Anna Leask
Anna Leask

Prof Anna Leask

Professor

Biography

Anna Leask is Professor of Tourism Management and a key member of the Tourism and Languages Subject Group in The Business School. I am involved in a broad range of activities - researching, teaching, supervising, engaging with industry, knowledge exchange and informing policy and business practice. My role provides extensive opportunities to engage with students, organisations, businesses and communities. As a result, I am regularly invited to contribute to tourism strategy and policy-making events, informing policy on the basis of my research.

I am an internationally recognised expert in international visitor attraction, museum and heritage management, with a particular interest in how to engage a broader range of visitor audiences. I also research destination management, specifically World Heritage site designation and management practice. I'm also part of an international network of researchers into the development of dementia-friendly destinations and experiences. I particularly enjoy collaborative projects that draw academics, practitioners and policymakers together to work on live issues. A recent project related to the recruitment and retention of visitor-facing employees at visitor attractions across Scotland - a multi-generational approach.

I am Lead for the interdisciplinary Tourism Research Centre hosted at Edinburgh Napier University. I encourage collaborative working and work closely with the tourism, festival and event, and hospitality sectors to develop and support sustainable tourism practices. We aim to engage in inter-disciplinary research and knowledge exchange activities to drive economic, social and cultural recovery and sustainable growth across destinations and communities.

I have co-edited several textbooks including Managing Visitor Attractions (2022) and contributed to several key tourism textbooks. I am on the Editorial Board for five international tourism journals and has been actively involved in the Scientific Committees for many international conferences in Europe and USA. I have published in key 4* CABS academic journals such as Tourism Management and the Journal of Travel Research, in addition to publishing an extensive range of case studies, articles and practitioner papers. I am actively involved in doctoral student supervision and external examination.

My recent undergraduate and postgraduate teaching delivery has been in Edinburgh, Switzerland, Corsica and Hong Kong. I am also closely involved in the preparation and delivery of the Scottish Enterprise Destination Leaders’ Programme and other commercial programmes. Recent publications include work on the development of dementia-friendly destinations and how to develop experiences for Senior Visitors at attractions, with my research being embedded within the curriculum.

I have held various external roles, for example, as Visiting Professor at Wakayama University, Japan between 2015-2019, and as reviewer and referee for validation panels and promotion panels. Anna is a Fellow of the Tourism Society and of the Higher Education Academy.

I work closely with tourism sector organisations and participated in the Scottish Government Tourism Recovery Taskforce and delivery of the subsequent Scottish Government funded Talent Development and Leadership programmes. I facilitates connections between the industry and higher education in my role as Higher Education representative on the Tourism & Hospitality Skills Group as part of Skills Development Scotland. More recently I have been working with the tourism sector on how to develop skills and leadership in individuals, organisations and destinations.

Research Groups

News

Esteem

Advisory panels and expert committees or witness

  • Higher Education Representative Tourism Skills Scotland, Skills Development Scotland
  • Member of team designing and delivering Destination Leaders Programme for Scottish Enterprise
  • Appointed member of Assembly Rooms Heritage Advisory Board
  • Judge for Association of Scottish Visitor Attraction Marketing Awards

 

Conference Organising Activity

  • Member of Scientific Committee Marketing trends Conference 2024 Venice
  • Member of Scientific Committee 5th World Research Summit for Tourism and Hospitality, Florida, USA December, 2019
  • Member of Scientific Committee Marketing Trends Conference Paris 2020
  • Member of Scientific Committee Global Conference on Hospitality, Tourism, Event and Leisure Management Florida, USA, March 2018.
  • Scientific Committee Member, 4th World Research Summit for Tourism and Hospitality and 2nd USA-China Tourism Research Summit and Industry Dialogue: Innovation, Partnerships, and Sharing Conferences, Florida, USA December, 2017
  • Scientific Committee member, Global Conference on Hospitality, Tourism, Event and Leisure Management Florida, USA, March 2018.
  • Scientific Committee Member Heritage 2016: International Conference, Lisbon
  • Scientific Committee Member, International Marketing Trends Conference, Venice, 2016
  • Scientific Committee Member The 2nd World Tourism Research Conference, University of Central Florida
  • Member of Scientific Committee, International Marketing Trends Conference, Paris
  • Conference Theme Chair Heritage and Hospitality Conference Istanbul
  • The World Tourism Research Conference, University of Central Florida, 2013
  • Heritage 2014: 4th International Conference on Heritage and Sustainable Development, Guimaraes

 

Editorial Activity

  • Associate Editor Destination Management and Planning Journal
  • Editorial Board Member - Sustainability - Culture and Heritage
  • Associate Editor Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Editorial Board member Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Guest Editor Managing World Heritage Sites, Journal Heritage Tourism Vol 2 (3)
  • Guest Editor Event tourism; enhancing destinations and the visitor economy, International Journal Tourism Research
  • Guest Editor Contemporary Issues in event venue management, International Journal Event and Festival Management Vol 2 (2)
  • Editorial Board member International Journal of Tourism Research
  • Guest Editor International Visitor Attractions, International Journal of Tourism Research,Vol 4 (5)
  • Editorial Board member Journal of Heritage Tourism
  • Editorial Board member International Journal of Event and Festival Management

 

External Examining/Validations

  • External Validation MA Architecture and Sustainable Heritage
  • External Examiner PhD Sheffield Hallam University
  • External Examiner DBA Sheffield Hallam University
  • External Examiner PhD University Central Lancashire
  • Lead External for Review Panel University of West Indies Tourism Programmes
  • External Examiner programme validations Swansea University
  • External Examiner PhD University of Surrey
  • External Examiner, PhD Manchester Metropolitan University
  • External Examiner, PhD Sheffield Hallam University
  • External Examiner PhD, University of Central Lancashire
  • Examiner (external) for PhD Bournemouth University
  • Examiner (external) for PhD Deakin University, Australia
  • External Validation Panel Member Robert Gordon University postgraduate Tourism and Event Management programmes
  • External Validation Panel Member Bournemouth University undergraduate Tourism, Hospitality, Event, Sport and Retail Management programmes
  • Examiner (external) for PhD Bournemouth University
  • External Validation Panel Member University of Ulster Masters Tourism suite
  • Examiner (external) for MRes University of Strathclyde
  • Examiner (external) for MPhil Auckland University Technology,
  • Examiner (external) for PhD Deakin University, Australia
  • External Appraisal of Hospitality, Tourism and Event portfolio conducted for University of Gloucestershire
  • Examiner (external) for MLitt University of Newcastle, November 2009
  • Examiner (external) for PhD by Published Works University of Greenwich, 2015
  • External Examiner for MA World Heritage Studies, Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage
  • External Examiner for MA Conference Management University of Westminster

 

Fellowships and Awards

  • Scottish Womens Awards Finalist
  • Winner of Highly Commended paper Journal of Heritage Tourism
  • Fellow of The Tourism Society
  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy
  • Winner of the Outstanding Reviewer Prize for International Journal Festival and Event Management 2014
  • Winner of Best Paper Presentation at International Conference on Tourism & Events: Opportunities, Impacts and Change, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland

 

Grant Reviewer

  • External Funding Reviewer for Leuven University, Belgium
  • Reviewer for Estonian Research Council
  • Assessor for Carnegie Trust for Universities of Scotland funding bids

 

Invited Speaker

  • Presentation to Hotel Support Fund Skills Masterclass
  • Panel Member at Built Environment Forum event
  • Women in Tourism presentation
  • Capital group presentation

 

Media Activity

  • Sustainable growth for both visitors and attractions must be the aim, article in The Scotsman newspaper, January 17th.
  • Interview on BBC Breakfast News
  • Macau Business Daily June 2015 ‘Gaming and UNESCO sites trump Hong Kong and Singapore’
  • ‘The Conversation’ September 22nd 2015 ‘World Heritage status is too precious to be taken lightly’

 

Public/Community Engagement

  • Expert Witness Scottish Parliament Citizens' Forum
  • Adopt-a-business Scheme Interface
  • Leask, A. (2019) The Role of Visitor Attractions in Destination Development, public lecture at University of West Indies, February.
  • Leask, A. (2018) Scotch Whisky Tourism, presentation at National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement event 30th November.

 

Reviewing

  • External assessment for academic promotion at the University of Malta

 

Visiting Positions

  • Visiting Professor at Wakayama University, Japan

 

Date


96 results

The sustainable festival city and local communities: Engaging secondary stakeholders through placemaking

Presentation / Conference
We will present initial findings from our research which considers how Edinburgh’s (UK) festivals and tourism sectors can deliver sustainable community engagement. Our study a...

Re-enactment in Lighter Dark Tourism: An Exploration of Re-enactor Tour Guides and Their Perspectives on Creating Visitor Experiences

Journal Article
Wyatt, B., Leask, A., & Barron, P. (2024)
Re-enactment in Lighter Dark Tourism: An Exploration of Re-enactor Tour Guides and Their Perspectives on Creating Visitor Experiences. Journal of Travel Research, 63(2), 496-516. https://doi.org/10.1177/00472875221151074
This study explores the perspectives of re-enactor tour guides (RTG) concerning their role and re-enactment of dark histories—an overlooked topic within dark tourism research....

Managing Visitor Attractions

Book
Fyall, A., Garrod, B., Leask, A., & Wanhill, S. (Eds.)
(2022). Managing Visitor Attractions. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003041948
Visitor attractions represent a complex sector of the tourism industry and are the catalytic focus for the development of tourism infrastructure and services. The third editio...

The Nature and Role of Visitor Attraction

Book Chapter
Leask, A. (2022)
The Nature and Role of Visitor Attraction. In A. Fyall, B. Garrod, A. Leask, & S. Wanhill (Eds.), Managing Visitor Attractions. (3rd). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003041948-2
Visitor attractions play a vital role in the development and success of tourism destination. The aim of this chapter is first to define the terms ‘visitor attraction’ and ‘tou...

Interpretation at heritage sites: Culloden Battlefield, UK

Book Chapter
Urquhart, E. (2022)
Interpretation at heritage sites: Culloden Battlefield, UK. In A. Fyall, B. Garrod, A. Leask, & S. Wanhill (Eds.), Managing Visitor Attractions. (3rd edn). London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003041948-28
This chapter presents a case study that explores heritage interpretation within the context of Culloden Battlefield, UK. The case will initially consider the challenges and is...

Engaging local residents as stakeholders in World Heritage Sites

Presentation / Conference
Leask, A. (2022, March)
Engaging local residents as stakeholders in World Heritage Sites. Paper presented at New Lanark: A living legacy Anniversary Conference, New Lanark, UK
This paper explores how local residents engage in the management of World Heritage Sites, with specific examples from New Lanark and Edinburgh Old and New Towns World Heritag...

Creating Dementia Friendly Destinations in Scotland

Book Chapter
Leask, A., Wardrop, K., Fyall, A., & Hansen, M. (2021)
Creating Dementia Friendly Destinations in Scotland. In Managing Events, Festivals and the Visitor Economy: Concepts, Collaborations and Cases (17-36). Wallingford, UK: CABI. https://doi.org/10.1079/9781789242843.0003
• Accessible tourism is an increasingly important sector of the tourism industry. • The ageing population represents an under-developed and lucrative market. • Globally 46 ...

Towards a visitor taxonomy at (film-induced) heritage attractions

Journal Article
Bąkiewicz, J., Leask, A., Barron, P., & Rakić, T. (2022)
Towards a visitor taxonomy at (film-induced) heritage attractions. Journal of Heritage Tourism, 17(3), 247-263. https://doi.org/10.1080/1743873X.2021.2002340
Film-induced tourism at heritage attractions (HAs) is a growing industry of international relevance. It can influence visitors’ expectations of the site and further their pref...

Hamlet Live: the 7 I’s Experiential Strategy Framework for heritage visitor attractions

Journal Article
Lund, N. F., Holst-Beck, P., Pine II, B. J., & Leask, A. (2022)
Hamlet Live: the 7 I’s Experiential Strategy Framework for heritage visitor attractions. Journal of Heritage Tourism, 17(2), 125-141. https://doi.org/10.1080/1743873x.2021.1951277
In an increasingly competitive market for tourist destinations, visitor attractions play a key role in enticing visitors to the destination, and as such must continually devel...

Factors in the provision of engaging experiences for the traditionalist market at visitor attractions

Journal Article
Leask, A., & Barron, P. (2021)
Factors in the provision of engaging experiences for the traditionalist market at visitor attractions. Tourism Management Perspectives, 38, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tmp.2021.100810
The global population is ageing with implications for the provision of tourism experiences to meet changing needs. The shift in demographics has encouraged a focus on the olde...

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