Chris Cooper is Professor in the School of Events, Tourism and Hospitality at Leeds Beckett University in the UK. He gained his undergraduate degree and PhD in Geography from University College London.
Chris has more than thirty years experience in tourism and has worked as a researcher and teacher in every region of the world. He gained experience in tour operation working for Thomson Travel before returning to academic life. He has worked at the Universities of Surrey and Bournemouth and established the School of Tourism at the University of Queensland in Australia as the Foundation Chair of Tourism. He returned to the UK to take up the role of Dean and Pro Vice Chancellor at Oxford Brookes University in 2009.
Chris was Co-Founder of Progress in Tourism, Hospitality and Recreation Research and the International Journal of Tourism Research and is now the Co-Editor of Current Issues In Tourism. He is a member of the editorial board for leading tourism, hospitality and leisure journals and has authored a number of leading text and research books in tourism. He is the co-series editor of the influential Channel View book series ‘Aspects of Tourism’.
Chris works with international agencies including the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the European Union, the International Labour Organization, the OECD, the Inter American Development Bank and ASEAN. He held the Chair of the UNWTO’s Education Council from 2005 – 2007. He was awarded the United Nations Ulysses Medal for contributions to tourism education and policy in 2009. Chris sat on the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework Sub-Panel 26, Sport, Exercise Science and Tourism and now acts as an advisor to a number of UK Universities for REF 2021.
His research interests are now focussed on two areas. Firstly he is working on destination adaptation to climate change and won an ESRC grant to do this work in Croatia in 2016/17. Secondly he has a long standing interest in tourism education and training and is currently working with the 10 ASEAN countries on harmonising hospitality and tourism qualifications.