Dr Jane Ali-Knight

Dr. Jane Ali-Knight is a Professor in Festival and Event Management.

Dr Jane Ali Knight at The Hub in Edinburgh, the location of the Edinburgh Festival HQ





The Business School




+44 (0) 131 455 4392


Jane is currently leading and developing the festival and event subject group as well as lecturing at Universities internationally and facilitating training and development in the field.  She is Course Director of the 'Executive Certificate in Festival and Event Management' delivered in Scotland and the UAE and the highly successful ‘Destination Leaders Programme’ delivered with Scottish Enterprise. Her core activities fall into three main areas: event and festival related programmes; research and publications and conferences and professional events. She is currently a board member of BAFA (British Arts and Festivals Association); Without Walls; Women in Tourism and is a Fellow of the HEA and Royal Society of the Arts.

A recognised academic she has presented at major international and national conferences and has published widely in a range of international academic journals in the areas of wine tourism, tourism, festival and event marketing and management. She is also on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Vacation Marketing, International Journal of Event and Festival Management and is a regular reviewer for Tourism Management. She has also co-edited seminal text books in the area of Festival and Event Management. Jane has extensive experience in designing and delivering undergraduate, postgraduate and professional courses in tourism and festival and event management both in the UK and overseas. She is a Visiting Research Fellow at Curtin University, Perth, Australia.


Her recent event related experience extends to CakeFest Edinburgh 2015, a Year of Food and Drink Funded Project; Special Events Management and Publicity Co-ordination for the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF), 2007 - 2012, and extensive Professional and Academic Conference Organisation.

Jane is a Visiting Professor at Curtin.

Areas of expertise 

Festival and Event Management; Wine and Food Tourism; Destination Leadership and Development and Wellness Tourism.

Research projects 

Currently involved in the following research projects –

  • •Leveraging the 2022 Qatar World Football Cup for the promotion of green and active living: A multiple stakeholder evaluation of strategic options. Qatar Foundation, QNRF Grant
  • Experiential Learning in Event Management Education
  • Women in Tourism: Career Progression and Skills Development
  • Wellness Tourism: profiling the Yoga Tourist 
  • Blogging: an innovative approach to event and tourism destination promotion.

Courses taught 

International Festival and Event Management; Music Event Management; Festival and Event Impacts; International Festival and Event Environments.

PhD Supervision 

Current Students:

Tschochohei, M. (1st year PhD) A study of knowledge management in emerging markets in the case of German companies in the Gulf Region

Robertson, M. (PhD by Published Works) Festivals and events and sustainable development: competencies and commitments

Career history 

August 2017 – Present

Professor in Festival and Event Management, The Business School, Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland

April 2002 – August 2017

Associate Professor in Festival and Event Management, The Business School, Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland

June 1999 – Dec 2001

Lecturer, School of Marketing, Curtin University, Perth, Australia

Jan 1998 - June 1999

Associate Lecturer, School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia


PhD - The Role of Niche Tourism Products in Destination Development. Edinburgh Napier University

MSc Tourism Management with distinction. Manchester Metropolitan University

BA (Hons) English Literature/Modern History. The University of Liverpool

Professional memberships and honours 

Member of The Tourism Society, UK. Committee member for the Tourism Society Scotland 2002 - 2007
Founding Member of the Association of Event Management Educators
Council Member of Scottish Tourism Alliance
Board Member of the British Arts Festivals Association
Member of the Cross Party Group (CPG) for Tourism and the CPG for Culture, Scottish Parliament
Member of the Scottish Government Gulf States Steering Group
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts

Key publications

Journal Articles (selected)

  • Jarman, D., Theodoraki, E., Hall, H., Ali-Knight, J. (2014). Social network analysis and festival cities: an exploration of concepts, literature and methods. International Journal of Event and Festival Management, 5(3), 311-322.
  • Weber, K. and Ali-Knight, J. (2012) Events and Festivals in Asia and the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. International Journal of Event and Festival Management 3(1). pp. 4-8. 
  • Ensor, J., Robertson, M. and Ali-Knight, J. (2011) Eliciting the Dynamics of Leading a Sustainable Event: Key Informant Responses. Event Management, Vol. 15. pp. 315-327. 
  • Carlsen, J., Andersson, T.D., Ali-Knight, J., Jaeger, K. And Taylor, R. (2010) Festival Management Innovation and Failure. International Journal of Event and Festival Management 1(2). pp. 120-131. 
  • Stephenson, M.L., and Ali-Knight, J. (2010) Dubai's Tourism Industry and its Societal Impact: Social Implications and Sustainable Challenges Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change, 8(4) pp. 278-292. 
  • Frew, E. and Ali-Knight. J. (2009). Independent Theatres and the Creation of a Fringe Atmosphere.International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 3(3). pp. 211-227 
  • Carlsen, J., Ali-Knight, J. & Robertson, M. (2007). Access - a research agenda for festival and events. Event Management - an international journal, 11(1). 
  • Ensor, J., Robertson, M. & Ali-Knight, J. (2007). The dynamics of successful events - the experts' perspective. Managing Leisure - an international journal, 12(3). 
  • Charters, S and Ali-Knight, J. (2002).Who is the Wine Tourist? Tourism Management, 23(3).


  • Ali-Knight, J, Robertson, M, Fyall, A & Ladkin, A. (2008). International Perspectives of Festivals and Events: Paradigms of Analysis. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann. 
  • Ali-Knight, J. & Chambers, D. (2006). Case Studies in Festival and Event Marketing and Cultural Tourism. UK: LSA Publications. 
  • Yeoman, I, Robertson, M, Ali-Knight, J. et al. (2003) Festival and Event Management: An International Arts and Culture Perspective. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann.

Funded Projects (selected)

Ali-Knight, J., Wardrop, K. & Leask, A. ‘Destination Leaders Programme’. Scottish Enterprise, 2012, 2015

Qatar Foundation, QNRF Grant. Leveraging the 2022 Qatar World Football Cup for the promotion of green and active living: A multiple stakeholder evaluation of strategic options ($235,307.00) November 2013

Edinburgh Napier University

• Holistic Tourism: Profiling the Yoga Tourist. September 2012
• Aspirations and Progression of Event Management Students: A study of career destination upon graduation. December 2012
• Developing a framework/guidelines for organisations to use ‘blogs’ as an effective communication channel for festivals and events in Scotland. March 2014.


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