Newly launched research centre to support the ‘new normal’ in tourism 

Edinburgh Napier’s Prof. Anna Leask

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A NEW research centre that aims to support the ‘new normal’ in tourism has been launched by Edinburgh Napier University. 

The Tourism Research Centre (TRC) was launched last Wednesday (25 May) at the 30thCouncil for Hospitality Management Education (CHME) conference hosted by the University’s Business School.

The TRC – chaired by Edinburgh Napier’s Prof. Anna Leask – sees a number of academics from the University as well as visiting professors and industry personnel collaborating to produce relevant research for Scotland’s recovery and development as a top tourism destination.

The TRC covers a wide range of research themes, each with the aim of making various types of destinations socially responsible by focusing on evidence-based practical implications for managers and policymakers on sustainability and inclusivity. 

Whether that be urban or rural spaces, natural resources, heritage sites or events or festivals, the goal is to enable stakeholders to maximise the positive impacts and minimise the negative ones while equally engaging local communities and looking out for staff. 

Edinburgh Napier’s Professor Anna Leask said: “In tourism and events, successful recovery from the past two years involves not only attracting enough visitors but equally tackling pre-pandemic concerns around environmental and social impacts. Scotland has set ambitious goals to meet both aspects in the coming years and become a world-leading example for others.” 

“The aim of the Tourism Research Centre is to support the sector in this aim by producing research for the country’s recovery and development as a top tourist destination.”

Members of the industry have already expressed their excitement about the Centre. 

Mr Marc Crothall, CEO of the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) said: “The intelligence gathered via the TRC, and the industry having access to it, will contribute significantly to helping Scotland achieving our collective ambition, as set out in Scotland Outlook 2030, of becoming a world leader in 21st century tourism.”

Mr David Cochrane, MBE, Chief Executive of the Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland emphasised the TRC’s crucial role in supporting the sector. 

He said: “The industry thrives on data and having the new Tourism Research Centre will add great value to the decision-making of this dynamic industry post-Covid.” 

Executive director of UKHospitality Scotland, Mr Leon Thompson, equally shared his enthusiasm about the Centre. 

He said: “As we seek to address the challenges hospitality faces right now, it has never been more important for business and academia to work together. Edinburgh Napier University’s Tourism Research Centre is an excellent resource which will ensure even greater collaboration as we support our sector towards recovery. The TRC also enables us to highlight the great achievements of our dynamic sector and, through partnership, build a very bright future for hospitality in Scotland.”

The TRC’s website can be accessed by anyone at www.napier.ac.uk/TourismENU

Visitors can engage with the Centre: learn more about the researchers and research themes; keep up with the news; and read publications – including the latest output entitled, Covid and Innovation within Edinburgh’s Festivals [Festivals and Events (napier.ac.uk)] by Prof. Jane Ali-Knight, Prof. Kristen Holmes, Dr Gary Kerr and Ms Hannah Stewart. 

In addition, for people who want to keep a close eye on the development of the Centre and get notified about publications, follow @TourismENU on Twitter. 

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