Marina is an internationally renowned policy, planning and sustainable development expert and Professor of Tourism and International Development at Brighton School of Business and Law, which is an Affiliate Member of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
She is a geographer with a background in economics, considerable experience of high-quality research, consultancy, PhD supervision, teaching and curriculum development and a keen interest in interdisciplinary research.
Between 2017 and 2021, she plaid a key strategic role as Academic Lead for the University of Brighton's Responsible Futures Agenda, an initiative aimed at fostering innovation through impactful interdisciplinary research and consultancy collaborations, at local, national and international level. This laid the ground of the current Global Challenges Agenda.
Marina has advised on numerous international cooperation and research assignments funded by International Development Organisations (IDOs) including The World Bank, the European Union, The UN (UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO), the Commonwealth Secretariat, the millennium Challenge Corporation as well as National Ministries, Tourism Boards, Regional Development Agencies and NGOs. Such work has provided the basis of very impactful work (see: REF2014 and REF2021 Impact Case Studies). Examples of other projects undertaken by her are available here.
Amongst her most recent achievements are:
- 2022: awarded a Fellowship of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism;
- 2021: appointed as Alternate Member of the UNWTO World Committee on Tourism Ethics (2021-2025); and
- 2018 to 2021: served as UK national Research Exercise Framework (REF2021) panelist for UOA C24: Sport, Tourism and Leisure.
She is known globally for her excellence in leading and collaborating with multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder and multi-cultural teams and for her commitment to generating new knowledge on ways in which tourism can play a key role in sustainable development by stimulating local economies, conserving the environment, developing peoples and changing lives.
Her research spans across 3 main areas, including:
- Sustainable Tourism Development for Resilient Communities - i.e., the complexity of tourism development in the Global South; niche (tourism) product development; the impact of heath crisis on tourism communities (Ebola, COVID); healthy lifestyle tourism clusters; Local, National and IDOs' interventions for resilient communities; travel philanthropy.
- Innovation, responsible entrepreneurship and sustainability in tourism - i.e. British Council project on Innovationa for African Universities; circular economy, contemporary arts and community development, contemporary arts for sustainable development in Africa.
- Policy, Planning and Governance - i.e., master-planning; training needs analysis and capacity building; responsible leadership; participatory and community centered development.