James is a Reader (Associate Professor) in the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at the University of Surrey. He carries out research into a range of issues in events, tourism and hospitality, with a specific focus on how politics and policy affect the governance of these industries.
University roles and responsibilities
- Programme Director, BSc International Event Management & MSc International Event Management
The humanity of the twenty-first century is faced with numerous natural and social disasters, which leave great and long-lasting consequences on the entire society and economy. Turbulence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is still felt in the tourism sector today, and it is uncertain whether the invisible enemy of humanity is only in a period of lull, or whether it will completely withdraw. The goal of this Research Topic was to fully explore the emerging key problems in this newly created environment, both for businesses in a wide range of tourism activities, and for tourists themselves. The crisis situation has led to significant changes in the economic sphere, but also in the sphere of human interaction, reaction, and behavior. The results of the research on the given Research Topic pointed to all the visible consequences of the pandemic that the tourism industry and its related activities are facing, but the authors tried to identify the given problems to devise and propose strategic measures that would be applied in the recovery of the entire sector.
Featuring a broad geographical range of examples and pan-disciplinary perspectives, The Emerald Handbook of Destination Recovery in Tourism and Hospitalityis an essential reference and illuminating guide on developments in the theory and practice of tourism development post-pandemic.
National culture can influence entrepreneurship by creating a specific cultural framework that defines the possibilities for the recognition of opportunities for entrepreneurial activities, as well as their social desirability. Very large corporations, especially those that dominate a region, also have their own organizational cultures, which in turn influence local social culture, and which can constitute a specific subculture within society. The "Kolubara" mine is the largest in Serbia, employing more than 11,000 workers. As most of its employees are living close to its headquarters, the small town of Lazarevac (Central Serbia), the culture nurtured within this organization and among its employees is heavily intertwined with the social culture of the inhabitants of the town. The GLOBE (Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness) approach was used to investigate the relation between this organizational culture and national culture, by measuring the nine GLOBE cultural dimensions of the "Kolubara" employees and of the inhabitants of Lazarevac. The results of this are discussed and analyzed in the context of the ongoing economic transformation in many post-socialist economies. This study highlights the readiness of the people of small industrial towns, such as Lazarevac, to adapt to this ongoing transition and to undertake entrepreneurial activities in tourism during periods of industrial restructuring and the growth of service industries in former industrial areas.
Entrepreneurship is vital to the success of tourism and hospitality and the sector makes an important contribution to many island economies. Despite this, far too little attention has been paid by researchers to tourism and hospitality entrepreneurship in islands (THEI). This research helps to address this gap through a systematic review of the literature, conducted to provide a platform for further research and to help investigators set their research priorities. Using the Scopus database and the PRISMA technique, a total of 132 articles were included in bibliometric and thematic content analyses. Although there has been an increase in THEI research, this has tended to focus on the Asia-Pacific region. It is suggested that researchers consider redressing this geographical bias and conduct more quantitative and comparative THEI studies. Further opportunities exist to investigate the characteristics and behaviors of island entrepreneurs and the impacts of the industrial and spatial aspects of THEI.
National tourism policy in Bangladesh is a relatively new development and this research is the first to focus on the implementation of tourism policy in Bangladesh. Taking a social constructivist perspective, interviews were carried out with 13 elite stakeholders, from the public and private sectors, who are associated with the creation and implementation of tourism policy in Bangladesh. The data were analysed qualitatively using a content analysis approach to examine perceptions of the policy implementation process, and its success. In the case of Bangladesh, it is the persistence of hierarchical governance structures that appears to be hindering the effective implementation of tourism policy. This can be seen in the selection of priority areas by the government, the preferred policy instruments, and in the ways in which the private sector is being incentivised to support national tourism development.
Tourist motivation, as a core of travel behavior, significantly influences consumer intentions and has attracted academic attention for decades. A plethora of studies analyse sets of internal and external motivators, while methodologies that exclusively focus on a single factor, such as age, that can sometimes have a determining influence in multi-attraction destinations, are less prevalent. This study introduces a fuzzy logic approach to develop a new model for analysing the internal motivations of different-aged consumers in multi-attraction urban destinations. Fuzzy models, as a mathematical means of representing vagueness and imprecise information, have the capability of recognizing, representing, manipulating, interpreting, and utilizing data and information, which typically for urban tourist motivations, are vague and lack certainty. This research tests the model in a real-life setting, using the example of Novi Sad, a mid-sized European city, which is typical of many similar cities who are attempting to develop sustainable tourism by attracting older tourists. The new model shows how tourist motivations for multi-attraction destinations are affected by age, through a specially developed m-file for MATLAB, so that it can be applied and tested in other tourism contexts. Theoretical and practical implications for sustainable destination management and marketing are described.
Over the last thirty years of research into tourism policy, there has been a dominant assumption that the appropriate role of the state in tourism is mostly settled. The state has a legitimate role in the tourism industry, but it is essentially one of 'steering and not rowing'. This assumption has developed against the backdrop of the neoliberal shift towards small states, powerful markets and light touch policy interventions in industry. This research note argues that the measures that have been taken by governments around the world in respect of their tourism industries, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, are sufficiently significant and long-term to warrant a re-appraisal of the role of the state in tourism. Specifically, this note makes the case for a renewed focus on research into tourism policy in non-Western contexts, where the role of the state has not been as constrained by the neoliberal shift, and for an increase in international comparative policy research, which has been notably absent in the tourism policy field to date.
Employees of retail travel agencies in sales roles can have long-lasting, direct contact with tourists which, in the case of poor customer service, can be extremely problematic for businesses. Because of this, it is important to understand how employees manage their emotions to help them to remain satisfied with their work, thus contributing to the satisfaction of tourists. However, job satisfaction, emotional intelligence and emotional labor in tourism have not previously been studied together as variables in a single model. This research analyses the mediating role of emotional intelligence in the relationship between job satisfaction and emotional labor in travel agencies, as well as job satisfaction as an antecedent of emotional labor. Data were collected from 160 employees of 45 travel agencies in the Serbian cities of Belgrade and Novi Sad. Results show that employees' emotional intelligence mediates the positive relationship between job satisfaction and emotional labor. Management implications: Increasing employees' emotional intelligence through training and development and actively recruiting employees with high emotional intelligence will reduce emotional exhaustion and improve customer satisfaction for retail travel agencies. Future research should include employees from other countries, in order to make comparisons and to validate results, as well as to test the created model by structural equation modelling (SEM), involving some other possible mediators, such as socio-demographics, personality traits or work motivation.
The use of drones to produce videos has generated a large amount of visually appealing footage of various destinations. They attract much attention, but there are issues that affect their production, and their relevance to destination marketing. This research examines YouTube meta-data and spatial overlay analysis of shared aerial drone videos from the United Kingdom (UK). The results suggest that shared aerial drone videos have some unique user-generated content (UGC) characteristics and their spatial distribution tends to favor more populated areas. Theoretical and practical implications for destination marketing are further discussed.
The sustainable development of tourism is a major concern for destination management organisations (DMOs) in heritage tourism. Smart tourism advocates claim that technologically-driven innovations can help DMOs to optimise tourism development by addressing issues such as carrying capacity, stakeholder management and community involvement. This study enhances the understanding of smart tourism governance (SG), showing how contextual factors affect DMO perspectives of SG. A mixed-methods approach was used to investigate heritage tourism destinations in the United Kingdom. The results demonstrate that well-established DMOs do not perceive SG as potentially beneficial, as they already perform well in many areas in which SG promises improvements, such as citizen engagement, decision-making, and stakeholder engagement. Despite this, this research highlights the aspects of SG that these destinations can take advantage of as social inclusion, environmental performance and the provision of citizen-centric services. All of these can help heritage tourism destinations to optimise their tourism development. This research additionally demonstrates the effect of contextual factors, such as the level of public-sector support for tourism and the growing influence of non tourism stakeholders in destination management, on DMO perceptions of SG and makes recommendations for how developments in the use of SG by DMOs can be made, in light of these.
Dark tourism has attracted increasing academic attention, but the extent to which it exists as a separate form of tourism from heritage tourism is not yet clear. Despite the growth of UNESCO World Heritage Site designations, little research has considered the relationship between dark tourism and World Heritage Sites. Because the development of dark tourism is beset with ethical concerns, heritage professionals can have negative perceptions about the acceptability or attractiveness of it for the sites that they are involved in managing. This research used a qualitative Delphi Panel method to evaluate stakeholder perceptions of the potential development of dark tourism to the Greenwich Maritime World Heritage Site in London, United Kingdom. The findings show that stakeholders are broadly supportive of tourism to the site and positive about future tourism growth. Despite this, they did not support the development of dark tourism to the site because it was perceived as inauthentic, tacky and sensationalist. In order to address this issue, recommendations are made that future attempts to develop dark tourism at WHS should involve enhancing the knowledge of stakeholders about dark tourism, and of the resources within their sites that could be included in a dark tourism offer to tourists.
This paper aims to extend dark tourism scholarship concerned with existential aspects of the human nature and the power of ‘dark places’ to provoke our thinking about the meaning and purpose of human existence. Our main focus is on the artistic expressions in the form of murals that have emerged in the years following the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, questioning the significance and meanings they have for the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, in the context of tourists' perceptions and, more generally, in the context of our being in the world. To that end, we deconstruct the tourist experience of dark sites through knitting together dark tourism, existentialism and street art.
Many studies have reported that foreign-owned companies pay higher wages on average than domestic companies. However, this can be attributed to the different composition of the workforce or to a wage premium at the individual worker level. This paper contributes to this literature by observing whether individuals that change their job from a domestic to a foreign- owned company experience a change in their wages. Furthermore, it investigates whether this difference in wage patterns is moderated by workers? education. This paper is one of the very few micro-econometric studies that deal with this question in a transition country, Serbia, using employer- employee data on the private sector over a long time period (15 years). Changing jobs is found to be positively associated with workers? wages: the change in wages is higher when moving from a domestic to a foreign company than vice versa. The evidence suggests that more-educated workers benefit the most from leaving domestic companies.
Language bias is a common yet undiscussed practice that can significantly constrain the rigour and generalisation of place-based studies and literature reviews. This paper discusses how research published in English compared with other languages is considered or not when conducting literature reviews. This research focuses specifically on tourism research and explores specific journal article examples in the contemporary subject area of overtourism within destination-based studies. To do this, we take a critical-linguistic, post-positivist approach to three case studies drawn from the literature on the phenomenon of overtourism. The study highlights how research in languages other than English is often discounted or omitted in academic fields that are dominated by English language publications.Nevertheless, our findings strongly support the proposition that place-specific research, to be rigorous and generalisable, should be supported by research carried out in relevant languages for its location. This research provides evidence that place-based research, based on literature from multiple languages and interdisciplinarity, can be reliable, valid and trustworthy. The study also notes the recommendations for conducting literature reviews within place-specific research and avenues for future research.
Tourists are increasingly using drones on vacation, but how they use them and the nature of the videos that they produce are not well understood. Conceptual advances in the study of tourist videography have produced a new model of these practices which is applied here to explain the nature of tourist videography with drones. An international sample of 351 vacation drone videos was subjected to content analysis, and an analysis of their metadata. The results show a significant variation in the content, technological and social practice of production of vacation drone videos depending on the type of video creator and, therefore, empirically validate and expand extant knowledge of drone videography as an emerging visual practice in tourism contexts. The findings establish that analysing the videos from the perspective of videography generates insights that are of value to destination management organizations and tourist businesses. We conclude that destination management organizations should see vacation drone videos as a new type of user-generated content for their destinations, as well as a potential source of innovative marketing ideas, and that they should engage more proactively with vacation drone videographers to maximise the impact of this opportunity. •Vacation drone videos are new type of user-generated content used for innovative destination marketing.•Content analysis of vacation drone videos supported by analysis of metadata.•The social dimension of tourism drone videos plays a more important role than the technological dimension.•Tourists and influencers, as drone vacation video creators, are more oriented to self-promotion.
Understanding activity preferences and their antecedents is essential for creating personalized tourism offers and effective destination marketing, vital components of a sustainable tourism destination. Previous studies have provided insights into tourist behavior and activity choices, but without research on activity preferences and their relationship with perceptions of destinations. The literature still lacks an integrative model exploring the antecedents of activity preferences, including tourist characteristics, destination personality, and destination image, and explaining the nature of the relationships between them. This research proposes and tests a structural model of individual characteristics, destination image, destination personality, and activity preferences. A survey was conducted on a sample of 502 visitors to The Trail of Roman Emperors in Serbia. The results confirmed the influence of personality (extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness) and destination personality (sincerity and ruggedness) on activity preferences. Additionally, the model revealed the significant influence of individual characteristics on perceptions of destination personality and image. Managerial implications were given in light of the importance of this research for destination branding that will support long-term destination sustainability.
In order to analyse the ways in which problematic ethno-national behaviour at dark events in the Western Balkans undermines the transition from conflict, to post conflict and then peaceful societies, this research employed a sociological discourse analysis to critique the role dark events play in post-conflict tourism development and peaceful coexistence. Accordingly, by combining previous analyses of dark commemorative events with a new analysis of sport events, this research explains the relationship between event tourism and 16th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) focused on peace, justice and strong institutions. This media-based analysis shows that dark commemorative and sport events share similar historical contexts, dissonant heritage and the dark leisure practices of attendees. These dark events attract tourism flows across national boundaries in the region, as well as including more widely dispersed diasporas, and international media and politicians. The prevalence of dark events in the region, which feature strongly in tourism flows, require significant attention in order to promote sustainable development. The findings of this research can be used to develop future research into the relationship between dark events and SDG16, using methods that build on this exploratory study and the new model of dark events that it provides.
Purpose This study aims to examine the influence of neoliberalism and managerialism on the recruitment of tourism academics in the UK. The study analyses how sustainable the recruitment and retention of talents are in the tourism industry. Importantly, this study provides particular focus on sustainable tourism roles, as well as the impacts of COVID-19. Design/methodology/approach Qualitative content analysis focuses on academic jobs in tourism advertised on Jobs.ac.uk between June 2020 and July 2021. Findings Study findings reveal how, in the case of the UK, current educational ideologies, including neoliberalism and managerialism, significantly influence curriculum and recruitment. Such an approach facilitates the hidden curriculum of undisciplined tourism programmes and significantly constrains the prominence of sustainability principles. The development of curriculum, student life course and recruitment of academics are influenced by several variables (personal, environmental, behavioural), which must be identified to enable decision-makers to engage in efficient planning. Originality/value This study provides a unique focus on the recruitment of tourism academics encompassing crucial factors like sustainable tourism and COVID-19. The proposed framework creates the foundation for the investigation and discussion of academics’ recruitment in different contexts. This study also offers several new avenues for future research.
Unmanned hotels are regarded as the future of hospitality in a post-Covid 19 world, based upon smart, contactless technologies. The purpose of this research was to determine if unmanned smart hotels create more positive outcomes such as enhanced experiential satisfaction and loyalty. Grounded on Cognitive Appraisal Theory, scholars support the notion that psychological states such as experiential motivation and confidence enhance outcomes. An online survey was conducted with 364 guests of unmanned smart hotels. Structural equation modeling results with partial least squares path analysis indicated that experiential quality, confidence, motivation, and satisfaction were positively associated with loyalty. Several recommendations were provided for the unmanned smart hotel literature and practices with regards to improving the effectiveness of guest experiences. •This study examines the experiential pathway of the unmanned smart hotel.•Cognitive Appraisal Theory was used to explain the proposed relationships.•Data were collected using purposive technique and analysed via PLSPM.•Results found that loyalty was affected by quality and psychological states.•Psychological states and satisfaction sequentially mediated the direct path.
This exploratory study explores perceptions of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and organizational readiness to adopt AI, in the exhibition sector of the events industry. A theoretical framework synthesizing the Technology - Organization - Environment framework and the Technology Readiness Index was developed to guide this qualitative study. Seventeen senior managerial representatives from exhibition organizations across nine Western European countries were interviewed, and a reflexive thematic approach was adopted to analyse the data. The findings suggest that the European exhibition industry is a slow adopter of AI, which may impact its future competitiveness, despite the stimulus provided to AI adoption during the COVID-19 pandemic. The degree of confidence in organizational technological practices, financial resources, the size of the organization, and issues of data management and protection, as well as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, motivate or inhibit readiness for AI adoption in the event industry. A new Exhibition Sector Readiness for AI Adoption Model is presented in this research that managers and researchers can use to analyze inhibitors and motivations for AI adoption, which is contextualized for the current challenges facing the exhibitions sector. •Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers significant benefits to the events industry.•Qualitative research reveals European-wide perceptions of AI adoption in events.•The exhibitions sector of the event industry is a slow adopter of AI.•A new model is proposed to understand and guide AI adoption in the exhibitions sector.