Welsh Centre for Tourism Research (WCTR)

Established in 2001, it is one of the Cardiff Metropolitan University's recognized centres of research excellence and the only UK research centre of its kind to be rated as producing world-leading and internationally excellent research.

The WCTR continues from the 2008 RAE success with another strong performance in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). The WCTR was the top ranked Tourism submission in the UK with 40% of our overall submission classified as world leading or 4* and 87% of our overall submission being classified as world leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*). In terms of outputs, a quarter (24%) were ranked as 4* and 56% were ranked as 3*, making 80% of our outputs either world leading or internationally excellent. In terms of our average GPA, we rank ahead of all of our major competitors with a GPA of 3.25.

Here at the WCTR we are committed ​to theoretically-informed research and consultancy that engages with practice and policy. Our researchers are largely drawn from the Cardiff School of Management's department of tourism, hospitality and events management and include two Professors (Annette Pritchard and Eleri Jones) and two Readers (Dr Claire Haven-Tang and Dr Caroline Ritchie). The Centre is also home to over 20 doctoral students, a suite of international research projects, four Honorary Professors (Tom Baum, Conrad Lashley, Stephen Page and Brian Wheeller) and one Emeritus Professor (David Botterill).  We regularly host visiting scholars and WCTR has developed a leading profile as co-host of the Critical Tourism Studies Conference Series and co-host of the Destination Branding and Marketing Conference Series.

Staff from the WCTR have undertaken major consultancy projects, including a review of Wales' Major Events Strategy for the Welsh Government (2012), event evaluation and toolkit development for Monmouthshire County Council (2015-16) and are partners in two European projects - a £1.7 million multi-institution research project on tourism and events in northern regions funded by the Norwegian Research Council (2013-2016) and a £117,000 Erasmus+ Project on Co-operating for Leadership in Tourism involving partners from the University of Malta.  Staff are involved with the Editorial or Editorial Advisory Boards of a range of journals, including Leisure Studies, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Annals of Tourism Research and are also involved with subject associations, such as the Association for Tourism in Higher Education (ATHE).

We are looking forward to welcoming Annual Conferences for the Association for Tourism in Higher Education (ATHE) in December 2016 and the Association for Events Management Education (AEME) in July 2017.  These subject association conferences build on our track record of hosting major international conferences as well as an ESRC Seminar Series on Tourism and Social Justice in conjunction with the University of the West of England and the University of Stirling, Scotland.

Staff from the WCTR have a diverse range of research interests under the tourism, hospitality and events banner, which explore the wider socio-cultural, economic and spatial roles of the tourism, hospitality and events sectors.  These research interests include: project management applications within tourism contexts which can help to address adverse impacts and increase viability of tourism opportunities in local destinations; destination development and Sense of Place; rural and event tourism; digital tourism;  human resource development issues; the social construction and consumption of contemporary festival experiences and event spaces and the role of the media; social justice and inclusion of vision impaired people in tourism; the 'tourist gaze'; issues of embodiment, gender and tourism for all; socio-cultural interaction with wine and related consumer behaviour; motivators for trans-national education; the meaning and significance of tourism in the lives of marginalised and under-empowered groups; tourism and leisure in later life; tourism, poverty and lone parenting; female migrant workers; gay and lesbian tourism; power in social inclusion processes; gender inequality in elite culinary arts.

Our research publications, projects, conferences and seminars address four research themes and although each area has core members, research activities often cut across the themes and so we work dynamically across them:

  • Sustainable destination development and marketing;

  • Critical interpretations of inclusion, social justice and poverty alleviation in tourism;

  • Interpretative and critical modes of tourism inquiry;

  • Socio-cultural perspectives on hospitality and events management.