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Title: Tourism in university cities : the role of universities in place branding
Author: Pereira Brando Albino, Sara
ISNI:       0000 0004 5919 9691
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2015
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As the reorganization of Higher Education has paralleled that of the welfare-state downsizing, Universities have been challenged by governments to handle to market engagement a key social value. Beyond teaching and research, the emergence of a third mission related to science outreach, cultural/educational tourism activities appeared as an opportunity for Universities to increase revenues. Tourism in university heritage sites became not only a tool for university marketing and enhancement of corporate branding, but also contributed to brand host cities as student destinations (Pawlowska & Roget 2009; Popescu 2012; García-Rodriguez & Mendoza Jiménez 2015). As a contribution to knowledge, this research aimed to enlarge the conclusions of previous studies conducted on the universities’ changing roles and their impacts on society, culture and space (Perry & Wiewel 2008; Goddard & Vallance 2014). Tourism was introduced, not only as a consequence of university internationalization but as a dimension present in organizational behaviour of universities, which produces new place perceptions in the host cities. Consequently, the issue of collaborative place branding amongst different stakeholders in a city emerges in the rational scope of resource dependence theory, as a public diplomacy strategy with planned, concerted actions, also affecting the universities relation to the host cities. Hence, the leading research aims of the thesis are: - To investigate the motives that lead universities to adopt discourses and actions conducing to tourism activities; - To explore collaborative university-city relations in destination branding. This investigation used cross-methods in case-study research and departed from an exploratory participant-observation of the phenomenon in four different universities and countries. The classical use of an ethnographical approach as first exploratory method originated the narrowing of the research into case-studies. As a complement, a scoping questionnaire was designed in order to provide further data for answering the first aim of research. The case-study research was conducted within a qualitative approach through semi-structured interviews and content analysis of university materials in their range of urban institutions communicating the city. The research results suggested that universities have a role in city branding and that tourism plays an informal part in this strategy but following different stages of implementation and approaches. The exploratory first phase of research revealed how universities have the ability to originate and plan tourism activities. The direct involvement of Higher Education Institutions with local governments and tourism stakeholders emerged as part of networking activities, events and direct involvement as tour organizers and owners of tourism interest assets and attractions. The questionnaires and interviews to respondents have indicated that the marketing and communication offices together with the international offices have gained a primary role as bridge organisms with the exterior at the formal level. Despite responding to top-down leadership, these offices have become critical connectors not only to municipalities but also to public and private destination marketing organizations (DMO´s).
Supervisor: Shaw, Gareth ; Brito Henriques, Eduardo Manuel Sponsor: Foundation for Science and Technology ; Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: tourism ; branding ; university-cities