Professor Anna Leask

Professor Anna Leask is a key member of the Tourism Subject Group in the Business School. Her teaching and research interests combine and lie principally in the areas of visitor attraction management, heritage tourism and destination management.





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Anna Leask is Professor of Tourism Management and a key member of the Tourism Subject Group and Institute of Festival, Events and Tourism. Her teaching and research interests combine and lie principally in the areas of visitor attraction management, heritage tourism and destination management. She has co-edited several textbooks including Managing Visitor Attractions (2008) and Managing World Heritage Sites (2006) and contributed to several key tourism textbooks. She is on the Editorial Board for four international tourism journals and has been actively involved in the Scientific Committees for many international conferences in Europe and USA. She has published in key academic journals such as Tourism Management, International Journal of Tourism Research and Current Issues in Tourism, in addition to publishing a range of case studies, articles and practitioner papers.

Anna’s recent undergraduate and postgraduate teaching delivery has been in Switzerland, Hong Kong and Singapore. She has also been involved in the preparation and delivery of the Scottish Enterprise Destination Leaders’ Programme and the Executive Development Programme for Experience Industry Professionals (Singapore) CPD course. Recent research has focused on how visitor attractions and hotels can engage with Generation Y visitors and employees, with primary research being conducted in the UK, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore. Anna is a Fellow of the Tourism Society and of the Higher Education Academy. Anna was recently appointed as a Visiting Professor at Wakayama University, Japan.

Areas of expertise

  • Visitor attraction management
  • Cultural heritage management
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site management

Research projects

Currently involved in the following research projects - 

  • Engaging a broader range of visitors at museums
  • Managing World Heritage cities and World Heritage Sites
  • The successful management of visitor attractions
  • Generational Changes in Consumer Behaviour and their impact on tourist decision-making - Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore

PhD supervision

Current students:

  • Urquhart, E. (2nd year PhD) The Role of Technology in the Co-creation of Experience at Scottish Visitor Attractions
  • Curran, S. (2nd year PhD) Places of Scotland’s Industrial Past in the Present: Heritage Management, Material Culture and Landscape
  • Wyatt, B. (1st year PhD) Relationship between Intangible and Tangible Cultural Heritage: an Investigation focusing on lighter dark tourism
  • Robertson, M. (PhD by Published Works) Festivals and events and sustainable development: competencies and commitments
Previous students:
  • Lagiewski, R. (2015) Exporting hospitality & tourism education abroad and its influence on the home programme internationalisation, PhD
  • Bakiewicz, J. (2015) Heritage interpretation challenges and management issues at film-induced tourism heritage attractions, PhD.
  • Band, C. (2014) Creative Work Environments in Advertising Agencies, DBA
  • Ali-Knight, J. (2011) Niche Tourism in Destination Development, PhD by Published Works
  • Todd, L. (2010) Festival images: Brand image and stakeholders’ brand relationship types at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, PhD
  • Rakic, T. (2009) World Heritage, Tourism and National Identity: a case study of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, PhD

Career history

Oct 2014 – Present
Professor of Tourism Edinburgh Napier University

Oct 2008 – Sept 2014
Reader in Tourism, Edinburgh Napier University

July 2001 – Oct 2008
Senior Lecturer, Edinburgh Napier University

Dec 1991 – June 2001
Lecturer, Edinburgh Napier University

2007 – 2008
PhD Tourism, Leeds Beckett University

1988 – 1989
Msc Hospitality & Tourism, University of Strathclyde

1984 – 1988
MA (Hons) Geography, University of Aberdeen


PhD (2008) Title ‘Effective Management of Visitor Attractions’, Leeds Metropolitan University

MSc (1991) Hotel Administration (with Tourism), University of Strathclyde

MA (Hons) (1988) Geography, University of Aberdeen

Professional memberships and honours

Fellow of Tourism Society

Fellow of Higher Education Academy

Key publications

Journals (selected)

  • Leask, A. (2016) Visitor attraction management: A critical review of research 2009–2014. Tourism Management, 57, pp.334-361.
  • Chen, J., Phou, S., & Leask, A. (2016) "Symbolic, experiential and functional consumptions of heritage tourism destinations: the case of Angkor World Heritage Site, Cambodia". International Journal of Tourism Research. DOI: 10.1002/jtr.2077
  • Todd, L., Leask, A. & Fyall, A. (2015) Destination Competitiveness: A Comparative Study of Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore, Tourism Analysis: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 20, pp. 593-605.
  • Barron, P., Leask, A. and Fyall, A. (2014), Engaging Generation Y employees in hospitality and tourism, Tourism Review. 69 (4) pp.245-263.
  • Leask, A, Fyall, A. & Barron, P. (2014) Gen Y: An Agenda for Future Visitor Attraction Research, International Journal of Tourism Research. 16 (5) pp. 462-471.
  • Leask, A., Fyall, A. & Garrod, B. (2013) Managing Revenue at Scottish Visitor Attractions, Current Issues in Tourism. 16 (3) pp. 240-265.
  • Leask, A., Fyall, A. & Barron, P. (2013) Generation Y – Market Opportunity or Marketing Challenge – strategies to engage Gen Y in the UK attractions sector, Current Issues in Tourism. 16 (1) pp.17-46.
  • Weidenfeld, A. & Leask, A. (2013) Exploring the Relationship between visitor attractions and events: definitions and management factors, Current Issues in Tourism. 16 (6) pp.552-569.
  • Garrod, B., Fyall, A., Leask, A. & Reid, E. (2012) Engaging Residents as Stakeholders of the Visitor Attraction, Tourism Management. 33 (5) pp. 1159-1173.
  • Leask, A & Rihova I (2010) The Role of Heritage Tourism on the Shetland Islands, International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research. 4 (2) pp.118-129.
  • Leask A (2010) Progress in Visitor Attraction Research: Towards more effective management, Tourism Management. 31 (2) pp.155-166.
  • Robertson M, Rogers P & Leask A (2009) Progressing socio-cultural impact evaluation for festivals, Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure & Events. 1 (2) pp.156-169.
Books (selected)
  • Fyall A, Garrod B, Leask A and Wanhill S (eds) (2008) Managing Visitor Attractions: New Directions, Elsevier
  • Leask, A. & Fyall, A. (eds), (2006) Managing World Heritage Sites, Butterworth- Heinemann, Oxford

Edited textbook contributions

  • Weidenfeld, A. & Leask, A. (2016) ‘‘Events, Visitor Attractions and the Event Attraction Continuum’’, chapter in Visitor Attractions and Events: Locations and Linkages, Routledge Advances in Events Research Series.
  • Bakiewicz, J., Leask, A., Barron, P. & Rakic, T., (forthcoming 2016) ‘Using heritage interpretation to manage visitors at film-induced tourism heritage attractions’ chapter in Albrecht, J. Visitor Management in Tourism Destinations CABI. 
  • Bąkiewicz, J., Leask, A., Barron, P., Rakić, T. (2016) chapter entitled ‘Exploring film-induced tourism implications for onsite heritage interpretation at Alnwick Castle’ in Destination Marketing, Kozac, M. (ed). Routledge. 
  • Leask, A. (2013) Heritage Attractions chapter in Revenue Management for Hospitality and Tourism, Legoherel P, Fyall A & Poutier E (eds) Goodfellow Publishing, Oxford.
  • Leask, A., Hicks, D. & Chuchra, C. (2013) The Role of Edinburgh World Heritage in Managing a World Heritage City chapter in Contemporary Case Studies – World Heritage, Goodfellow Publishing, Oxford.
  • Leask, A. & Barron, P. (2012) Engaging with Gen Y at Museums, chapter in Smith, M. & Richards, G. (eds) Cultural Tourism Handbook Routledge, Abingdon.
  • Barron, P. & Leask, A. (2011) Event Management Education, chapter in Page, S. & Connell, J. Routledge Handbook of Events, Routledge, Abingdon.

Conference papers (selected)
  • Bakiewicz, J. & Leask, A. Management Challenges at Film-Induced Tourism Heritage Attractions. IACuDiT 3rd International Conference -Tourism, Culture and Heritage in a Smart Economy, Athens, May 2016.
  • Leask, A. & Barron, P. Exploring Visitor Engagement with Museum Exhibits during ‘Lates’ Events at the National Museum of Scotland, UK’. International Marketing Trends Conference, Venice, January 2016.
  • Leask, A. & Barron, P. International Marketing Trends Conference ‘Engaging a broader range of consumers at museums’ ESCP Paris, January 2015.
  • Bakiewicz, J. and Leask, A. (2014) Exploring film induced tourism implications on onsite heritage interpretation at heritage visitor attractions. 7th World Conference for Research in Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure, Istanbul, Turkey June 2014.      
  • Leask, A. & Barron, P. International Marketing Trends Conference  ‘Engaging with new consumer markets – Museum Events and Generation Y’. Universita Ca’ Foscari, Venice, January 2014.
  • Barron, P and Leask, A. (2013), A case study of employee engagement 
  • the hospitality industry. Council for Hospitality Management Education,
  • 22nd Annual Research Conference. Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, May 2013.
  • Leask, A., Barron, P. & Todd, L. (2012), Engaging with Gen Y at museum events, International Conference on Tourism & Events:   Opportunities, Impacts and Change, University of Ulster, Belfast, Northern Ireland, June 2012. Prize awarded for Best Paper Presentation.
  • Leask, A., Fyall, A. & Barron, P. (2012) Generation Y: A supply-side comparative study of Western and Asian visitor attractions. The 2nd Interdisciplinary Tourism Research Conference, Anatolia: An International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Research. Fethiye, Turkey, April 2012.
  • Leask, A., Barron, P., Fyall, A. & Todd, L. (2012) Generation Y in Asia:  Generational consumer behaviour and impacts upon tourism in visitor attractions and hotels in Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore, at  Contemporary Issues in Hospitality Conference,  Hotel and Tourism Management Institute (HTMi), Switzerland,  April 2012.
  • Leask, A, Barron, P. & Ensor, J. (2012) Gen Y: The Impact of Generational Changes in Consumer Behaviour on the Marketing of Tourist Attractions, presented at International Marketing Trends Conference, Universita Ca’ Foscari, Venice, January 2012.
  • Leask, A., Barron, P &, Fyall, A. (2011) Generation Y – East meets West: A Comparative Study of Attraction Engagement Strategies, presented at Advancing the Social Science of Tourism, University of Surrey, June 2011.
Funded projects (selected)

  • Ali-Knight, J., Wardrop, K. & Leask, A. ‘Destination Leaders Programme’. Scottish Enterprise, 2012. 
  • Leask, A.  ‘Age diverse employee engagement’. Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, 2012.
  • Leask, A. & Barron, P. ‘Generational Changes in Consumer Behaviour and impact on tourist decision-making’. Lawrence Ho Development Fund, 2010 – 2012.


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