Allan Williams

Professor Allan Williams

Chair in Tourism and Mobility Studies
+44 (0)1483 686308
45 AP 02


Areas of specialism

Economic development and mobility. Tourism. International migration. Innovation. Entrepreneurship. Productivity

My qualifications

BSc(Econ) Joint Honours in Economics and Geography
University of Wales
PhD in Geography
London School of Economics

Affiliations and memberships

Fellow of the Academy of Social Science
Fellow of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism


Research interests

Research projects


Allan M. Williams, Vladimir Balaz (2021)Tourism and Trust: Theoretical Reflections, In: Journal of Travel Research60(8)0047287520961177pp. 1619-1634 SAGE Publications

Tourism researchers have increasingly, but selectively and uncritically, engaged with the notion of trust. This study therefore aims to provide a stronger theoretical foundation for understanding tourism related trust, starting from consideration of uncertainty and the nature of tacit knowledge. The relationship between displacement and uncertainty is at the core of the distinctiveness of trust in tourism, highlighting the importance of institutions, but also recognizing the diversity of tourism contexts. Three disciplinary perspectives on trust are considered: economics, psychology and sociology. After outlining their general characteristics in relation to McKnight and Chervany’s (2001) typology of trust, we review their application in tourism, and conclude by identifying a future research agenda to address the distinctive characteristics of trust in tourism.

Vladimir Baláž, Li Chen, Allan Morgan Williams, Gang Li (2024)Stability of risk and uncertainty preferences in tourism, In: Annals of tourism research [e-journal]105103726 Elsevier

This paper provides a novel longitudinal analysis of the stability of risk preferences in the travel domain, and how these are impacted by major life events during a crisis. Analysis of a four-wave survey during COVID-19 demonstrates strong inter-temporal stability of most risk preferences. It also reveals greater stability of generic risk traits and risk and uncertainty tolerance in travel compared to situational risk preferences. An innovative difference-in-differences with multiple time periods analysis is undertaken to examine the oscillating risk preferences of individuals hit hard financially by the pandemic. It reveals they become more tolerant of situational risk and uncertainty over time. Learning that the negative consequences of the pandemic are negotiable plays a key role in changing risk preferences.

Allan M. Williams, Teemu Makkonen (2024)Cross-border tourism and innovation system failures, In: Annals of tourism research [e-journal]105103735 Elsevier

The literature on cross-border regional innovation systems suggests that facilitating cross-border interaction and knowledge flows promotes the innovativeness of border regions. Tourism can heighten the interaction and knowledge flows between populations, businesses, and other organisations on opposing sides of the border. However, by reviewing empirical studies on the topic, the paper contends that progress towards cross-border regional innovation system integration has remained modest while the role of tourism in facilitating it has remained under investigated. The paper demonstrates how the systems failure approach offers an effective framework to address these research and policy gaps: a deeper understanding of the nature of failure can provide an important steppingstone to advancing the role of tourism in cross-border development.

Isabel Rodriguez-Sanchez, Allan M. Williams, Matilde Brotons (2019)The innovation journey of new-to-tourism entrepreneurs, In: Current issues in tourism22(8)pp. 877-904 Routledge

This study addresses the neglect of an overall analysis of the generative process of innovation in tourism studies. A conceptual framework draws together the fragmented literature on the innovation process which is visualized as a series of non-linear tasks from idea generation to diffusion. The conceptual framework is explored through a systematic analysis of the tourism innovation journey of 24 new-to-tourism entrepreneurs establishing start-ups in Spain. The analysis draws on the innovators' narrations about their distinctive journeys to provide a more holistic picture of the innovation process. Drilling down into the sub-processes within each major task reveals the complexity of an innovation journey that is highly dynamic, uncertain, experimental and market-driven. A model of the innovation process is proposed based on the findings.

Hania Janta, Calvin Jephcote, Allan M. Williams, Gang Li (2021)Returned migrants acquisition of competences: the contingencies of space and time, In: Journal of ethnic and migration studies47(8)pp. 1740-1757 Routledge

The conditions which determine the acquisition of skills by migrants are still poorly understood. This paper addresses two of those conditions: the temporality of the acquisition of competences, whether the number and duration of migrations matter, as well as the spatiality, or the variation across countries of origin and return. Based on a large-scale online panel survey of returned young migrants in nine European countries, the significance of time (duration) and space (number of migrations) in the acquisition of skills and competences are examined. The findings reveal that young European returnees' experiences gained abroad result in largely positive outcomes but with significant differences between formal qualifications, language skills and personal and cultural competences. However, their acquisition of skills and competences is mediated by temporality - the combination of number of trips, and duration of migration. Spatiality is also important, with outcomes depending on the destination countries, and whether migration and return are from or to rural versus urban areas. These indicate that structural considerations continue to shape individual migration experiences within the EU's freedom of movement space.

The paper explores how second-generation Turkish-German ‘returnees’ benefit from their “inbetweenness” in their ancestral homeland and initiate a process of re-inventing themselves as ‘transcultural mediators’. A thematic-narrative analysis was undertaken on 43 in-depth interviews with second-generation Turkish-German ‘return’ migrants to Antalya who had acquired jobs in the tourism sector. The paper unpacks how this tourism hub provides “third spaces” distanced from prominent national and diasporic identities, and the ways in which these liberating spaces encourage the lifestyle-style oriented, cosmopolitan second-generation ‘returnees’ to re-position themselves in their translocal social fields. The findings illustrate how the second generation, who formerly endured “being twice a stranger” in Germany and Turkey, undertake a process of transculturation in Antalya, and utilise their “transcultural capital” (i.e., bilingual skills, bi- multilingualism, translocal habitus) to perform different aspects of their multiple and hybrid identities, gain economic independence and build social relations.

WEIZHENG ZHANG, ALLAN MORGAN WILLIAMS, Gang Li, ANYU LIU (2022)Entrepreneurial responses to uncertainties during the COVID-19 recovery: A longitudinal study of B&Bs in Zhangjiajie, China, In: Tourism management (1982)91104525 Elsevier Ltd

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought sweeping changes to global tourism alongside large-scale travel restrictions, posing complex challenges to entrepreneurs and firms seeking to find their footing in a turbulent climate. This study presents a theoretical framework linking uncertainty, capital, and innovation to analyse how bed-and-breakfast small and medium-sized enterprises have innovatively responded to unprecedented obstacles during COVID-19 recovery. Three-stage longitudinal interviews were conducted with more than 30 entrepreneurs between April and November 2020 to unpack their ongoing responses to the pandemic. The recovery process was found to be non-linear due to the shifting nature of sources of uncertainty and changes in entrepreneurs' capital. These alterations shaped interviewees’ responses, especially in terms of product and marketing innovations, which ultimately generated new uncertainty.

Calvin Jephcote, Allan M. Williams, Gang LI, Hania Janta (2022)Return migration and employment mobility: a pan-European analysis, In: Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies Routledge

Although there has been increasing focus on the employment mobility associated with migration and return, a number of important research gaps can be identified. First, there has been greater focus on occupational mobility than on changes in economic activity, although it is their interaction which determines welfare outcomes. Moreover, most studies of economic activity have focused on either self-employment, or the simple dichotomy between being employed versus unemployed, neglecting the shifts between full-time, part-time, and casual employment. Secondly, research on the determinants of these different types of employment mobility has been relatively narrowly focused on individual economic factors. Most studies have been fragmented, especially lacking a comparative element. To address these gaps, descriptive statistics and Bayesian multilevel models are applied to a pan-European panel survey of 3851 young returned migrants. The findings disclose that positive shifts in employment mobility are more evident in economic activity than in occupations, and for those with a lower occupational status prior to migration. Although a range of significant determinants of employment mobility are identified, the findings also demonstrate that education is a major driver of occupational mobility, while marital and family status are important influences on economic activity shifts. Supplemental data for this article can be accessed online at

Allan Williams, Isabel Rodriguez, Teemu Makkonen (2020)Innovation and smart destinations: Critical insights, In: Annals of Tourism Research Elsevier

Smart destinations have become an esteemed concept among researchers and policy makers. Discus-sion of the concept is optimistic in tone and commonly linked to information rather than knowledge and more to design than innovation. This partly explains the relatively limited critical discussion of the (potential) benefits of smart destinations. The article raises selected issues from the innovation, as opposed to the design literature, to offer insightful perspectives on analyzing smart destination. The discussion emphasises that: 1) smart destinations are driven by uncertainty; 2) knowledge pro-vides deeper insights than information into smart destinations as innovation; 3) entrepreneurs play an important role in facilitating smart destinations; and 4) smart destinations constitute innovation sys-tems.

Cristina Figueroa-Domecq, Anna de Jong, Albert Nsom Kimbu, Allan M. Williams (2022)Financing tourism entrepreneurship: a gender perspective on the reproduction of inequalities, In: Journal of sustainable tourism Routledge

Market economies are often characterised by a failure to self-regulate. One of the most enduring of these 'market failures' is the ability to maximise the entrepreneurial potential to generate growth. Within this context, gender remains one of, and probably, the most prevalent dimension of this perceived failure to maximise entrepreneurial potential. Feminist political economy provides a starting point for understanding this reproduction of inequalities via policy interventions that have sought to address perceived market failure. This paper analyses how such gendered inequalities are reproduced. Through the critical assessment of Spain's Emprendetur funding scheme, active from 2012 to 2016, 996 applications were analysed, through a content analysis, applying a gender perspective. The findings, including a decision tree analysis, demonstrate not only that women participate less as applicants in the funding scheme but are also less successful. This can be partly explained because women apply via business typologies that are less successful in relation to the dominance of ICT and technologically informed innovations. However, the barriers extend beyond these typologies; for even when controlling for critical success factors like project size, women are less successful, experiencing a double gender gap, that underlines the need for a gender lens policy approach.

Isabel Rodriguez Sanchez, Hugo García Andreu, Allan Morgan Williams (2019)Customer Resistance to Tourism Innovations: Entrepreneurs’ Understanding and Management Strategies, In: Journal of Travel Research59(3)pp. 450-464 SAGE Publications

Customer resistance is the greatest risk to innovation for the entrepreneur. The aim of this exploratory study is to provide insights into this underdeveloped area in the tourism innovation literature. A qualitative approach is adopted to understand the resistance experienced by 57 entrepreneurs when introducing their innovations into the market, the causes and the actions taken to minimise resistance. Findings indicate that most entrepreneurs often encounter resistance from sceptical customers, satisfied with their status quo and with no or low appetites for innovation. The analysis reveals two main sources of resistance: the association of the innovations with particular risks, and the customers' lack of understanding of the innovation value. Communication strategies are crucial to decrease the associated risks and for trust building. The paper provides a critical perspective on the challenges faced by innovators, challenges which are often overlooked given the near-iconic status of innovation in studies of economic development.

Cristina Figueroa-Domecq, Albert Kimbu, Anna de Jong, Allan Morgan Williams (2020)Sustainability through the tourism entrepreneurship journey: a gender perspective, In: Journal of Sustainable Tourism Routledge

Women's tourism entrepreneurship has been identified as fundamental to meeting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals of both 'gender equality' and 'decent growth and economic growth' but neither entrepreneurship nor sustainability are gender neutral in the tourism industry. Therefore, further research is required into how gender influences sustainable entrepreneurship, providing insights for tourism entrepreneurship policy. In response to a prevalent essentialism in much of the literature, this paper adopts a post-structuralist framework, alongside a mixed-methods approach, to understand the complex role of gender and sustainability at different stages of entrepreneurship. The initial focus is on a survey of 539 tourism students (women and men) which analyses the latent and nascent entrepreneurship stages, while 19 interviews with established tourism entrepreneurs provide further insights into these issues. The analysis focusses especially on the individual characteristics of risk, personal attitudes to entrepreneurship and behavioural control. While broad gender differences are observed, notably in societal perceptions of risk aversion, there is also considerable blurring of the approaches of established entrepreneurs in particular to sustainability and entrepreneurship. If entrepreneurship is to enhance sustainability, policy needs to account for the non-essentialised gendered dimensions that inhibit and enable sustainable tourism entrepreneurship.

V. Baláž, K. Moravčíková, M. Chrančoková, Allan Morgan Williams (2019)What competences, which migrants? Tacit and explicit knowledge acquired via migration, In: Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies Taylor and Francis

This paper analyses the links between the competences acquired via international migration, and the tacit versus explicit knowledge which are encapsulated in these. Whereas most research in this area utilises qualitative methods, this paper utilises a mixed methods approach. It draws on an online quantitative survey of the skills and competences acquired by young Slovak migrants (N = 366), complemented by more traditional in-depth interviews, with a sample of 52 Slovak migrants. The Slovak informants mostly valued those competences which included a distinctive component of tacit knowledge: higher self-confidence and an improved ability to deal with challenges. Migrants simultaneously drew on several types of tacit knowledge (embrained, embedded, encultured and embodied), and a major finding is that in practice these different categories of knowledge are blurred. There are also socio-demographic differences in migrants’ experiences. Both the quantitative and qualitative analyses indicated that women benefited far more than men from the acquisition of the tacit components of embodied, encultured and embedded knowledge. Migrants with tertiary education reported significantly higher acquisition of all types of competences than those who only had secondary education.

Isabel Rodríguez Sánchez, Vlatka Škokić, Allan Morgan Williams (2020)Innovation, Risk, and Uncertainty: A Study of Tourism Entrepreneurs, In: Journal of Travel Research

Innovation is inherently associated with risk and uncertainty, and the engagement of entrepreneurs with these is central to the innovation process. Entrepreneurs are not passive actors but, through learning, they contribute to the dynamic capabilities of the firm across the innovation process. Drawing on 57 interviews with entrepreneurs in tourism small and medium enterprises in Spain and the United Kingdom, the article identifies how risk and uncertainty are understood to change throughout the innovation process in the key areas of technology, finance, markets, and organizations. It also examines how tourism entrepreneurs respond to risk and uncertainty through a range of strategies, especially the harvesting of knowledge and networking. However, engaging with uncertainty remains elusive and relies as much on intuition as on reasoning.

Adrienne Tingyao Liu, Allan M. Williams, Anyu Liu, Yoo Ri Kim, Pearl M.C. Lin (2023)A Systematic Analysis of Diaspora Tourism: Geographical Perspectives and Superdiversity, In: Journal of hospitality & tourism research (Washington, D.C.)

This review provides novel and timely insights into research in the field of diaspora tourism. The principal originality of this work lies in capturing the full extent and richness of research on this topic by looking beyond tourism journals and the term “diaspora tourism” to situate the review in a broader social science research domain. It also adds to the small number of systematic syntheses of existing research on diaspora tourism by addressing both the geographical dimensions of diaspora tourism and the superdiversity of diasporas. Uneven research coverage exists between diaspora tourism studies across disciplines and continents, reflecting the superdiversity of diasporas and creating challenges, as well as opportunities for theoretical and methodological discussion and convergence as the topic matures. Future research can address these issues through research on irregular immigrants with diverse immigration histories, cross-continental comparative studies, and longitudinal methods.

Allan M. Williams, Jason Li Chen, Gang Li, Vladimir Baláž (2022)Risk, uncertainty and ambiguity amid Covid-19: A multi-national analysis of international travel intentions, In: Annals of tourism research [e-journal]92103346 Elsevier

This study analyses how Covid-19 shapes individuals’ international tourism intentions in context of bounded rationality. It provides a novel analysis of risk which is disaggregated into tolerance/aversion of and competence to manage risks across three different aspects: general, domain (tourism) and situational (Covid-19). The impacts of risk are also differentiated from uncertainty and ambiguity. The empirical study is based on large samples (total=8,962) collected from the world’s top five tourism source markets: China, USA, Germany, UK and France. Various risk factors show significant predictive powers of individual’s intentions to defer international tourism plans amid Covid-19. Uncertainty and ambiguity intolerance is shown to lead to intentions to take holidays relatively sooner rather than delaying the holiday plans. 

Yoo Ri Kim, Sangwon Park, Jason Li Chen, Allan Morgan Williams (2021)Spatial spillovers of agglomeration economies and productivity in the tourism industry: The case of the UK, In: Tourism Management82104201 Elsevier

This research investigates the direct and (indirect) spatial spillover effects of agglomeration economies on the productivity of the tourism industry. With increasing concerns about the persistence of low (labour) productivity in tourism across many developed economies, there is an urgent need to address this productivity challenge. Using major under-exploited UK microeconomic panel data, spatial econometric modelling is employed to estimate the effects of agglomeration economies on productivity. Findings reveal the significant effects of agglomeration economies on productivity within a specific region, but also significant spatial spillover effects across neighbouring regions, suggesting the possibility of productivity convergences. Competitive and complementary effects of agglomeration economies on productivity are identified.

Chao Liu, Allan M. Williams, Gang Li (2022)Knowledge management practices of tourism consultants: A project ecology perspective, In: Tourism management91104491 Elsevier Ltd

This study advances the contextual understanding of knowledge management practices adopted by tourism consultants in the setting of tourism development projects. It goes beyond the traditional understanding of the bounded nature of firms to analyse knowledge management issues through a project-based multi-layered perspective, namely project ecology. An innovative participant-observation methodology is utilised to study 15 episodic projects at three tourism development companies over a 12-month period. This provides an insider perspective to enhance understanding of the knowledge management practices and collaborations of tourism consultants. The study reveals two underlying logics that shape knowledge management practices: the logics of creativity and accumulation. The findings exhibit how knowledge management is moulded by the practices within, and interactions among, the four tiers of a multi-level project-specific contextual framework. •Analysis of project knowledge management focussed on the holistic social contexts of episodic projects instead of the bounded firm or the destination networks.•Innovative participant observation fieldwork took place in 15 tourism development projects over 12 months.•This is the first study that utilises the project ecology perspective in tourism research.•Two contrasting but interacted logics of knowledge management practices adopted by tourism consultants in tourism development projects are identified: the logic of creativity and the logic of accumulation.

Jason Chen, Gang Li, ANYU LIU, ALLAN MORGAN WILLIAMS (2021)Understanding the landscape of inbound tourism measurement School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Surrey
Cristina Figueroa-Domecq, Albert Kimbu, Anna de Jong, Allan M. Williams (2023)107Sustainability through the tourism entrepreneurship journey: a gender perspective, In: Claudia Eger, Ana María Munar, Cathy H. C. Hsu (eds.), Gender and Tourism Sustainabilitypp. 107-130 Routledge

Women's tourism entrepreneurship has been identified as fundamental to meeting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals of both 'gender equality' and 'decent growth and economic growth' but neither entrepreneurship nor sustainability are gender neutral in the tourism industry. Therefore, further research is required into how gender influences sustainable entrepreneurship, providing insights for tourism entrepreneurship policy. In response to a prevalent essentialism in much of the literature, this paper adopts a post-structuralist framework, alongside a mixed-methods approach, to understand the complex role of gender and sustainability at different stages of entrepreneurship. The initial focus is on a survey of 539 tourism students (women and men) which analyses the latent and nascent entrepreneurship stages, while 19 interviews with established tourism entrepreneurs provide further insights into these issues. The analysis focusses especially on the individual characteristics of risk, personal attitudes to entrepreneurship and behavioural control. While broad gender differences are observed, notably in societal perceptions of risk aversion, there is also considerable blurring of the approaches of established entrepreneurs in particular to sustainability and entrepreneurship. If entrepreneurship is to enhance sustainability, policy needs to account for the non-essentialised gendered dimensions that inhibit and enable sustainable tourism entrepreneurship.

S. Pinch, A. Williams (1983)Social class change in British cities, In: J. B. Goddard, A. G. Champion (eds.), The Urban and Regional Transformation of Britainpp. 135-159 Routledge

This chapter analyses the changes which occurred between 1961 and 1971 for manual and non-manual occupations, and for the individual social class groups, for Metropolitan Economic Labour Area aggregated to the level of regional economic planning regions. It examines the relationship between the two spatial redistributions. The chapter explains the intra-urban patterns of decentralization in the Million Cities. At the scale of the individual MELAs, the question of centralization versus decentralization assumes particular importance. The chapter shows that the extent of the aggregate national changes is manifest in the three main types of zone which form the constituent parts of the British urban system. It explores the considerable extent of the upward shift in the social class structure of Britain between 1961 and 1971. The largest absolute and percentage increases were in the high-status professional and managerial occupations, while the largest absolute and percentage decreases occurred in the low-status semi- and unskilled manual occupations.

This paper analyzes the economic behavior of returned emigrants from Europe (regressados), refugees from the ex-colonies (retornados), and nonmigrants in contrasting regions of central Portugal. Due to the overwhelming importance of migration to its economy, Portugal offers an excellent opportunity to assess both the behavior of different types of migrants and the effects of their behavior in regions with marked variations in economic development. Both international emigration and regional inequality are long-standing features of the Portugese economy; they act as mutually reinforcing trends. The lack of opportunity in the poorer regions means that emigration offers one of the few opportunities for advancement, but its beneficial effects for households are not dispersed widely enough to present sufficient opportunities for the next generation. The economic instincts of returnees are to follow the lead of nonmigrants in a given community and not to swim against the tide. More innovative returnees have the option of migrating to one of the more dynamic environments in the region. The type of emigration that has been undertaken influences subsequent behavior, although similarities in economic behavior exist between retornados, regressados, and non-emigrants. A closer specification of these similarities will help to reduce the expectations placed on returnees to areas with poor economic prospects. Regressados return to their villages to retire or to run small farms; others prefer to invest in industrial firms only where there is an expanding market. Well-intentioned policies to harness the economic potential of returnees in developing poor regions will not work any better in the future than they have worked in the past.

Cristina Figueroa Domecq, Allan Williams, Anna de Jong, Alessandra Alonso Technology is a woman’s best friend: Entrepreneurship and Management in Tourism Texas Digital Library

Technology and ICT’s are key for entrepreneurs and managers in the tourism and hospitality industry. But technology is not gender neutral and the research literature confirms women’s limited participation in high-tech organizations and positions. The aim of this research note is to show the initial results of an exploratory analysis that evaluates the relation between women’s perception of the ease-of use and usefulness of technology, and the future technological development and progress of their businesses, either as entrepreneurs or corporate entrepreneurs. The paper considers whether technology is women’s best friend, or another source of barriers.

Teemu Makkonen, Timo Mitze, Adi Weidenfeld, Allan Morgan Williams (2018)Science and Technology Cooperation in Cross-border Regions: A Proximity Approach with Evidence for Northern Europe, In: European Planning Studies26(10)pp. 1961-1979 Taylor & Francis

Given the sheer number of cross-border regions (CBRs) within the EU, their socio-economic importance has been recognized both by policy-makers and academics. Recently, the novel concept of cross-border regional innovation system has been introduced to guide the assessment of integration processes in CBRs. A central focus of this concept is set on analyzing the impact of varying types of proximity (cognitive, technological, etc.) on cross-border cooperation. Previous empirical applications of the concept have, however, relied on individual case studies and varying methodologies, thus complicating and constraining comparisons between different CBRs. Here a broader view is provided by comparing 28 Northern European CBRs. The empirical analysis utilizes economic, science and technology (S&T) statistics to construct proximity indicators and measures S&T integration in the context of cross-border cooperation. The findings from descriptive statistics and exploratory count data regressions show that technological and cognitive proximity measures are significantly related to S&T cooperation activities (cross-border co-publications and co-patents). Taken together, our empirical approach underlines the feasibility of utilizing the proximity approach for comparative analyses in CBR settings.

Adi Weidenfeld, Peter Björk, Allan Morgan Williams (2018)Identifying Cultural and Cognitive Proximity Between Managers and Customers in Tornio and Haparanda Cross-Border Region, In: Journal of Borderlands Studies Taylor & Francis

Daily intercultural interactions in cross-border regions such as those between customers and managers can be a source of knowledge and ideas. However, such interactions can pose distinctive constraints and opportunities for learning and exchange of ideas. This study adopts a relatively fine–grained quantitative approach to study elements of cognitive and cultural proximity which have a major impact on these interactions. It is based on a survey of 91 managers of small service firms and 312 customers in the twin city of Tornio and Haparanda on the border between Finland and Sweden. Seven elements of proximity were identified and measured. Six elements of perceived cognitive and cultural proximity including values, conservative values towards new ideas, knowledge and use of technology, use of a foreign language, sufficiently focusing or providing specific details and ways of solving problems were found significant in terms of shaping perceptions of Swedish and Finnish managers and customers, which shape these interactions. The results enhance our understanding of how daily cross-border intercultural can be examined in the context of cross-border regional knowledge transfer.

Martie-Louise Verreynne, Brent Ritchie, Sarel Gronum, Kim S Betts, Allan Morgan Williams (2019)Innovation diversity and uncertainty in small and medium sized tourism firms, In: Tourism Management72pp. 257-269 Elsevier

In increasingly uncertain and competitive markets, small tourism firms are often pressured to in-novate across a diverse range of innovation types. Innovation diversity creates synergies in that capabilities developed for one type can enhance the outcomes of other types of innovation. This paper defines and examines innovation diversity, and its relationship with small and medium en-terprise (SME) performance. It then considers the role of uncertainty and dependence on tourism markets in this relationship. The paper is original in that it first finds that innovation diversity mit-igates the negative effect of uncertainty on performance, and second that this relationship is es-pecially strong in more tourism-dependent SMEs. Whereas most research on tourism innovation relies on cross-sectional data, this paper is methodologically novel in using longitudinal data col-lected from 358 SMEs over a period of 18 months.

J. Tang, A. M. Williams, T. Makkonen, J. Jiang, Allan Morgan Williams (2019)Are Different Types of Inter-Firm Linkages Conducive to Different Types of Tourism Innovation?, In: International Journal of Tourism Research21(6)pp. 901-913 John Wiley & Sons

Few studies have researched how the linkages of tourist firms are related to the types of tourism innovation. Therefore, an organizational information processing theory perspective, a case study approach, and a focus group method were adopted in the Pearl River Delta area (China) to discover how different types of firm linkages influence tourism innovation. The findings reveal that tourist firms have four main forms of linkages and that they have differentiated impacts on innovations. Intracompany linkages are beneficial for institutional, managerial, and product innovations; both intercompany and intrasectoral linkages encourage marketing and product innovations, whereas intersectoral linkages facilitate process innovation and product innovation. These findings fill a research gap in the knowledge of firm‐based innovative linkages and explore the importance of linkages between tourism services and tourism manufacturing.

Isabel Rodriguez Sanchez, Teemu Makkonen, Allan Morgan Williams (2019)Peer review assessment of originality in tourism journals: critical perspective of key gatekeepers, In: Annals of Tourism Research77pp. 1-11 Elsevier

Originality is an essential element of academic research and the peer review system plays a key gatekeeping role in its acceptance. However, there is no consensus as to the precise definition of the concept, its measurement nor the importance attached to it. Primary data from 26 interviews with editors or editorial board members of top ranking tourism journals inform a discussion of the nuanced understanding of the concept and of how different levels of originality (radical vs. incremental), among other peer review assessment criteria, influence tourism publication. Finally, the main challenges relating to recognising originality in the peer review process are identified leading to recommendations for improvements to how originality is assessed.

Vladimir Baláž, Eduard Nežinský , ALLAN MORGAN WILLIAMS (2020)Terrorism, Migrant Crisis and Attitudes towards non-EU Immigrants, In: Population, Space and Place Wiley

This paper analyses how terrorist attacks and high inflows of immigrants’ impact public atti-tudes towards immigrants from outside the EU. It makes an original contribution by analys-ing both effects in tandem, using an extended longitudinal framework to assess both shorter and longer-term impacts, and considering the role of uncertainty. Ordered probit regression models are applied to data from nine consecutive Eurobarometer (EB) surveys to examine impacts of 25 terrorist attacks in Western Europe in 2014-2018. Attacks with higher number of deaths significantly increase negative attitudes to immigrants although the effect fades over time. However, the 2015 migration crisis had a significant, greater and more sustained impact on attitudes towards immigrants than terrorist attacks. The differences in attitudes to migrants in the EU15 countries and post-communist countries provide support for the as-sumptions of intergroup contact theory rather than group-threat theory.

ISABEL RODRIGUEZ, Alejandro Mantecón, ALLAN MORGAN WILLIAMS, Teemu Makkonen, YOO RI KIM (2021)Originality: The Holy Grail of Tourism Research, In: Journal of Travel research Sage

Originality is an important goal of research. However, relatively little is known about the characteristics and motivations of individual researchers or about the facilitating or hindering factors that, in combination, can lead to original research outputs; a gap this study aims to fill. Interviews with twenty highly original academics (identified by their peers) active in the field of tourism identify four shared main traits amongst such researchers – nonconformism, commitment, self-confidence and interdisciplinarity – and the importance of situational factors. The findings also show that there is no single optimum way of “becoming original” and, therefore, efforts to “replicate” originality may constrain rather than enable originality. From a managerial perspective, this suggests that it is easier to remove barriers than to positively facilitate original research

MICHAEL HUMBRACHT, ALLAN MORGAN WILLIAMS, SCOTT ALLEN COHEN (2022)Cruel (Im)mobilities and the Nearly Utopian Intimacies of Italian Migrants? Personal Relationships, In: Global networks : a journal of transnational affairs Wiley
Cristina Figueroa-Domecq, Anna de Jong, Allan Morgan Williams (2020)Gender, tourism & entrepreneurship: A critical review, In: Annals of tourism research84 Elsevier Ltd

Dominant accounts of tourism entrepreneurship position successful entrepreneurial performance as masculine and economically informed; undervaluing gendered difference in approaches to entrepreneurship. When varying approaches are held in focus, women are positioned as ‘less than’, and in need of training and support. In reviewing the gender, tourism and entrepreneurship literature this paper draws attention to the marginal, yet decisive contributions of feminist postcolonial, political economy and poststructuralist approaches. Such approaches assist in questioning the implicit economic and masculine bias in the literature. Dominant definitions and evaluations of entrepreneurship need to be questioned, so as to challenge Global North conceptualizations of empowerment and success. Scholars ought to diversify the locations of research on entrepreneurship and gender, and engage more with policy critiques. •Feminist theories remains marginal within tourism and entrepreneurship debates.•Research selectively prioritizes industries, regions and places.•Entrepreneurship definitions need to be challenged.•Need for greater engagement with mixed methods approaches.

Z. Palovic, Hania Janta, ALLAN MORGAN WILLIAMS (2021)In search of global skillsets: manager perceptions of the value of returned migrants and the relational nature of knowledge, In: Journal of ethnic and migration studies47(8)pp. 1793-1810 Routledge

This article builds on the seminal work of Williams and Baláž (2008a) on international migration and knowledge, by arguing that the economic value of the knowledge is relational, being dependent on how it is recognised by potential employers. By analysing in-depth interviews with sixteen managers which are contrasted with insights from thirty interviews with skilled returnees to Slovakia, this study aims to identify the extent to which return migration is considered to facilitate knowledge transfer, and the diversification of the knowledge available, to organisations. The findings reveal that skilled migration is understood by managers to facilitate accelerated learning that contributes to professional and personal development in several ways. Firstly, formal qualifications gained abroad are valued, particularly in context of perceived limitations to the national educational system. Secondly, the managers consider that returnees have acquired not only technical skills, such as market know-how and business intelligence but also soft skills. Finally, the study indicates that far from facing barriers to the recognition of their knowledge by employers, this was acknowledged and welcomed. Managers with personal exposure to international migration were predisposed to recognising the experiences of returned migrants, and this was most evident in the recruitment practices of the multinationals.

Michael Humbracht, Scott Cohen, Allan M. Williams (2022)Aspirational intimacy in visiting friends and relatives, In: Annals of Tourism Research94103403 Elsevier

Tourism research on visiting friends and relatives remains normative and family-centric. The literature has yet to question the normative underpinnings of relationships and remains oriented around physical proximity. This paper therefore aims to understand the shifting qualities and intimacies of migrant personal relationships developed across diverse means for maintaining relationships. It draws from a multi-sited ethnography that includes interviews from migrants and friends and family living at a distance. Framed through theory on personal relationships and affect, we introduce the concept ‘aspirational intimacy’. This shows how important relationships become oriented around aspirations of normalcy and belonging that construct shared capacities to feel connected, while imagining alternative possibilities for relationships and life-course trajectories.

Teemu Makkonen, A Weidenfeld, ALLAN MORGAN WILLIAMS (2017)Cross‐Border Regional Innovation System Integration: An Analytical Framework, In: Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie108(6)pp. 805-820 Wiley

The importance of inter‐regional co‐operation and innovation are widely accepted in the development rhetoric of the European Union. The highlighted importance of both themes in the context of borderlands has recently led to the coining of a new concept, cross‐border regional innovation system. However, little attention has been given to the empirical analysis of the concept. This paper suggests a framework for empirically validating the concept by examining the levels of integration between cross‐border regions. The outcome is a proposed framework that can be operationalised by measurable indicators of cross‐border co‐operation in a regional innovation system setting. The framework was further tested with illustrative empirical cases that demonstrate its feasibility.

Zhelyu Vladimirov, ALLAN MORGAN WILLIAMS (2018)Hotel innovations and performance – The mediating role of staff related innovations, In: Tourism management perspectives28pp. 166-178 Elsevier Ltd

Direct and indirect effects of types of innovation and other factors on both staff related innovations and performance. [Display omitted] •Innovations and other factors have both direct and indirect effects on performance.•Staff innovations mediate fully the effects of internal and two external factors.•Staff innovations mediate partially the effects of two other external factors.•Staff innovations mediate the effects of other types of innovation.•Staff and product innovations have the strongest total effects on performance.

YOO RI KIM, ANYU LIU, ALLAN MORGAN WILLIAMS (2021)Competitiveness in the visitor economy: A systematic literature review, In: Tourism Economics SAGE Publications

Competitiveness is a well-discussed research topic in various disciplines and fields, amongst which competitiveness in the visitor economy is a prominent research stream. With rapid transformations in the visitor economy, destinations, regions, sectors and businesses have had to adapt – with varying degrees of success – to internal and external changes, significantly affecting their competitiveness. Existing studies are dominantly based on a few pioneering models and indicators and relatively few empirically challenge the assumed causality of competitiveness factors at different scales. This article, therefore, conducts a systematic literature review of competitiveness in the visitor economy post-2005 and examines the intellectual and conceptual structures of the extant literature as a platform to identify knowledge gaps and emerging trends and perspectives for future research.

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