Protecting biodiversity through sustainable tourism in Africa

Professor Marina Novelli

The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) invited Professor Marina Novelli to chair a panel session at the Tourism Investment and Business Forum for Africa (INVESTOUR) during one of the largest international tourism fairs in the world, FITUR, staged in Madrid in January.

The ‘Biodiversity as a Driver for Sustainable Tourism: The Importance of Effective Community Involvement’ session considered an integrated approach to harmonise sustainable tourism with the protection of biodiversity in Africa and identified ways of empowering local communities to participate in conservation efforts and benefit from them.

Panelists included:

  • H.E. Arlette Soudan-Nonault, Minister of Tourism and Leisure, Republic of Congo
  • Dr Liya N. Mutale, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Arts, Zambia
  • Dr Cosma Wilungula, Director General Congolese Wildlife Authority, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Leontine van Hooft, Co-founder and Inclusive Investment Strategist, Ubuntu Impact Investment
  • Steven Johnson, Director and Conservation Specialist, Chemonics International
  • Coralie Marti, Senior Consultant, Horwarth HTL

Professor Novelli invited panelists to reflect on the issue of ‘foreign investment at any cost’, which is characterising the approach used by many destinations across Africa.

In her remarks, she highlighted that “to obtain long-term biodiversity conservation within Africa, it is essential to combat unsustainable activities threatening wildlife. These problems cannot be tackled only by governments and it requires a strong will and commitment from all stakeholders at international, national and local level, with the role of communities being of fundamental importance. They must be included in the discussions and decisions being taken for the conservation of the vast biodiversity of the continent to succeed.”

Professor Novelli concluded the panel by encouraging conveners to engage in dialogues aimed at what she defined as “a more responsible business development and investment model that looks beyond tourism and engages sectors and international investors across the board”.

Professor Novelli was also invited to join the judging panel for the 14th UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism, an event held annually to celebrate the work of organisations and individuals around the world that have had a positive impact on the tourism sector. This year, there were 128 applicants from 55 countries across four categories: Public Policy and Governance, Research and Technology, Enterprises, and Non-governmental organisations.

Marina Novelli, Professor of Tourism and International Development and Academic Lead for Responsible Futures, said: “It was highly rewarding to be invited to explore key issues of biodiversity and tourism in Africa with so many inspiring panelists and support the forum’s main objective of promoting sustainable tourism as an economic and social development drive for Africa.”

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Our North Korea expert in demand

Dr Udo Merkel, Senior Lecturer in the School of Sport and Service Management and an expert on North Korea, has been a top target for media from around the world following North Korea’s decision to engage in talks with the South and send a delegation to the Winter Olympic Games taking place in South Korea next month.

The sport sociologist has been interviewed or quoted by CNN, BBC, The Guardian, El Mundo (Spain), Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany), Neue Züricher Zeitung (Switzerland), and radio stations in Australia, South Korea and Japan. Continue reading

Thinking of postgraduate study?

If you are looking to study a subject related to hospitality, events, tourism or sport and exercise why not come along to our Postgraduate Open Evening on Tuesday 28 February? The event takes place on the Eastbourne campus from 5-8pm. Find out more and book your place.

If you aren’t able to make the open evening we are also hosting online events where you can talk to a course specialist. These events take place at various times in February and March. Find out more.


Students helping older people avoid falls

Sophie (left) and Megan

School of Sport and Service Management sport and exercise science students are visiting a care home to help tackle one of the most serious health issues facing older people – falls.

Every year, one third of older people fall and in London alone these account for a tenth of ambulance call outs. Falls result in injuries, some serious and occasionally fatal, and besides the misery caused, they result in a £2 billion financial burden to the NHS. Continue reading

Success for Madeleine

Madeleine Orr graduated from our International Event Management MSc in 2016 and was awarded a scholarship to undertake her PhD at the University of Minnesota.

Her success was partly based on her excellent masters research dissertation supervised by the school’s Dr Nigel Jarvis, and her overall distinction in her degree award. Maddy investigated the legacies of the 2015 Pan American Games and concluded the legacies were very contested despite the rhetoric promoted by games organisers,  politicians and other stakeholders. Continue reading

Dragons’ Den and Hospitality and Retail Expo 2018

One guest speaker, five dragons, 70 students, 11 teams – one happy cohort!

Steve Lowy

Final year undergraduate students studying the International Hospitality Management BA(Hons) were joined by Steve Lowy, CEO of Umi Digital who gave an inspiring speech about working in the hospitality industry before our very own Dragons’ Den. We were joined by four more dragons: Bob Hopkins, CEO at Business SatNav Ltd; Dr Claire Weeden, Principal Lecturer; and Jennifer Wells and Judith Badger, Enterprise Managers at the University of Brighton.

All the dragons gave amazing advice and feedback to the 11 teams who delivered an elevator pitch for their own innovative hospitality concept and solution. Continue reading

Beverage Tasting for Hospitality Students

Students in the final year of their International Hospitality Management BA(Hons) course who are studying the optional Beverage Marketing module have been conducting a series of comparative testings on a range of beverages.

The aim of the module is to develop an understanding of the beverage business market both in a local, national and global context and how this can influence beverage marketeers to deploy resources and develop marketing strategies in both conventional and e-markets. Continue reading

Lisa’s research success

Research into neuromuscular fatigue from cycling has won a University of Brighton student a top award.

Lisa Schäfer addressed the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) and the European Federation of Sport Psychology (FEPSAC) conference in Nottingham and won the Human Kinetics Student Poster Presentation Award.

Lisa, based at the Welkin laboratories at the University’s Eastbourne campus, was honoured for her “outstanding contribution to sport and exercise sciences”. Her study ‘Neuromuscular fatigue following cycling above critical power’ was supervised by Dr Jeanne Dekerle and Dr Mark Hayes. Continue reading