Your Committee


Co-Chair: Dr Claire Haven Tang, Cardiff Metropolitan University

Claire is a Reader in Tourism & Management at Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Cardiff School of Management in the Welsh Centre for Tourism Research where she researches issues around destination development, tourism SMEs, Sense of Place, rural tourism, event tourism, food tourism and human resource development.

Claire is the Research Degree Co-ordinator for Cardiff School of Management and supervises a number of PhD students, alongside teaching on a range of modules across the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Projects undertaken for MAKE UK (formerly EEF), Welsh Government, Football Association of Wales, Cardiff County Council, Tourism Training Forum for Wales, Capital Region Tourism, People 1st, Visit Wales, Monmouthshire County Council and Adventa include: exploring the food supply chain in Wales, economic impact evaluation of the UEFA Champions League Finals & Volvo Ocean Race, best practice in business and event tourism, labour market assessments, tourism industry training provision, school student perceptions of tourism careers and developing a Sense of Monmouthshire for tourism businesses.

Claire was a member of the Visit Wales Digital Tourism Business Project Steering Group (2010-2014) and has previously worked in the National Audit Office, on projects involving the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. She has been involved in the work of the Association for Tourism in Higher Education (ATHE) since 2011 and is currently Chair.


Co-Chair: Dr Ross Tinsley, Edinburgh Napier University

Dr Ross Tinsley is undergraduate programme leader for tourism and lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University. Prior to that he taught research methods and tourism in Switzerland. His main teaching themes are destination marketing and management as well as tourism, society and culture.

His research focuses on destination development through entrepreneurship and cultural consumption. His current work centres on post-secularism in festivals and events. He has also researched and published on small tourism business networks and destination development as part of his PhD.

His co-authored paper Tinsley & Lynch 2001 was a significant early contribution to that field. As well as serving on the Executive Committee for the Association of Tourism in Higher Education (ATHE) since 2016, he also chairs the Tourism Society Scotland chapter and is a senior fellow of HE Advance.

Vice Chair-Treasurer: Dr Duncan Tyler, London South Bank University

Dr. Duncan Tyler is Associate Professor and formerly Head of the Division for Urban, Environment and Leisure Studies at London South Bank University. He has taught tourism development and policy issues since the early 1990s when he joined the University from the field of tourism development consultancy having done town planning and business planning projects for tourist resorts around the word.

Specifically, Duncan’s teaching and research interests are around tourism and social justice, and applies theories of lobbying and campaigning to tourism impact issues. His PhD was in lobbying networks and tactics in English Tourism Policy Development around the Millennium. Duncan’s other research interests are in urban tourism and city marketing and he has been a long term critic of the boosterist approach to tourism development in cities that has led to the recent debates about overtourism.


Vice Chair-Secretary: Professor Robert Maitland, University of Westminster

Robert Maitland is Emeritus Professor of City Tourism at the University of Westminster, London. He is an urban economist and after reading Economics at the University of Cambridge, and studying City Planning at the University of Nottingham, Robert worked in planning in London before becoming an academic. He established tourism programmes at Westminster and led the first undergraduate and Masters programmes before focusing on doctoral programmes and research.

His research investigates how tourism shapes cities and cities shape tourism, and his particular interests are the tourist experience of cities, especially world cities, national capitals and heritage cities, with an emphasis on tourism and everyday life. He has advised the British government and national tourism organisations on projects including tourism and city regeneration, planning policy for leisure and tourism, the effectiveness of tourism marketing, and public intervention in the tourism sector. He has been involved in ATHE since its inception, and was previously Vice Chair and Chair.

Executive Team Members


Dr Peter Robinson, Leeds Beckett University

Peter is Head of the Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Management at Leeds Beckett University. He is author of several books and peer-reviewed journals and has appeared on a number of television and radio programmes discussing the tourism industry. Peter has owned businesses in the travel, ICT, waste management and publishing sectors, and has delivered consultancy work for organisations in a wide range of sectors across the world.

Peter is a Fellow of the Tourism Management Institute and the Yorkshire and Humber representative, a Fellow of the Tourism Society and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is Chair of a £41m restoration of a historic house and country park near Derby and was formerly Vice-Chair of The Museum of Carpet. His research interests focus on business planning, visitor experiences, heritage management and Cold War tourism.

Previously Peter worked as Head of Marketing, Leisure, Innovation and Enterprise at the University of Wolverhampton, and also managed the institution’s Arts Council funded Arena Theatre. Before working in academia Peter managed EU funded projects in the Peak District, tourism projects in Oxfordshire and spent a number of years working for The National Trust.

Professor (Emeritus) Keith Wilkes, Bournemouth University

Keith’s career took him from University College, Swansea, where he completed his undergraduate degree, to doctoral research at University of Liverpool and then to Bournemouth University. He played a key role in the development of tourism education for 30 years holding key senior management positions which encompassed course development and quality, the student experience, enterprise and income generation and staff management. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Keith’s research focused on tourism development, visitor attractions, heritage management and tourism education and was involved in cultivating a future generation of tourism researchers. He supervised PhD students in an eclectic range of topics including nature-based tourism, visitor motivation and behaviour at garden attractions and World Heritage Sites, such as Thailand and The Jurassic Coast. Other topics included post-conflict tourism, community-based festivals, the social impacts of the 2008 UEFA Championship, urban regeneration and the 2012 Olympics and the values of UK heritage providers and consumers.

Keith has been a member of the Association for Tourism in Higher Education (ATHE) Executive Committee since the early 1990s variously as Member, Secretary and Chair.

Dr Asia Alder, Manchester Metropolitan University

Asia became Reader in Tourism Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK in January 2019. Asia came to education in 2003 having previously worked in the field of aviation chartering aircraft for customers around the world. At Manchester Met Asia has been the tourism group lead, the international lead and Programme Leader for MSc in International Tourism and Hospitality Management. She has a wealth of experience in teaching, learning and leadership having previously worked at other British universities in academic and management roles. She teaches modules on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Asia is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and member of the Institute of Travel and Tourism Education and Training Committee. She has been an external examiner and verifier for a number of degrees in the UK and international partnerships. Asia’s research and teaching interests focus on transnationalism, migrants, Polish community in the UK, students’ employability and internationalisation. Her PhD research focused on three generations of Polish people and motivation to travel back to homeland.

Dr Maria Gebbels, University of Greenwich

Dr Maria Gebbels is a senior lecturer at the University of Greenwich and the programme leader on the MA International Tourism and Hospitality Management. She was awarded a PhD for a study entitled, “Career Paths in Hospitality: A Life History Approach” at the University of Brighton. Prior to joining academia, Maria worked in the operational roles in the hospitality industry, where her passion for hospitality began.

Maria’s research interests include critical hospitality, career development, food and authenticity and more broadly gender issues in tourism and hospitality. Maria is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a member of the Council for Hospitality Management Education’ (CHME) executive committee.

Dr Paul Fallon, University of Central Lancashire

Paul is a Senior Lecturer in the Tourism, Hospitality and Events (THE) Division, where his is responsible for teaching at UG and PG level as well as being the International Lead for division.

Paul has almost 20 years teaching experience gained from teaching, and managing projects, at four UK HEIs and their international partners (including in China, Singapore< Malaysia and Switzerland).

Paul plays an active role in the wider academic community, with duties including: substantial external examining and review work; viva voce examinations; as an active researcher with a broad range of interests, including consumer behaviour and experience; and regular review work for THE-related journals.


Dr Seonyoung Kim, Sheffield Hallam University

Dr Seonyoung (Sun) Kim is a principal lecturer and the Subject Group Leader for Tourism at Sheffield Hallam University. Sun is responsible for academic management of the Subject Group, including portfolio development, business engagement and academic quality assurance.

She teaches a range of UG and PG tourism modules, participates in international projects and exchanges, and supervises PhD research. Her main teaching and research interests are tourism policy and planning, urban tourism, urban regeneration and accessible tourism.

Co-opted Members

Brandon Crimes, Tourism Research Matters, FTS, FHE

For the past 25 years Brandon has gained considerable knowledge of International tourism by way of his academic career. He is passionate about the mutual benefits of tourism research for industry and tourism institutions, that directly inform students and young professionals.

Brandon has been involved in a wide range of tourism projects and destination impact studies in Europe and Africa, and more recently, the development of the night economy in UK destinations.

He is in his second term of being elected to the Tourism Society Board, and is currently co-opted on the ATHE Executive. He has built on his experience and knowledge to seeing membership grow, to reflect the changing nature of tourism sector and education.

Dr Ilaria Pappalepore, University of Westminster

Ilaria Pappalepore is senior lecturer in events and tourism in the School of Architecture and Cities, University of Westminster, London. Prior to joining the University of Westminster, Ilaria worked at the Lille Development Agency, France, and later as course leader and senior lecturer in Tourism at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK. Her research interests include urban tourism; cultural events; creative industries; and urban regeneration.

Since completing her PhD on ‘tourism development in creative, non-central areas in London’ in 2010, Ilaria has worked on a number of research projects in leisure, tourism and events. She was lead investigator for a study on the impact of London 2012 on small creative organisations in East London funded by the International Olympic Committee. Ilaria is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a member of the Association of Tourism in Higher Education’s executive committee.


Merz Hoare, ATHE Administrator

Mercedita (Merz) Hoare is a former University of Brighton staff with over 15 years’ experience of organising international academic conferences, managing partnership programmes, monitoring research projects, as well as, providing editorial assistance to a number of edited books, monographs and academic journals.

Merz has been working with ATHE since 2008 providing administrative support. She has a first degree in business administration (major in accounting) and a post graduate degree in International Event Management.

A Ireland

Andreea Ireland, Conference Assistant

Andreea Ireland is a graduate of Tourism Management with Languages, having studied as an undergraduate at the University of Greenwich. While at university, Andreea served as Vice-President of the University Tourism Society and completed an internship with the Tourism Society, working with membership and organising events such as the Tourism Symposium.

Prior to working with ATHE, Andreea spent a further two and a half years working as a Membership Executive with the Tourism Society before working with events management and administration at the Law Society. Andreea currently assists with the organisation and administration behind the ATHE annual conference.