Meet the team behind the Destination Leaders Programme:
Dr Jane Ali-Knight
Dr. Jane Ali-Knight is a Professor in Festival and Event Management at Edinburgh Napier University, and a Visiting Research Fellow at Curtin University, Perth. She 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. 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) 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 the areas of wine tourism, tourism, festival and event marketing and management. She has also edited seminal text books in the area of Festival and Event Management: International Perspectives of Festivals and Events: Paradigms of Analysis (2008); Case Studies in Festival and Event Marketing and Cultural Tourism (2006) and Festival and Event Management: An International Arts and Culture Perspective (2003). Current research interests include career destination of festival and event graduates; the use of social media in festivals and events and the growth and development of festivals and events in emerging tourism destinations. 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.
Kenneth has over 25 years of professional experience operating at Chief Executive level in destination marketing, brand management, economic development and regeneration, cultural tourism, and festival and events operations. Kenneth has a Masters Degree in Business Administration. He has a track record of leading successful public - private sector collaborations, managing multi-million pound capital budgets and operation budgets of over £6m. Kenneth has led on the delivery of the Destination Leaders Programme since its inception in 2013. He also currently manages his own tourism consultancy business, and recent clients have included Creative Scotland, Bournemouth Tourism, Edinburgh Tourism Action Group, and Marketing Edinburgh. Previous roles have included Chief Executive of Destination Edinburgh Marketing Alliance, Head of Economic Development with the City of Edinburgh Council, and a Director of the Board of the Edinburgh Convention Bureau.
Kenneth has been a Visiting Research Fellow in the Business School at Edinburgh Napier University since 2008. Kenneth delivers Executive Training in Tourism and Events Management in the UK, the Middle East ,and East Asia, and lectures on tourism and events operations in Hong Kong and Singapore. Kenneth regularly speaks at international tourism conferences and contributes to academic publications. Kenneth is a Fellow of the Tourism Society and committee member of the Tourism Society Scotland. He is a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellow investigating tourism led economic regeneration in North America.
Pip founded her own successful consultancy business nine years ago with a focus on Leadership and Influencing, Prescence and Impact and helping people to have authentic Conversations. She consults, coaches and delivers bespoke training in these areas.
Pip started her post graduate career 28 years ago in Retail Management, then moved into Human Resources in BAE systems and held a number of Senior Roles across the UK including Divisional Management Development Manager (circa 16,000 people) and Business Unit HR Manager (circa 1,300 people).
Consultancy clients include working as a Facilitator on Leadership Development Programme for Senior Leaders in the subject area of Influencing and Impact; working with the Police Constabulary – Diagnosing and delivering a programme of change to support the objectives of the organisation. 550 people have attended training courses and workshops.
Prof. Anna Leask
Anna Leask is Professor of Tourism Management and 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. 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.
Dr Ross Tinsley
Ross is a lecturer in the Tourism Subject Group at the Business School, Edinburgh Napier University. As an academic he has research interests in festival and events, small tourism businesses and destination development. He primarily lectures in destination marketing and management but is also more broadly interested in tourism, society and visual culture. Within the Subject Group he has been Programme Leader for Undergraduate Tourism and currently serves as Year 2 Tutor. Externally he has long running positions on the executive committees for the Association of Tourism in Higher Education (ATHE) and the Tourism Society, Scotland. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Ross's research primarily focuses on destination development through entrepreneurship and cultural consumption. His current work centres on post-secularism in festivals and events. He has also researched and published on small tourism business networks and destination development as part of his PhD. He has published in a wide range of well-known journals in the field including Tourism Management, the International Journal of Hospitality Management, and Leisure Studies, as well as a range of international conference presentations. He has also spent significant periods teaching internationally in Switzerland, Slovakia and Cambodia.
We also have a network of international Visiting Research Fellows and Professors involved in the programme, including:
- Prof Calvin Jones, Cardiff University, Wales, Tourism/Events Economist
- Prof Alan Fyall, University of Central Florida, USA, Destination Marketing and Management expert
- Prof Brian King, Hong Kong University Polytechnic, Tourism Expert
- Prof Leo Jago, University of Surrey, UK, Events Economist