BU has big ideas for the future of tourism
16 June 2011
Jointly published by Universities UK and Research Councils UK, Big Ideas for the Future provides insight further into life-changing research currently taking place in universities across the UK. The report has been released to mark Universities Week 2011 (13 – 19 June) which aims to increase public awareness of the wide and varied role of the UK’s universities.
BU researchers Professor Alan Fyall and Dr Heather Hartwell at BU firmly believe there is a need to promote sustainable healthy lifestyles and achievable exercise habits within the population of the UK. One way to do this is by linking future tourism strategies with public health strategies. The key to this is creating a community culture where the tourism destination is seen to enhance and promote the physical and mental health for both local inhabitants and tourists.
“The issues raised are far more than simply returning to the days when being by the seaside was believed to be good for your own wellbeing,” says Professor Fyall, Deputy Dean for Research & Enterprise in the University’s School of Tourism. “The current focus is more about co-locating tourism and public health strategy as a means of developing an inclusive culture where the "tourist" destination is seen to enhance and promote the advancement of both physical and mental health for both tourist and local residents. This is something that works well in France, for example, but has yet to embed itself in the policy arenas of public health and tourism. There are clear health benefits to tourists and residents alike with significant economic benefits to be gained by destinations that are able to adapt themselves to deliver a more holistic wellbeing experience.”
The introduction of bike hire schemes in major cities across the world has prompted a new social norm and visual hint, encouraging more people to want to cycle. Running ‘grids’ have been developed using a GPS smart phone app which allows runners to track their run. All these initiatives help encourage people to be more active and could also act as a unique selling point for a tourist destination. This research is particularly looking at the positioning of seaside towns in Southern England, but the results of the research could then be used by other seaside towns around the UK.
“There is a clear public health need to promote a sustainable healthy lifestyle and achievable exercise habit; evidence on the physical health benefits of such a regime is compelling,” say Professor Fyall and Dr Hartwell, Associate Director of the BU’s Centre for Wellbeing and Quality of Life. “Physical inactivity costs the NHS £1.8 billion a year, where only 35% of men and 24% of women reach the recommended physical activity target.
“The introduction of bike hire schemes in major cities across the world has prompted a new social norm and visual hint, encouraging more people to want to cycle,” they continue. “Running ‘grids’ have been developed using a GPS iPhone app which allows runners to track their run; all initiatives which could give the community a framework for increased activity but also act as a USP for the tourist destination.
“With much debate on aspects of wellbeing, social tourism and inclusion prevalent at both national and local levels, most notably in Bournemouth with the town’s 2026 vision group, there is much momentum building in this area,” they conclude. “The case study is already demonstrating an active dialogue between the Director of Public Health and Director of Tourism where the potential for strategic realignment is viewed as an exciting prospect.”Related Links:
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