Mike Duignan


Accepting PhD Students

  • 20 Citations
  • 2 h-Index
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Personal profile


Dr Mike Duignan joined Coventry University in June (2018) as a Senior Lecturer. He was previously a Senior Lecturer and Programme Director at Anglia Ruskin (Cambridge, UK) and has held Visiting Professorships at Pace University (New York, US) and Berlin School of Economics and Law (Berlin, Germany). Prior to HE, Mike led the Research Council’s UK (RCUK) funded portfolio of Vitae ‘Researcher Development’ educational events, workshops, conferences and training programmes, working with 1000s of Ph.D, early career and senior researchers across the UK. Mike has 10+ years of Higher Education (HE) experience, and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) with a strong track record of research, industry and teaching management, leadership, innovation and excellence – as outlined below. He is currently working on a number of global research projects with internationally recognised organisations, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC) examining how deprived host city communities can build entrepreneurial capabilities to leverage and generate positive regional developmental legacies of mega-sporting events. 

Research Interests

Mike takes a strategic, management and organisational perspective on the practices of the visitor economy, field configuring events and festivals. He examines, conceptually and empirically, how these practices contribute to – and impact on - the short and longer-term planning and development of regions and urban communities, and specifically on entrepreneurs, micro and small business sustainability and survival. Mike has researched and published on a range of different cultural and sporting events, from the Olympics (London 2012, Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020), right through to regional sporting events like the Cambridge Half Marathon (2016, 2017, 2018) and cultural festivals (e.g. EAT Cambridge, e-Luminate Festival). He utilises innovative mixed-methods: drawing on lived-experiences and narrative analysis, real-time walking methodologies, visual techniques, vlogging, right through to large-scale quantitative data sets. Mindful of real-world research impact, Mike frequently works closely with policy makers, industry, event and festival leaders to collect data, generate insights and apply results. Sponsored by Visit England, he recently won the Association for Tourism in Higher Education (ATHE) award for “Leadership in the Visitor Economy” for his work and contribution to the field of ‘Slow Tourism’. Mike regularly speaks in international, national and regional media, including ABC (Australia), BBC and ITV (UK) about his research and all manner of things related to visitor economy, sports, events and tourism. He has been invited to speak at several prestigious national conferences, including the Tourism Management Institute (TMI), University of Cambridge “Festival of Ideas” and the International Event Expo in London.


Mike’s research falls under 8 specific research themes:


Research theme 1: Event and festival impact and legacy

Research theme 2: Leveraging, urban development and regeneration

Research theme 2: Destination management, development and ‘slow’ tourism;

Research theme 3: Event and festival tourism;

Research theme 4: Business leveraging and entrepreneurial ‘opportunity recognition’

Research theme 5: Organising public space and urban zoning;

Research theme 6: Technological innovation in the visitor economy;

Research theme 7: Events as a ‘rite of passage’ and ‘liminal space’;

Research theme 8: Urban and communal resistance.


Mike has published in leading, international journals, including: Tourism Management, Tourism Geographies, Event Management, Journal of Place Management and Development, and presented at 15+ major international conferences, including Sport Management Australia and New Zealand (SMAANZ), ATLAS, ATHE, AEME, Royal Geographical Society. Additionally, he has written for a range of academic, industry, and UK Government publications, including: Journal of Trading Standards, London Chamber of Commerce, and The Conversation. He also peer reviews for several journals, including: Tourism Management, Tourism Geographies, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, and International Journal of Event and Festival Management, and is currently editing a new visitor economy management text book, bringing together DMOs and academics from across the UK, Europe and Internationally.


Income generation

Mike has generated just over £420,000 in income generation, leveraging a range of sources:

·       International Olympic Committee (IOC);

·       European Regional Development Fund: “Innovation Bridge” fund;

·       European Regional Development Fund: “REACTOR” project;

·       Tourism Management Institute;

·       Industry funded Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs);

·       Centre for Innovative Business Education;

·       Various Research Councils across Research Councils UK (RCUK) e.g. AHRC, ESRC;

·       Various international universities, including China to develop "Train the Trainer" programmes for developing international tourism/events/visitor economy related university programmes

·       Various commissioned consultancy reports for sports events and sports organisations to advise event impact, policy and development related issues, including Cambridge Half Marathon, EATCambridge, Lincoln City FC.

Industry experience

Since 2010, Mike has managed and/or supported the delivery of over 80 events, conferences, and / or festivals across education, sporting and cultural sectors, managing events in an eclectic range of contexts, from internationally renowned venues like the British Library, public squares and parks, to university institutions across the UK. Additionally, he frequently consults national and regional organisations on matters related to event impact, policy and development, alongside DMOs like Visit Cambridge – advising on all aspects of destination development, management and marketing. Over the last 3 years, he has analysed and reported on the economic impact of 6 events - from half marathons, to regional food and drink festivals. Mike has an extensive network of visitor economy, sports, events and tourism industry and policy stakeholders across Europe.

Through leveraging European Union Regional Development (ERDF) and industry funds, Mike has been consulting a range of small businesses and start-ups on a series of innovation, strategy and marketing projects - from tour guiding apps, to digital event badging companies, right through supporting the expansion of Cambridge’s “e-Luminate” light festival. Mike is a shareholder and consultant to Cambridge-based tourism company “YoYo Let’s Go” and is the Owner-Director of “Tiptoe Travel” (www.tiptoetravel.co.uk) – a cultural tour experience company.


Learning and teaching

He has taught across all levels at undergraduate, postgraduate, MBA and PhD level in the field of management and organisational theory, specifically in the context the visitor economy, sports, events and tourism.  Mike’s student-centred, industry and research led and informed approach – inside and outside the classroom -  has led to year on year university wide recognition. Mike was awarded “Lecturer of the Year” in 2015, finalist for “Outstanding Supervisor of the Year” (2016) and “Innovative Lecturer of the Year” (2017), won the highest university honour the “Special Recognition” award (2017) and runner up in 2018. As a result of Mike’s wide-ranging industry, policy and academic networks and projects, he frequently enjoys bringing in his own experiences, anecdotes, and professional challenges faced to contextualise and enliven theoretical debate and multidisciplinary approaches to conceptual development - fundamental in the study of the visitor economy, sports, events and tourism.

Mike has led over 20 different learning and teaching initiatives and projects, both internally and externally funded. Most recently this includes examining the role of ‘students as partners’, specifically their role as co-inquirers and collaborators in research and industry projects to support skills development and add-value to faculty and institutional outputs. Throughout the past 7 years, I have delivered a series of talks and workshops on such innovations at major national conferences, tourism and events education forums, specifically the way university programmes can strategically align with industry stakeholders to achieve greater constructive alignment with programme and module level learning outcomes.

Education/Academic qualification

Management, Doctorate, Anglia Ruskin University

Master of Arts International Business, MA, Anglia Ruskin University


Master of Business Administration (MBA), MBA, Hanze University of Applied Sciences


Management, Degree, Anglia Ruskin University


External positions

Owner, Director (https://www.tiptoetravel.co.uk), Tiptoe Travel

1 Mar 2018 → …

Visiting Professor, Pace University

Feb 2018May 2018

External Examiner, University of Greenwich

1 Sep 2017 → …

Visiting Professor, Berlin School of Economics and Law


Shareholder, Consultant (https://www.yoyoletsgo.co.uk), YoYo Let's Go

Consultant (http://www.e-luminatestudio.com/), e-Luminate Studio


  • GV Recreation Leisure
  • Sport, Tourism and Event Management
  • Event Impact
  • Event Tourism
  • G Geography (General)
  • Economic Geography
  • Regional Development
  • Spatial Theory
  • Destination Development
  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • Stakeholder Theory

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Olympic Games Earth & Environmental Sciences
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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2015 2019

  • 20 Citations
  • 2 h-Index
  • 16 Article
  • 14 Abstract
  • 2 Chapter
  • 1 Review article

Leveraging digital and physical spaces to ‘de-risk’ and access Rio's favela communities

Cade, N., Everett, S. & Duignan, M. 7 Feb 2019 In : Tourism Geographies. (In-Press), p. (In-Press) 26 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

holistic approach
Olympic Games
social network

Mega sport events and spatial management: Zoning space across Rio’s 2016 Olympic city

McGillivray, D., Duignan, M. & Mielke, E. Feb 2019 (Accepted/In press) In : Annals of Leisure Research. (In-press), p. (In-press)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sports events
Public space
2 Citations

The 'Summer of Discontent': Exclusion and Communal Resistance at the London 2012 Olympics

Duignan, M., Pappalepore, I. & Everett, S. Feb 2019 In : Tourism Management. 70, p. 355-367 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Olympic Games
Olympic Games
small business
public space

Walking Methodologies, Digital Platforms and the Interrogation of Olympic Spaces: The ‘#RioZones-Approach’

Duignan, M. & McGillivray, D. 11 Jan 2019 (Accepted/In press) In : Tourism Geographies. (In-press), p. (In-press)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Olympic Games

Activities 2015 2018

  • 15 Consultancy
  • 6 Invited talk
  • 1 Examination
  • 1 Visiting an external academic institution