Dr Keith Wilkes has been appointed as Dean of Bournemouth University’s School of Tourism, one of the world’s leading centres for tourism research.
Dr Wilkes graduated from University College, Swansea, in 1973 with a BA (Hons) in Geography and completed his doctoral research at the University of Liverpool in 1978. After joining BU in 1985 he rose through the ranks in the School, becoming Director of Postgraduate Studies, Head of Department for Tourism and Retail Management, Head of Undergraduate Programmes and then Deputy Dean: Education. He has been leading the School as interim Dean for a number of months.
As a member of the Association for Tourism in Higher Education (ATHE) Executive Committee and a Quality Assurance Agency Subject Specialist Reviewer, he has played a significant role in developing tourism education in the UK. Keith led the Higher Education Funding Council for England-funded development of a prototype Foundation Degree in Tourism Management with the University of Plymouth and eight Further Education Institutions in South West England.
His research focuses on tourism development, visitor attractions, heritage management and tourism education – strong areas of research and teaching in the School.
He is actively involved in cultivating the next generation of researchers within the School, currently supervising PhDs in visitor motivation, behaviour and experience at the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Sites, post-conflict tourism, event volunteering, urban regeneration and the 2012 Olympics, and the values of UK heritage providers and consumers.
Speaking of his appointment, Dr Wilkes said: “I really welcome the opportunity to develop the School’s global reputation as a centre for the study of a broadly defined tourism sector focusing uniquely on the economic, environmental, social and cultural impact of tourism. All tourism sectors are major agents of change and development from the global to the local community level.”