Posted: Friday, 9th December 2011
NEW Professor of Tourism and Hospitality John Swarbrooke says he wants to put Hollings ‘on the map as a world-class centre for tourism research’.
John, who comes to MMU from the Cesar Ritz College in Switzerland where he was Academic Director, is looking forward to raising the profile of the Department of Food and Tourism Management:
“I think there is a great job to be done here, it’s a sleeping giant and there is great potential to do some really high profile work.
“I want to look at the areas of research that are going to be big tomorrow – and try and stay ahead of the game.”
John is currently researching ‘health tourism’ which includes British health services paying for patients to travel to countries where it is less expensive for them to provide the procedures they need, as well as people seeking out cheaper cosmetic procedures abroad and travelling for treatments that aren’t available in the UK .
“Health tourism is big business these days, there are some parts of the world where entrepreneurs are building luxury hotels next to hospitals, we are looking at how this works and the impact it could have,” John adds.
“Another area which is massive within tourism is the British buying property abroad, and evidence suggests it’s going to grow in the future, but there is very little research into the factors that influence these decisions”.
That’s why Professor Swarbrooke is working with Channel 4’s ‘A Place in the Sun’ , using their contacts and databases to contact Britons who are buying or have bought abroad, to look at what factors have an impact on their choices.
Wigan Pier to Mecca!
John brings a wealth of experience with him to MMU - before moving to Switzerland he was the director of the Centre for International Tourism Research at Sheffield Hallam for 18 years. His academic credentials are backed up by a range of roles in industry; from running Wigan Pier to the HR strategy for Mecca - which saw him training staff on how to look after religious pilgrims.
He has done consultancy work for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and the European Union, as well as writing eight books on a range of subjects from sustainable to adventure tourism.
John adds: “I’m planning on writing some more books when I get a chance but I am particularly keen to encourage colleagues who would like to get more involved in research as it can be a little bit daunting when starting out, so I want to support and help staff and make sure we are shouting about what we do here. There’s lots of good stuff going on, and I think it’s key to make sure we tell people about it.”