Puzzle pieces, consultancy and research

Consultancy and Research

We have been involved in a wide range of research projects and have a proven track record of research design and delivery.

Current research

Culture Kent

Culture Kent logo

In partnership with Visit Kent, the official Destination Management Organisation for Kent and Medway, the Tourism and Events Research Hub are currently conducting a two year research programme for Culture Kent. Culture Kent (www.culturekent.net), funded by the Arts Council England and VisitEngland, as part of the Cultural Destinations Programme, aims to position Kent as the UK’s creative county, working towards the vision where culture and heritage have equal status as key drivers of tourism in Kent. Led by Turner Contemporary with Visit Kent and a consortium of partners, a key part of the Culture Kent Project is to map and understand cultural tourism in Kent. The research being conducted by the partnership of Visit Kent and the Tourism and Events Research Hub is a key element of the overarching Culture Kent Project. The research is being conducted from a consumer and organisational perspective to provide Culture Kent with a sound evidence base from which to attract new audiences and to develop new or enhanced strategic relationships and cross-sectorial working between tourism and culture in Kent.

Past research

Title: ‘A Systematic Review of the Evidence Base for Developing a Physical Activity, Sport and Health Legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games’ (Dr Suzanne Dowse and Professor Mike Weed).

Date: 2008-2010.

Client: Department of Health.

This project involved a worldwide review of research and practice evidence on legacy outcomes, delivery and evaluation in sport, physical activity and health. However, because evidence in these areas was known to be sparse, it also included evidence from other potential legacy areas, such as economic development, community development, tourism and volunteering, which was assessed for its applicability to sport, physical activity and health legacy development. The work explicitly considered both the Paralympic and Olympic Games and was part of work that won a Research Council UK award for outstanding research contribution to the 2012 Games. 

Title: '"Active Celebration": Using the London 2012 Games to get the Nation Moving’ (Dr Suzanne Dowse and Professor Mike Weed).

Date: 2009-2010.

Client: Department of Health.

Following from the above systematic review, this project developed an evidence-based guide to inform strategy and practice for developing a physical activity, sport and health legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The guide was designed to answer key questions for practitioners, such as how the Games can inspire people to be more active and how best to support those with the most to gain (i.e. the least active), and to provide evidence-based suggestions for a range of initiatives, showing how these recommendations can be put into practice. In particular, the guide contained specific evidence and advice on developing initiatives to increase participation among disabled people.

Title: 'A Systematic Review of Evidence for the Potential of Live Sites to Generate Community and Public Health Outcomes’ (Dr Suzanne Dowse and Professor Mike Weed).

Date: 2009-2010.

Client: NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent.

This project consisted of a systematic review of evidence for the potential of big screens or 'Live Sites' to generate community or public health outcomes. As there was little previous direct research on such live sites, the review searched, retrieved, collated, quality assessed and assessed for relevance evidence from a range of related areas including the uses of urban spaces and the built environment, virtual and mediated sport spectating, public arts events and festivals, and advertising and communication science. The review was able to advise the NHS on ways in which both events and day-to-day broadcasting associated with Live Sites might enhance community and health outcomes.

Title: 'Folkestone: A Town Unearthed demand analysis’ (Dr Suzanne Dowse, Dr Marion Stuart-Hoyle, and Professor Mike Weed).

Date: 2009.

Client: Canterbury Archaeological Trust and Heritage Lottery Fund.

This project sought to establish public, educational and provision demand for activities associated with ‘A Town Unearthed: Folkestone Before 1500’, a community history and archaeology project jointly run by Folkestone People's History Centre, The Canterbury Archaeological Trust and Canterbury Christ Church University. The project focused on Folkestone's pre-1500 heritage and incorporated a range of activities from guided walks to community workshops. The research confirmed a significant amount of latent demand for the project and identified awareness-raising and publicity as areas that required targeted development. These findings formed that basis of a successful bid for additional funding to develop the project.  

Title: 'Change4Life Sport Clubs Evaluation’ (Professor Mike Weed).

Date: 2010-ongoing.

Client: Youth Sport Trust and Department of Health.

This project assesses the impact of Change4Life Sport Clubs in primary and secondary schools through a large scale, experimental, controlled design which is at the forefront of research in the social sciences. The evaluation includes repeated measures and cross-sectional survey designs alongside detailed qualitative site visits and secondary analysis of monitoring data. It has also included an audit of National Governing Bodies’ involvement, perceptions and plans for the programme. The evaluation focuses on the impact of participation on less active children and the impact of training on the skills and confidence on the teachers, Young Leaders and volunteers delivering the clubs. In 2013, the Minister for Public Health, Jane Ellison, noted that SPEAR’s research on Change4Life Sport Clubs 'demonstrates the value of these clubs' and used SPEAR’s data on physical activity increases as validation for existing and continued investment. 

Title: 'Development Of National Smart Specialisation Strategy For Cyprus’ (Dr Tony Theocharous, Scientific Coordinator).

Date: 2013-2014.

Funding Body: Planning Bureau, Republic of Cyprus.

Smart Specialization Strategy was implemented in the region of Cyprus following the general methodological guidelines of the EU. The final strategy report has been characterized by the EU Region. An extremely impressive level of work forms the basis for the strategy. RIS3 analytical part is extensive and sound in terms of methodology and data used. Specifically, triangulation and quadruangulation of data have been performed in order to ensure trustworthiness and validity of the study. The study laid down the basis for a SWOT analysis and at the same time provided for evidence to support entrepreneurial process of discovery.   

Title: 'A GIS system for enhancing visitor experience (GPS/Mobile Navigator for Cyprus)’ (Dr Tony Theocharous, Scientific Coordinator).

Date: 2011-2013.

Funding Body: Interreg Greece-Cyprus 2007-2013, European Union.

The project has led to the development of a GPS application for Android and Apple IOs for promoting the tourism attractions, hotels, restaurants and tourism related infrastructure in Cyprus. Information was collected from all the municipalities and villages in Cyprus and were recorded with geographic coordinates. The application is unique in the sense that it operates as a standalone GPS navigation system with the added functionality to enhance the visitor/tourist experience with tourism specific information. 

Title: 'Hermes: Improving Accessibility For People With Disabilities’ (Dr Tony Theocharous, Scientific Coordinator).

Date: 2012-2014.

Funding Body:  Interreg Greece-Cyprus 2007-2013, European Union.

HERMES aimed the collection and mapping of all the tourism and hospitality related establishments and public places in terms of their provisions for disabled people. The geo mapping coordinates were then incorporated into the GPS Mobile Navigator developed under the PARAMARE project. In addition a best practice guide was developed for assisting local businesses, organisations as well as the public sector to improve accessibility for disabled people. 

Title: 'Ecotourism: New Knowledge By Innovation, New Jobs By Knowledge Transfer’ (Dr Tony Theocharous, Scientific Coordinator).

Date: 2011-2013.

Funding Body: Leonardo Da Vinci Programme Project co-funded by the European Commission.

The project aimed to improve the skills and competences of people in the tourism sector by introducing an ecotourism training programme in Cyprus, Estonia, Lithuania and Spain, while at the same time encouraging ecotourism development in project countries in particular and Europe in general.

The project was based on the transfer of the results of LdV pilot project ECOLL that was completed in 2007 and provided innovative results that were successfully integrated in formal training programmes in partner countries. The objectives of ECOTOUR included analysis of ECOLL training programme and materials, their adaptation to the requirements of the target group and project countries; sharing experiences in ecotourism training and development of new (e-)learning contents; testing and evaluation; dissemination of information about the project and project results and preparation of appropriate mechanisms/processes for their further exploitation.

ECOTOUR’s primary target were people in the tourism sector: entrepreneurs and managers of tourism SMEs. The training products were also used by tourism policy makers, students, or people living in rural communities enabling them to learn how to present and transfuse their knowledge on the surrounding nature and local culture to the tourists. 

Title: 'Iktimed: Increasing Knowledge Transfer And Innovation In The Mediterranean Area’ (Dr Tony Theocharous, Scientific Coordinator).

Date: 2010-2013.

Funding Body: European Union, Stc Programme Med.

The Iktimed project focused on the achievement of the following objectives:

  • Foster the trans-national dimension of knowledge transfer in the MED area considering innovation as a more open process.
  • Achieve the cutting down of knowledge and technology market's fragmentation in the MED area.
  • Improve the open innovation approach on research and academic institution.
  • Increase the relations between the economic sector and science specialization centres of Med programme area.
  • Improve the attractiveness of local Mediterranean territories with innovation-oriented goals.
  • Improve the connection between R&D, innovation and regional public policy priorities.
  • Stimulate knowledge and innovation on a global context for intermediaries organization on technology transfer, by matching ideas, knowledge, linkages and networks.  

Title: 'L’AQUA: Legends and myths on water for European tourist routes’ (Dr Tony Theocharous, Scientific Coordinator).

Date: 2013-2015.

Funding Body: EU 'Cooperation projects to support transnational tourism based on European cultural and industrial heritage' (69/G/ENT/PPA/13/411).

Aqua integrates 11 partners from 8 different countries cooperating in the design of a transnational product and route in the area of myths, legends and traditions related to water, thus focusing on intangible cultural heritage.

While the valorisation, exploitation and promotion of the tangible cultural heritage is well established, the exploitation of the intangible cultural heritage is behind, having a wide range of opportunities in terms of tourism innovation and new products, as well as the preservation of local communities through the creation of tourism-related job opportunities.

Moreover, the members of L´Aqua project have a strong commitment with local traditions, stating stories, sagas, legends and all the elements within this intangible cultural heritage, believing that it deserves the same level of attention as the tangible heritage because of its equal contribution to the preservation of local communities and sustainability in tourism.

Title: 'Determination And Growth Of Models For Administration Of Small And Medium Enterprises Hotel And Food Enterprises: Evaluation Of The Professional And Academic Training Of Workers In Cyprus (Dr Tony Theocharous, Scientific Coordinator).

Date: 2005-2007.

Funding Body: Research Promotion Foundation, Republic Of Cyprus.

The results of the current study have helped the understanding of the attitudes and perceptions of employees in the tourism and hospitality sector while at the same time have allowed for the first time the analysis of the composition of the workforce in terms of their education and training. The analysis of the results has also allowed the identification of areas which demand immediate enhancement and improvement through the implementation of focused and targeted strategic programmes. Such strategies should be the outcome of synergies between organizations from both the public and private sectors which are involved in the development of human capital in the tourism and hospitality industry of Cyprus. Such policy measures can potentially guarantee the supply of jobs which will be characterised by quality, sustainability and stability.

Title: 'Development And Operation Of Industry Liaison Offices By The Universities In Cyprus’ (Dr Tony Theocharous, Scientific Coordinator).

Date: 2010-2011.

Funding Body: EU Structural Funds.

This project aimed to design, establish and operate industry-liaison offices in the Republic of Cyprus, as part of the EU  ‘Innovation Union’ strategy approach funded by the Structural funds. More specifically the objectives of the project were:

  • To improve conditions and access to finance for research and innovation in Europe.
  • To ensure that innovative ideas can be turned into products and services that create growth and jobs.

What were the goals?

  • Development and operation of Industry Liaison Offices (ILOs) among all participating universities in Cyprus.
  • Collaboration of private and public sector within a mutual objectives scheme.
  • Development and promotion of innovation culture.
  • Engagement of the academic world with the Cyprus business world through compatible and productive collaborations.
  • Establishment of a communication channel by the contribution of other productive bodies of Cyprus society: Cyprus Employers & Industrialists Federation, Cyprus Chamber of Commerce, trade and industrial associations.

Contact us

Dr Karen Thomas
Director, Tourism and Events Research Hub

T: 01227 782691

Hub Administrator

E: tourismhub@canterbury.ac.uk


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Last edited: 05/12/2017 04:42:00