TMRC | Tourism & Marketing Research Centre

The Tourism and Marketing Research Centre (TMRC) explores how tourism, marketing, events and hospitality can be a force for good in a time of profound digital transformation.

Centre Director
Dr Nicola MacLeod

Principal Lecturer Tourism, Departmental Head of Research and Director of Tourism Research Centre

Research institute

Business research


Faculty of Business

Tourism and Marketing Research Centre

The Tourism and Marketing Research Centre is an interdisciplinary network of academics, researchers, and research students that celebrates our members' own diverse and varied backgrounds and research interests.

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About us: our vision

The Tourism and Marketing Research Centre (TMRC) is an internationally recognised hub, bringing together a critical mass of experts dedicated to exploring the potential of tourism, marketing, events, and hospitality as a force for positive change in world facing unprecedented social, economic and environmental challenges. These industries are often accused of contributing to a variety of social and environmental problems. Yet they employ millions of people and play a valuable role in communities and economies around the world. Moreover, in this age of rapid, digital transformation, tourism and marketing have the capacity to drive further societal benefits, for instance, through empowering marginalised groups, encouraging responsible consumption and driving a sustainable post-Covid recovery.

We aim to:

  • Foster a nurturing research environment, encouraging impactful, inclusive and collaborative work, with a focus on people and place.
  • Grow our reputation as a world-leading centre of expertise in tourism and marketing, and associated subdisciplines.
  • Identify opportunities for tourism and marketing to harness the digital transformation, working towards social justice and inclusion, responsible consumption and sustainable governance and development.
  • Create and exchange interdisciplinary knowledge based in partnership and respect between academics, business stakeholders and students, for local, national, and international impact.
  • Develop our postgraduate research students and early career researchers, supporting high quality grant applications, research, publications, and knowledge exchange.

Our impact on the world

The Tourism and Marketing Research Centre uses a variety of creative methodologies to examine a wide range of issues within the tourism, marketing, events and hospitality fields. The research directly addresses many challenges currently faced in the UK and around the world, from the ways that digital technologies are transforming societies to the governance, development and management of destinations, from ensuring greater social justice and inclusion to encouraging responsible consumption.

TMRC research contributes to many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Examples include:

  • Our studies on binge drinking and digital detox vacations, which support Good Health and Well-being (SDG3).
  • Our research on the potential for marketing to deliver health messages to marginalised communities and work on how to ensure tourism benefits all stakeholders, which supports Reduced Inequality (SDG10).
  • Our work on the ways tourism can support Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG11).
  • Our investigations on the use of robotics and AI in the hospitality sector, supporting Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG12).

Who we are

An interdisciplinary approach

The work carried out at the Tourism and Marketing Research Centre is highly interdisciplinary, harnessing synergies between many different academic specialisms and perspectives. Each researcher has a lot to learn from colleagues, helping to develop innovative solutions to challenging problems and ensuring their own disciplines remain fresh and current. Examples of such synergies include digital archaeology and heritage, where VR technology is deployed for studying ancient sites; and collaborations between events management researchers and performance professionals to develop storytelling as a community resource. This diversity is also evident in the variety of creative quantitative and qualitative research methods used, such as netnography, videography, visual methods, and experiments. But regardless of background, expertise and approach, our centre members are united by the desire to make a positive difference, by producing collaborative, inclusive and impactful research.


TMRC researchers regularly collaborate with a wide variety of external partners. These include the public sector organisations such as the NHS, local authorities (e.g., Royal Borough of Greenwich and Essex County Council) and the UK Border Agency; destination management organisations, such as Visit Greenwich; and NGOs (e.g. International Labour Organisation, Caribbean Social forum, Korean Cultural Centre UK). We also have knowledge exchange partnerships with businesses of all sizes (e.g., Instant Pickup, Ecoffins, Unplugged and Bathway Theatre). Our external academic partners include University of Surrey, University of East Anglia and Edinburgh Napier in the UK, while Azerbaijan Tourism Management University, University of Malta, and the University of Barcelona are among overseas partners.


The work of the Tourism and Marketing Research Centre is supported by the UK government, the British Council, and EU Horizon, ERASMUS+ and European Regional Development Fund, as well as through consultancy work. We are seeking further support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the UKRI’s Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF).

Our research

Creative methodologies

Our overall approach to research is guided by the use of ‘creative methodologies’, attuned to the contemporary world and its problems. These may include experiments, visual research, videography, ethnography and ‘netnography’, the latter being ethnography conducted on the Internet. TMRC scholars are keen to further develop and share their expertise in these and many other fields.

These creative methodologies are applied across five broad, interlinked sub-themes:

Digital transformation

Here we focus on the profound effects that advances in digital technology are having upon businesses within tourism, marketing, events and hospitality sectors, and upon the individuals and societies with which they interact. An example of recent work in this area is research funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) on ‘digital detox’; in collaboration with Unplugged, a provider of ‘off-grid cabins for busy city workers’, we explore the benefits of unique digital-free travel experiences using wearable technologies to measure physical responses. Meanwhile, work conducted in Dubrovnik, Croatia, prototypes digital-free destination experiences, with potentially positive impacts for both the tourist and the community visited.

Social justice and inclusion

A strand of our work explores social justice and inclusion, with an emphasis on vulnerable consumers and human rights within the tourism and hospitality industries. We also research the possibilities to engage with communities, such as the elderly or minorities, who historically have been hard to reach, for instance, we are exploring how assistive technologies can be used to improve the experience of heritage cities for people with disabilities. A separate research project is looking at the use of university theatre venues in community engagement programmes, while another involving the UK Border Agency is investigating how tourists’ experiences at border crossings affects their perspective of a destination.

Governance, development, and management of destinations

How can we ensure that tourism drives positive and equitable social and environmental development in local economies? This sub-theme explores the need for effective and efficient governance, planning and management in tourism destinations, based on fundamental principles of sustainability, where fully inclusive coordination, collaboration and cooperation with stakeholders is enabled. For instance, we have one study looking at sustainable tourism in Nigeria, while another in Woolwich evaluates the potential of the Future High Street Fund and High Street Heritage Action Zone projects to support transformative cultural, social, economic, and environmental change in this part of London.

Geographies of place/tourism

The geographies of place/tourism sub-theme has a wide scope, surveying many different and emerging forms of tourism. Recent examples of work in this area include the ROOTS project, co-funded by the EU’s ERASMUS+ Programme, which enables small tourism enterprises to harness the potential of cultural heritage tourism to successfully grow their business.  Meanwhile, the SHARE project, co-funded by ERDF, investigates how small and medium-sized towns across Europe can benefit from smart thinking in delivering a more sustainable offer to residents and visitors alike. A third example is OUTPACE, which aims to help businesses benefit from the growth in pop culture tourism. Research on the development of self-guided trails and tourism informed by literary themes also contributes to our work on tourism geographies.

Responsible consumption

This sub-theme explores the ways that tourism, marketing, events and hospitality products and services can be produced and consumed in a way that minimizes harmful impacts on environment and society. A perennial question we examine in depth is whether traditional, mass tourism is necessarily worse for people and the planet than so-called ‘eco-tourism’. Other recent projects include market research and strategy collaborations with Instant Pickup, a sustainable same-day delivery service using electric vans; with Ecoffins, a supplier of environmentally friendly coffins; and with a company developing a prototype road material using recycled plastic. Recent research on the role played by Instagram in encouraging disrespectful visitor behaviour promotes more responsible travel. We have also been studying responsible consumption in a more literal sense, in a recent project on binge-drinking. Recent research on the impacts of Instagram on visitor behaviour in destinations promotes more responsible tourism.


View all publications.

Teaching and training

The faculties constituting the Tourism and Marketing Research Centre provide a broad range of courses in tourism, hospitality, events management, marketing, advertising and PR. TMRC itself runs internal workshops and seminars on the full range of creative methodologies and tools deployed by scholars, as well as enabling PhD and Masters students to present and solicit valuable feedback for their work.

We also have a good track record of publishing papers in co-authorship with our students for example:

  • Fernandes, Jovan and Krolikowska-Adamczyk, Ewa  (2023) The festival customer experience: a conceptual framework. International Journal of Event and Festival Management.
  • Kawaf, Fatema , Montgomery, Annaleis and Thuemmler, Marius (2023) Unpacking the privacy–personalisation paradox in GDPR-2018 regulated environments: consumer vulnerability and the curse of personalisation. Information Technology and People.

News and events

As well as hosting internal seminars and workshops for colleagues and students to present their work, we share our research findings at a variety of public-accessible events on topics ranging from dark tourism to gender and labour issues in the hospitality industry.

In a time of post-pandemic recovery and digital transformation, we have an opportunity to use our skills in new ways to make a real difference. And we’re already seeing those impacts in communities around the world.

- Nikki MacLeod, Director of the Tourism and Marketing Research Centre

Our Experts


Deputy Director


Dr Ahmad Anouti

Senior Lecturer in Hospitality Management

Paul Booth

Senior Lecturer Entrepreneurship and Marketing

Dr Wenjie Cai

Associate Head of the School of Management & Marketing - Research & Knowledge Exchange, Associate Professor in Tourism

Dr Samantha Chaperon

Principal Lecturer; Programme Leader, MA Events Management and Lead Tutor

Humeyra Dogru Dastan

Lecturer in Marketing and Tourism, Deputy Program Leader BA Advertising and Digital Marketing Communications

Dr Rob Davidson

Visiting Fellow; Managing Director, MICE Knowledge

Dr Maria Gebbels

Academic Portfolio Lead – Hospitality and Tourism | Associate Professor in Hospitality

Dr Klairoong Hawa Phairor

Senior Lecturer: Programme Leader for MA Strategic Marketing, MBA Marketing Management

Matthew Housden

Principal Lecturer, Marketing and Learning Enhancement Technologist

Dr Menna Jones

Senior Lecturer in Tourism and Events Management

Dr Fatema Kawaf

Associate Professor in Digital Marketing Academic Portfolio Lead for Marketing and Communication

Dr Jithendran Kokkranikal

Associate Professor, International Tourism and Hospitality Management, Quality Assurance Lead

Dr Ewa Krolikowska-Adamczyk

Associate Head of the School of Management & Marketing - Student Success

Dr Sven Kuenzel

Reader in Marketing

Hyunjoo Lim

Lecturer in Marketing

Zivai Mare

Lecturer in Advertising and Marketing Communications

Dr Fatemeh Mohamadi

Lecturer in Marketing and Tourism; Programme Leader MA Int. Tourism and Hospitality Management

Dr Zohre Mohammadi

Programme Leader BA Events Management

Professor Alastair Morrison

Research Professor

Dr Octavio Murekian

Lecturer in Marketing, Deputy Programme Leader for the MA in Strategic Marketing

Dr Hai Nguyen

Associate Professor in Tourism and Events

Raymond Powell

Principal Lecturer in Tourism and Business School Admissions Tutor

Dr Maruf Salimon

Senior Lecturer in Advertising and Marketing Communications

Dr Zehra Serman

Lecturer in Marketing

Dr Lauren Siegel

Senior Lecturer in Tourism and Events

Dr Peter Vlachos

Principal Lecturer; International Partnerships Link Tutor

Dr Dian Wang

Lecturer in Marketing, Programme Leader BA H Business with Marketing

Dr Tharaka Ruwan Wijesundara

Senior Lecturer in Advertising and Marketing Communications

Dr Isabella Ye

Senior Lecturer in Tourism & Events, Programme Leader - BA Tourism & Hospitality Management

Dr Yakun Zhang

Senior Lecturer in Advertising & Marketing Communications

Dr Pamela Zigomo

Programme Leader for BA Events Management

PhD Students


The Tourism & Marketing Research Centre is situated in the Greenwich Maritime UNESCO World Heritage Site within a vibrant and continuously evolving tourism destination in London. The TMRC is active in the areas of:

  • Digital marketing and analytics
  • AI
  • Social media
  • Online consumer behaviour
  • Cross-cultural study
  • Sustainable marketing strategy
  • Branding
  • Tourism policy and governance
  • Tourism destination management and development
  • Heritage tourism
  • Island tourism
  • Sustainability issues
  • Trails
  • Smart tourism
  • Sharing economy in tourism
  • Dark tourism
  • Hospitality Management
  • Critical Hospitality
  • Critical events studies