Staff profile

Dr Sarah Rawlinson

Head of Centre for Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism

Head of Centre for Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism


College of Business, Law and Social Sciences


Centre for Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism

Research centre

Visitor Economy Research Group


Buxton Campus



I am the Head of Centre for Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism.  I am responsible for the development and implementation of the Centre’s research, teaching and learning strategies and student experience.

I work closely with the local community, our region and with industry, nationally and internationally, to provide inspirational learning opportunities for our students.

Teaching responsibilities

As a tourism specialist, I teach on several programmes in the Centre helping students to develop their employability skills by delivering projects for industry.

I am involved in undergraduate and postgraduate courses and supervise a number of PhD students.

Professional interests

My professional interests include being an executive board member for the Council for Hospitality Management Educators and a member of the Derbyshire Culture Heritage and Tourism Board.  I have also worked with High Peak Borough Council to develop a tourism strategy for Buxton and with Derbyshire County Council Steering Committee to advise on a tourism strategy for the county.

I have helped to support start-up businesses through knowledge transfer initiatives for the School of Artisan Food and UK Countryside Tours.

Research interests

I am interested in pedagogy, especially applied learning, enterprise and innovation and providing opportunities for our students to build knowledge, skills and experiences relevant to their professional and personal lives.

I also maintain research interests in the field of tourism, particularly in the area of destination management and talent management.

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences

I have presented seminars at a range of different conferences and universities. Recently, I have spoken at the Council for Hospitality Management Educators conference in Manchester and THE-ICE conference in Holland.

I am also a founding member and part of the organising committee for the Tourism Naturally Conference in partnership with Colorado State University and Central Normal China University

Experience in industry

I joined the University of Derby after a career in the travel industry where I specialised in group travel.  This involved organising conference and incentive travel, trade fairs and exhibitions and tour operations.

International experience

I work closely with Switzerland's leading Hotel Management Group including the Swiss Hotel Management School, Cesar Ritz and IHTTI providing excellent education for students from around the world.  I also work with partners in Botswana, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Holland and Greece.

Additional interests and activities

I am a trustee for the following organisations:

I am also a Director of Vision Buxton and an Industry Advisory Board member for NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences

In the media

I have had had the opportunity to work with local media including radio, TV and print. I have appeared on East Midlands Today, BBC Look North, Radio Derby, High Peak Radio and in the follow print media; Reflections magazine, Pure Buxton and European Spa magazine.

Recent publications


International Spa Management. Principles and Practices.  Ed. Rawlinson S. and Heap T.  May 2017  Goodfellows

Developing a wellness destination: a case study of the Peak District: In Handbook of Health Tourism.  Wiltshier, P. & Rawlinson, S. Jan 2017  Routledge 

Student and Practitioner Experience from Learning Laboratories. In Handbook of Teaching and Learning in Tourism.  Wiltshier, P. & Rawlinson, S. Jan 2017  Edward Elgar

Benefits of Higher Education to the International Spa Industry: A UK Perspective. In Health Tourism and Hospitality: Wellness, Spas and Medical Travel. 2013 Routledge


How can effective university – industry partnerships be developed? Rawlinson S. 2013  Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 255-267