Monday, 18 July 2016

UCLan researcher is awarded his Doctorate Degree

Nick Davies, a researcher from the Institute of Transport and Tourism, was last week awarded a Doctorate Degree at the School of Management’s graduation ceremony. His thesis, entitled ‘Investigating Route-Choice of Recreational Walkers in the English Lake District’ was seven years’ in the making, an epic process, but one which has been rewarded with some highly valuable insights.
The research involved interviews with walking practitioners and a year-long survey of walkers in the Lake District. Nick described the value of understanding it provides the tourism research community:
‘Walking is a major part of UK tourism, particularly in the National Parks and rural areas.  Until now, there have been no concrete findings which have highlighted the diversity of this segment of tourists.’ The findings indicated a distinct typology of walking tourists who show markedly different preferences in terms of what they seek in their walks.

On a personal level this a real journey for Nick.  As a full-time researcher at UCLan, he has been able to link his project work to his research interest.  Perhaps best of all the research involved extensive work in the field: ‘I was able to spend a considerable amount of time in lovely places, talking to walking tourists, but this level of participation helped me gain a deep understanding of their experiences.’ Additionally Nick praised the help he had along the way: ‘UCLan has been an incredibly supportive environment for a research student to develop and also become known to others in their specific area of study.  From this I now have numerous offers of collaboration which will further knowledge of walking tourism.’  Nick now hopes to develop this research area further with a number of future projects planned.

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