After working in tourism and events management in New York City for nearly a decade, Lauren then shifted her life to Asia to pursue her MSc at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where she graduated with Distinction. Her career in research began while in Hong Kong, with a focus on how social media have transformed experiences into objects of collectible consumption among younger generations. 

At Surrey, Lauren continues in this field of research, looking at the impacts this behaviour has for destinations considered 'Instagrammable', with an intention to build a framework of social sustainability around this phenomenon. 

My qualifications

MSc International Tourism and Convention Management, Awarded with Distinction.
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
BSc Hospitality and Tourism Management
University of Massachusetts Amherst


Research interests


Siegel, L.A. & Wang, D. (2018) Keeping up with the Joneses: Emergence of Travel as a Form of Social Comparison among Millennials. Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing, 36(2), 159-175.
The idea of "keeping up with the Joneses" was developed as a phenomenon wherein people want to own the same objects and do the same things as their peers in order to keep up with them socially. Along with the combined rise of globalisation, mobile technology, and the millennial mindset of valuing experiences over material possessions, this research qualitatively examines how travel has become a marker of status among certain subpopulations of the millennial cohort, along with identifying idiosyncrasies of their social networking habits in conjunction with their travel behaviours. Ascending opportunities for travel and tourism marketing practitioners are denoted. 
Siegel, L.A. (2019) Social networking behaviours among travelling millennials: A visual hierarchy. Proceedings of Travel and Tourism Research Association 2019, 8-10 April in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.
The emergence and standardization of social networking sites (SNS) has completely changed the landscape of the travel industry in recent years creating an environment where travel experiences are traded online ceaselessly, and more than ever before in history. To better understand the motivations of today’s travelers, a better understanding of the uses and behaviours of those posting and reviewing travel content on SNS is important. This research qualitatively examined both the SNS posting and reviewing behaviours in the travel and tourism context among members of the millennial cohort and determines that the visual aspect of travel-related content is of foremost importance for both creation and impression of postings on social networks. Furthermore, the findings emphasized Instagram as a preeminent platform, over alternative social networks like Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat.
Siegel, L.A., Tussyadiah, I. & Scarles, C. (2020) Does Social Media Help or Hurt Destinations? A Qualitative Case Study. e-Review of Tourism Research (eRTR), 17(4), 571-580.
Smartphone technology has changed the scope of onsite travel behaviors and photographing practices. This paper explores the destination response of the Tourist Board of Vienna with their “anti-hashtag” marketing campaign, aimed at encouraging visitors to go offline while traveling in the city. Through a series of interviews, the motivations for the campaign, along with the initial approaches and outcomes for the campaign are studied using narrative analysis. The results indicate a positive response to the campaign, and potential models for similar destinations to manage similar visitor social networking and photographic behaviors are considered. Additionally, there are both academic and industry implications discussed.
Kimber, S., Siegel, L., Cohen, S. & Thomopoulos N. (2020) The wider use of autonomous vehicles in non-commuting journeys. In Advances in Transport and Policy Planning, Milakis, D., Thomopoulos, N. & van Wee, B. (Eds.) Elsevier.
Non-commuting journeys, which include social and recreational journeys, make up a substantial proportion of household travel and these journeys are mostly taken by car. Autonomous vehicle (AV) deployment has the potential to dramatically transform the way people work and travel, as well as reshape leisure travel patterns. Yet, the wider societal implications of AVs beyond commuting, such as travel for leisure and tourism, have received minimal academic attention. This state-of-the-art review follows PRISMA guidelines and addresses this gap through a qualitative synthesis of 48 articles that focus on the influence of AV use on non-commuting journeys, including those for leisure, tourism, shopping and visiting friends and relatives. Key findings identified in this review include interest in AVs for leisure exceeding that for commuting, sharing being less likely when AVs are used for leisure, non-recognition that some non-commuting journeys will require a lower level of automation and that the spatial impacts of AVs for non-commuting journeys, like commuting journeys, are a double-edged sword. The chapter concludes that non-commuting journeys will be some of the earliest ways for which AVs will be adopted and provides a number of policy recommendations to help address this transition.
Thomopoulos, N., Cohen, S., Hopkins, D., Siegel, L. & Kimber, S. (2020) All work and no play? Autonomous vehicles and non-commuting journeys. Transport Reviews, 1-22. (Ahead of print)
People travel by car for a wide variety of reasons. A large proportion of household travel is for non-commuting purposes, including social and recreational journeys. The emergence and (potential) diffusion of highly automated vehicles, also known as autonomous vehicles (AVs), could transform the way (some) people work and travel. Should they become mainstream, AVs could reshape patterns of leisure travel. To date, however, the impacts and implications of AVs beyond commuting trips have received minimal attention from transport scholarship. This paper presents a state-of-the-art review of literatures on AVs. It follows PRISMA guidelines and synthesises 63 papers on AV travel focusing on non-commuting journeys, including travel for purposes of leisure, tourism, shopping and visiting friends and relatives. Given the economic importance of the tourism sector and its inherent focus on non-commuting journeys, this analysis is supplemented with a review of the extent to which national tourism strategies of countries leading AV deployment include reference to AVs. The paper reveals an overwhelming focus on commuting journeys in existing AV studies as less than one-fifth of the reviewed academic sources include non-commuting as part of their wider analysis. The review's further key findings are that the interest of publics in AVs for leisure journeys appears to exceed that for commuting, sharing vehicles will be less likely when AVs are used for leisure and there is an absence of recognition in the literature that certain non-commuting journeys will require a lower SAE level of automation. Surprisingly, analysis of the national tourism strategies of countries most prepared to meet the challenges of AVs shows that just three countries make specific reference to AVs within their national tourism strategies. The paper contributes to setting future AV policy agendas by concluding that two gaps must be narrowed: one, the distance between how academic studies predominantly conceive of AV use (commuting) and articulated public interest in AVs for non-commuting journeys; and two, the lack of readiness in certain national tourism strategies to accommodate AVs. As non-commuting journeys are likely to represent some of the earliest trip purposes for which AVs could be adopted, the paper points to the potential barriers to AV uptake by remaining focused on a limited set of trip purposes.