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Responding to SDG12 through Developing a Sustainable Tourism Sector

   School of Business

  Dr Szu-Hsin Wu, Dr Keith Dinnie  Friday, October 14, 2022  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

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 (aims to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns) – 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


  • To be accepted to study for a PhD, applicants need to have an undergraduate degree of at least 2:1 (or equivalent) or a master’s degree, in a subject related to the proposed PhD topic.
  • English language requirements – a minimum IELTS score of 6.5.

To apply please ensure you include the following documentation:

  1. Final or current degree transcripts including grades (and an official translation, if needed) – scanned copy in colour of the original document.
  2. Degree certificates (and an official translation, if needed): scanned copy in colour of the original document.
  3. Two references on headed paper (academic and/or professional).
  4. Research proposal, CV and samples of written work.


  • Deadline for submission: 14 October 2022
  • Interviews: November TBC
  • Start date: January 2023

Please submit to Professor Norin Arshed ( ) and Research Lead, Linn McFarlane ().

The University of Dundee aims to transform lives, working locally and globally through the creation, sharing and application of knowledge.

We build on our success by investing in excellent facilities, pushing the boundaries of research, and equipping our staff and students with the means to create real-world impact. Dundee’s research is highly rated by the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2022), which assesses the quality and impact of research submitted by universities across the UK. Furthermore, 84% of the University’s research was found to be ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

The School of Business within the University of Dundee is the United Kingdom’s and Scotland’s newest and fastest growing business school with an internationally diverse faculty and student population. We pride ourselves with always working towards delivering an excellent student experience.

We’ve recruited outstanding academic faculty from the UK and around the world, who are both excellent teachers and researchers. Research excellence that informs our teaching and impact our communities remains of utmost importance to us. We regard ourselves as a ‘research intensive’ business school where research serves to build excellence in teaching and our engagement with our communities here and internationally. Our academics present their research throughout the world and publish their research in leading academic and industry outlets. We are impacting the world around us.

Funding Notes

Waiver: Six PhD scholarships are advertised but only three are funded. This is a competitive process and only three of the strongest applications will be selected.

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