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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@ARU_BusinessSch #ARUTourism: PhD Studentship in Olympic Tourism and Event Impacts


PhD Studentship in Olympic Tourism and Event Impacts

Start date: September 2016

Fixed term contract for 3 years

Ref: PhD Studentship in Olympic Tourism and Event Impacts

Closing date: 10 July 2016

Interview date: week beginning 18 July 2016  

See online via – 

The Lord Ashcroft International Business School is inviting applicants for a fully-funded, full-time PhD studentship on the ‘Analysing the regional socio-economic and tourism impacts of mega-events for achieving sustainable host community legacies’.

About Anglia Ruskin University:

Our vibrant, modern University is gaining prominence both nationally and internationally and we have ambitious plans for our future. Our main campuses in the cities of Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough have been transformed with major capital investments. With an annual turnover of £200m and over 38,000 students, we are a major force for higher education in the East of England.


Our newly established Doctoral School provides a supportive research environment for over 900 postgraduate research students.


About the Lord Ashcroft International Business School (LAIBS):

Ranked 40th for the study of Business and Management by the new 2017 Guardian University League Table, LAIBS has a large, vibrant doctoral community of over 140 candidates working closely with our world leading researchers to achieve their PhDs. According to the 2014 government Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise, over 50% of the research we published was judged as either world leading or internationally excellent. Our tourism research at LAIBS is internationally recognised, nationally award winning, and our tourism academics have published in major journals. You would be part of our tourism research cluster to help deliver impactful, innovative, and world leading research outputs in a highly performing and supportive research environment.

Academic focus of the studentship:

Mega-events continue to become a major strategic tool for urban regeneration and tourism development. Such policy interventions however greatly impact not just the social and economic dynamics of the nation and the city itself, but specifically the host communities (e.g. residents, small businesses) geographically situated at the heart of regeneration efforts and/or Games execution. Although event policy has the capacity to significantly benefit such communities, research suggests there is work to be done to fully embed these stakeholders in to the planning and delivery of such large, flagship urban projects. It is in light of these overarching issues that the PhD studentship would examine: i) the complex socio-economic ways mega-events impact up on the communities that host them, ii) how such events can foster stronger community inclusion to promote better sustainable outcomes, and iii) ways local stakeholders themselves can more effectively leverage from event-related opportunities. Specific emphasis will be placed up on how regional tourism systems are impacted by mega-events, and the potential opportunities and challenges this poses for immediate short-term impact and longer-term legacies for host communities. These issues, from an economic, social, and moral standpoint, are critical issues that are in significant need of further analysis. We envisage cross-comparative analysis between London 2012 and Rio 2016 to feature, alongside drawing up on mega-event impacts from other sporting (e.g. FIFA World Cups) case studies. Mixed method or qualitative research strategies are welcome for methodological execution, and a range of different theoretical approaches to the study can be proposed.


Studentship details:

The studentship will attract an annual tax-free stipend of £15,000 for up to 3 years, subject to satisfactory progress, and will fully cover the UK/EU tuition fees. Applications from non-UK/EU students are welcome, but studentships for these students will only cover tuition fees up to the value of UK/EU tuition fees (currently £4,500) and students will be liable for the remainder. As part of the studentship the successful candidate would be expected to undertake up to six hours teaching, other research or administrative support per week and make a general contribution to activities of the Department.


The candidate will be based in the LAIBS Cambridge Campus situated in the centre of the city and will be expected to enrol in the PhD programme in September 2016, completing their studies in August 2019. Your supervisory team will include the tourism, mega-events, and mega-projects expertise of Michael Duignan and Prof Chris Ivory.


How to apply:

Candidates will need to apply using the Research Degree Application form downloaded from the PhD in Business Management programme page via

/business-and-management and marking the application clearly at the top with PhD Studentship in Olympic Tourism and Events.


The completed application form along with the below documents must be submitted to (for UK/EU applicants) and (for International applicants).


Applicants must submit the following documentation:


  1. Covering letter


  1. CV


  1. One sample of written work such as MA/MSc Dissertation, Journal or Conference article or essay from your MA/MSc degree.


  1. A research proposal on the ‘Regional socio-economic and tourism impacts of mega-events for achieving sustainable host community legacies’. The above information is there to guide you, but you may also tailor your proposal around your own knowledge and ideas, formulate other questions and include other sources. Your proposal should be no more than 2,000 words, including an abstract of no more than 150 words. Your proposal should provide details of the academic rationale for the research and the proposed research strategy.


It is suggested you use the following headings in the research proposal as a guide and essential areas to include, but do feel free to be creative with structure if appropriate:

  1. Aims of the research and clear research question – with a brief explanation/justification as to why this focus was taken;
  2. Research background (including essential literature on the selected topic, showing good theoretical knowledge, and understanding of current issues and contexts);
  3. Proposed methodology;
  4. Future thinking on what could be the likely outcomes and/or impact of this research;
  5. Reference list, and a short list of potential areas of literature you may wish to explore if you were to start the PhD.


  1. References from two academic referees.


Candidate Specification:

  • A taught BSc/BA.
  • MSc/MA degree in any of the following would be considered: i) social sciences, ii) business, management, economics, tourism or events, iii) urban studies and regional development which involves a dissertation of standard length written in English.
  • You must also have achieved a minimum of a Merit final classification with:
  • 60% overall module average
  • 60% dissertation mark (minimum)
  • We are looking for – and to fully support – passionate, motivated students wishing to deliver impactful and innovative research.
  • A minimum of English Language Proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0, with a minimum of 6.5 in each component) is essential.


Further Information:

For further information, please contact PhD supervisor, Lecturer and Course Leader in Tourism Management: Michael Duignan at for informal inquiries and discussion.

Superb and somewhat candid guide from @jobsacuk about gaining academic promotion! A must read…

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

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