Hosting a European colleague for a month: Alicia Orea-Giner’s eventful research stay at ENU

Alicia Orea-Giner – Associate Professor in Tourism at Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid – has recently spent a month at Edinburgh Napier University after being invited by Dr Louise Todd. The two academics have related research topics that focus on Sustainable Tourism, Events and Technology. Alicia told us about her research and experiences at Edinburgh Napier University.

I believe that technology is not an isolated element or a tool that only facilitates processes but rather a part of the environment. In addition, that technology should be analysed from the perspective of technology itself, with its human connection and the way it creates, manages, and promotes relationships between human beings and between human beings and technology. I am currently working on analysing the stakeholders’ perceptions about events, among other topics, and decided to contact Edinburgh Napier University because of its research impact and the themes covered by the Tourism Research Centre.

During this research stay at Edinburgh Napier, I have participated in different activities and felt part of the staff. The first week I took part in the CHME conference. I had the opportunity to attend numerous presentations and meet researchers from different parts of the world at various stages of their careers. It was also an exciting experience as it was my first face-to-face conference since 2019.

The VM&E seminar took place in my second week at Edinburgh Napier. This symposium broadened my knowledge of visual and ethnographic methods with excellent keynotes and work presentations based on these methodologies. It was a highly fruitful meeting and discussion point.

In the third week, as well as continuing to work on a future project with Dr Louise Todd, David Jarman and I were fortunate enough to present at the tourism group’s research seminars. My presentation focused on qualitative methodologies, specifically, virtual ethnography and big qualitative Data.

Finally, the last week I ran a seminar and workshop entitled Young in Academia and Mental Health: Publishing, Lecturing and Surviving. This talk explored what it is like being a young woman in academia: doing a PhD, publishing papers in top journals, lecturing (many hours a year), obtaining an academic post after finishing a PhD, and surviving, all at the same time.

During the weekends, I walked the streets of Edinburgh, enjoying what it has to offer, and I also visited the Highlands and other areas of Scotland. Activities such as these are important when your career revolves around tourism.

I want to thank the whole team for welcoming me and having me as part of the team. Being part of Edinburgh Napier for a few weeks has been a pleasure. I hope to be back in the future!

It was a great pleasure for the TRC to host such a respectable academic, and we hope to see Alicia again soon too.

Alicia Orea-Giner has a PhD in Tourism from Universidad de Alicante, Universidad de Málaga, Universidad de Sevilla and Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid; as well as a PhD in Geography from Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

If you too are an academic and interested in a research stay at Edinburgh Napier University, please email

VM&E (Visual Methods & Ethnography) Future Visualities Symposium draws leading interdisciplinary academics and maps agenda for future research

by Dr Ashleigh Logan-McFarlane

An interdisciplinary team of researchers from Tourism and Marketing launched the Edinburgh Napier Visual Methods and Ethnography (VM&E) in Interdisciplinary Research Group with their first face-to-face symposium, ‘Future Visualities’, on 1st June 2022.

The sold-out event attracted more than 50 leading academics from UK and international institutions, including an array of established, mid and early career researchers and international PhD students from France and the Netherlands. ‘Future Visualities’ was financed by Edinburgh Napier Researcher Development Fund and sponsored by the Tourism Research Centre. The day featured 3 keynote presentations showcasing innovative interdisciplinary visual and ethnographic methods including: screencast videography, photography, poetry and (auto) ethnography, arts-based methodologies, visual representations, and mappings (ethnographic, archival, pedestrian and psychogeographic). The symposium showcased an array of visual methods and ethnography across 16 paper presentations and 7 posters, which demonstrated application of these methods in a variety of contexts, including linguistics, work, identity, education, leisure, law, touristic landscapes, semiotics, and the digital realm.

A panel discussion led by Dr Ashleigh Logan-McFarlane and Dr Kat Rezai on the challenges of publishing visual research featured keynote speakers Dr Fatema Kawaf, Dr Brett Lashua, Dr Terence Heng and our own Dr Louise Todd (VM&E Research Group Lead), who reflected on and outlined how to navigate the publishing process.

The launch of the Edinburgh Napier VM&E research group was a great success. Not only has it helped to establish new projects with external colleagues, but plans are underway for an edited publication on VM&E research. Watch this space for the call for contributions!

Link to VME Future Visualities Schedule and Book of Abstracts


a collage of pictures taken at the symposium, each showing a speaker showcasing their research on the topic