Visitor Economy Research Group

Visitor Economy

As the fastest growing sector in the UK for employment, the tourism industry is expected to be worth over £250 billion by 2025. We are at the forefront of practical and academic inquiry into the emerging research area of the ‘visitor economy’.

The visitor economy is a place-centred concept concerned with the whole environment in which visitors, locals and tourists interact. It focuses on the elements that attract visitors and the infrastructure and services that support their visit. We have taken the lead in developing the standard methodologies of research in this field.

Our research has supported businesses in the visitor economy to develop memorable, emotive customer experiences whilst generating value for themselves and their local community and to take advantage of the period of sustainable growth the sector is currently experiencing.


Our research makes a direct contribution to the economic, social and wellbeing development of individuals, organisations and destinations regionally and internationally. Strong links with our partners in the public and private sector mean we can ensure our work remains economically and socially relevant while maximising quality and impact.

In recent years we have published research on the international development of portfolio events to promote the unique identity of global cities and the emergence of authenticity in wellness tourism. From music and arts events in the Peak District to the promotion of a ‘street art’ identity in Naples, our work is unconstrained by location and instead centres around the practical application of theoretical approaches that cities and states take in order to improve the value of their visitor economy.

Key research themes

Haywantee speaking into a microphone

Professor Haywantee Ramkissoon
Research Professor of Tourism Marketing

Haywantee Ramkissoon is a Research Professor of Tourism Marketing at the University of Derby. She is responsible for leading the visitor economy research group which relates to three research streams: Responsible Tourism; Sustainable Solutions and Building Sustainable Businesses.

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Integration with teaching

We are committed to building a research-receptive, practitioner workforce. Our undergraduate and postgraduate curricula are designed to reflect the interaction between research, teaching and practice.

Our students are provided with the skills and tools to understand the research process and are supported to develop research in applied contexts.

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Our Visitor Economy Researchers

Academics within our Visitor Economy research area have a range of expertise and industry experience. They use this to inform their teaching.

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Designing a sustainable public transport system in Buxton

Our students and staff are part of a team that is aiming to improve collective co-operation and a cleaner town environment.

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To discuss your research project with us, please contact Professor Haywantee Ramkissoon by email at