Prof Michelle Callanan

Michelle's Profile

Job title

Deputy Dean (School of Business, Tourism & Creative Industries)

Academic qualifications

BA (Hons) Geography (2-1), BSocSc (Hons) Tourism Management (1st Class), Postgraduate Higher Diploma in Education and MSocSc Cultural Studies, Professor of Tourism Education, SFHEA (Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy)


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My academic and industry experiences have spanned a number of decades (let’s not count them!), predominantly in tourism, aviation and education.  

I have lived in Ireland (my home country), USA and the UK. I have also been fortunate to have worked (including teaching) in USA, Ireland, Jamaica, Jordan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia (including Sabah and Sarawak), Singapore, Brunei, South Korea and various countries around Europe. I love travelling and meeting people from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds.

My ‘many’ years of teaching and working have awarded me numerous opportunities to contribute to quality assurance reviews in education, to develop a number of industry toolkits (to enhance practice) and to engage in research and consultancy projects (UK and overseas).  Such consultancy and research projects have focused on sustainable practices (applied to businesses and destinations); visitor experience management; product portfolio development, marketing enhancements of destinations and organisations, risk assessment and management; tourism impact management; and the development of new curricula/training programmes.

My primary focus now is to work with teams in ensuring an outstanding student experience for all students at University College Birmingham, and in particular, within the School of Business, Tourism & Creative Industries.


My teaching interests include tourism disaster/crisis management; destination planning, development and control; international relations; tourism ethics; sustainable tourism; peace tourism; tourism project management and tourism futures.

Research interests and scholarly activity

My current research interests include Tourism & Geo-politics, The Malleability of Sustainability in Tourism; Tourism & Borders, Divided Destinations, Tourism in Changing Cities, Visitor Experience Management, Diversity in Tourism, and the impact of Covid-19 on tourism practices and spaces.

A sample of publications and conference presentations since 2000 include:

Callanan, M (2020), ‘Lost Generation within the New Normal’, Panel member for the Institute of Travel & Tourism Future You Virtual Conference, September.

Callanan, M (2020), What does the tourist sector look like in a time of social-distancing? Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Webinar, August.

Callanan, M (2019). Judge for Large Attractions, West Midlands Growth Company Awards

Khan, F & Callanan, M (2017), The Halalification of Tourism, Journal of Islamic Marketing. Vol. 8, issue 4. Pp. 558-577

Callanan, M (2016), the Pleasure Beach – an enjoyment or contested space? Traveller@UCB. October.

Callanan, M & Ievers, S (2013). Tourism, Mobilities and Thirdspaces; presented at the Global Conference on Mobility Futures. September.

Piekarz, M. & Callanan, M. (2012), Politics, community tourism and sustainability, in Jenkins, I & Schröder, R. (ed) Sustainability in Tourism: A Multidisciplinary Approach, Wiesbaden: Gabler Verla.

Callanan, M (2007), Review of Festivals, Tourism & Social Change, Tourism (Tourism Society Journal), Summer.

Callanan, M (2007) & Jenkins, D (2007). 'Plagiarism' a contested term and practice - Praxis, Autumn

Callanan, M & Jenkins, D (2007). 'The political-economy of Plagiarism: a postmodern perspective' - research paper for Insights Conference, UCB, July.

Callanan, M (2006), Review of Gay Tourism Culture & Context, Tourism (Tourism Society Journal), Summer 2006.

Callanan, M. & Thomas, S (2005) 'Deconstructing Volunteer tourism within a dynamic tourism environmental', in Novelli , M (ed) Niche Tourism.

Should we give a XXXX for indigenous tourism? - the case down under – CURS Conference Presentation, University of Birmingham, 2000.

Cultural & Political Change of UK Athletics - paper presented at Pre-Olympics Congress, Brisbane, Australia, September 2000.

UK Athletics - Demented Octopus to Bambi - Paper presented at the World Congress in Sport and Leisure, 6th Annual Conference, Bilbao, Spain, July 2000.

External engagements

I am a member of various industry bodies and work closely with a number of organisations, including the Institute of Travel and Tourism, West Midlands Growth Company, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, Flying in Formation, Project Management Institute, Failte Ireland and various destination management organisations. I also have extensive experience as a Quality Assurance Agency Reviewer (for higher education) and as an External Examiner over the years.

Department of Hospitality and Tourism

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