Sustainability and Wellbeing in the Visitor Economy

This research group develops critical evidence to inform public and private governance of the visitor economy, in the UK and globally.

Areas of expertise

  • The environmental, socio-cultural and ethical sustainability of tourism, hospitality and events
  • Pro-environmental behaviour change of the public, industry and policy-makers
  • Development of sustainable enterprises and destinations through examination of best practice and the creation of indicators of sustainability
  • The impacts on health and wellbeing through tourism, hospitality and events
  • Development of more sustainable and efficient transportation.

Our partners

We collaborate with a range of prestigious partners, including:

Current projects

ESRC Nexus Network

‘Exploring decision-making and resilience to nexus shocks: exploring the findings from the Nexus Shocks project’. Nexus Shocks are low probability, high impact events that span energy, water and food systems. Candice Howarth’s Fellowship explores in greater depth and builds on the findings of the Nexus Shocks network activities funded under a Nexus Network networking grant. The research focuses on the extent to which nexus thinking could increase resilience to shocks to the nexus, and the role of social sciences and nexus thinking in informing these processes. This entails engaging with the members of the Nexus Shocks network, and others as appropriate, to conduct a review of experience, evidence and lessons learnt from historical, nexus and non-nexus shocks. 

Clean Sky 1 – the EU’s largest ever aeronautics research programme

The University of Surrey has been awarded €135,000 to assess the socio-economic and environmental impact of Clean Sky 1, the EU’s largest ever aeronautics research programme. Dr Scott Cohen and Dr Joe Kantenbacher, in partnership with the Centre for Environment and Sustainability, are assessing the programme’s progress so far and ability to meet the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe’s 2020 objectives for emissions abatement, noise reduction, and lifecycle design. 

AITO’s Protect Project

The Association of Independent Tour Operators has commissioned Professor Xavier Font develop and deliver a sustainability pledge system for its members that is more creative and engaging for consumers than traditional sustainability certification approaches, which is providing detailed evidence of the process of sustainability decision-making by businesses. This is a five year project generating over £120,000 for the university.

Sustainability communication

We are also developing a user-centred design approach to deliver sustainability content that is market relevant in the online systems that Lufthansa City Centre travel agencies use in Germany, from which we are learning about integrating sustainability communications in sustainable supply chain management.

2017, International year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

Our team will be engaging in a variety of activities to celebrate the United Nations year of sustainable tourism for development. Amongst others, we are advising the Catalan Tourist Board on their 2017 marketing plans for 2017, which will be centred around repositioning Catalonia as a sustainable tourist destination. The process is sensitive, considering the region includes Barcelona, with Europe’s busiest cruise port, and Europe’s fastest growing airport.

Would your business or destination benefit from our expertise? Get in touch.

    Postgraduate research students

    This year we aim to recruit eight new PhD students in a range of Sustainability and Wellbeing topics, and most of our staff have capacity to supervise new PhD students- approach our staff directly with your ideas.

    Contact us

    • Phone: +44 (0)1483 686300
    • Fax: +44 (0)1483 686346

    Find us

    School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
    University of Surrey
    GU2 7XH