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About me

As an urban economist who read Economics at the University of Cambridge, then studied City Planning at the University of Nottingham, I became interested in tourism because of its growing importance in shaping how cities develop. I have now been researching and teaching on tourism in cities for 20 years. I initiated and led the development of tourism teaching programmes at Westminster, and my focus is now on doctoral programmes and developing research. My own research focuses on tourism in national capitals; tourism and everyday life; visitors' role in creating new tourism areas in major cities; and social tourism. I am a regular speaker at international conferences on these themes, as well as writing articles, books and advising government. I have strong international links and collaborations, including as founding Chair of ATLAS City Tourism and National Capitals Research Group. 

External Activities

  • Founding Chair, ATLAS City Tourism and National Capitals Research Group.
  • Chair, the Association for Tourism in Higher Education
  • Member of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Peer Review College
  • Fellow, The Tourism Society
  • Editorial Board, Tourism Planning and Development
  • External Examiner, MSc Destination Management, Leeds Metropolitan, Lancaster, and Bournemouth Universities
  • External Examiner, PhD candidates at Universities of Strathclyde, Economic Science Budapest, Central Lancashire and Sunderland


I lead a Masters module on Tourism and Cities in which we explore how tourism shapes cities and cities shape tourism - in small historic cities, former industrial cities or world tourism cities. The modules draw heavily on international experience, though naturally there is particular attention to London and other 'world tourism cities'. I also contribute to other modules in the Faculty, and supervise several doctoral students


My research examines how tourism shapes cities and cities shape tourism - including the appeal of cities to visitors, the role of tourism in city development and the role of tourism in public policy. I led a pioneering research project, funded by the UK Government, which for the first time evaluated the role of new tourism projects and attractions in urban regeneration and city development. Since then I have become interested in the broader appeal of cities and the ways in which buildings and places, everyday life, and 'off-the beaten track' areas attract visitors. My work on the development of new tourism areas in London was a catalyst for investigations of tourism 'off the beaten track' in other major cities, where academics in some cases emulating my research methods and instruments. The ideas were further developed with Professor Peter Newman and are discussed in our recent book World Tourism Cities: developing tourism off the beaten track which examines London, Paris, Berlin, New York City and Sydney and draws on collaborations with academic colleagues in those cities. I am currently progressing research on Urban explorers: foreign tourists' exploration of London that uses GPS technology to track how visitors use the city and construct itineraries, in conjunction with colleagues at University of Technology Sydney

Although national capitals are important tourism destinations, they have been comparatively little researched. I have been leading research on national capitals with colleagues around the world, including guest editing a special journal issue on the subject and as founding Chair of the ATLAS Research Group on National Capitals. I have edited a book City Tourism: national capital perspectives(forthcoming, with Dr Brent Ritchie), which for the first time draws together research on national capitals, with contributions from more than 30 international authors. Current research investigates Tourism Representation of National Capitals, through their use of websites, and examines the role of Tourism in (Re-)Emerging European Capitals- for example capitals in former communist nations, like Budapest, or those re-asserting capital status following devolution, like Cardiff.

I have examined policy for tourism through a series of funded research projects for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, English Heritage and the National Audit Office. These projects have examined the effectiveness of national and international tourism policy, explored the views of stakeholders and made recommendations for best practice. I have further developed these ideas in my own research, focusing particularly on the historic city of Cambridge.

In 2010 I won an award in the ESRC Seminars Support competition. The award will fund an international seminar series on Social Tourism and Regeneration - NET-STaR: Network for Social Tourism and Regeneration in 2011-12. Social tourism involves encouraging visitors to come to destinations in need of regeneration and / or offering holidays to the disadvantaged. It is well established as part of public policy in much of mainland Europe, but not in the UK, where it is largely dependent on the charitable sector. Research in the field has so far been partial and fragmented, originating from different disciplines and areas of study. Interaction between academics and between academics and practitioners has been limited. The series of six seminars will explore the potential for social tourism and regeneration in the UK, and develop a network of academics and policymakers. Three of the seminars will be held at the University of Westminster, with the others taking place at different locations around the country. Dr Graham Miller and Dr Lynn Minnaert are collaborating with me on the project.

I am a Member of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Peer Review College, an Editorial Board member, Tourism Planning and Development and a member of the , Advisory Board of the Higher Education Academy Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Subject Network. I recently edited Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing special issue 'National Capitals: Marketing and Development Issues': Current Issues in Tourism special issue 'Social Tourism: Perspectives and Potential'; Current Issues in Tourism special issue 'Global Change and Tourism in National Capitals


I am currently supervising the following PhD students:

Silvanos Gwarinda: An investigation of factors influencing long-term tourist flows by air between the UK and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region

Ilaria Pappalepore: Tourism and the development of 'creative' urban areas. Evidence from four non-central areas in London.

Adrian Guachella: The role of cultural flagships in the visitor's perception and experience of urban areas for tourism and culture: The case of Covent Garden.

James Morgan: Gambling with Regeneration - casino development following the Gambling Act 2005

Barbora Cherifi: The Role Of Urbanisation Of Tourists' Permanent Residence In Destination Image Formation: Images Of London By Czech Tourists

Claudia Sima: Urban Image And Tourism Representation: A Case Study Of Bucharest

Franziska Vogt: Off the Beaten Track in Europe's World Tourism Cities: the appeal of the everyday to tourists

John Ebejer: The tourist experience of urban historic cores: Malta

Sara Dominici. The Polytechnic Touring Association and the role of photography in the evolution of mass tourism and foreign travel


For details of all my research outputs, visit my WestminsterResearch profile.