Professor Joanne Connell
Associate Professor in Sustainability and Tourism
+44 (0) 1392 722657
Streatham Court, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4PU, UK
Dr Joanne Connell joined the University of Exeter Business School in 2011. Her previous posts include Senior Lecturer in Tourism in the Department of Marketing at the University of Stirling, and Lecturer in Tourism at the University of Plymouth.
Her qualifications include a BSc (Hons) in Rural Resource Management and an MA in Tourism and Social Responsibility (Exeter). She was awarded a PhD in 2002 by the Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Plymouth for her research on gardens as a tourism and recreational resource in Great Britain, and the implications for managing gardens as visitor attractions.
Jo is the Programme Director for MSc International Tourism Management. She has extensive experience in tourism research, education, publishing and knowledge transfer. Notably, she is the author of a range of acclaimed books and edited collections, including the major international text book Tourism: A Modern Synthesis now in its 5th edition, and The Routledge Handbook of Events (both with Stephen Page). She has co-edited a series of high-level research works for both Routledge and Sage that provide a valuable synthesis of how sub-disciplines in Tourism (Event Tourism, Sustainable Tourism and Leisure) have evolved. She is the Book Review Editor for the journal Tourism Management, and is the Associate Editor for the Business and Economics section of the open-access journal Heliyon, with responsibility for tourism.
Jo's innovative current work focuses on making the visitor economy more dementia-friendly and she is one of the leading researchers internationally in this emerging area. She has recently worked with several organisations, including National Coastal Tourism Academy, Historic Royal Palaces and Visit England and Visit Scotland to create dementia-friendly guides for tourism businesses.
Many of the external projects in which Jo has been involved demonstrate both social and economic impact through the leveraging of policy advice to organisations seeking to address strategic issues. She has led and worked as part of small project teams with a number of external bodies in a knowledge transfer capacity: recent examples include West Dorset Council, Visit England, VisitScotland, New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development and Stirling Council. Having advised and worked extensively with Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority (Scotland’s first National Park Authority) during a secondment, she experienced first-hand how academic approaches contribute to the development of methodologies to solve complex research problems in innovative and robust ways, in addition to contributing to National Park sustainable planning processes. Other projects she has worked on include event impact evaluations, tourism business surveys, visitor surveys and organisational secondary data analysis to improve business performance.
- BSc (Hons) in Rural Resource Management - University of Plymouth
- MA in Tourism and Social Responsibility - University of Exeter
- PhD - Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Plymouth
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
- Member of the Tourism Society
- Healthy ageing, dementia and the visitor economy
- Business engagement with dementia-friendly practices
- Sustainable tourism management
- Visitor experiences of gardens and the natural environment
Jo’s research interests focus around the theme of sustainability, wellbeing and business engagement. Her current research addresses business awareness of dementia, and innovative approaches to developing a dementia-friendly visitor economy by engaging tourism businesses in adapting and developing services for people with dementia. She has published ground-breaking academic papers on making the visitor economy more dementia prepared, and is a leading academic globally in this emerging subject area. Reflecting her lifelong passion for nature and the rural environment, Jo is a co-investigator on the ESRC funded ENLIVEN project that connects natural environment experiences, businesses and people with cognitive decline.
Jo's wider research and teaching interests focus on the area of sustainable tourism planning and management. Sustainable tourism is a well–established perspective within tourism management, although its translation from ideology to policy to application is still fraught with difficulties for practitioners and academics alike. Jo is interested in how this process operates and the challenges that face tourism regions and destinations in striving towards the goals of sustainable development.
Jo has undertaken work on the strategic value of festivals and events to tackle seasonality and create more sustainable approaches to an all year round operation for small enterprises She has also undertaken research on the impact of film-induced tourism and is a recognised contributor to the body of knowledge that seeks to evaluate and measure the effects of film and television, particularly through her work on the Isle of Mull, Scotland. The impacts of film tourism are significant in terms of the development, management and marketing of tourism spaces, while balancing visitor expectation and experience with community perceptions and responses, and environmental impacts.
Member of the working group to create the national Dementia-Friendly Tourism Guide (2019) for both Visit England and Visit Scotland, (with Visit England, Visit Scotland, National Trust and Alzheimer’s Society).
Member of the project team to create a dementia-friendly guide for the heritage sector: Klug, K., Page, S.J., Connell, J., Robson, D. and Bould, E. (2017) Rethinking Heritage: A Guide to help make your site more dementia-friendly. For Historic Royal Palaces and Alzheimer’s Society
Dementia-friendly tourism toolkit for tourism businesses (2015). For National Coastal Tourism Academy. URL: https://coastaltourismacademy.co.uk/resource-hub/resource/dementia-why-is-it-important-for-tourism
Evaluation project for West Dorset and Weymouth and Portland Shared Service Partnership: Connell, J. (2014) The Impact of the TV series ‘Broadchurch’ on Tourism Business in the West Dorset Area.
Member of the REACH Network Centre for Research in Ageing and Cognitive Health #REACHExeter
- 2021 ESRC
Extending active life for older people with cognitive impairment through innovation in the visitor economy of the natural environment (ENLIVEN).
Publications by category
Publications by year
- Associate Editor, Book Reviews: Tourism Management
- Associate Editor, Business and Economics: Heliyon
- Editorial Board member: Service Business: An International Journal
- Editorial Board member: Social Sciences and Humanities Open
- Guest Editor and Editorial Board member: Sustainability
Conferences and invited presentations
- Connell, J. and Page, S.J. (2019) Evaluating Rethinking Heritage: A guide to help make your site more dementia-friendly, 3rd June 2019, Kensington Palace, London.
- Connell, J. and Page, S.J. (2018) Working towards a dementia-friendly tourism economy, REACH Network presentation, University of Exeter, 25th April 2018.
- Connell, J. and Togia, M. (2014) Towards an understanding of the impacts of film and television on micro and small-medium tourism enterprises, TTRA 2014, ITAM Track, Bruges, 18-20th June 2014
- Connell, J. (2014) Using events to address seasonality in Scottish visitor attractions. Invited presentation to the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions, Linlithgow, 21st May 2014
- Connell, J. (2014) The impact of ‘Broadchurch’ on tourism in West Dorset. Invited presentation to West Dorset District Council and Bridport Traders Association, West Bay, 28th April 2014
- Connell, J., Page, S.J. and Ferdinand, N. (2013) The role of special events in addressing seasonality in visitor attractions. Making Waves. International Conference on Events (ICE2013), Bournemouth University, 3-5th July 2013
- Connell, J., Page, S.J. and Bentley, T. (2012) The significance of longitudinal methodologies in sustainable tourism research. Tourism, Sustainability and Climate Change International Conference, Bournemouth University 13-15th September 2012
- ‘Issues and Prospects for the Family Tourism Market’, VisitScotland, Edinburgh, Prospects for UK Tourism Markets Seminar, 19th January 2005
Developing innovative and student-centred teaching and learning mechanisms is a particular aspect of Dr Connell’s teaching, and she strives to supplement in-class work with live case studies, inputs from external agencies and field visits. Her ethos is to adopt an applied approach to Tourism teaching, allowing students to develop appreciation, knowledge and insights of real-world issues and applications, alongside more conceptual and theoretical debates. Transferring research into teaching is a central facet of her approach to engaging students in their studies. Dr Connell is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.