Tourism and Events Research Hub

Links with the Visitor Economy


Links with the Visitor Economy

Membership of key associations ensures that we are up to date with contemporary developments in the visitor economy and have access to local, national and international platforms through which we can disseminate research findings and best practice.

Local / regional level

We have extensive experience of working with the local/regional visitor economy and collaborating with partners to facilitate links between the university sector and the visitor economy, through research, consultancy and student projects / internships. 

National level

Canterbury Christ Church University is a member institution of the Association for Tourism in Higher Education (ATHE) which is the National Subject Association for Tourism in Higher Education. Dr Marion Stuart-Hoyle who is the Director of the Section of Events, Leisure and Tourism at CCCU has been an elected member of the Association’s Executive Committee since 2002 and for the last two years has been the Chair. The networking events that the Association arranges allows for cross fertilisation of research and consultancy activity in the tourism field amongst member institutions and the association’s annual conference often draws its keynote speakers from the regional and national tourism industry to ensure that tourism as an academic subject remains in touch with the key concerns of tourism businesses.

International level

Leading academics from around the world arrived in Kent in September 2016 for one of the biggest tourism education conferences.

The ATLAS Annual Conference took place at Canterbury Christ Church University from 14th to 16th September, celebrating and discussing Tourism, Lifestyles and Locations.

This year marked the 25th anniversary of ATLAS, and the conference – co-organised by Visit Kent – brought together all old, current and new members as well as welcomed non-members from around the world. Along with leading academics, key figures from the tourism industry attended workshops throughout the day and addressed members.

Keynote speakers included Director of Turner Contemporary Victoria Pomery, and CEO of the developer behind the London Paramount Entertainment Resort David Testa, while Visit Kent CEO Sandra Matthews-Marsh MBE and project director of Cultural Kent Sarah Dance lead a workshop debate on Contemporary Cultural Tourism.

Sandra Matthews-Marsh said:

“We were delighted to welcome leading tourism academics to Canterbury this month for what was not only an exciting, but an important examination of the tourism industry and its relationships with modern travellers and locations. We enjoyed a lively and thought-provoking conference.”

With a mix of talks and workshops, the conference examined how locations shape the tourist’s gaze, how changes in technology influence tourism decisions and experiences, and tourism’s relationship to modern lifestyles.

Other topics included:

  • Dark Tourism, Memory and Pilgrimage
  • Volunteer Tourism: travelling for a change?
  • Tourism in an Aging World
  • Changing Lifestyles and Tourism in the Middle East and North Africa
  • Lifestyle and communities: sharing in the digital era

ATLAS is the Association for Tourism and Leisure Education and Research, and promotes the teaching of tourism, leisure and related subjects.

Professor Mike Weed, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise) at Canterbury Christ Church University, said:

“The University has a long heritage in tourism education and research, and was one of the founder members of ATLAS, so we were honoured and proud to host the 25th Anniversary Conference.  Canterbury Christ Church University prides itself on being an anchor institution for businesses, public services and stakeholders in the regional economy, and so we were particularly pleased to develop a programme that integrated insights from industry stakeholders with the perspectives of leading researchers from around the world.”

We are especially proud as many Tourism and event students helped throughout the process and during the conference.

ATLAS Conference 2016

Contact us

Dr Karen Thomas
Director, Tourism and Events Hub
T: 01227 922691

Hub Administrator

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