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Department of Management

Professor Joanne Connell

Professor Joanne Connell

Associate Professor in Sustainability and Tourism


 +44 (0) 1392 722657

 Streatham Court 0.58


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


Professor Joanne Connell joined the University of Exeter Business School in 2011, having preiously worked at the University of Stirling and 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 has extensive experience in tourism research, education, publishing and knowledge transfer, with a particular focus on sustainable tourism. 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 Tourism and Hospitality section of the open-access journal Heliyon.

Her research interests span the connections between people and places, with a particular focus on sustainable tourism planning and management, nature and the outdoor environment. Current projects include making the visitor economy more dementia-friendly and she is one of the leading researchers internationally in this new area. She is a co-investigator on the UKRI project ENLIVEN in collaboration with the University of Exeter Medical School and University of Hertfordshire, which explores the benefits of nature and the outdoors for older people with cognitive impairment and how business and organisations can improve their provision. She has worked with a range of sector-leading organisations to improve awareness and practice and has created 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, including Bude Climate Partnership, Historic Royal Palaces, West Dorset Council, Visit England, VisitScotland, New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development and Stirling Council. She advised and worked extensively with Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority (Scotland’s first National Park Authority). Other projects she has worked on include event impact evaluations, tourism business surveys, visitor surveys and organisational secondary data analysis to improve business performance.

Nationality: British


  • 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
  • Member of the Royal Geographic Society

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Research interests

  • Place-based approaches to sustainable tourism management
  • Healthy ageing, dementia-inclusivity and the outdoor visitor economy
  • Business engagement with social and environmental agendas
  • Visitor experiences of places and spaces

Jo’s research interests focus broadly around the theme of people and places within a sustainable tourism framework.

Her current research addresses business awareness of dementia, and innovative approaches to developing a dementia-inclusive 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.

Research projects

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:

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. 

Research networks

Member of the REACH Network Centre for Research in Ageing and Cognitive Health  #REACHExeter

Research grants

  • 2021 ESRC
    Extending active life for older people with cognitive impairment through innovation in the visitor economy of the natural environment (ENLIVEN).

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Page SJ, Connell J (2023). Developing Age-Friendly Communities in the UK: Re-creating Places and Spaces. Abstract.
Page SJ, Connell J (2022). Ageing and the Visitor Economy: Global Challenges and Opportunities. Abstract.
Page SJ, Connell J (2020). Tourism: a Modern Synthesis, Fifth Edition. Abstract.
Page S, Connell J (2014). Tourism: a Modern Synthesis. London, Cengage Learning. Abstract.
Page SJ, Connell JJ (2012). The Handbook of Events Management. London, Routledge.
Page S, Connell J (2011). The Routledge Handbook of Events., Routledge. Abstract.
Page S, Connell J (2010). Leisure: an Introduction. Harlow, Ft Pr.
Page S, Connell J (2010). Tourism., SAGE Publications Ltd.
Connell JJ, Page SJ (2009). Event Tourism: Critical Concepts in Tourism. London, Routledge.
Page SJ, Connell JJ (2008). Sustainable Tourism. London, Routledge.
Page SJ, Connell JJ (2007). Leisure Studies. London, Routledge.
Roms H, Gough R (1997). On Tourism (Special Issue of Performance Research vol 2 no 2)., Taylor and Francis (Routledge).

Journal articles

Connell JJ, Page SJ, Sherriff I, Hibbert J (In Press). Business Engagement in a Civil Society: Transitioning Towards a Dementia-Friendly Visitor Economy. Tourism Management
Connell JJ, Page SJ (In Press). Destination readiness for dementia-friendly visitor experiences: a scoping study. Tourism Management
Owen S, Page S, Connell J, Ledingham K, Price S, Quinn C, Victor C, Clare L (In Press). Embodied leisure experiences of nature-based activities for people living with dementia. Dementia
Page S, Connell J, Price S, Owen S, Ledingham K, Clare L (In Press). Operationalizing transformative tourism: Creating dementia-friendly outdoor and nature-based visitor experiences. Journal of Travel Research
Stapley S, Page S, Wheat H, Owen S, Ledingham K, Price S, Connell J, Quinn C, Opdebeeck C, Victor C, et al (In Press). The dementia-nature-inclusivity nexus and the needs of people living with dementia. Ageing and Society
Connell JJ, Page SJ (In Press). Tourism, ageing and the demographic timebomb - the implications of dementia for the visitor economy: a perspective paper. Tourism Review
Connell J, Page SJ, Hill T (2024). Business and third sector organisations, ageing and the silver visitor economy: an untapped opportunity?. Heliyon, e31460-e31460.
Page SJ, Connell J (2024). Dementia as a global challenge: Progress and prospects for creating more dementia-inclusive tourism industries. Tourism Management, 104 Abstract.
Collins R, Owen S, Opdebeeck C, Ledingham K, Connell J, Quinn C, Page S, Clare L (2023). Provision of Outdoor Nature-Based Activity for Older People with Cognitive Impairment: a Scoping Review from the ENLIVEN Project. Health & Social Care in the Community, 2023, 1-23.
Connell J, Page SJ (2019). An exploratory study of creating dementia-friendly businesses in the visitor economy: evidence from the UK. Heliyon, 5(4). Abstract.
Connell J, Page SJ (2019). Case study: Destination readiness for dementia-friendly visitor experiences: a scoping study. Tourism Management, 70, 29-41. Abstract.
Connell JJ (2015). Garden Tourism. Tourism Management, 50, 71-72.
Connell J, Page SJ, Meyer D (2015). Visitor attractions and events: Responding to seasonality. Tourism Management, 46, 283-298. Abstract.
Connell J (2013). Children's and Families' Holiday Experiences. Tourism Management, 39, 21-22.
Connell JJ (2012). Film Tourism: Evolution, Progress and Prospects. Tourism Management, 33(5), 1007-1029.
Connell J (2012). Film tourism - Evolution, progress and prospects. Tourism Management, 33(5), 1007-1029. Abstract.
Page SJ, Yeoman I, Connell JJ, Greenwood C (2010). Scenario planning as a tool to understand uncertainty in tourism: the example of transport and tourism in Scotland in 2025. Current Issues in Tourism, 13(2), 99-137.
Connell JJ, Meyer D (2009). Balamory revisited: an evaluation of the screen tourism destination-tourist nexus. Tourism Management, 30(2), 194-207.
Brewster M, Connell JJ, Page SJ (2009). The Scottish Highland Games: Evolution, development and role as a community event. Current Issues in Tourism, 12(3), 271-283.
Connell JJ, Page SJ, Bentley T (2009). Towards sustainable tourism planning in New Zealand: monitoring local governmnet planning under the Resource Management Act. Tourism Management, 30(6), 867-877.
Connell JJ, Page SJ (2008). Exploring the spatial patterns of car-based tourist travel in Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, Scotland. Tourism Management, 29(3), 561-580.
Connell J (2007). Tourism in parks: Australian initatives, international centre for ecotourism research. Tourism Management, 28(1), 328-329.
Page S, Yeoman I, Munro C, Connell J, Walker L (2006). A case study of best practice - Visit Scotland's prepared response to an influenza pandemic. Tourism Management, 27(3), 361-393. Abstract.
Page SJ, Yeoman I, Connell JJ, Munro C, Walker L (2006). An influenza pandemic – what it could mean for Scottish Tourism. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 30(4), 47-54.
Page SJ, Steele W, Connell JJ (2006). Analysing the promotion of adventure tourism in Scotland. Journal of Sport and Tourism, 11(1), 51-76.
Connell JJ, Page SJ (2005). Evaluating the economic and spatial effects of an event: the case of the World Medical and Health Games. Tourism Geographies, 7(1), 63-85.
Connell J (2005). Managing gardens for visitors in Great Britain: a story of continuity and change. Tourism Management, 26(2), 185-201. Abstract.
Connell J (2005). Toddlers, tourism and Tobermory: Destination marketing issues and television-induced tourism. Tourism Management, 26(5), 763-776. Abstract.
Connell J (2005). ‘What’s the Story in Balamory?’: the impacts of a children’s TV programme on small tourism enterprises on the Isle of Mull, Scotland. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 13(3), 228-255. Abstract.
Connell J, Meyer D (2004). Modelling the visitor experience in the gardens of Great Britain. Current Issues in Tourism, 7(3), 183-216. Abstract.
Connell J (2004). The purest of human pleasures: the characteristics and motivations of garden visitors in Great Britain. Tourism Management, 25(2), 229-247.
Connell JJ, Grainger S (2002). Attitudes to corporate fitness: a case study of firms in Jersey. Managing Leisure: an International Journal, 7(3), 176-193.
Connell J (2002). Environmental management for rural tourism and recreation. Tourism Management, 23(4), 422-424.
Connell J, Grainger S (2002). Exploring attitudes to corporate fitness in Jersey: Employer and employee perspectives. Managing Leisure, 7(3), 176-193. Abstract.
Connell JJ (2001). Managing Leisure. Tourism Management, 22(6), 670-672.
Connell J (2000). The role of tourism in the socially responsible University. Current Issues in Tourism, 3(1), 1-19. Abstract.
Connell J, Reynolds P (1999). The implications of technological developments on Tourist Information Centres. Tourism Management, 20(4), 501-509. Abstract.
Connell J (1996). A study of tourism on university campus sites. Tourism Management, 17(7), 541-544.


Page SJ, Connell J (In Press). Retrospect and prospect. In  (Ed) The Routledge Handbook of Events, Routledge.
Connell JJ, Page SJ (2014). Chapter 8: Visitor Attractions. In Page SJ (Ed) Tourism Management, Routledge, 272-303.
Page S, Connell J (2014). Transport and Tourism. In  (Ed) , Wiley, 155-167.
Page, SJ, Connell JJ (2014). Transportation and Tourism. In Lew AA, Hall CM, Williams AM (Eds.) The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Tourism, Wiley Blackwell.
Connell J, Page SJ (2011). Chapter 8 Visitor attractions. In  (Ed) Tourism Management, Elsevier, 215-240.
Connell JJ, Page SJ (2011). Visitor Attractions. In Page SJ (Ed) Tourism Management: an Introduction, Butterworth-Heinemann, 341-376.
Connell J, Page SJ (2011). Visitor attractions. In  (Ed) Tourism Management, Elsevier, 215-240.
Connell JJ, Page SJ (2009). Visitor Attractions. In Page SJ (Ed) Tourism Management: Managing for Change, Harlow: Pearson, 341-376.
Page SJ, Connell J (2008). Introduction. In  (Ed) The Routledge Handbook of Events, Taylor & Francis.
Unwin, L. (2001). Introduction. In Richardson W, Unwin L (Eds.) The Learning Society and the Knowledge Economy: Nacett's sponsored lecture series, Sheffield: National Advisory Council for Education and Training Targets, 3-14.


Connell JJ, Page S, Sherriff I (2017). Making the UK Visitor Economy more Dementia-Friendly: Lessons from the visitor attraction sector. Summary Report. , University of Exeter Business School. 14 pages.
Klug K, Page S, Connell JJ, Robson D, Bould E (2017). Rethinking Heritage: a guide to making your site more dementia-friendly. Alzheimers' Society and Historic Royal Palaces,  London, Historic Royal Palaces. 59 pages.

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External Engagement and Impact

Editorial responsibilities

  • Associate Editor, Book Reviews: Tourism Management
  • Associate Editor, Tourism and Hospitality: Heliyon
  • Editorial Board member: Service Business: An International Journal

Conferences and invited presentations

  • Connell, J. (2022). Innovation in the outdoor visitor economy: Towards inclusivity for older people living with cognitive impairment, Symposium presentation, British Society of Gerontology Annual Conference, July 8th 2022.
  • Connell, J. (2021). Working with business: Co-producing research and innovation, Symposium presentation, British Society of Gerontology Annual Conference, July 6th 2021, with Judith Phillips (Programme Director for UKRI Healthy Ageing Initiative) and Huw Vasey (ESRC).
  • Connell, J. (2020). Managing seasonality in garden visitor attractions, Invited presentation at Plant Network Webinar, 17th December 2020, online.
  • 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

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My primary teaching is in the field of sustainable tourism management at both the Streatham and Cornwall campuses. My ethos is to share my passion for place-based study through research-based and student-centred learning mechanisms, including live case studies, guest speakers and field visits. I adopt an applied approach to tourism teaching, allowing students to develop appreciation, knowledge and insights of real-world issues and applications, alongside conceptual and theoretical debates. 



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