Who We Are
The Visitor Economy Research Group (VERG) harnesses the research energies of a number of colleagues, both early career and well established, who are working in the areas of tourism, mobilities, hospitality, heritage, events, and leisure.
Through our research activities, VERG provides insight into and deepens understanding of the visitor economy in diverse contexts, both locally and internationally, and from a range of perspectives and multi-disciplinary approaches.
Our members come from different research areas with interests in destination management, branding and place making; culture and heritage management; tourism marketing; migration, equality and social justice; tourism and hospitality labour; sustainability and social entrepreneurship; events management, consumer culture and consumer behaviour.
We run a number of undergraduate programmes (BA International Tourism Management, BSc Events Management and BA Sports Business Management) as well as postgraduate programmes (MSc International Tourism Management, MSc Tourism and Marketing, MA Culture and Heritage Management, MSc Events Management, MSc International Sports Business Management).
If you are interested in joining us and/or exploring research collaboration opportunities, please get in touch with Dr. Agnieszka Rydzik at email@example.com.
Research Themes and Sustainable Development Goals
Our research is embedded in the following University research themes, a unique set of areas that key into our goals as a civic university undertaking internationally significant research with local relevance, and as researchers engaged in the pursuit of excellence. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals badges represent our research and collaborations in terms of their contribution to the issues the world faces today and into the future.
Out of War Experiences, Hope for the Future (WE-Hope)
Funded by Creative Europe and running 2019-2022, this project aims to promote social inclusion in Europe. University of Lincoln is leading the project, with five partners and three associate partners. We are collecting oral testimony for an online archive which will form the inspiration for the creation of a commissioned art installation, acting as a focus for celebrating inclusion. (Project Lead: Prof Heather Hughes)
The International Bomber Command Centre Digital Archive
The IBCC Digital Archive is a substantial repository on the bombing war in Europe between 1939-1945, which is curated and managed within the Department of Tourism, Languages and Marketing. It is connected with Lincoln’s newest heritage attraction, the International Bomber Command Centre. The Archive team has a strong interest in the interpretation of difficult heritage and led the development of the exhibition at the IBCC. (Project Lead: Prof Heather Hughes)
Heritage at Risk and Wellbeing
Funded by Historic England, this is a project to understand the impact on volunteers with their involvement in ‘heritage at risk’ projects by conducting interviews and surveys across ten sites in England. We will develop a toolkit to understand the nature of wellbeing impacts and how Historic England can enhance the benefits to volunteers. (Project Lead: Prof Heather Hughes)
Migration, Inter-Connectivity and Regional Development Network (MICaRD)
Funded by the Regional Studies Association (RSA) and led by Dr. Agnieszka Rydzik, MICaRD brings together scholars, policymakers and practitioners across Europe to provide a forum for debating current and emerging issues on European economic migration, foster collaboration and expand research opportunities.
Inclusive Boston (2018-2020)
Funded by the UK government, this project aimed to promote social cohesion and inclusion in Boston communities. The project involved various stakeholders, including Lincolnshire Community and Volunteer Service, Boston Borough Council, community leaders and policymakers. (Dr. Agnieszka Rydzik and Liz Price)
Tourism Markets Diversification: Evidence from Qatar
With Qatar placing its tourism sector as being key to diversifying its economy, this project seeks to boost the number of tourists in order to support sustainable development for the region, identifying support required by the Government, supplying a research evidence-based training module for Qatari tourism staff as well as a Government White Paper. (Project Lead: Dr Shrabani Saha)
A Learning Community: An Exploration of the Lincolnshire Tripod
Dr Georgiana Els has been awarded funding from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) for an eighteen-month long Collaborative Enhancement project developed in collaboration with Mr. Chris Jackson from Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU).
Understanding Intergenerational differences in visitors’ sustainable behaviours
Dr. Samira Zare’s project explores intergenerational differences in sustainability-related behaviours within the broader leisure context to inform both theory and practice about the implications of such behavioural differences
Using cultural capital for acculturation
Dr Connie Mak’s study draws on the sociological perspective of practice theories to explore the ‘process’ of how educated and affluent immigrants from the Mainland China adapt to their new life and identities in Hong Kong through the consumption and acquisition of cultural capital
Dr Agnieszka Rydzik is launching a campaign ‘Hospitality, Now!’. Working in collaboration with a range of stakeholders, the aim is to change the culture of student employment in the hospitality sector. The campaign is funded by the QR Policy Support Fund and emerged from a research project on student-workers on zero-hour contracts in UK hospitality.
Postdoctoral researcher Dr V. Araj and Prof H. Hughes, together with project volunteers, continue to uncover fascinating stories from this region that have been neglected or purposely forgotten. For Black History Month, they launched Lincoln’s first Black History Trail, which will soon be available as a downloadable, self-guided tour.
Lincoln’s engineering heritage
Dr Abi Hunt, Prof Heather Hughes and Tom Kitchen have been involved in an initiative to preserve vital collections of papers, films and objects relating to the history of Ruston’s, Lincoln’s most prominent engineering manufacturer. The city’s industrial heritage is increasingly being recognised as an important part of the city’s visitor offer.
We-Hope (Creative Europe)
Our ‘modern cantastoria’ was premiered at the Frequency Festival in Lincoln in October. Sadly, due to Covid, none of our five project partners from across Europe was able to attend. We are now entering the last phase of the project, which will culminate with a celebration in a partner city in September 2022.
IBCC Digital Archive (Update)
The archive continues to grow and attract recognition. We recently became members of the Community Archives and Heritage Group. Our partnership with the International Bomber Command Centre is an important one strategically for the University, as will be underlined in February 2022 with the signing of a new, twenty-year agreement.