Research>Welsh Centre for Tourism Research>Research Themes and Groups

Research Themes and Groups


Our research projects and activities at the Welsh Centre for Tourism Research align with (but are not restricted to) four research themes. 

Click the links below for more information:​​​

Competitive & Sustainable Destinations

Professor Annette Pritchard is a recognized world leader in the broad field of destination development especially, in the area of place brands and advertising. She is a regular keynote speaker at international conferences as editor of Destination Branding: Creating the Unique Place Proposition, now in its 3rd edition.

Professor Eleri  Jones and Dr Claire Haven-Tang have extensive experience of research and consultancy in the fields of human resource planning, service quality, the application of ICT and the SME economy. Their edited collection Tourism-SMEs, Service Quality and Destination Competitiveness: International Perspectives has become a leading text in this area. WCTR staff also engage in the broad area of sustainability and community development through the work of Dr Sheena Carlisle.​

Tourism, Inclusion & Equality

Through our work at WCTR staff are actively engaged in challenging tourism settings, relationships and institutions which confirm inequalities and advance scholarship which advocates tourism justice and equality. Dr Diane Sedgley works on active ageing, wellbeing and tourism whilst Dr Victoria Richards researches tourism and visual impairment. Professor Annette Pritchard is a leading authority on tourism's gendered visual rhetoric and advertising discourses. Her latest book in this area is Tourism and Gender: Embodiment, Sensuality and Experience.​​

Socio-cultural perspectives on hospitality and events management

Our hospitality and events management research is inherently interdisciplinary. Its researchers strive to produce theoretically-informed studies that engage with professional and policy issues and our work seeks to examine a range of socio-cultural perspectives on hospitality and events.

Dr Dewi Jaimangal-Jones is WCTR’s leading events researcher and the focus of his work is ‘dance culture’, specifically the construction and consumption of these dance music spaces and experiences, whilst Karen Davies’ doctoral study focuses on the impacts of events on tourists’ perceptions of destination culture.

One of the WCTR’s leading researchers in the hospitality area is Dr Caroline Ritchie. Coming from an operational background in the hosptality industry she has a particular interest in various forms of consumer behaviour as it relates to the food and drink aspects of the hospitality industry. 

Currently there are three doctoral research studies in progress investigating different aspects of the hosipality / restaurant industry with a view to improving the experience for both staff and customer. From this  work journal articles have been published by one of the doctoral students, Abu Elnasr Sobaih, and one book chapter is about to be published co-authored by Dr Caroline Ritchie and Darryl Gibbs: The Staff and Customer Interface: The Application of Theatre Analogy to the Hospitable Experience.   In M. Morgan, P. Lugosi, B. Ritchie (eds) The Experience of Tourism and Leisure: Consumer and Managerial Perspectives. 

In addition Dr Caroline Ritchie is acknowledged to be one of the world’s experts in relation to socio/cultural factors that influence social alcohol related behaviours, particularly those related to wine usage. Whilst there is much concern about and  research into abusive and anti-social alcohol related behaviours there is very little into social moderate alcohol related behaviours and how they develop.  It is upon this knowledge that future government policies aimed at reducing anti-social behaviour may be sucessfully built.

At WCTR Richard Ward’s doctoral project is investigating how age and education impact upon alcohol consumption, knowledge of alcohol and alcohol related behaviours. He has already published two papers in this area, co-authored with Dr Caroline Ritchie and Dr Felix Ritchie (ONS).

As result of her expertise Dr Caroline Ritchie has also been working both nationally and internationally on various projects aimed at developing our understanding of cultural behaviours related to wine consumption and usage within varying populations. Current research partners include Mike Flynn (UWIC) Gary Elliot, University of Ulster (Northern Ireland), Professor Steve Charters, Reims Management School (France), Dr Dominique Valentin, Centre des Sciences du Gout et de l'Alimentation (France)Dr Elizabeth Thatch, Sonoma State University (USA), Dr Natalia Kolyesnikova and Dr Tim Dodd, Texas Tech University (USA), Dr Nicola Fish, Swinburne University (Australia), Dr Joanna Fountain, Lincoln University (New Zealand), Frikkie Herbst and Nic Tereblanche, University of Stellenbosch (South Africa).

Dr Caroline Ritchie is also frequently asked to review journal articles and books in this area by a variety of journals and publishers such as the British Food Journal, International Journal of Wine Business Research, Food Quality and Preference, the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, the Taylor and Francis Group.

The WCTR also has a strong interest in pedagogic research and enhancement of the student learning experience.  Resulting from this members of the centre (Dr Caroline Ritchie, Elspeth Dale and Mike Flynn) are using their own teaching practice as a basis for research into furthering our understanding of the impact of intergenerational distance with the intention of enhancing that experience. In particular the research seeks to better our understanding in vocational subject areas where there is a need to learn complex technical vocabularies.  It uses the WSET courses as run at UWIC as the learning environment for the project.  They are assisted in this work by the linguist Dr Sarah Lawson.

African Centre for Sustainable Tourism Development (ACSTD)

The African Centre for Sustainable Tourism Development (ACSTD) reflects a growing network of researchers interested in community tourism development and fair trade in sub-Saharan Africa and has a particular focus on mechanisms to promote economic benefits for indigenous communities, enhancing linkages and reducing leakages including the identification of tourism products based on cultural resources rather than wildlife.  

The network is led by Professor Eleri Jones and currently involves strong links with individuals and universities and institutes of higher education in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Zambia, Cameroon and The Gambia.  

The Centre has hosted two Commonwealth University Scholarship students from Moi University in Kenya.