Loading content
Professor Gareth Shaw

Professor Gareth Shaw

Professor of Retail and Tourism Management


+44 (0) 1392 723332

Streatham Court, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4PU, UK

Gareth Shaw is Professor of Retail and Tourism Management and Associate Dean of Research at the University of Exeter Business School. He has just completed an ESRC project on innovation in the hotel industry and is currently working on an ESRC follow-on project on Sustainable travel and Social Marketing. He is an Innovation Fellow at the Advanced Institute of Management, was formerly Professor of Human Geography at Exeter and has a BA and PhD in Human Geography. He has worked on numerous research projects related to retail development all of which have been funded by major grant awarding bodies. He is an expert on retail innovation and business history and in recent years has completed a large scale AHRC project on the impact of the supermarket on consumer behaviour in post-war Britain. In addition he has written widely within tourism and produced key texts on tourism studies. He has also acted as a consultant for many local, national and international organisations. These include UNESCO, The National Trust, American Express, The European Union and Amoco Oil. He is an elected member of the International Academy of Tourism.

Nationality: British


BA, Phd (University of Hull)

Research clusters

Research interests

Professor Shaw has a number of research interests centred around both retailing and tourism. These include the study of retail innovation and the process of knowledge transfer. In particular, his work has been based on recent, large-scale research grants from the AHRC and Leverhulme.

These grants have focused specifically on a project called ‘The Coming of the Supermarket’, which has explored the nature of this retail innovation and its impact on consumer behaviour. The first part of the project, funded by Leverhulme and the British Academy, focused on the spread of the innovation of self-service and its consequences for retail management, including store location. A second major phase of the research, funded by AHRC, has involved a major national survey of changes in the patterns of shopping behaviour between 1945-1975, based on biographical questionnaires and oral histories. The results of this research are currently being written up as a book entitled The Coming of the Supermarket.

In addition, Professor Shaw’s research in tourism has detailed the changing nature of British coastal resorts and their economic structures. Recent research within tourism, also funded by the British Academy, includes a project examining the consumer perception of low cost airlines and their environmental impacts. This work extended a previous study, funded by Defra, examining consumer lifestyles and sustainable behaviours.

Research projects

Two recently funded projects of Professor Shaw focus on the attitudes of consumers to low cost airlines and climate change. This has led to developing work on social marketing as a means of changing behaviour patterns, via an ESRC CASE award with the National Consumer Council.

Professor Shaw is also working on a project, funded by the ESRC and the Advanced Institute of Management, looking at innovation in the hotel sector and the study of internationalisation processes. This has involved two major surveys. The first, of larger national and international hotels, was concerned with innovations and related process, whilst the second examined SMEs in London’s hotel industry. Again the focus is on innovation pathways but with particular reference to the impact of migrant labour. Early results of this research have been published in the recent ESRC-AIM report, ‘At the Edge of Innovation: why shifts in the boundaries of innovation matter’. A further review project has been completed on the changing patterns of tourism and leisure demands for the Foresight Project, funded by the Government Office for Science.

To date, Professor Shaw has supervised over 50 PhD students to completion and is currently supervising or jointly supervising the following students:

  • Haifa Abdullah (conference tourism market in Saudi Arabia)
  • Paul Cleave (food and tourism in Devon)
  • Jian Yu (foreign direct investment in China’s tourism industry)
  • Joohee Chae (the changing nature of ski tourism in Japan)
  • Supalak Akkaranggoon (supply chains in the UK hotel industry)
  • Pimprae Buddhichjwin (the higher UK education market for Thai students)
  • Victoria Hurth (high income lifestyles and sustainable consumption)
  • Shin-Young Kang (festival tourism in South Korea)
  • Krystina Marcevov (the decision-making processes of tourist groups)
  • Pimplapas Pongsakornrungsilp (sustainable tourism in Thailand)
  • Hiroyuki Yakushiji (ethical tourism behaviour)
  • Maria Custodio (destination branding and tourist image-making)
  • Julie Wooler (social marketing and tourist behaviour at destinations)
  • Junfeng Yang (e-tourism in China)
  • Anne-Katherine Zschiegner (environmental behaviour of small tourism businesses)
  • Yan Wen-Thorton (Chinese female entrepreneurial behaviour in the UK)


External positions

  • Series Editor, History of Retailing and Consumption, Ashgate
  • Series Editor, Tourism, Retailing and Consumption, IB Tauris
  • Review Editor and Editorial Board Member, Tourism Geographies
  • Elected member of the International Academy of Tourism
  • Innovation Research Fellow, Advanced Institute of Management

  • Tourist behaviour
  • Tourism marketing
  • Managing the tourism environment

Professor Shaw’s teaching is closely informed by his research at both postgraduate and undergraduate levels.

His MSc teaching on tourist behaviour draws, in particular, on aspects of consumption patterns and tourism impacts, referring to his co-authored book Tourism and Tourism Spaces.

His undergraduate module is a wide ranging introduction to the management issues in tourism. Again, this draws on ideas from Critical Issues in Tourism along with his book on Managing Coastal Tourism Resorts.

Professor Shaw is also currently working on two new books on cultural tourism and a text book on dissertations in tourism.