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Professor Xavier Font - PhD by Published Work, 2006

Professor Xavier Font - PhD by Published Work, 2006

Head of Impact, Travindy
Professor of Sustainability Marketing, University of Surrey

Xavier, originally from Barcelona, gained his PhD from Leeds Beckett in 2006 and is now Professor of Sustainability Marketing at the University of Surrey and Head of Impact of Travindy.

Xavier worked at Leeds Beckett from 2000 onwards and explains “During that period I wrote a number of publications and worked on projects relating to sustainable tourism certification. It was only natural for me to submit them for a PhD. At the same time, I continued to attract industry funding and produce reports for the World Wide Fund for Nature, WWF, UNWTO, UNEP, European Commission, until I gained a project for the International Finance Corporation (part of the World Bank Group), mostly relating to sustainable tourism certification, sustainability marketing, and sustainable product development. Around that time, I achieved some EU funding to work on sustainable supply chain management, and to work on longer term training programmes in Nepal and Laos. This led to a period of growth in Leeds Beckett in teaching and researching in responsible tourism management. I decided to move on in 2016, when I was offered a professorship at the University of Surrey.”

“Since then I’ve been able to supervise a series of PhD students and my qualification has opened doors to me being taken more seriously, in seeking funding and engaging with academia and industry, as well as helping me to be more confident in myself and more ambitious. One of my proudest moments was seeing my first PhD students graduate, that validated my work and sense of worth.”

In addition to his role at the University of Surrey, where he researches methods of sustainable production and consumption for the tourism and hospitality industries, and is research lead for the Sustainability and Wellbeing Research Group, Xavier is Head of Impact at Travindy. Travindy is an essential online source for understanding tourism and sustainability and learning how better to communicate its benefits, reporting on innovations, insights and issues. Xavier explains “I’ve been at Travindy as Head of Impact since September 2016 and my role is focussed on developing and delivering industry-facing strategies to improve the difference that Travindy has on the tourism sector.”

Looking back at his time at Leeds Beckett, Xavier says “Being able to do my PhD at Leeds Beckett by publication was excellent - it gave me the flexibility I needed to combine my full time work with getting a qualification, and I was able to use my previous publications towards it. Leeds Beckett had staff that had experience on this format of PhD and were able to advise me well on how to prepare a credible PhD submission.”