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The Sustainable Development of Media Tourism in Scotland


   Business School

  , ,  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Popular media, such as films, novels, comic books, and television series has long been an impetus for travel to destinations related to a media text (Lee, 2012). This is especially the case in Scotland, where the image of Scotland is shaped in people’s minds by popular media and has contributed to the development of ‘media tourism’ (Reijnders, 2011), a niche sub-set of cultural tourism which involves travels inspired by media texts. This trend is based on the premise that being featured on popular media creates an exceptional tourism destination marketing opportunity. For example, the marketing value of the Outlander books and TV series has contributed to a rise of visitor numbers by 200% at historic sites (e.g., Doune Castle) across Scotland between 2013 to 2020 (BBC, 2020). There is a growing body of literature on media tourism, characterised by tourist-oriented perspective, such as, examining the emotional ties between tourists and place (Connell, 2004; Kim and Richardson, 2003), celebrity associations and destination perceptions (Lee et al., 2008; McCartney and Pinto, 2014) and travel motives and perceived value (Lundberg and Lexhagen, 2012). Nevertheless, destination-oriented studies are very few—largely to explore the design and implementation of tourist experiences and the extent to which those experiences can be viewed as ‘genuine,’ while the profound impacts of media tourism upon locale have attracted limited attention. Since media tourism is primarily demand-driven, it often exhibits a rapid initial growth that surprises destination stakeholders, sometimes causing capacity problems at destinations unprepared for increased tourism demand. At other times, the media representation of a destination and its subsequent interpretation by tourists and fans can leave locals unsure as to how they should respond to the onscreen projection of their community. This can be exacerbated by reactive rather than proactive strategies, a lack of inter-agency collaboration (Bolan et al., 2011; Long and Morpeth, 2016; Lundberg et al., 2012; Müller, 2006) and the ad hoc commodification of symbols and signs for consumption practice.

The aim of this PhD project is to examine 1) the current development of media tourism in Scotland, 2) the profound influences of media tourism upon Scottish destination communities, 3) the role of media tourism in a comprehensive destination development. Cross-national cases would be preferred.

The study will be supervised by Dr. Xiaoqing Chen, Dr. Jing Cai and Prof. Claire Wallace. Applicants are welcome to share their interests with Dr. Xiaoqing Chen prior to formally applying. https://www.abdn.ac.uk/people/xiaoqing.chen/

Prospective candidates are required to develop the project idea outline above into a PhD proposal of not more than 1500 words. The proposal should include relevant up to date literature sources and provide some indication of an appropriate research methodology that could be applied to the project.

To be considered for the project the candidate must also meet the standard entry requirements for the PGR programme. This includes a first-class undergraduate honours degree and master’s degree in a Business Management or equivalent in any Social Science Subject from an approved university. Further information on the application process can be accessed via link below.

How To Apply | Study Here | The University of Aberdeen (abdn.ac.uk)


Funding Notes

This PhD project has no funding attached and is therefore available to students (UK/International) who are able to seek their own funding or sponsorship. Supervisors will not be able to respond to requests to source funding.
To submit an application please visit View Website
-Apply for 'PhD in Management Studies'
-State the name of the lead supervisor on your application
-State the name of the project

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