league
Principal Investigator: Dr Emma Wood and Dr Alex Kenyon

Other team members: Michelle Lanham

Funder: Rugby Football League

Timeframe: Apr-Jun 2013

Summary: An exploratory study of reasons for declining attendance in rugby league. A review of trends in leisure/sporting activity in UK, analysis of attendance figures and insights from focus groups with lapsed attendees.

Output: Report for RFL
Plus Icon Policy and Social Impact Assessment of Tourism Development for Kakheti,Georgia
Principal Investigator: Professor Harold Goodwin

Funder: World Bank through TBSC Consulting in Tbilisi

Date: 2012 – 2013

Summary: Advice to World Bank on how to engage the economically poor in tourism in Kakheti

Outputs: Interim Report (submitted April 2012) and final Report May 2012
Plus Icon World Travel Market World Responsible Tourism Day
Principal Investigator: Professor Harold Goodwin

Other team members: Dr Xavier Font, Dr Simon Woodward and a host of others beyond the university

Funder: Reed WTM

Date: 2007 – 2013

Summary: Advice to World Travel Market on World Responsible Tourism Day including strategic direction, themes, programme and speakers

Outputs: A programme each year which has legacy
Plus Icon Audit of festivals and events training and education in Yorkshire
Principal Investigator: Jackie Mulligan

Funder: WYLLN (West Yorkshire Lifelong Learning Network (WYLLN)

Date: 2009-10

Summary: Project involved audit of educational and training provision for the sector through desk-based analysis and surveys.

Outputs: Mulligan, J (2009) Research Report: Audit of festivals and events training and education in Yorkshire funded by the West Yorkshire Lifelong Learning Network (WYLLN) Mulligan, J. (2010) Ivory Tower Events presented at Global Events Congress IV: Events and Festivals Research: State of the Art. Hosted by Leeds Beckett University.

Plus Icon Bab Makina development study, Fès, Morocco
Principal investigator: Dr Simon Woodward

Funder: World Bank

Date: 2009

Summary: Dr Woodward provided expert guidance on the adaptive re-use of historic buildings for tourism purposes to a multi-disciplinary team commissioned by the World Bank to prepare a development strategy for Bab Makina, an area on the fringes of the historic medina of Fès and for four fondouqs located within the heart of the medina. With a rapid growth in international tourism in recent years, the Moroccan government sees tourism as having considerable potential for stimulating community economic development in many parts of the country. This project was designed to provide guidance on the scale of investment needed in conservation skills training and basic business awareness programmes for residents of the medina so that they could benefit from the planned capital development projects.

Output: Confidential report to the client. Some information gathered during the research used to develop teaching materials for MSc Responsible Tourism Management and BA International Tourism Management programmes at Leeds Met.
Plus Icon Events as drivers of tourism
Principal Investigator: Dr Emma Wood

Faroese Government

Date: 2010

Summary: Research and delivery of findings on the benefits and limitations of events as catalysts for tourism development in the Faroe Islands.
Plus Icon Experience sampling at events: A tool for understanding young people's relationship with alcohol
Principal Investigator: Dr Emma Wood and Dr Alex Kenyon

Other researchers: Jonathan Moss, Sheffield Hallam University

Funder: Carnegie Research Institute

Date: 2011 -2012

Summary: Experience sampling has been used within the fields of psychology and health for a number of years but is only just being adopted within consumer behaviour and marketing. this study aims to develop and refine the methods used within this area to create techniques that allow researchers greater insights into the 'reality' of young people's relationship with alcohol. The ultimate aim of the research is to then assess the potential of live music events/festivals as media for 'responsible drinking' social marketing messages.

Outputs to date: Wood, E.H., Kenyon, A., Moss J M H (in press). Researching Gen Y in their natural habitat: Experience and emotion, music and drink. Academy of Marketing Conference 2012.

Plus Icon Call centre staff awareness of the principles of responsible tourism
Principal investigator: Dr Simon Woodward

Other team members: Lucy McCombes, Andreas Walmsley

Funder: HEIF 4

Date: 2009 – 2011

Summary: We worked with one of the first UK tour operators to introduce its own range of responsible tourism holiday products on a programme of training events and activities for call centre and retail unit staff engaged in selling these holidays, in order to better equip them to answer customer enquiries about the collection. Because of internal changes within the company in question, a follow-up evaluation exercise designed to assess the impact of the different interventions was not carried out.

Output: Training materials
Plus Icon Creating and Managing Events Programme
Principal Investigator: Jackie Mulligan

Other team members: Julia Tum, Dr Adrian Richardson, Dr Emma Wood, David Bassett, Kate Cross, Ruth Dowson, Dr Alex Kenyon, Simon Bell

Funder: Economic Challenge Investment Fund

Date: 2009-10

Summary: In response to recession, project involved developing skills in managing events and was targeted at supporting SMEs, employees under threat and unemployed individuals seeking to develop careers in the sector.

Outputs: Development and approval of new non-credit bearing professional course in creating and managing events programme. Successful delivery of workshop programme to participants from across the region
Plus Icon Cycle Hubs in Northumberland
Principal Investigators: Dr Simon Woodward and Dr Janet Cochrane

Other team members: Anna Waddilove

Funder: Glendale Gateway Trust

Date: 2009 – 2011

Summary: Cycle tourism is an increasingly important segment of the outdoor activity market in many rural parts of the UK, hence the desire by a range of public sector organisations across Northumberland to develop some of the county’s market towns as ‘cycle hubs’ which could be developed and promoted as a base from which to tour the region. The Leeds Met team worked with a locally based project officer to research, plan and test a range of routes radiating out from the two towns of Wooler and Haltwhistle. Other activities included capacity building with local businesses interested in catering for the cycle tourism market, preparing detailed route maps (hard copy and digital versions) and leading a widespread PR and marketing campaign designed to get publicity for the routes.

Outputs: Free ‘How to develop a cycle hub’ guide, available to any interested parties through s.c.woodward@leedsbecektt.ac.uk. Route maps for sale through TICs across Northumberland. Also confidential project report to client team. Some information and experience gained from the project now used in teaching materials for MSc Responsible Tourism Management and BA International Tourism Management
Plus Icon Economic impact assessments of the Engage Super League Grand Final and the Northern Rail Blackpool 9s tournament
Principal Investigator: Professor Rhodri Thomas

Funder: Rugby Football League (RFL)

Date: 2011

Summary: The report provides an economic impact assessment of the 2011 Engage Super League Grand Final. The match was played on the 8th October, 2011, at Old Trafford, Manchester. It utilised data gathered from 669 attendees.
Plus Icon Economic impact assessments of Northern Rail Blackpool 9s tournament
Principal Investigator: Professor Rhodri Thomas

Other researchers: Nicola McCullough

Funder: Rugby Football League (RFL)

Date: 2009

Summary: The report provides an economic impact assessment of the 2009 Northern Rail Blackpool 9s tournament.
Plus Icon Engaging business elites from the travel and tourism sector
Principal Investigator: Professor Rhodri Thomas

Funder: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Grant reference: RES-189-25-0205

Date: 2010 - 2011

Summary: Building on a recent ESRC Business Placement Fellowship with the Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT) which involved research into knowledge acquisition among business elites, the objectives of this Follow-on project were to:

Develop better understanding among business elites of the potential for knowledge exchange with universities;

Improve academics' understanding of knowledge acquisition among business elites so that they might engage users more effectively;

Harness the tacit knowledge of business elites in order to develop the skills of other senior managers in the sector by examining the feasibility of developing a jointly (private sector and universities) delivered executive programme, possibly at masters or doctoral level

Develop a knowledge exchange strategy for the Institute of Travel and Tourism (2012-2017)

Produce promotional material highlighting the lessons arising from this project.
Plus Icon Enterprise in case studies
Principal Investigator: Jackie Mulligan

Other team members: Barry Blake, David Bassett

Funder: EU (ERDF funding)

Date: 2009-10

Summary: Project involved working on a number of enterprise initiatives to engage students in real events and produced case studies on how enterprise was managed and could be more effectively managed in the future.

Outputs: Mulligan, J (2011) Breaking the rules: reflections on transformation and ‘messiness’ in a tidy world of aligned curricula and textbook cases in Kill, Rebekka & O’Rourke, (Eds) Inspiring Enterprise: Transforming enterprise education at Leeds Beckett University, Leeds: Leeds Beckett Press
Plus Icon Environmental management within the tourism industry
Principal Investigator: Professor Rhodri Thomas

Funder: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Grant reference: RES-186-27-0015

Date: 2009

Summary: An ESRC funded business placement fellowship with the Institute of Travel and tourism (ITT) to: i) undertake a study of the knowledge acquisition of business elites and their attitude towards academic; ii) organise a round-table discussion between business elites and senior academics on climate change (as an exemplar of academic research) and its implications for businesses in the sector.

Additional outputs: Thomas, R (2012) Business elites, universities and knowledge transfer in tourism. Tourism Management, 33(3): 553-561.
Plus Icon European Charter for tourism in protected areas Phase II certification criteria and accreditation procedures for Europarc Federation
Principal Investigator: University of East Finland and Dr Xavier Font

Funder: European Commission- DG Enterprise

Date: 2010- 2011

Summary: Design and consultation of the European Charter for tourism in protected areas Phase II certification criteria and accreditation procedures for Europarc Federation (certification of sustainability of businesses operating within the park).

Outputs: Report in English and Spanish analysing the sustainability practices of small tourism firms in 57 European protected areas. Article in Journal of Cleaner Production (impact factor 3.398), with Steve Jones and a third author. Report for EUROPARC outlining the methodology to accredit sustainable tourism certification programmes.
Plus Icon Evaluation of Hidden Britain SouthEast (HBSE)
Principal Investigator: Lucy McCombes

Funder: Hidden Britain SouthEast

Date: 2010

Summary: Independent evaluation of the HBSE project in line with the evaluation criteria set by SEEDA and the RDPE programme. HBSE is a charity-run initiative which aims to support and facilitate the development of community led tourism in rural areas across the region. The evaluation identified largely qualitative community development and social impacts of the project, as well as different stakeholder’s perspectives on how the HBSE project is progressing.
Findings were used to make recommendations for the development of next stage of the HBSE project.
Plus Icon Evaluation process for the Yorkshire Cultural Olympiad
Principal investigator: Leila Jancovich and Dr Emma Wood

Date: 2009

Summary: Development of an initial approach to evaluating the potential impacts of the Yorkshire Cultural Olympiad in 2012.
Plus Icon Event Market Development Project
Principal Investigator: Jackie Mulligan

Other team members: Leila Jancovich, Dr Stephen Henderson, Simon Bell, Nicola McCullough, Meredith Clymer, Barry Blake, Sarah Saeed-Kahn

Funder: EU (ERDF funding)

Date: 2006- 08

Summary: Project worked with event companies to enhance capacity, linkages and long term strategic thinking and built a regional network of event companies based in Yorkshire and Humberside to assess and develop the events market and competitiveness of the region. Over a 3 year period, the project supported businesses and intermediary agencies in Yorkshire and The Humber to aid economic regeneration, encourage inward investment and enable sustainable enterprise in both urban and rural localities through enhanced services from existing businesses, improved linkages between businesses and graduate-led new business start-ups.

Outputs: Development of Yorkshire Events Network
Yorkshire Events Network events with keynote speakers on industry trends
Mulligan, J (2008) What we can learn about the relationship between ‘Events Strategy’ and ‘Events Business’ in the region in The Assessment, Learning and Teaching Journal, Winter 2008 (issue number 3)
Mulligan J (2008) Why ‘Event Strategy’ may not always mean ‘Event Business’ in Link 20, HLST Network.
Plus Icon Events and Festivals and Sustainable Communities
Principal Investigator: Dr Emma Wood

Funder: European Cities Marketing


Summary: Report and presentation of findings considering the potential and difficulties in combining tourism related events with sustainable community development.
Plus Icon Feasibility study of the craft sector in The Gambia
Principal Investigator: Lucy McCombes

Other researchers: Dr Simon Woodward, Arghya Ghosh (craft design expert) and ICRT West Africa

Funder: The Travel Foundation

Date: 2011

Summary: Research study which reviewed the current and potential contribution of traditional handicrafts in The Gambia to local livelihoods, and provided recommendations on a number of potential craft project proposals for The Travel Foundation to consider implementing in partnership with the existing package tourism industry. The research team produced an economic impact assessment, product development recommendations and project proposals shaped by the research findings.
One of the recommendations made by the study for the development of a new range of Gambian branded, sustainable and functional souvenirs to be sold in hotel shops was funded by The Travel Foundation and resulted in the new “Guaranteed Gambian” range being developed by the Association of Small Scale Enterprises in Tourism (ASSET) and Thomas Cook. All Guaranteed Gambian products are made by skilled Gambian craftspeople using designs based on African culture which also appeal to contemporary western tastes.
Plus Icon Flexible Working Practices in Travel and Tourism: A survey of members
Principal Investigator: Professor Rhodri Thomas

Funder: Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT)

Date: 2009

Summary: The report - the third in a series undertaken by the same Principal Investigator for the ITT - presented the findings of a sector specific survey about flexible working practices. It drew on the experience of eighty five randomly selected companies from a list compiled from variety of industry databases.
Plus Icon Innovation Vouchers
Principal Investigator: Jackie Mulligan

Other team members: Dr Emma Wood

Funder: Business Link

Date: 2009-10

Summary: Three projects which involved supporting three event organisations through consultancy, research and mentoring. The projects involved the team supporting the organisations to access funding, implement strategic marketing, creative thinking and product development

Outputs: Development of marketing strategies, development of sponsorship and funding proposals, research reports on consumers
Plus Icon Marketing Communications Planning
Principal Investigator: Jackie Mulligan and Dr Emma Wood

Funder: Magic Loungeabout

Date: 2010

Summary: Advising small business in the development and growth of their festival through improved targeting and marketing communications planning. Initial marketing research into potential customer groups and creation of detailed and innovative communications plan.
Plus Icon Pilot Social Impact Assessment for Odysseia-In Tours, Bulgaria
Principal Investigator: Lucy McCombes

Other researchers: Yvette Evers (University of Geneva), Professor Frank Vanclay (University of Groningen), Lubo Popiordanov (Odysseia-In) and his staff Stela Samouneva, Kiril Kaloyanov and Marie Katelieva

Funder: Leeds Beckett University and Odysseia-In

Date: 2011

Summary: Study carried out through a partnership between staff from Leeds Beckett University, a Bulgarian travel company called Odysseia-In, and the Bulgarian Association of Alternative Tourism (BAAT) which aimed to pilot the utility of the social impact assessment (SIA) approach for identifying and managing the social impacts of Odysseia-In and their tours for responsibletravel.com.

Findings from the pilot were used to produce a social impact management plan for Odysseia-In, and to provide data for a wider on-going academic study led by Lucy McCombes looking at what tourism businesses need in practice to manage their social impacts more responsibly.
Plus Icon Professionalism and professionalisation in tourism and events
Principal Investigator: Professor Rhodri Thomas

Other researchers: Dr. Huw Thomas, Cardiff University

Funder: ICRETH

Date: 2011 - 2013

Summary: Over recent years, occupations as diverse as nursing, journalism and marketing have strengthened their claim to professional status. The literature suggests that professional associations played a critical part in the process of professionalization. A review of research suggests that there are three conceptual approaches to understanding contemporary professionalization strategies. This project examines the case of British tourism and events management. The analysis shows that the ‘professionalization project’ in tourism has largely failed and argues that contemporary frameworks for understanding professionalization strategies are somewhat deficient when applied to this sector. Data relating to events management are currently being collected.

Outputs to date: Thomas, R and Thomas, H (2014). ‘Hollow from the start?’ Professional associations and the professionalization of tourism in the UK, The Service Industries Journal, 34(1): 38 – 55.
Thomas, R and Thomas, H (2013). What are the prospects for professionalizing events management in the UK? Tourism Management Perspectives, 6: 8-14.
Plus Icon Review of the handicrafts sector in package holiday destinations
Principal investigator: Dr Simon Woodward

Other team members: Lucy McCombes, Louise Dixey, Yvette Evers

Funder: The Travel Foundation

Date: 2011

Tourists on package holidays represent a potential market for local handicraft producers but there are often major barriers preventing craftspeople accessing the more lucrative markets. Building on a range of primary and secondary data sources, the study established the structure, size and profile of the handicrafts sector in 12 package holiday destinations in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and East Africa and identified the key challenges in each instance. Recommendations for particular interventions were drawn up for consideration by the client and its regional partners. A number of these interventions have since been piloted by the Foundation in order to test which will be most effective in increasing the contribution of traditional handicrafts to local livelihoods and to enhancing the quality of the tourist experience in the destination.

Outputs: Confidential report to the client. Some of the findings from the initial literature review have been used in the production of teaching materials for the MSc Responsible Tourism Management at Leeds Met University.
Plus Icon Scottish Fisheries Museum Business Plan
Principal investigator: Dr Simon Woodward

Funder: Scottish Fisheries Museum

Date: 2010 – 2011

Summary: The SFM is one of three national industrial museums in Scotland that relies partly on core funding from the Scottish Government and partly on contributions from local authorities and on income earned from tourists and day visitors. Working closely with the museum’s management team and Trustees, we prepared a business plan for the period 2011 – 2015 that identified key business objectives, reviewed the revenue and income implications associated with meeting these objectives and that established key performance indicators against which progress can be monitored.

Output: Confidential business plan for the client
Plus Icon Social media use within the meetings industry
Principal Investigator: Dr Emma Wood

Other team members: Samantha Dixon, Michelle Lanham

Funder: MPI

Timeframe: 2012-2013

Summary: A study of social media use within the meetings industry. Conssiting of social media tracking, interviews with delegates (top tweeters) and social media marketers as well as interviews with experts from outside the meetings industry

Outputs: Wood, E.H (2012) The value of connection – a review of social media trends. MPI White Paper. Future of Meetings Series.
Wood, E.H. and Lanham, M. (2012) Social Media: Joining the customer community. MPI White Paper. Future of Meetings Series.
Wood, E.H. & Dixon,S. (2012) Social Media and Meeting Value Creation: Knowing the value. MPI White Paper. Future of Meetings Series
plus presentations in Budapest, Abu Dhabi and Montreux
Plus Icon Strategic Meetings Management (SMM)
Principal Investigators: Jackie Mulligan (project) and Dr Eliza Hixson (research)

Other team members: Dr Ian Lamond, Peggy Hemphill, Betsy Bondurant, Emma Heslington, Dr Simon Woodward, Jane Welbourn

Funder: MPI Foundation

Timeframe: 2012-2013

Summary: The project commissioned by the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Foundation established a deeper understanding of Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) and in particular identified a taxonomy of SMM for meeting professionals. This informed the development of educational materials and resources for the meetings industry.

Outputs: SMM report
4 white papers
6 educational packages
4 case studies
4 event presentations in US, Europe and Canada
Plus Icon Student engagement with World Heritage
Principal investigator: Dr Simon Woodward

Other team member: Dr Elizabeth Carnegie (University of Sheffield)

Funder: Leeds Beckett University

2011 – 2012

Summary: Several World Heritage Sites (WHS) around the world include universities within their boundary and at least three (Alcalá de Henares, near Madrid; University of Virginia in Charlottesville, USA and the Ciudad Universitaria de Caracas, Venezuala) are designated WHS because of their educational heritage. Yet to date there has been very little investigation of how students in such destinations engage with the Outstanding Universal Values ascribed to these locations by UNESCO and the relevant State heritage agencies. The aim of this research is to establish whether the relationships that students have with World Heritage when they are living and studying in a WHS differs from that of (a) permanent residents and (b) tourists visiting the destination. The study has piloted a methodology with students living and studying within the WHS in Durham, England and will replicate this work in other educational WHS once additional funding becomes available.

Outputs: A paper outlining the main research themes and the findings of the pilot research in Durham was presented at a one-day seminar on communities and heritage held at Durham Cathedral in March 2012. The work is currently being written up for submission to an appropriate refereed journal for publication during 2013 or 2014.
Plus Icon The UK Economic Impact Study of the Meetings Industry
Principal Investigator: Dr ShiNa Li

Research Team (in alphabetical order): Glenn Bowdin, Emma Heslington, Steve Jones, Jackie Mulligan, Mihaela-Oana Tara-Lunga, Carolyn Tauxe, Professor Rhodri Thomas, Dr Pei-Ying Wu.

Additional technical contributions: Professor Adam Blake (Bournemouth University); Professor Calvin Jones (Cardiff University) and Professor Leo Jago (Tourism and Business Events International)

Other contributors: Tony Rogers and Dr Emma Wood

Funder: Commissioned by Meeting Professionals International Foundation and funded by industry sponsors

Timeframe: 2012 – 2013

Summary: This project estimates 2011 meetings activity and profile (meeting volume, venue volume, number of attendees and expenditure in the UK) and model the contribution that activity made to the national economy in 2011 (such as GDP contribution, employment, tax revenue, wages and salaries, imports and industry output). The meetings activity levels will be based on survey research. Meeting Tourism Satellite Account and UK input-output modelling are built to assess the economic importance of the meetings industry in the UK, which follows the UN World Tourism Organisation approach and definitions.

Output: The Industry Profile Report; UK Economic Impact Study: Final Report

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