Funded PhD Opportunity Cultural heritage tourism in difficult environments: the primacy of World Heritage Sites

This opportunity is now closed.

Subject: Business and Management Studies

Summary

Cultural heritage is often the foundation against which any tourism development in destination regions occurs; it is also one of the dominant reasons which drives international travel and tourism.  It is what makes destinations unique and provides the USP against which they are marketed and maintain a competitive advantage.  Cultural heritage exists regardless of context, and where the environment is labelled as difficult and challenging it is often the principal factor that encourages tourism planning and development to take place.  As such this project aims to examine the role that cultural heritage plays in tourism development.

Scholarly attention within tourism academe on the above has focused on understanding how the industry responds to unexpected events; often human-induced in character.  Unexpected events has led some scholars to envisage a new relationship between chaos and unpredictability (Faulkner, 2001; Ritchie, 2004).  Planning and subsequent development in this context requires that both shocks (rapid-onset events) and stressors (slow-onset events) are understood (Sharpley, 2005).  Vulnerability from a tourism perspective is a measure of the extent to which it is affected, disrupted or displaced as a consequence of both shocks and stressors.  To this end, considerable attention in the scholarly literature has been given over to understanding of what is meant by crisis, destination vulnerability and resilience planning.

Cultural heritage exists at many different levels; the highest level is that of being considered to have ‘universal value’; unique in the world and which is often accorded through UNESCO to be given World Heritage Status.  Sites that have gained this status have high tourism value and many destination regions position them as integral to their Unique Selling Point (USP).  For regions that have faced a turbulent past or are emerging from one, the ability to showcase cultural heritage of that scale is critical in the development of a tourism industry, or in the recovery of an existing tourism industry.

This project looks at destinations that have had a turbulent past, or have faced a short period of unrest and stress, where the tourism industry has had to develop resilience strategies to survive and where the development and showcasing of their cultrual heritage; often labelled as ‘universal’ has been critical to that recovery.  Destinations of note include regions that have faced political instability (short and long-term).  In particular, focus is given over to gaining a better understanding of resilience in the context of both the tourism industry and the communities in destinations, as well as exploring the relationship between sustainability and resilience, where the latter is dependent on the maintenance of a cultural heritage that has local to global tourism appeal.

Essential Criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC)
  • Sound understanding of subject area as evidenced by a comprehensive research proposal
  • A comprehensive and articulate personal statement

Funding

    DFE

    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £15,009 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fees component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided).  For Non EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK.

Other information

The Doctoral College at Ulster University

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Key Dates

Submission Deadline
Friday 30 November 2018
Interview Date
week commencing 10 December 2018

Contact Supervisor

Professor Stephen Boyd

Other Supervisors

Apply online

Visit https://www.ulster.ac.uk/applyonline and quote reference number #325607 when applying for this PhD opportunity