Institute heralds new era in tourism research

Research and education in the tourism and hospitality industries is set to be transformed following the creation of the John Kent Institute in Tourism at BU.

The Institute is named for one of the world’s leading tourism entrepreneurs, John Kent, whose substantial contribution to the University will make it possible for postgraduate researchers from around the world to take up a number of PhD studentships at BU over the next two years.

During a gala in London to celebrate the formal launch of the new Institute Mr Kent , the creator and CEO of youtravel.com and Aquis Hotels and Resorts, announced that applications for the first four new PhD studentships are now invited with successful candidates set to join BU from this Autumn.

Details of the new studentships are now available on a new website at www.bournemouth.ac.uk/johnkent which also debuted at the event.

The studentships are offered in a range of industry-relevant topics that Mr Kent believes will help improve the quality of the global tourism industry.

Topics include the use of technology and multi-media elements in tourism marketing, aspects of consumer loyalty and satisfaction and the industry’s response to international issues such as security in the face of terrorism and the response to the current economic climate.

Speaking before an audience of leading figures from tourism, hospitality and academia, Mr Kent said: “Improving the Hospitality Industry through education has always been a primary area of focus to me and undoubtedly research programs offer great input to this industry.

“The idea of an institute to facilitate this overwhelming need for education and training has been in my plans for a long time and is now a reality through a very high profile institution like Bournemouth University.”

BU’s School of Services Management, respected globally as a centre of excellence for tourism and study research, will support the successful applicants for the new John Kent studentships.

The School boasts the largest cohort of postgraduate tourism students in the UK and is home to the International Centre for Tourism & Hospitality Research, one of the leading research centres of its kind in the world.

Last November, Mr Kent was named as a BU Visiting Fellow and will use his strong track record in the tourism and travel industry to all of the University’s students in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes related to tourism and hospitality.