Funded PhD Opportunity Cultural heritage tourism development in challenging environments

This opportunity is now closed.

Subject: Business and Management Studies


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.

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
  • Research proposal of 2000 words detailing aims, objectives, milestones and methodology of the project

Desirable Criteria

If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.

  • Masters at 65%


    Vice Chancellors Research Scholarships (VCRS)

    The scholarships will cover tuition fees and a maintenance award of £15,009 per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). Applications are invited from UK, European Union and overseas students.


    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

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Key Dates

Submission Deadline
Monday 18 February 2019
Interview Date
week commencing 11 March 2019

Contact Supervisor

Professor Stephen Boyd

Other Supervisors

Apply online

Visit and quote reference number #344793 when applying for this PhD opportunity