Dr Michael Duignan

Lecturer in Tourism and Events Management, Research Fellow and Course Leader for BSc (Hons) Tourism Management and BSc (Hons) Events Management.

Faculty:Lord Ashcroft International Business School

Department:Marketing, Enterprise and Tourism

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Business, management and leadership , Tourism

Michael is an internationally published, multidisciplinary academic in the field of Olympic studies and the socio-economic and cultural impacts events and festivals, with a focus on analysing mega-events. His theoretical and applied, mixed-method analyses focuses on understanding how the planning, delivery, and legacy of events impact on regional economic development and tourism systems with a specific emphasis on host communities and small business perspectives. Mike’s published research also spans across the field of sustainable and slow tourism, and in 2015-2016 won the ATHE/VisitBritain sponsored award for leadership in the visitor economy (Oxford University, December 2015). Prior to his academic post, Mike led government-funded research/researcher development projects and national training programme and suite of courses and events for the Research Council’s (UK) funded ‘Vitae’ project.

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Follow Michael on Twitter, LinkedIn and read his Olympic Researcher blog


Mike’s expertise, theoretical and applied works lies across the field of tourism management and marketing, applied economics, major/mega-event and festival impact and legacy studies, spatial governance and political economy, with a case study emphasis on food festivals and the Olympic Games. He has recently authored a book chapter and won the Association for Tourism in Higher Education’s (ATHE) national award for Leadership in the Visitor Economy (2015-16) sponsored by VisitEngland for his and the business school’s contribution to ‘slow tourism’. In light of the Rio 2016 Olympics, Mike has recently co-authored an article (Tourism Management, ABS 4*) with Dr Pappalepore (Westminster) on the impacts and legacies of London 2012 on creative small businesses, and is currently writing several papers on, mega-event tourism, event-impacts on small business, spatial governance of Olympic areas, and slow tourism development in the context of heritage cities and regional events and festivals.


UK National Award for ‘Leadership in the Visitor Economy’ presented by the Association for Tourism in Higher Education (ATHE) sponsored by VisitEngland for contribution to the field of ‘slow tourism’ - ATHE 2015 Annual Conference, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, 5 December 2015
Winner of 2015 ‘Made a Difference’ award for outstanding excellence in teaching across all Anglia Ruskin University faculties - Anglia Ruskin University, ‘Made a Difference Awards’, May 2015

Research interests

  • Socio-economic/cultural impact of sporting and cultural mega-events, regional events/festivals
  • Urban sociology, spatial dynamics and impacts of mega-events/mega-project planning on local communities;
  • Liminality, and events as a forms of urban/rural resistance, and the political economy of events;
  • Regional development, community sustainability and legacy in the context of mega-events;
  • Case studies from Rio 2016, London 2012 to regional festivals like the Cambridge Half Marathon and EAT Cambridge Food and Drink festival series.
  • Developing applied, research-led tourism and events programmes.
  • Place marketing, city branding and managing tourism destinations.

Areas of research supervision

  • Seth Kirby – Research Area: Socio-Economic Impact of the Rio 2016 Olympics (2016 – current)
  • Nicola Cade - Research Area: Socio-Economic Impact of the Rio 2016 Olympics (2017 – current)


He has seven years’ teaching experience across Higher Education (UK and Germany) at Bachelor, Master and MBA level. Mike's research informed, practical and digitally engaged, informal style, commitment and respect to the individual student learning experience is central to his teaching approach. In 2015, he won the annual university ‘Made a Difference’ teaching award.


  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Lord Ashcroft International Business School (LAIBS), Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA), Hanze University, Groningen, Holland.
  • Master of International Business (MAIB), Lord Ashcroft International Business School (LAIBS), Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK.
  • Bachelor of Business Management (BA Hons), Lord Ashcroft International Business School (LAIBS), Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK.
  • PG Cert Learning and Teaching, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK.

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Fellow, Higher Educational Academy (AFHEA).
  • British Academy of Management (BAM).
  • Institutional Member of Tourism Management Institute (TMI).

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Lead Investigator, #LondonBizLegacy study, Feb 2015 – current, collaborative project with the Federation of Small Business (FSB) reviewing small firm impacts and legacies of the London 2012 Olympic Games across host boroughs.
Community Projects
  • Cambridge Half Marathon Economic and Tourism Impact Study (2017), Project Lead
  • Cambridge Half Marathon Economic and Tourism Impact Study (2016), Project Lead
  • EAT Cambridge 2015 Economic and Entrepreneurship Study (2015), Project Lead
  • London 2012 Olympics #LondonBizLegacy Study, Project Lead
  • EAT Cambridge 2014 Economic and Entrepreneurship Study (2014), Project Lead 
Educational projects
  • Centre for Business Innovation Education (CIBE) Funded ‘Students as Partners’ Project. McMaster University, Toronto, Canada. Project Lead.
  • Higher Education Academy (HEA) Funded ‘Directed Independent Learning’ (DIL) Project. Integrating DIL in to tourism and events pedagogy and programmes at Anglia Ruskin University.  

Selected recent publications

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Duignan, M.B, & Wilbert, C., (2017-forthcoming). Embedding Slow Tourism and the 'Slow Phases' Framework: the case of Cambridge, UK. In: Clancy, M. 2017. Eds. Slow Tourism, Food and Cities: Pace and the Search for the 'Good Life'. London: Routledge

Pappalepore, I, & Duignan, M.B (2016) The London 2012 cultural programme: A consideration of Olympic impacts for small creative organisations in east London. Tourism Management, 54, 344 - 355.

Duignan, M.B. (2016). Why Rio 2016 may not bring the tourism boost Brazil hope. The Conversation (and Yahoo News), Academic Article. 22 August 2016

Duignan, M.B, and McGillivray, D. (2016). How Rio 2016 satisfied its sponsors while leaving room for the people. The Conversation, Academic Article. 19 August 2016

Duignan, M.B. (2016). Glastonbury's Festival Economics Signals Hope for Entrepreneurial Spirit. The Conversation, Academic Article. 15 June 2016.

Wilbert, C; Duignan, M.B (2015) ‘Going s-Low in Cambridge: opportunities for sustainable tourism in a small global city’, Bergamo University Press in EDS. Casti, E; Burini, F (2015) Centrality of Territories, Bergamo University Press.

Duignan, M.B (Sept, 2013) Events and urban regeneration: the strategic uses of events to revitalize cities, Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events (ABCD List rated 'B')

Recent presentations and conferences

  • 'Strategic Alignment meets Constructive Alignment: Innovation in Tourism Teaching. ATHE Annual Conference 2016. CArdiff Metropolitan University, Wales (Dec 2016).
  • 'Liminality, Urban Resistance and Food Festivals: Leveraging Social Media for Local Food and Drink Marketing in the case of EAT Cambridge'. Duignan, M.B., Everett, S. and Walsh, L. ATLAS Annual Conference 2016, University of Canterbury (Sept 2016).
  • 'Embedding students in ATHE award winning project' co-presenter with Dr Sally Everett, Chartered Association of Business School Annual Conference, Aston University, UK (Apr 2016)
  • 'Enhancing ‘slow’ tourism in historic cities: an antidote to the fast', Association for Tourism in Higher Education (ATHE) Annual Conference, University of Oxford, UK (Dec 2015)
  • 'The art of ‘social snowballing’', Twitter for research- 1st International and Interdisciplinary Conference, EMLYON Business School, Lyon, France (Apr 2015)
  • 'Slow tourism development and the role of events and festivals - Cambridge context, opportunity and methodology', Centrality of territories: enhancing s-Low tourism, University of Bergamo, Italy (Mar 2014)
  • 'Visualising and connecting your research' co-presenter with Ricardo Carolas, University Annual Research Conference, Anglia Ruskin University, UK (Jun, 2013).
  • 'How mega-events and local festivals impact on local business', Festival of Ideas, University of Cambridge, UK (Oct, 2013).
Presentations and Guest Lectures
  • Being an ECR in the era of research impact, co-presenter with Nadia De-Gama, IIMP Scrum Expert Series, Anglia Ruskin University, UK (Jun 2016)
  • Slow tourism and regenerating the high street, Anglia Ruskin University Research Talk, Anglia Ruskin University, UK (Dec 2015)
  • Impact of 21st century urban food festivals in the UK, co-presenter with Dr Sally Everett, EAT Cambridge 2015 food and drink regional festival, Cambridge Corn Exchange, Cambridge, UK (May 2015)
  • Event leveraging: mega-events, economic and tourism development, Anglia Ruskin University Research Talk, Anglia Ruskin University, UK (Apr 2015)
  • Digital scholarship – expert panel, Jobs.ac.uk expert panel, University of Warwick, UK (Jan 2015)
  • Slow tourism: an antidote to the ‘fast tourist’ – ideology and practice, Anglia Ruskin University Research Talk, Anglia Ruskin University, UK (Nov 2014)
  • Digital scholarship - is it worth it?, IIMP Scrum Expert Series, Anglia Ruskin University, UK (Mar - Apr 2014)
  • Strategic uses of mega-events to revitalise cities: local opportunity and challenges, Anglia Ruskin University Research Talk, Anglia Ruskin University, UK (Mar - Apr 2014)
  • Becoming a digital scholar, co-presenter with Ricardo Carolas, Anglia Ruskin University Skills Workshop and Lecture, Anglia Ruskin University, UK (Jan 2014)
  • Doing research and the life of a PhD, Anglia Ruskin University Research Talk, Anglia Ruskin University, UK (Dec 2013)
  • How mega-events and local festivals impact on local business’, University of Cambridge Annual Festival of Ideas 2013, University of Cambridge, UK (Oct 2013)
  • Urban development and the strategic use of mega-events, Anglia Ruskin University Research Talk, Anglia Ruskin University, UK (Mar 2013)

Media experience

  • 'Tourism Challenges and EasyJet's Pre-Tax Profit Losses', TV Interview, BBC Look East (15 Nov 2016)
  • 'State of the HE Sector' Quoted in The Times of India (13 Nov 2016)
  • 'Rio 2016 Games: Tourism, Security and Event Spaces', Indepth TV Interview, Cambridge TV (21 Aug 2016)
  • 'Rio's Olympic Tourism, Security and Spatial Impacts: #RioZones Project', Radio Interview, BBC Cambridgeshire (4 Aug 2016)
  • 'Slow tourism, Cambridge and the 2016 launch of Visit Cambridge and Beyond DMO', Radio Interview, BBC Cambridgeshire (14 Jan 2016)
  • 'Slow tourism comes to Cambridge', Article, Cambridge News (23 Dec 2015)
  • 'The economic benefit of Bank Holiday weekends on the South East regional economy', Interview, ITV Anglia (Sept 2015).
  • 'Has Cambridge lost its charm', Article, Cambridge News (24 Jul 2015)
  • 'Tourism expert warns Cambridge city centre is becoming "too standardised'', Article, Cambridge News (23 Jun 2015).
  • 'Economic and tourism challenges for Cambridge', TV Interview, Cambridge TV (22 Jun 2015).
  • 'Tourism in Cambridge could threaten city's unique identity', Live Radio Interview, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire (22 Jun 2015).
  • 'Festivals help foodie brand', Article, Cambridge News (27 May 2015).
  • '21st century food and drink festivals – impacts on the city and its local traders', Radio Interview, Cambridge 105 (4 Apr 2015).
  • 'University in Games plea to companies', Article, Croydon Advertiser (6 Mar 2015).
  • 'London 2012 – have your say', Article, London Business Matters (London Chamber of Commerce national publication) (4 Marc 2015).
  • 'University study sets to count the cost of London 2012 Olympics', Article, Cambridge News (27 Feb 2015).
  • 'What next for the economic legacy of the Tour de France for Cambridge?', TV Interview, ITV Anglia News (8 Jul 2014).
  • 'Local economic impacts for the 2014 Tour de France in Cambridge', TV Interview, ITV Anglia News (4 Jul 2014).
  • 'The economic impact of local food and drink festivals', Radio Interview, Cambridge FM (Oct 2013).