Visitor Economy research group

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 'visitor economy' emerging research area.

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.

During the COVID-19 global health pandemic, we have placed significant emphasis on resilience in the visitor economy. Our research focuses on multi-stakeholder engagement to promote businesses and better societies for a sustainable post-pandemic visitor economy.  


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.

Hardwick Hall on a sunny day

Key research themes

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.

Our Visitor Economy Researchers

Vladimir Antchak
Senior Lecturer in Event Management

Vladimir Antchak is a Senior Lecturer in Applied Management at the Centre for Contemporary Hospitality.

Dr Iride Azara at the INC 2018 conference
Senior Lecturer in Tourism and Events

Dr Iride Azara is a Senior Lecturer in Tourism and Events, and an active researcher across several University research groups and internationally recognised research associations. Dr Azara has extensive experience in undergraduate and postgraduate MSc programme management in Tourism, Events and Hospitality.

Duncan Marson wearing a tie and navy waistcoat.
Lecturer in Tourism and Applied Management and College Lead in learning, teaching and assessment

Duncan is a Lecturer in Tourism and Applied Management.

Eleni Michopoulou
Associate Professor

Eleni is an Associate Professor in Business Management at the University of Derby, Buxton. Eleni teaches on subjects relating to the management and marketing of Tourism, Hospitality, Events and Spa industries.

Faith Samkange at a Industry Day Conference
Senior Lecturer in Hospitality Management

Faith Samkange is a Senior Lecturer in Hospitality Management. 

Dr Charles Spring presenting a lecture
Senior Lecturer In Applied Management

Charles is a Senior Lecturer In Applied Management.