Michael B. Duignan – the Olympic Researcher

Mike's research and teaching blog | @michaelbduignan |

Slow tourism, Cambridge, and the new 2016 DMO @ARU_BusinessSch @VisitCambs Jan Launch and @CambridgeNewsTV interview

Slow tourism, Cambridge, and the launch of the new 2016 DMO: Visit Cambridge and Beyond – what’s in store for tourism 2016 and beyond (Jan, 2016)

Michael B. Duignan, Assistant Professor/Lecturer in Tourism @ARU_BusinessSch
Lewis Walsh, Doctoral Researcher and Associate Lecturer @ARU_BusinessSch

Discussing slow tourism, its importance for cities like Cambridge, how slow tourism can be embedded in to tourism systems, and the role of the new DMO Visit Cambridge and Beyond for stimulating new tourism policy for the benefit of the city and its communities.

For a in-depth analysis of these issues, see Michael B. Duignan and Chris Wilbert’s recent Sept 2015 book chapter here:

Wilbert, C; Duignan, M.B (2015) ‘Going s-Low in Cambridge: opportunities for sustainable tourism in a small global city’, Bergamo University Press in EDS. Casti, E; Burini, F (2015) Centrality of Territories, Bergamo University Press.

Visit Cambridge and Beyond Launch Event @ Fitzwilliam Museum (13, Jan 2016)



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Pappalepore, I and Duignan, M.B (2016) The London 2012 cultural programme – Olympic Impacts and Legacies for small creative orgs. Tourism Management (ABS 4*)

Pappalepore, I., & Duignan, M. B. (2016). The London 2012 cultural programme: A consideration of Olympic impacts and legacies for small creative organisations in east London. Tourism Management, 54, 344-355.

Free  PDF access until end of Feb 18, 2016 –

London 2012 article 2016


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@ARU_BusinessSch — Wilbert, C; Duignan, M.B (2015) ‘Going s-Low in Cambridge: opportunities for sustainable tourism in a small global city’, Bergamo University Press in EDS. Casti, E; Burini, F (2015) Centrality of Territories, Bergamo University Press.

Wilbert, C; Duignan, M.B (2015) ‘Going s-Low in Cambridge: opportunities for sustainable tourism in a small global city’, Bergamo University Press. pp 119-216. In EDS. Casti, E; Burini, F (2015) Centrality of Territories, Bergamo University Press.

Casti Burini (2015) Centrality of Territories – full PDF of whole book here.


The chapter analyzes the case of Cambridge as a small city projected in a global tourism dimension, thanks to its main University. The campuses act in fact as an engine of territorial development because they participate in the creation of research and innovation centers, and because they are a powerful attractor for an international tourism. The authors underline strengths and weaknesses of tourism in Cambridge, in order to produce some basic knowledge aimed at showing proposals and reasons for a diversification of tourism, moving towards a more sustainable approach in connection to other sectors of the local economy. Furthermore, they show the results of the first phase of application of the methodology Centrality of Territories and present some ideas and practices to develop a more sustainable tourism development within the European network.
The research, although still in progress, presents the main potential and difficulties of tourism in relation to the local context, the diversification and multiplicity of stakeholders and the difficulty to create processes of territorial governance with local communities.

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@BBCCambs 2015 interview- developing slow, sustainable tourism in Cambridge, UK by @michaelbduignan @ARU_BusinessSch

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Tour de France 2014 and the local economics of Cambridge – ITV News interview with Michael B. Duignan (4 July, 2014)

Full ITV News interview (from 1:55 – 2:20) – see bottom of page for full ITV News article clip

Cambridge, Tour de France and local on-the-day economics

With the Grand Depart from Leeds, Yorkshire, across the hilltops over to the flat plains of Cambridge – the global image, spectacle and economic stimulus of the Tour de France aka ‘Le Tour’ graces the streets of Cambridge today. But what does Le Tour mean for the people, businesses and institutions of the city? Is it all just hype and spandex? Or are there some true, real, positive net economic benefits from hosting the Games? And can we even consider the ‘economic benefit’ as being a simplistic ‘return on economic investment and human time’? I believe not, and I explain why below in relation to the immediate on-the-day economic effects.

Simplistically, economic impact will attempt to understand how much visitor money flows in to the local economy as a result of hosting such a major event, and whether than money is from domestic visits or from (hopefully!) a sound turn out of European and international friends. The local economy hopes that visitors find their way in to every nook and cranny, down the querky city side streets, where retail; souveniers; lunch and cultural activities converge in to a spectacular Cambridge day out.

However, one of the key issues to consider here is the nature of ‘event tourists’. Evidence suggests, alongside my own empirical work from London 2012 and Sochi 2014 that sporting event tourists stay on ‘track’. Mind the pun. They behave differently from the standard cultural tourist. They watch, eat, and sleep (that is if they are not a 1 day visit) and rarely enjoy the cultural fruits that cities’, towns’ and communities’ have to offer. By and large we may find out they are not here for ‘Cambridge’; but rather the Cambridge Tour de France Stage 3 leg. You take out the 6-word suffix and we may find a trail of dedicated cycling enthusiasts bound for the next phase of the race.

Certainly, having spoken with a band of this demographic on the start line this morning between 8am – 12midday, this was certainly their ambition. After the starting pistol, goodbyes were met with a ‘must dash’, got to catch ’em up. Was this portion of tourism staying to enjoy the delights of Cambridge? May be, possibly, a quick pint and a hot dog on Parkers Piece.. What we can however consider are the plans Cambridge planners put in place for the race and retaining tourism. The big screens, the kids play areas, plenty of food and drink options – quite clearly good plans were in place. However, I cannot help but consider the potential role of the necessary barriers and securisation of space will have on centralising tourism around Parkers Piece as opposed to dispersing it, and its dosh, across the city. Only research and time will tell as to how Cambridge’s Tour de France spectators navigated around the city, spent their money over an eclectic range of activities, and enhanced and acted as a stimulus for short-term economic return. This is therefore a to be continued…

However, although this post focuses around the on-the-day local economics of Le Tour – we have to consider event-related economic and tourism as a process. One that started much before the conception of this post. We must consider the planning and pre-event economic impact of hosting such an event. For example the global marketing and city showcasing Cambridge may have benefitted from as being chosen as Stage 3 host of Le Tour. We also have to consider the branding effects – the changing perceptions of Cambridge as a city not just blessed with ‘alma maters’ and heritage tourism, but as a future city of cycling. Will this drive a new demographic of tourist to Cambridge? Will this change behaviours of current residents, enhance and build up on the work of local cycling organisation ‘Sustrans’ to promote more environmentally friendly travel behaviour?

The post-event legacy effect is clearly complex.

However, the legacy is one that needs to be planned for – and in this respect Cambridge has done this successfully in a variety of ways – from building cycle routes to continuing the momentum of cycling in the city thanks for the Velo Fest and grants available through the council. Will the Tour de France 2014 lead to a positive economic, social and cycling legacy in the city over the next 1, 3, 5 or 10 years? Time will only tell… but the future certainly looks bright for Cambridge.

Interested further in this topic email:

Below, the ITV Anglia News clip (4 July, 2014)

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Achieving Research Impact: Tips & Tools

Source: Achieving Research Impact: Tips & Tools

Tourism, events and hospitality CV and cover letter advice

Thanks to my fantastic colleagues in the Lord Ashcroft International Business School – here are some useful documents for developing, enhancing and beginning to think about constructing your professional appearance.

It is key that you do this early on in your studies, thinking with the goal in sight, and considering at all times, what it is that the sector wants. You must strategically align you, with the job, in order to present as the perfect candidate. These tips, alongside the full discussion we had in class is vital here.

At first stage, once you have constructed your CV and cover letter, you can visit the employability team at ARU, who can provide further support. And you can always talk to your subject expert tutor who can contextualise the skills in the context of sector demands!

Click on the document links below to access:

Covering Letter Guidance

Spec Letter template

Standard CV – LAIBS

Humans need not apply – technological revolution and labour

Humans need not apply – technological revolution and labour

How terror threats have hit tourism in Egypt

‘Seaside towns in the age of austerity’ – (Prof Fothergill, Sheffield Hallam University – October 2015)

PDF Power Point presentation click here- Prof Fothergill ‘Seaside towns in the age of austerity’ (Oct 2015)1


#IIMPScrum expert series – ‘How to respond to reviewer comments?’ Prof Kautonen and Prof Fink, ) @ARU_BusinessSch

How to respond to reviewer comments? (Prof Kautonen and Prof Fink, 03.11.2015)

Background: Teemu and Matthias

  • 50% desk rejected, reviews usually from two or more peers, and great variability in comments.
  • Knowing the people, editor etc in the journal and their preferences is very  useful when directing your paper!!

Key tips: 

  • Avoid a desk reject by: (1) clarify any prior peer reviewing that has already been undertaken. (2) Tailor paper for a specific journal and the conversations currently underway [include citations in that journal!]. (3) Be explicit about papers importance and implications at the outset; its ‘impact’ and ‘contributions’.
  • Dealing with the reviews: (1) don’t just cherry pick the comments you want to address! Do them all – copy all comments in to table and react to each one — ensure all comments have been dealt with [never just put ‘DONE’].
  • Re-submission: (1) write explicit and detailed covering letter to editor and reviewers. Don’t be too emotional, and although you think the reviewers might be wrong, there is the assumption reviewers are right [and usually on reflection-they are]. 
  • The response letter to the Editor: (1) response generally, and to the specific reviewers e.g. ‘Response to reviewer 1’…. (2) the letter must  be grovelling, thank so much for comments, acknowledge the editors and their wisdom.

Types of comments from reviewer, and response strategies:

(1) ‘you have to rewrite the whole thing!’ Editors/reviewers like the idea but theoretical framing insufficient and/or contribution not clear. You need to show contribution to actual discussions on-going. (2) ‘there is something wrong with the method’ [esp quantitative articles]. (3) ‘you need to consider source A, theory B, or perspective C’. (4) ‘you need to explain in more detail XYZ’ [sometimes feels superfluous; but just DO IT]. (5) ‘you need to include something something stupid and/or irrelevant’ [so say, thank you for pointing this out – please refer to page X, or even just pretend that you have newly included!]. (6) ‘comments conflict between reviewers’ – if this is the case, contact the editor and sound out a suitable way forward. If they don’t respond, just go for the reviewer comment who is more critical than the other [and raise this in the letter to the editor about this conflict].

NOTE: Sometimes you will get a comment from the editor saying ‘take seriously X comment’ – then you take seriously and prioritise.

Blogger Q+A:

  • You always have to waver on reviewer comments? Or stick to your guns?
  • Is there a difference between the TYPE of comments you get – depending on the star of the paper?
  • 2 vs. 1 — turned in to a Game – 1st loved it, another mid-way, another hated it. Response to reviewers 1st round — knew who the hater was, and responded politely but knew it was a losing battle – methodological differences. Focused on the middle reviewer to sway the balance. For second review – was 2 vs. 1 edged in our favour. And we played HIM out of the game. Leadership from Editor, despite being a top journal was weak. It worked but a wise strategy?
  • Know who the reviewer is, and know you will meet them — wise tactic to drop in a subtle line about the paper?


Academic Skills – a breakdown of week 1 – 12 content (attached PDF)

CLICK HERE FOR PDF: MASTER Prezi – Week 1 – 12 slides (updated 12.10.2015)



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