ATHE Fellows

The Association for Tourism in Higher Education is the only officially recognised body for tourism in higher education in the UK. Its members are universities and other institutions involved in higher education. It represents their interests through its status as a learned society of the Academy of Social Sciences. ATHE does not normally take individual academics into membership.

However, from time to time it wishes to recognise individuals who have given long and outstanding service to the Association. Such individuals are awarded the title of Emeritus Fellow of ATHE.

The criteria for election to Emeritus Fellowship are:

  • Long and outstanding service to ATHE, as a member of the Executive Committee
  • Evidence of esteem in tourism education.
  • Active involvement in tourism education and willingness to contribute to ATHE
  • No longer a member of the Committee

Emeritus Fellows are proposed and elected by the Executive Committee. Individuals cannot propose themselves for election.

Exceptionally, we also offer recognition to tourism professionals who are or have been actively involved in tourism education and have supported the Association. They are awarded the title of Fellow.

Our current Fellows and Emeritus Fellows are shown below. We are proud to recognise the contribution that these distinguished educators and professionals have made.


Mr Phil Evans

Phil is the Senior Head of Tourism and Enterprise for Eastbourne. For the past five years, Phil has been head of policy and analysis at VisitEngland, holding responsibility for the national tourism strategy and advising the government on tourism policy issues. His previous work included heading up tourism departments at Southwark, West Dorset, Boston and Bedfordshire Councils, as well as overseeing the visitor economy work of the London Development Agency and London-wide tourism strategy and briefing the Mayor of London on tourism issues.

Phil has been a strong supporter and advocate of ATHE’s work over the last few years in terms of attending and contributing to the annual conference (notably on the Friday morning panel debate) and representing VisitEngland in sponsoring the Making the Case Awards from their inception three years ago.

Mr Kurt Janson

After graduating with a first-class Master’s Degree in Public Policy, Kurt was employed by the New Zealand Tourist Board to develop national and regional tourism strategies before moving to Britain in 1997 to work as Policy Manager for VisitEngland and the VisitBritain. Following the separation of the two organisations, he became the Head of Strategic Planning for VisitBritain with responsibility for Policy, Strategy, Sustainable Tourism, Business Planning and Marketing Evaluation.

Kurt left VisitBritain in 2004 to become the Director of the Tourism Alliance, an umbrella trade association for the tourism and hospitality sector that comprises over 50 industry associations that together represent almost 200,000 businesses of all sizes throughout the UK to lobby Government on issues that support the development of the UK tourism industry. He is a member of a number of Government advisory groups including DCMS’s Tourism Industry Council and HMRC’s SMEOF and has written seven editions of VisitEngland’s “Pink Book” on accommodation legislation since 1999.

Mr Noel Josephides

Noel Josephides is former Managing Director and Founding Partner of Sunvil Holidays which was established in 1973. He has served in a variety of capacities for AITO, the Association of Independent Tour Operators – Deputy-Chairman, Chairman, Director and Chairman of the AITO Trust. He is also Chairman of AGTA (Association of Greek Cypriot Travel Agents and Tour Operators).

In December 2007 he received the Guild of Travel and Tourism Award for outstanding services to the travel and tourism industry In April 2008 he was honoured by the Cyprus Government for 35 years of service in respect of environmental tourism to the island. He was elected Chairman of ABTA in 2013.

Ms Vicki Wolf

Vicki is ABTA’s Partnerships Manager (Education) and has worked at ABTA – The Travel Association, in various roles since the end of 2000. Vicki’s main responsibilities include managing ABTA’s education programme, including our online training portal and managing our Education Partnerships with 12 universities and 3 colleges. Vicki has been involved in a number of apprenticeship standard reviews and represents ABTA on the Travel Apprenticeship Board. She was responsible for developing ABTA’s Education Partnerships programme (launched in 2014) including ABTA’s internship (launched in 2015) for Education Partner Universities.

Previous to working at ABTA she worked for the National Department of Transport in South Africa as a policy advisor. Vicki has a Joint Honours degree in Journalism and Politics from Rhodes University in South Africa.

Mrs Mercedita Hoare

Merz joined ATHE in 2008 as the ATHE Administrator after previously working for the London-based Association of Research Centres in Social Sciences.  It was a chance meeting, as the person who was supposed to be taking up the admin role had to have emergency eye surgery.  So, Professor Peter Burns, who Merz worked with at the University of Brighton, and who was the ATHE Treasurer at that time asked if she would be interested in taking on the role.  Given that Merz viewed it as a trial run – she must have enjoyed it, as that trial run lasted 12 years!  She worked with a long list of ATHE Chairs over that time – Lyn Bibbings, Robert Maitland, Marion Stuart-Hoyle, Karen Soulby and Claire Haven-Tang.   

Merz has been at the core of ATHE activities, planning the annual schedule of ATHE activities; keeping the accounts in order, communicating with all ATHE members and partner organisations and looking after all the procurement arrangements for the ATHE annual conference. 

In exceptional circumstances, ATHE offer recognition to tourism professionals who are or who have been actively involved in tourism education and who have supported the Association with the award of Fellow.  The EC members wish to bestow this award on Merz for her active involvement in tourism education and her unwavering support for the Association, in recognition of her role and the way in which she has supported and guided the work of ATHE over the last 12 years.

Emeritus Fellows

Professor David Airey

David Airey is Professor of Tourism Management at the University of Surrey. After a period working in the tourism industry, he began his academic career at Surrey in 1975 as a lecturer in Economics and Tourism. He also spent a time as visiting professor in the United States. Subsequently, from 1985, he was with the UK government Ministry of Education for eight years and was then with the European Commission as adviser on management and manpower for the PHARE programme based in Poland. He returned to Surrey in 1997 as Professor and served as Head of School and was appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor from 2001-2009. He retired from his full-time position in 2009. He has continued on a part-time basis at Surrey combining this with a visiting appointment at the University of Central Lancashire plus a range of other research, teaching and consultancy projects.

As an academic his main research interests have covered the economic aspects of tourism, tourism policy and organisation and tourism education. He has undertaken and supervised research (20 PhDs) in these areas and has published books and papers (c50 peer reviewed papers). In 2005 he co-edited and partly wrote the first book specifically on tourism education and in 2011 his co-authored book in tourism policy making in China is published by Routledge.

He has been an active member of British and international organisations. He is an elected Academician of the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Fellow of the Tourism Society, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, and member of the International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism and the Tourism Research Centre. He has served as Chair of a number of associations including a period as co-chair of the Education and Science Council of the United Nations World Tourism Organization and elected Vice-President of its Committee of Affiliate Members. He was involved in the original development of the subject association for tourism (now ATHE) and was a member of its Executive Committee for nearly 15 years, serving as the organisation’s third Chair from 1997 to 1999.

In 2004 he received the EuroCHRIE President’s award for outstanding achievement and in 2006 the United Nations WTO Ulysses Award for his contribution to tourism education and research.

Ms Lyn Bibbings

Lyn is a tourism academic with a practitioner background and she continues to combine her academic roles with responsibilities in the sector as a Director of Tourism South East, and as Chair of the Sub Regional Tourism committee for Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. She is a management development consultant for FirstChoice, now TuiTravel, one of the world’s largest travel firms.

Lyn is a Director and Fellow of the Tourism Society. She has been the Liaison Officer for Tourism for the Higher Education Subject Network since its inception in 2000 She is a member of two committees of the Academy of Social Sciences – the committee of Learned Societies and the Events committee.

Lyn is a member of the Editorial Boards for Tourism and Hospitality: Planning and Development and Brookes e-Journal of Learning and Teaching. She is also the Discipline Lead for Higher Education Academy.

Professor David Botterill


David Botterill is a freelance academic and higher education consultant, Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Tourism at the University of Westminster and Professor Emeritus in the Welsh Centre for Tourism Research, University of Wales Institute Cardiff. He is also an Associate Director for the Higher Education Academy Network for Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism and an Associate of the NHTV University of Applied Sciences Breda.

David studied at Surrey and Loughborough universities in the 1970s and gained industrial experience in the private and government sectors of the hotel and leisure industries prior to completing a PhD at Texas A & M University in 1987. He returned to the UK to lecture in tourism studies and moved to Cardiff in 1993. He has extensive UK experience of research leadership in university education, most recently as Director of Research in the Cardiff School of Management (1999-2007) at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff and was promoted to a personal chair of the University of Wales in 2003. He has taken a particular interest in the global development of doctoral level tourism studies as supervisor and external examiner to candidates in the UK and mainland Europe.

He is an author and reviewer for several publishing houses and external assessor of research quality for universities and research bodies. Over the past 25 years he has secured and directed consultancy projects for: universities; the Higher Education Academy; the tourism industry; European, national and local governments; and NGOs. He has published extensively in the tourism and leisure studies journals and together with Trevor Jones of Cardiff University recently published an edited book on Tourism and Crime: Key Issues for Goodfellow Publishers (2010). He was also a Visiting Fellow at the Cairns Institute, James Cook University, Australia in 2011.

Dr Marion Stuart-Hoyle

Marion is a Principal Lecturer in Tourism Studies and Director of Geography, Events, Leisure and Tourism at Canterbury Christ Church University, where she has been since 1995. Her teaching interests focus on the Marketing of Tourism, Service Management and Introductory Tourism Concepts. Prior to working at Christ Church, Marion worked at the Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education where she led the launch of a very successful Higher National Diploma course in Travel and Tourism Management. Marion’s early experience in the tourism industry included work at one of the busiest tourist offices in the UK in Cambridge.

Marion was elected to the ATHE Executive Committee in 2001 and was Chair from 2012 to 2015. During Marion’s time on the ATHE Executive Committee and, especially during her time as Chair, she oversaw many successful conferences including the 20th Anniversary Conference entitled ‘Celebrating 20 Years of ATHE: The Future of Tourism in Higher Education’ held at Canterbury Cathedral Lodge in 2013.

Marion also undertook the ATHE research project on ‘student motivations for studying tourism’; further developed the student prize awards and helped to introduce the awards for teaching and research under the titles of ‘Building leadership and management capacity in the visitor economy’ and ‘Understanding global complexity through tourism’.

Professor John Tribe

Professor John Tribe is head of tourism at the University of Surrey, UK. His undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral studies were all undertaken at the University of London. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Fellow of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism, Fellow of the Association for Tourism in Higher Education and Academician of the Academy of the Social Sciences. His research concentrates on sustainability, epistemology and education and he has authored books on strategy, philosophy, economics, education and environmental management in tourism.

He was the specialist advisor for tourism for the UK government’s 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) and is a member of sub-panel 26 for the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). He is editor of Annals of Tourism Research and The Journal of Hospitality, Leisure Sport and Tourism Education (JOHLSTE).

Professor Brian Wheeller

Brian Wheeller holds degrees in Economics, in Applied Economics, in the Economic Impacts of Tourism, and in American Studies. His doctorate on Critiquing Eco/Ego/Sustainable Tourism contextualises the debate within the wider arena of tourism planning and management, policy and practice. In addition, his interests have evolved and broadened over the years, his current research revolving around the links between travel, tourism and popular culture – in particular literature, art, photography, film, music – and their relevance to contemporary tourism thinking. His research also embraces humour, image and use of the visual in tourism and tourism education.

He has considerable experience, nationally and internationally, of validating, auditing and external examining an array of tourism programmes, and of acting as the external examiner for PhD candidates.

He is Associate Professor of Tourism at Breda University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands: Adjunct Professor of Tourism, University of Tasmania, Australia: Visiting Professor of Tourism at the University of Plymouth: Honorary Professor of Tourism at the University of Wales: Visiting Research Fellow at Leeds Metropolitan University and at Sheffield Hallam University, UK.