International tourism

We offer a breadth of experience in all aspects of tourism and events. We embrace research from across a spectrum of disciplines such as geography, anthropology, education, management, psychology and political science, and bring together a critical mass of academics, researchers and students all of whom are working in the international tourism and events arena, seeking to develop new and all-encompassing research avenues. Our distinct specialisms include:

  • resort regeneration
  • crowd management
  • disability
  • collaborative planning
  • crime
  • literary and film-induced tourism
  • experiential learning / education
  • tea tourism
  • event legacies
  • conference and event design and planning
  • narratives and the built heritage
  • tourism and its impacts on host communities
  • cruise tourism
  • culinary tourism
  • dark tourism
  • sustainable tourism
  • destination development.

We work with a network of UK and international public and private sector organisations and agencies, and the following projects and activities illustrate our work.

Tourist knowledge and fieldwork

Lecturer, Dr Charlie Mansfield, talks about his research on tourism knowledge and how that feeds into fieldwork in France with students on Plymouth's tourism management degree programmes. Destination managers often face the problem of communicating the attractions of their town, more so when the town itself is unknown to their target visitor. Language and culture create these barriers but by skillfully eliciting tacit knowledge, through narrative analysis methods, tourism professionals can tell compelling stories about their urban spaces.
Watch the video about this project on YouTube

Case study: Film tourism in Somerset 

Researchers: Dr Graham Busby and Dr Natalie Semley
Industry partners: Galatia Films, Hollywood
Visit Somerset
Date: 2013
Films and television programmes encourage viewers to visit locations, both at home and abroad. Some productions have lasting effect; for example, The Sound of Music was released in 1965 and American visitor numbers doubled in the first few years afterwards (East & Luger 2002) and remain very healthy.

The impact seems to be irrespective of genre. For examples, romantic comedy Notting Hill influenced visitors to the London district (Busby & Klug 2001) whereas television chef Rick Stein has had a very marked influence on individuals visiting Padstow, Cornwall (Busby, Huang & Jarman 2013). Furthermore, the presence of a particular actor or actress can act as imprimatur, validating representations of a destination (Busby, Ergul & Eng 2013).

Case study: Tourisme littéraire et l'espace urbain français

Le rapport des écrivains à l'architecture conférence

Les barils au Quai Russe à Concarneau de 1904, credit: C Mansfield
Researcher: Dr Charlie Mansfield
Festival de l’histoire de l’art
INHA Château de Fontainebleau
Date: 1-3 June 2012

Cette citation de Marcel Proust parle d'un auteur favori du narrateur, qui s'appelle Bergotte, dans À la recherche du temps perdu. Ces recherches utilisent l'idée, que les lecteurs d'un roman ont un accès spécial à l'architecture de sites touristiques; un accès qui est bien différente de celle fournie par les guides et la commercialisation. De plus, cette communication propose qu'un type de création artistique ait lieu comme si le lecteurvoyageur voulait retrouver le «double» dans son imagination. Aller aux Champs-Élysées me fut insupportable.
Si seulement Bergotte les eût décrits dans un de ses livres, sans doute j’aurais désiré de les connaître, comme toutes les choses dont on avait commencé par mettre le «double» dans mon imagination. Elle les réchauffait, les faisait vivre, leur donnait une personnalité, et je voulais les retrouver dans la réalité. Marcel Proust À la Recherche p.386.

Case study: National Trust at Cotehele

Researcher: Dr Charlie Mansfield
Date: May 2013
From the research network established at the SERC conference on Narrative & Heritage in Spring 2011 a useful collaboration project ran from March to July 2013. Developing our tourism theme of Narrative & Heritage, Lio Ball, from the Ecole du Louvre University in Paris, completed a study on Cotehele House for use by the National Trust and as a case study resource for the University to use on its new research masters suite in travel.
The work investigates and records historical eras and the stories attached to the artefacts held by the Trust at this property, stretching from the late medieval into the Tudor period. Rachel Hunt, who manages the house, and who contributed to the book, Narrative & the Built Heritage, prepared a detailed set of requirements for the work with the paintings and artefacts. The research work will provide resources for the travel research masters, a postgraduate programme at the University.