UQ / Ecotourism Australia PhD scholarship - Overtourism

Summary

Enrolment status New students
Student type Domestic students, International students
Level of study Higher Degree by Research
Study area Agriculture and Environment, Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Business and Economics
HDR funding type Living stipend scholarship
Scholarship value $27,596 per annum tax-free (2019 rate), indexed annually
Scholarship duration Three years with the possibility of two 6-month extensions in approved circumstances.
Opening date 1 August 2019
Closing date 25 August 2019

Scholarship description

The University of Queensland is partnering with Ecotourism Australia to offer PhD scholarships to undertake research that is relevant to the continual development of best practice management of ecotourism. Supervision will be provided by UQ academics with input from Ecotourism Australia experts.

Project 2: Overtourism in natural environment areas

As global tourism arrivals increase the impacts of tourism are being felt in a number of tourism destinations including European Cities and island destinations. The term ‘overtourism’ has been used in the media and is defined as “impact on a destination – or parts thereof, that excessively influences perceived quality of life of citizens and/or quality of visitors experiences in a negative way” (UNWTO, 2018: 4). This is not a new problem and relates to the concept of carrying capacity. However, this issue is complex and involves many stakeholders, while empirical research to inform decision making is lacking (UNWTO, 2018). This proposed PhD topic will investigate the phenomena of overtourism especially in natural environment areas, including the factors that cause it and will provide recommendations to address it.

There are four PhD projects available through UQ’s partnership with Ecotourism Australia.

  • Project 1 - Social Licence to Operate Commercial Activities in Protected Areas
  • Project 2 - Overtourism in natural environment areas (this project)
  • Project 3 - Sustainable Destinations
  • Project 4 - Transitioning to a Low Carbon Future

View the other three projects.

Further details

As global tourism arrivals increase the impacts of tourism are being felt in a number of tourism destinations including European Cities and island destinations. The term ‘overtourism’ has been used in the media and is defined as “impact on a destination – or parts thereof, that excessively influences perceived quality of life of citizens and/or quality of visitors experiences in a negative way” (UNWTO, 2018: 4). This is not a new problem and relates to the concept of carrying capacity. However, this issue is complex and involves many stakeholders, while empirical research to inform decision making is lacking (UNWTO, 2018).

Perhaps because of significant media reporting of overtourism, it has caught the attention of organisations such as the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). Some island destinations have closed to allow the environmental resources time to recover, while policies in some cities to have tried to spread tourists across the city and reduce seasonality. The UNWTO and WTTC discuss the issue and suggest some possible solutions. Some proposals involve stronger policy and planning of tourism, as well as the geographical and temporal dispersion of visitors. These may have unintended consequences and may led to worse outcomes for the local community and visitors. Although overtourism does influence visitor experiences, this aspect has not been thoroughly investigated. A strong evidence base is required.

This proposed PhD topic will investigate the phenomena of overtourism especially in natural areas, including the factors that cause it and will provide recommendations to address it. The PhD may address the following questions in regard to natural areas:

  1. Are community and industry members concerned about overtourism, and what types of overtourism specifically concern the community most? What are the causes of overtourism?
  2. What are visitor perspectives on overtourism? What are the causes of overtourism from their perspective, and how does this influence their experience, satisfaction and loyalty?
  3. Are tools available to prevent or manage overtourism especially in natural areas to try and balance economic, social and environmental concerns?

An evidence base may lead to marketing and policy recommendations to better manage tourism to prevent overtourism. These may include policies and tools such as the limits of acceptable change and tourism opportunity spectrum, alongside dispersal strategies and pricing.

Eligibility

To be eligible, you must meet the entry requirements for a higher degree by research.

Applications are closed.

Before you apply

If this scholarship has rules, download and read them before applying.

How to apply

Please fill in the application for your preferred project of the four projects offered. You may also indicate in your statement (see below) if you wish to be considered for any other of the four projects. To apply for admission and scholarship, follow the link on the upper right of this page. There is no separate application for scholarship because you will be given the opportunity to request scholarship consideration on the application for admission.

Prior to applying, check your eligibility and prepare your documentation.

Please ensure that you

  1. select 'I am applying for, or have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship'
  2. enter in the free-text field ‘UQEA2’
  3. list the enrolling unit as the UQ Business School
  4. enter Professor Brent Ritchie as your supervisor

Selection criteria

Prospective students must meet the eligibility criteria for undertaking a PhD at the University of Queensland.

The Scholarships will be awarded on a competitive basis.

Selection Criteria

  1. Statement of up to 100 words on why the preferred project is of interest and the applicant’s suitability to study that topic. Please add another 100 word statement for each of the other projects for which you wish to be considered
  2. Evidence of academic achievement and referees’ reports, as per UQ requirements (above).
  3. Ability of the applicant to take up the offer by Research Quarter 1 2020, depending on visa processing times.
Applications are closed.

Contact

Professor Brent Ritchie
Applications are closed.

Terms and conditions

Read the policy on UQ Research Scholarships.

A domestic part-time student with carer’s responsibilities, a medical condition or a disability, which prevents them from studying full time may be eligible for scholarship consideration, on a case by case basis.

Applications are closed.