Tourism and Events Research Group

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Doctoral researchers

The Tourism and Events Research Group is host to several PhD students, who are engaged in research into a diverse range of tourism related areas.
The tourism staff offer supervision in areas related to their field of interest and are happy to consider applications from  suitably qualified candidates seeking to study topics in these areas.  If you would like to discuss the idea of doing a PhD in Tourism, then please contact us.

Currently, the following PhD Candidates are studying Tourism related topics:

Barbora Cherifi

Director of Studies: Dr Andrew Smith

Second Supervisors: Professor Robert MaitlandDr Nancy Stevenson

Title: Images of destination London held by Czech tourists

This research is a comparative study of images of London held by tourists from Prague and Vysovina region, Czech Republic. It aims to explore how destination image relates to the characteristics of the place of tourists permanent residence, with particular focus on the influence of the degree of urbanisation. This case study has been chosen since it is an innovative insight into East-European dimension of the destination image. Prague was chosen to represent an intensively urbanised area. The region Vysocina is a contrasing more rural area in the South of the Czech Republic. The post-communist context serves as a justification towards the choice of this case study as well, since many factors differentiated the rural and urban settings to great extent after the political shift in 1989.

Barbora was awarded a PhD Scholarship by the University of Westminster.
 

John Ebejer


Director of Studies: Dr Andrew Smith



Second Supervisors: Professor Robert MaitlandDr Nancy Stevenson



Title: The Tourist Experience of Urban Historic Cores: the case of Valletta, Malta



The aim of the research is to investigate those features and aspects of urban spaces within historic cores which determine the experience of the visitor and to determine those characteristics or features which make urban spaces in historic areas successful.  



This research is oriented around the following questions:

  • What are those aspects or components which constitute the experience of urban spaces?

  • What are the psychological aspects to be considered when discussing the experience of urban spaces?

  • Within urban spaces, what is the nature of the interactions of the individual with the surroundings, with other people and with the self?
  • To what extent does heritage impinge on the sense of place of an urban space?



The outcomes of the research may be the basis for the re-adaptation of the urban design model form-activities-meaning for the better understanding of the visitor experience in heritage urban spaces.

 

Adrian Guachalla

Director of Studies: Professor Robert Maitland

Second Supervisor: Dr Andrew Smith

Title: The role of cultural flagships in the visitors perception and experience of urban areas for tourism and culture: The case of Covent Garden.

New cultural flagship developments are potential means for urban regeneration and destination branding. The Sydney Opera House and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao have had a deep impact on the perception of the destinations as places for culture, and their architectural design can be linked to the destinations overall image and the development of urban cultural clusters. However little attention has been paid to the role of well established cultural flagships.

To explore the nature of the visitors experience and perception of Covent Garden as an area for tourism and culture, it is necessary to examine the dynamics between three basic elements: first, the tourist, with a complex network of motivations, expectations and personal interpretations; second, the urban environment, with an eclectic and vibrant atmosphere and third, the flagship, a 150 year old building (the Royal Opera House) that has state of the art technology and design but still heavily relies on its heritage and tradition.

Adrian was awarded a PhD Scholarship by the University of Westminster.
 

Sylvanos Gwarinda

Director of Studies: Professor Peter White

Second Supervisor: Professor Robert MaitlandDr Nigel Dennis

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

The study seeks to investigate the factors influencing long-term tourist flows by air between the United Kingdom and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Even though the Southern African Region had experienced some long periods of tourism growth, there is now a noticeable decline in the growth rates, even though a positive trend is forecasted to continue. The study adopts both quantitative and qualitative approaches to identify key factors that would have a long-term effect on tourist flows by air between the UK and the Southern African region.
 

James Morgan


Director of Studies: Professor Peter Newman



Second Supervisors: Professor Robert MaitlandDr Adam Eldridge

Title: Gambling with Regeneration: Public Access Casinos as a Cultural Flagship Strategy in Regenerating Seaside Resorts

This research examines the government’s economic regeneration strategy of developing public access casinos, with a specific focus on coastal resort areas and how the government’s strategy impacts on resort communities. It will analyse the cultural impacts felt by seaside resort communities from the strategy of creating flagship developments in the form of public access casinos.

Existing research on the effects of casinos is concentrated outside the UK (for example, North America, Australia and South East Asia) and UK seaside destinations have received little attention. Equally there has been little attention to the effect of casinos on local culture. Through an analysis of the process of policy making and implementation in the case study resorts, the research will contribute to knowledge of the policy process and indicate possibilities for improvement.

James was awarded a PhD Bursary by the University of Westminster.
 

Ilaria Pappalepore

Director of Studies: Professor Robert Maitland

Second Supervisor: Dr Andrew Smith

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

The economic importance of creative industry clusters is widely acknowledged, but tourism's role has received little attention. This research explores the role tourism plays in the development of creative areas - and the role these areas play in the development of urban tourism. The research pays particular attention to the role of consumption in the development of creative areas, the characteristics of visitors to these areas and the relationship between the urban form and the different types of space users. Four non-central London creative areas (Spitalfields/Brick Lane, Hoxton, London Fields and Deptford) were chosen as case studies.

Ilaria was awarded a PhD Scholarship by the University of Westminster
 

Claudia Sima

Director of Studies: Professor Robert Maitland

Second Supervisor: Dr Andrew Smith

Title: A Critical Analysis of Bucharest's City Image.

The focus of this research is on city image and tourism representation in the former-communist East-European city of Bucharest. The overall purpose is to understand how far differences exist between tourism representation and city image and to account for them. The research will seek to understand and account for the images that foreign tourists have of Bucharest city, and to understand and account for the tourism representations of the city by city policy makers, tourism policy makers, and tourism industry members. It will add further knowledge to the field of urban image by exploring the connections between image and representation within the urban environment.

Claudia was given a PhD Bursary by the University of Westminster.
 

Franziska Vogt


Director of Studies: Professor Robert Maitland



Second Supervisors: Professor Peter Newman, Dr Lynn Minnaert



Title: A Comparison of Visitors’ Experiences in New Tourism Areas of London, Berlin and Paris



The overall aim of this research is to provide a better comparative understanding of and a detailed insight into different aspects of visitors’ experiences in new tourism areas in the cities of London, Berlin and Paris; and to examine the meanings attached to them from the perspective of the visitors themselves. Visitors’ experiences will then be compared, and similarities and differences between the cities accounted for.



Consequently, three research questions are at the centre of the study:


  • What are the experiences that visitors seek and gain within this urban setting?

  • How do visitors find out about and retrieve information on new tourism areas before and during their visit?

  • How do visitors move, engage with and use their senses within new tourism areas of London, Berlin and Paris?



By answering the research questions, this study will contribute to knowledge of visitor experiences within urban environments in the specific context of new tourism areas.



Franziska was awarded a PhD Bursary by the University of Westminster.

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