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Conceptualising tourism value in the new tourism public sphere.

   The Business School

   Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The Covid-19 pandemic reaffirmed the global significance of tourism as a socio-economic activity that is reliant on public sector support to flourish. As tourism actors implement route maps for recovery within their national, regional and industry sub-sector groupings there has never been greater need to understand what value is being created and how it is being distributed across the ecosystem of tourism stakeholders (Cave and Dredge, 2020). Further new understandings of the `place of tourism` in society are critical to futureproofing tourism development. Issues of inclusivity, representation, social justice, and democracy are critical to the future design of effective tourism strategies to achieve meaningful public value.

However, the new public sphere is increasingly enlarged, diversified and fragmented; it is increasingly governed by commercial norms and characterised by unequal relationships and social inequality. The Public Value Approach (PVA) within the field of public administration offers public sector leaders scope for action as it encourages engagement with heterogenous publics in the creation of value and the desired outcome of betterment for all (McMillan, 2021). Therefore, it is necessary to explore further how the new public spheres in tourism shape the individuals’ capacity to participate, act and raise issues and how public administration leaders may implement policy change to address the challenges and limitations of the tourism ecosystem.

The objective of this project is therefore to explore the conceptions of value among different publics within the tourism new public spheres.

The project may address one or more of the following questions:

1) How is the public sphere for tourism constituted, by whom and for what purposes and interests?

2) What is the nature of conflicts that emerge in the new public spheres in tourism?

3) What factors lead the public sphere to interpret and prioritise certain values?

4) How can public administration leaders manage public value gains and losses in tourism to avoid destination conflict?

The successful applicant will benefit from the expertise of the highly experienced, interdisciplinary supervisory team based in the Tourism Research Centre and the International Centre for Management and Governance Research in the Business School.

Part time applicants are welcome.

Academic qualifications

A first degree (at least a 2.1) ideally in a related area or interdisciplinary field such as tourism management, public administration, planning, governance, organisation studies, economics or human geography with a good fundamental knowledge of tourism and/or planning and public administration issues.

English language requirement

IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available online.

Essential attributes:

• Experience of fundamental independent academic research projects at undergraduate and / or postgraduate level

• Competent in undertaking research in public administration, tourism or a related field

• Knowledge of tourism policy and public administration literature

• Good written and oral communication skills

• Strong motivation, with evidence of independent research skills relevant to the project

• Good time management

Desirable attributes:

Some competence in research methods gained through undertaking an undergraduate or postgraduate dissertation.

Training in quantitative and/or qualitative data analysis software.


Amore, A. & C. Hall, C. M. (2016). From governance to meta-governance in tourism? Re-incorporating politics, interests, and values in the analysis of tourism governance. Tourism Recreation Research, 41(2), 109-122, DOI: 10.1080/02508281.2016.1151162
Bennington, B. (2009). Creating the public in order to create public value? International Journal of Public Administration, 32(3–4), 232–249.
Cave, J., and Dredge, D. (2020). Regenerative tourism needs diverse economic practices. Tourism Geographies, 22:3, 503-513, DOI: 10.1080/14616688.2020.1768434
Dredge, D. & Whitford, M. (2011) Event tourism governance and the public sphere, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 19:4-5, 479-499, DOI: 10.1080/09669582.2011.573074
Hartley, J., Alford, J., Knies, E., & Douglas, S. (2017). Towards an empirical research agenda for public value theory. Public Management Review, 19, 670–685.
McMillan, J. (2021) Public Value Leadership in the Context of Outcomes, Impact, and Reform in J. Connolly, and A. van der Zwet (Eds.) Public Value Management, Governance and Reform in Britain Palgrave MacMillan: 173-200.

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