The Division of Tourism, Hospitality and Events is one of the highest ranked in the UK for tourism research. It is best known for its specialist work in transport and tourism and as the home of the world leading Institute for Dark Tourism Research. However, research activity within the Division embraces a wide variety of other tourism-related issues.
UCLan is one of the highest ranked universities in the UK for Tourism research. Indeed, the Division of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management is one of the highest-rated in the UK for its research. Adopting both a practical and social-scientific perspective, research under the broad banner of tourism covers a variety of topics, including the tourist experience, rural tourism and entrepreneurship, issues related to tourism and sustainable development, quality service management in hospitality and events, slow travel, tourist-host relationships and sports tourism. Much of this work occurs nationally and internationally in collaboration with other academic institutions, industry bodies and the public sector, ensuring that research activities are internationally focused on achieving quantifiable impact and outcomes.
In particular, tourism research occurs within two research institutes:
The Institute for Transport and Tourism (ITT) principally undertakes applied research into transport and sustainability. It studies and reports on how people make their decisions about leisure travel, what influences those decisions and how choices of where and how to travel can reduce the environmental impact of leisure travel, while increasing the benefits for travellers and destinations. Numerous research projects have included the economic impact of walking in rural areas, a Lake District Bus survey and the collaborative EuroVelo project, the latter focusing on the development of cross border/trans-national cycling tourism projects as a basis for promoting cycle tourism more generally.
The Institute for Dark Tourism Research (iDTR) aims to advance knowledge about the act of visitation to tourist sites of death, disaster or the seemingly macabre. It brings together researchers who seek to deliver internationally recognised research that contributes to the ethical and social scientific understanding of dark tourism and heritage, as well as to the appropriate development, management, interpretation and promotion of dark tourism sites, attractions and exhibitions. Developing local, national and international research collaborations with industry, academia and the media, iDTR seeks in particular to enhance, influence and inform industry practitioners to help ensure the ethical implementation and management of dark tourism / heritage sites, attractions and exhibitions.
UCLan is home to the Institute of Dark Tourism, the world’s first research centre dedicated to dark tourism (the act of travel to sites of death, disaster and atrocity) with leading collaborators such as the University of Cambridge.
The Institute of Transport & Tourism specialises in sustainable tourist travel. Since its formation in 2006 the Institute has undertaken studies for a wide range of organisations from the European Parliament to local environmental groups, contributing to the development of sustainable travel policy and practice. Currently, ITT is leading a consortium of universities and independent research groups from across Europe which provides tourism expertise to the Transport & Tourism Committee of the European Parliament, and producing reports on projects from cycle tourism to industrial heritage tourism. ITT was also part of the MAX-project, a consortium of 28 European partners, which was the largest research project on mobility management within the EU’s sixth framework programme, examining ways to promote travel awareness.
The Institute is now working with partners from France, Germany, The Netherlands and the UK on an EU funded project to develop community railways. The project will see the redevelopment of local railway stations and branch lines in the partner regions and evaluate the social impact of these on the local communities.