Responding to SDG12 through Developing a Sustainable Tourism Sector

   School of Business

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  Dr Szu-Hsin Wu, Dr Keith Dinnie  No more applications being accepted  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12* articulated by the United Nations specifically mentions sustainable tourism in its targets. Various popular tourist destinations, such as the Great Barrier Reef, Venice and Mumbai, are facing unprecedented challenges due to climate change and the impact of over-tourism. Local government, tourism practitioners and visitors are key actors in maintaining environmental sustainability at destinations. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated a new dimension that has disrupted tourism activities globally. Over-tourism might have been spectacularly ‘solved’ overnight during the lockdown period. Yet, the industry is now suffering from staff shortage and COVID-19 business recovery. Tourist experiences are never the same as pre-pandemic.

To deliver a memorable tourist experience, practitioners face new challenges of promptly adopting new digital, technological tools, such as AI-enabled communication platforms, service robots and mobile apps, in their sustainable service delivery. This challenge is complex that highlights the need for engaging visitors in making the tourism industry more environmentally sustainable and socially responsible.

This project aims to investigate the use of digital, technological tools in co-creating delightful and sustainable visitor experiences under climate change and in the post-Covid-19 world. The insights derived from a visitor perspective will also provide actionable recommendations on digital transformation and destination branding strategy that contributes to the development of sustainable tourism.

This PhD will give you the opportunity to tackle a target of SDG12 – sustainable tourism through investigating developments of digital and technological tools in service delivery. Our PhD candidate will also explore issues such as:

·      Sustainable tourism products/services

·      Visitor experience and pro-environmental behaviours

·      Digital transformation in the post-Covid-19 era

·      Destination branding strategy

*The SDG12 aims to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

For informal enquiries about the project, contact Dr Szu-Hsin Wu ([Email Address Removed])

For general enquiries about the University of Dundee, contact [Email Address Removed]

Our research community thrives on the diversity of students and staff which helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for postgraduate research. We welcome applications from all talented individuals and are committed to widening access to those who have the ability and potential to benefit from higher education.


Applicants must have obtained, or expect to obtain, a UK honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent for non-UK qualifications), and/or a Masters degree in a relevant discipline. For international qualifications, please see equivalent entry requirements here:

English language requirement: IELTS (Academic) overall score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 5.5 in any element). The University of Dundee accepts a variety of equivalent qualifications; please see full details of the University’s English language requirements here:


Step 1: Email Dr Szu-Hsin Wu ([Email Address Removed]) to (1) send a copy of your CV and (2) discuss your potential application and any practicalities (e.g. suitable start date).

Step 2: After discussion with Dr Wu, formal applications can be made via our direct application system. When applying, please follow the instructions below:

Candidates must apply for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Management and Marketing using our direct application system: Business, management, and marketing research degrees | University of Dundee.

Please select the study mode (full-time/part-time) and start date agreed with the lead supervisor.

In the Research Proposal section, please:

-         Enter the lead supervisor’s name in the ‘proposed supervisor’ box

-         Enter the project title listed at the top of this page in the ‘proposed project title’ box

In the ‘personal statement’ section, please outline your suitability for the project selected.

Business & Management (5)

Where will I study?

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 About the Project