Publications: Academic, public and industry engagement

1) Academic publications

“Is urban tourism a paradoxical research domain? Progress since 2011 and prospects for the future”

Page, S., & Duignan, M.B. (2023). Is urban tourism a paradoxical research domain? Progress since 2011 and prospects for the future. Tourism Management, (awaiting DOI).

30 years of events-related research (Duignan, 2023)

This commentary examines how events-related research has and increasingly contributes to tourism studies, and how these lines of argument have evolved over the last thirty years, primarily in Annals of Tourism Research. I explicate the theoretical features of events, how previous work has conceptualized them, and why events are unique organizational settings to contribute to theory development. This is particularly significant as events are increasingly delivered in public, cultural and tourist spaces – an extra-territorial shift with implications for the future study and practice of tourism.

I close by calling for a more plural conception of events, inclusive of world events, which share similar conceptual features to cultural and sporting events that typically dominate social analysis in event and tourism studies.

Duignan, M.B. (2023). Thirty years of events-related research. Annals of Tourism Research, awaiting DOI.

“Accommodating (global-glocal) paradoxes across event planning”

Duignan, M.B., Parent, M., and McGillivray, D. (2023). Accommodating (global-glocal) paradoxes across event planning. Event Management, open and free to access:

The aim of this research note is threefold: 1) to introduce the concept of paradox and its numerous
applications to the study and management challenges associated with the planning and delivery of
events, with a specific look at large-scale events like the Olympics to provide an extreme case; 2) to
present a new paradox entitled the “Global–Glocal Paradox” that interrogates how inherent global
and local stakeholder interests and tensions are managed; and 3) to present a series of conceptual
and practical ways events can “accommodate” as opposed to “resolve” this paradox to help balance
stakeholder interests instead of pitting one against the other.

Key words: Paradox; Events; Global–Glocal Paradox; Formality versus informality;
Accommodating versus resolving paradox; Stakeholder interests

“Events as Catalysts for Communal Resistance to Overtourism”

Duignan, M.B., Everett, S., and McCabe, S (2022). Events as Catalysts for Communal Resistance to Overtourism. Annals of Tourism Research.

The negative impacts of tourism, often associated with overtourism, can lead to resistance by local stakeholders. This study focuses on collective resistance across Japan in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, during a period of exponential growth in tourism that produced disruption and fear, and led to a rise in tourismophobia. We conceptualise negative reactions through Castells’ theory of the network society. Utilising qualitative data, we argue that Japan’s national tourism growth strategy represented a state-imposed legitimising identity, leading to communal resistance sentiment and tactics across Japan and Tokyo. We illustrate how events act as catalysts for opposition against tourism development and how resistance identities can produce a new project and counter-legitimising identity tourism planners should take seriously.

“Remotely Researching Leisurely Settings”

Brazao, A., Duignan, M.B., Li, Y., and Jarrett, D (2022). Annals of Tourism Research Empirical Insights.

Numerous environmental, political, and pandemic factors demand remote study. From live streaming and cameras to big data, new and innovative methods are suggested as to how we can achieve this. We argue that fusing methods may increase volumevarietyvelocity, veracityvalue of analysis. We synthesise & develop the Remote Methods in Leisure Settings Framework and applies these methods to leisure settings, like events & tourist spaces.

“Managing Events, Festivals and the Visitor Economy” (Duignan, 2022)

Edited book by Dr Michael B. Duignan.

This edited text, intended to support a research-informed approach to learning and teaching, presents an array of concepts, collaborations and in-depth cases related to managing events, festivals and the visitor economy. Authors offer an array of philosophical, political, cultural, and ethical perspectives on how to achieve this across a range of contexts, from Cambodia, China, Egypt to the British cathedral city of Lincoln. Though recognising individual difference, each chapter unites in their common pursuit of supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). This is significant as utilising the UNSDGs as a normative organising framework for how we all think about, plan, and manage a ‘good’ visitor economy is increasingly ubiquitous. It is with this in mind that each chapter provides explicit links to the UNSDGs and policy and/or practical implications, along with a series of critical self-assessment questions to reflect on the chapter’s key arguments. This collection aims to satiate what appears to be an increasing appetite of readers and students alike who seek exposure to rigorous debate in and out of the classroom.

Available on Amazon:

“Introduction on Events, Public Spaces, and Mobility”

Duignan, M.B., and McGillivray. (2022). Annals of Leisure Research.

This special issue seeks to critically examine the relationship between events, urban spaces and mobility. Specifically, it seeks to explore how and why events enable and/or produce new spatial (re)configurations when staged and how these changes influence mobility, exploration, engagement and/or consumption across host environments – whether at an international, national, regional, city and/or community level….

Special Issue on “Events, Public Spaces, and Mobility”

Duignan, M.B., and McGillivray, D. Annals of Leisure Research. Available here:


“Utilizing Field Theory to Examine Mega-Event Led Development”

Duignan, M.B. (2022). Event Management.

Scholars and practitioners have long been analysing and evaluating the way events, particularly mega-events, serve as a mechanism of change. Powerful descriptions are typically brought to life via event impact and legacy case studies: yet, I argue such work can remain a-theoretical – or – conceptually disorganised. I draw on Bourdieu’s field theory and the management study of Field Configuring Events to develop a new analytical framework: the ‘Cognitive and Relational Mapping of Field Configuring Events’ – augmenting and offering a set of concepts to strengthen analysis and conceptual consistency between studies, whilst affording latitude to overlay different disciplinary perspectives. I detail methodological and conceptual advantages afforded alongside six ways the framework could be applied-and-extended across various cases and contexts.

“Leveraging Tokyo 2020 to Re-Image Japan and the Olympic City, Post-Fukushima”

Duignan, M.B. (2021). Journal of Destination Marketing and Management.

Recovering post-Fukushima, Japan utilised Tokyo 2020 to re-image the country as a safe and culturally distinctive destination by deploying creative place-branding initiatives. This paper investigates how and why, by drawing on insights generated via three complimentary methods – (i) 26 in-depth interviews, (ii) a 33-day walking observation, and (iii) policy and media document analysis – offering a unique and detailed case study. Analysis is principally framed around two state-led national and Tokyo-city ‘representational’ innovations deployed: ‘EnjoymyJapan’ and ‘Tokyo, Tokyo’, augmented by ‘functional’ country-wide tourism infrastructure innovations: both playing a critical role for re-imaging Japan. Conceptually, the paper argues how straddling both types of innovation, particularly representational innovation(s) as of late is a key strategic objective and principal reason for hosting: helping to develop, distil and better articulate a place’s cultural identity. Separately, yet relatedly, in addition to recovering post-Fukushima, the paper notes how Japan simultaneously sought to mobilise tourists’ engagement away from busy metropolitan tourist zones, beyond the country’s so-called ‘Golden Route’: a key part of the country’s pledge to United National Sustainable Development ambitions. Finally, more broadly and critically, the article notes how these complex processes are fuelled and enabled by a dual shock: produced by ecological (Fukushima) and economic shock (Tokyo 2020) affording host-culture to be leveraged for re-imaging purposes.

“Studying the Complexities of Events and Festivals and Relationships to the Visitor Economy”

Robertson, M., Mair, J., Lockstone-Binney, L., and Duignan, M.B. (2022). In: Duignan, M.B. 2022. Eds. Managing Events, Festivals, and the Visitor Economy: Concepts, Collaborations and Cases. CABI. Available here:

This chapter argues festivals and events are complex management and organisational contexts. It suggests overlaying events management studies with organisational studies is a fruitful space for theoretical and applied analysis. This chapter aims to illustrate how festivals/events offer a unique organisational setting for scholars to conduct empirical analysis and drive theory development. It also aims to suggest ways festival/event scholars can draw on theories as a way to better examine and understand the complex processes and practices of production and consumption that characterise small-, medium-, and particularly large-scale sporting and cultural events/festivals, and evaluate and explain why the two points above are needed and how to achieve this.

“Regulatory Informality Across Olympic Event Zones”

Walsh, L., Down, S., and Duignan, M.B. (2021). Event Management.

Olympic event zones are characterized as being intensely formally regulated during live staging periods, producing exclusionary environments blamed for sidelining host community interests. Yet, our findings contradict what scholars perceive to be inflexible formal regulations, and, the regulator’s ability to take informal action. By interviewing and drawing on the experience of 17 regulators during London 2012 we identify how regulators simultaneously oscillate between modes of regulatory formality and informality, straddling what is referred to as the “formality–informality span.” Our application and theorization of these concepts critiques existing explanations of how regulation is enacted in mega-sporting events, providing new insights into the way organizers balance regulatory demands and potentially opening up new emancipatory policies and more equitable outcomes for host communities.

“Tourists’ Experience of Mega-Event Cities: Rio’s Olympic Double Bubbles”

Duignan, M.B., Pappalepore, I., Smith, A., and Ivanescu, Y. (2021). Annals of Leisure Research.

Rio 2016 sought to connect Olympic-tourists with the city’s local-Cariocan community and culture. Yet the way mega-events are spatially and regulatorily organized, alongside the behavioural tendencies of Olympic-tourists, constrain such ambitions. Using Rio 2016 as a case-study, we offer in-depth, qualitative insights through the lens of 35 individual Olympic-tourists to examine how and why these factors determine behaviour, and thus experiences across host-environments. We detail how concerns over tourists’ safety result in managers designing risk averse experiences, produced by overlaying hyper-securitized and regulatory enforcements inside existing tourist bubbles, creating what we refer to as a ‘double bubble’ – reducing the likelihood of visitors venturing ‘off-the-beaten-track’. Whilst Olympic-bubbles protect tourists from outside threats, they restrict cultural engagement with the wider city, neighbourhoods and locals – side-lining other sides to Rio. We suggest managers adopt a dual-strategy of ‘local infusion’ in and ‘tourist diffusion’ beyond official zones to achieve intended goals.

“How do Olympic cities strategically leverage New Urban Tourism? Evidence from Tokyo”

Duignan, M.B., and Pappalepore, I. (2021). Tourism Geographies.

Olympic cities increasingly draw on New Urban Tourism (NUT) principles as part of a host’s strategic tourism development objectives. By doing so, governments and event organisers seek to entangle visitors with local urban, cultural and everyday life. Yet, empirical evidence generated across previous Olympic cities illustrates how hosts often fail to encourage such host–guest interactivity. This is a critical tourism geography and consumption issue repeatedly identified across host city contexts. To address the disconnect between inbound urban tourists and host communities, Tokyo 2020 explicitly placed NUT objectives at the heart of official bid and policy promises. On the basis of a 33-day walking ethnography in Tokyo as well as 26 interviews and documentary analysis, our work details a set of strategically planned and creative NUT initiatives deployed by the public, private sector, and host community in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Games. Some of these include state-funded walking tours and city volunteer guide networks; tourist boards promoting local-grassroots festivals; through to joint collaborations between local tourist boards and ‘Timeout’ to produce local guides – constituting a productive step forward for showcasing the local culture outside tourist bubbles. Furthermore, we illustrate how Tokyo’s urban landscape closely intertwines tourist bubbles with local neighbourhoods affording a potential balance between staged and spontaneous host–guest interaction. Our conclusions emphasise the conceptual, social, and economic implications for strategic planning and implementation of NUT in Olympic cities and its potential contribution to inclusive and sustainable development.

“Entrepreneurial Leveraging in Liminoidal Olympic Transit Zones”

Duignan, M.B., Down, S., and O’Brien, D. (2020). Annals of Tourism Research.

Our paper throws new light on how entrepreneurial leverage is achieved in Olympic Transit Zones. Specifically, we investigate: i) contextual features enabling and constraining ‘immediate leveraging’ efforts, ii) tactics deployed to leverage, and iii) how local-entrepreneurs encouraged visitors to connect and interact with localities. We deployed a walking-methodology and interviews with local-stakeholders during Rio 2016 to do this. Findings indicate that less securitised and regulated Olympic Transit Zones allowed entrepreneurs to leverage spaces they would be typically excluded from, whilst simultaneously producing spaces that encouraged greater dwell-time for visitors to interact with local-culture and traders. We draw on concepts of liminality, liminoidal and communitas to explain these contrary findings and suggest how future events can foster such environments.

“The ‘Summer of Discontent’: Exclusion and Communal Resistance at the London 2012 Games”

Duignan, M.B., Pappalepore, I., and Everett, S. (2019). Tourism Management.

London 2012 promised local small businesses access to lucrative Olympic event-tourism and visitor trading opportunities. However, as urban spaces were transformed to stage live Games, many local stakeholders found themselves locked out. We focus on one ‘host’ community, Central Greenwich, who emerged negatively impacted by such conditions. 43 in-depth interviews and secondary evidence reveal that this was a community determined to resist. Few papers have extended the concept of resistance to the context of mega-events so we examine why communities resisted, and how physical tactics and creative resistance were deployed. Although efforts afforded some access for local businesses – they proved too little, too late. We develop and present a ‘tactics for resistance’ approach, a series of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ tactics businesses could use to encourage proactive, as opposed to reactive, communal resistance required to protect local interests and afford access to opportunities generated by temporary mega-event visitor economies.

“Disorganised host community touristic-event spaces: Revealing Rio’s fault lines at the 2016 Olympic Games”

Duignan, M.B., and McGillivray, D. (2019). Leisure Studies, 38(5), 692-711.

We investigate the live staging spatial-organisational requirements of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, exploring the extent to which the project sequestrated, territorialised and commodified public space. Relatedly, we examine the role of new legal, regulatory and securitised event conditions in affording an effective and efficient ‘Olympic takeover’. We do this by drawing on i) official Rio 2016 planning documents, ii) observations of the live Olympic-city spatial effects, and iii) interviews with key informants. Findings reveal that Rio’s specially created Olympic event zones sought to transform visitor flows and circulations across the city, appropriating and regulating public space in-line with a desired tourist aesthetic. Rio’s public civic space became reimagined and controlled for commercial exploitation by Olympic sponsors, supporters and suppliers– facilitated by the creation of areas of exclusivity. And yet, we also reveal how the Rio Olympic city simultaneously emerged disorganised, open and fluid in places– a (temporary) break in the (neoliberal) economic logic we have come to expect. We argue that localised conditions affecting Rio afforded closer connectivity between event visitor economies and host communities. While these gains remain marginal and largely symbolic, they demonstrate that with effective planning, the Olympic host city need not only serve corporate interests.

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

Duignan, M.B., and McGillivray, D. (2019). Tourism Geographies.

Mega-sport events (MSEs) target, sequestrate and territorialise a ‘host’ (city – or nation) to exist, sustain themselves, survive and deliver on organisational objectives. Yet, little systematic and empirical evidence examines such urban processes, specifically in real-time during ‘live staging’ periods, including related implications for host community inclusion (and exclusion). In this article, we present the #RioZones project; a series of physical-embodied and digitally enabled primary data collection methods focused around embodied walking and participatory digital methods aimed at: (i) providing a deeper – and disruptive – interrogation of the spatial, social and economic implications of MSE organisation, (ii) developing creative ways to share empirical insights via microblogging, vlogging, media and public engagement platforms, and (iii) bringing together academic, industry, and policy stakeholders to debate and influence change. Embedded physically and digitally (albeit temporarily) into Rio’s Olympic city, we refer to this strategically planned amalgam of methods as the ‘#RioZones-Approach’. Our findings reveal that utilising a set of post-positivist methods and approaches can be highly effective for creating new lines of (disruptive) inquiry and qualitative knowledge insights, currently latent in this field of analysis, and in related critical tourism and event studies). Additionally, we illustrate how projects with a longitudinal ethos present a unique opportunity to maintain longer-term scrutiny on spatial-urban processes and involve key stakeholders to critique contested MSE legacies. Our article provides a detailed, but single snapshot into the life of an ever evolving, live and stakeholder engaged research project. In terms of significance and contribution, we argue that #RioZones – and the #RioZones-Approach – presents an ideal platform to bring together new, existing, creative and disruptive research projects striving to offer a deeper level of analysis and interrogation toward the study and intersection of events, urban space, and host community inclusion and exclusion.

“Searching for Sites of Liminality in “Giga” Events: Developing a Conceptual Framework”

Kirby, S., and Duignan, M.B. (2019). Routledge, book chapter. Available here:

Giga-events disrupt urban communities and businesses rendering vulnerable social groups marginalised, unable to leverage economic benefits. We focus on event visitor economies during the ‘live staging’ between the Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremony. Giga-events are managed to redirect visitor economic consumption from small business communities towards official sites of corporate consumption. Using this critique of large-scale events, the burgeoning accounts of liminality are used to disrupt and provide a potential antidote to the neoliberal practices of giga-events. Proposing where liminality may be fostered demonstrates the conceptual and practical ways host communities, policymakers, event managers can develop emancipatory spaces ‘betwixt and in-between’. Divergent forms of liminal space have been overlaid across ‘Live Sites’ to illustrate how vulnerable social groups can leverage visitor economy opportunities.

“Visitor (Im)Mobility, Leisure Consumption and Mega-Event Impact: The Territorialisation of Greenwich and Small Business Exclusion at the London 2012 Olympics”

Duignan, M.B., and Pappalepore, I. (2019). Leisure Studies.

Focusing on the London 2012 Olympics, we investigate the impact of mega-sport events’ spatial transformations on visitor mobility, local leisure consumption and resulting small business trade. Our case study draws on 43 in-depth interviews with local authorities, governmental and non-governmental project actors, and small-local leisure and visitor economy businesses (retail and hospitality) located at the heart of a ‘Host Event Zone’ in Greenwich, London. We supplement subjective accounts with a documentary analysis of policy reports, media, and archival material as the basis for our empirical analysis. Our findings reveal a major dichotomy between the ‘rhetoric’ of inclusion and local ‘realities’ of exclusion as security planning and spatial controls served to close off public spaces and local attractions: diverting visitor flows and leisure consumption towards official event sites, away from local businesses. We illustrate how such urban processes effectively render a vibrant business community invisible and visitors immobile to explore local community spaces during the live staging periods. We close with implications for event organisers, managers and policymakers focused on re-configuring the socio-spatial elements of Olympic organisation and re-direct and mobilise visitor economy flows towards more open civic and leisure spaces in the hope of better (re)distributing consumption into host communities.

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

McGillivray, D., Duignan, M.B., and Mielke, E. (2019). Annals of Leisure Research.

Hosting the Olympic Games demands the efficient and effective sequestration of public space across the city to stage official sports, cultural, and commercial activities. Specifically, this paper examines how fast-tracked urban development processes create exclusive, commercial enclaves to maximize leverageable benefits for external actors. We focus on the case of Rio 2016, drawing on: (i) observations across the city and event zones, including Live Site, Last Mile, and transit spaces, (ii) interviews with key event, policy and visitor economy stakeholders, (iii) documentary analysis of Rio’s plans and promises outlined in official bid documentation, and (iv) supplementary sources documenting Olympic planning effects. Our findings illustrate how the legal power of the Host City Contract and highly-circumscribed Olympic regulations create the conditions for managing urban space that enables the circulation of visitor flows to – and the containment of consumption within – newly privatized, temporarily constructed urban zones that favour global interests.

“Leveraging Digital and Physical Spaces to ‘De-Risk’ and Access Rio’s Favela Communities”

Cade, N., Everett, S., and Duignan, M.B. (2019). Tourism Geographies.

Building relationships of trust and mutual understanding between researcher(s), local stakeholder(s) and gatekeeper(s) is widely regarded as a critical factor in successful research. Methodological strategies and tactics are often based on contextual variability and accessing some communities presents a harder and riskier proposition than others. Here we propose an empirically driven and holistic methodological approach for accessing high-risk communities whereby deprivation and criminality characterises everyday living. Following the ‘legacy’ of both the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Rio 2016 Olympics, this paper charts a research journey by detailing how local perspectives were accessed at the heart of one urban favela in Rio: Morro dos Prazeres. The methodological framework is underpinned by leveraging social networks to aid the identification of key stakeholders required to access and bridge the void between researcher(s) and community. Furthermore, creative digital and physical access routes were also employed (including social messaging platforms such as ‘WhatsApp’) which helped build and maintain trust with highly respected community leaders before, during and after the research. We suggest that our proposed ‘Digi-cal model’ (reflecting the digital and physical nexus) approach is transferable to similar tourism projects that require sensitive approaches and complex stakeholder navigation in ‘high-risk’ community settings.

“London’s Olympic-Urban Legacy: Small Business Displacement, ‘Clone Town’ Effect and the Production of ‘Urban Blandscapes’”

Duignan, M.B. (2019). Journal of Place Management and Development.

London’s Candidature bid projected an irresistible legacy of lasting benefits for host
communities and small businesses. Yet, local post-Games perspectives paint a contrasted picture – one of becoming displaced. This paper aims to draw on event legacy, specifically in relation to rising rents, threats to small business sustainability and impact on place development by empirically examining London’s local embryonic legacies forming across one ex-hosting Olympic community: Central Greenwich. In total, 43 interviews with local businesses (specifically, small retailers and hospitality businesses), local authorities, London-centric and national project actors and policymakers underpin analysis, supported by official London 2012 archival, documentary and media reports, were conducted to add texture and triangulate primary and secondary data sources. Juxtaposing ex ante projections vs emerging ex post realities, this paper reveals a local legacy of small business failure fuelled by rising commercial rents and a wider indifference for protecting diverse urban high streets. Embroiled in a struggle to survive, and barely recognised as a key stakeholder and contributor to legacy, small businesses have and continue to become succeeded by a new business demographic in town: monochromatic global and national chains. Typifying the pervasive shift toward clone town spaces, this article argues that corporate colonisation displaces independent businesses, serves to homogenise town centres, dilute place-based cultural offer and simultaneously stunts access to a positive local development legacy. This paper argues that such processes lead to the production of urban blandscapes that may hamper destination competitiveness.
Examining event legacy, specifically local legacies forming across ex-host Olympic
communities, is a latent, under-researched but vital and critical aspect of scholarship. Most event legacy analysis focuses on longer-term issues for residents, yet little research focuses on both local placed-based development challenges and small business sustainability and survival post-Games. More specifically, little research examines the potential relationship between event-led gentrification, associated rising rents and aforementioned clone town problematic. Revealing and amplifying the idiosyncratic local challenges generated through an in-depth empirically driven triangulation of key local business, policy, governmental and non-governmental perspectives, is a central contribution of this article missing from extant literatures. This paper considers different ways those responsible for event legacy, place managers and developers can combat such aforementioned post-Games challenges.

“Mega-Sport Events, Micro and Small Business Leveraging: Introducing the ‘MSE-MSB Leverage Model'”

Kirby, S., Duignan, M.B., and McGillivray, D (2018). Event Management

Micro and small business (MSB) interests legitimize mega-sport event (MSE) candidature bids. Yet, MSB interests can be sidelined in the event lead up, live staging, and legacy periods. This article provides a detailed: 1) review of MSE impacts on existing MSBs residing within targeted host communities, 2) conceptual and practical examination of MSE leveraging opportunities, 3) synthesis of good inclusionary practices identified in previous MSE case studies. As a result, a series of general and specific ways MSEs can foster MSB leveraging and legitimize local interests are suggested. We present a comprehensive analysis of key works since mid-1990s related to the themes identified above. Our analysis identifies that there is limited conceptual and empirical research on MSB impact and leveraging activities in the context of MSEs, yet significant evidence points to negative experiences, disruption, and displacement effects on residential (host) communities. We purposively focus on good practice in the context of other MSEs from the Olympics Games (e.g., London 2012, Rio 2016) and FIFA World Cup (e.g., South Africa, 2010) to inform recommendations and managerial implications. We outline a systematic series of ways MSBs can be structurally excluded from accessing MSE leveraging opportunities. Building on Chalip’s widely adopted event leverage model (ELM), we present the “MSE–MSB Leverage Model” to illustrate how MSEs can (re)position MSBs as legitimate stakeholders to support greater leveraging opportunities and better (re)distribute event benefits back into host communities across planning and delivery stages. These range from reconfiguring: 1) event planning principles and policies, 2) regulatory and trading environments, and 3) the development of MSB business-to-business networks and partnerships.

“From ‘Clone Towns’ to ‘Slow Towns’: Examining Festival Legacies”

Duignan, M.B., Kirby, S., O’Brien, D., and Everett, S. (2018). Journal of Place Management and Development.

This paper aims to examine the role of grassroots (food) festivals for supporting the
sustainability of micro and small producers, whilst exploring potential productive linkages between both stakeholders (festivals and producers) for enhancing a more authentic cultural offering and destination image in the visitor economy. This paper is exploratory, qualitative and inductive. Evidence is underpinned by a purposive sample, drawing on ten in-depth interviews and 17 open-ended survey responses collected across 2014 and 2015 – drawing perspectives from traders participating in the EAT Cambridge festival. This paper unpacks a series of serendipitous [as opposed to “strategic”] forms of festival and producer leveraging; strengthening B2C relationships and stimulating business to business networking and creative entrepreneurial collaborations. Positive emergent “embryonic” forms of event legacy are identified that support the longer-term sustainability of local producers and contribute
towards an alternative idea of place and destination, more vibrant and authentic connectivity with localities and slower visitor experiences. This study emphasises the importance of local bottom-up forms of “serendipitous leverage” for enhancing positive emergent “embryonic” legacies that advance “slow” tourism and local food agendas. In turn, this enhances the cultural offering and delivers longer-term sustainability for small local producers – particularly vital in the era of “Clone Town” threats and effects. The paper applies Chalip’s (2004) event leverage model to the empirical setting of EAT Cambridge and conceptually advances the framework by integrating “digital” forms of leverage.

“Embedding Slow Tourism and the ‘Slow Phases’ Framework: The Case of Cambridge, UK”

Duignan, M.B., and Wilbert, C (2017). In: Clancy, M. 2017. Eds. Slow Tourism, Food and Cities: Pace and the Search for the ‘Good Life’. London: Routledge. Available here:

This chapter addresses some of the challenges of “fast” forms of tourism that has come to typify the modern day visitor experience. The authors consider how through embedding principles of “slow tourism,” tourist-historic cities like Cambridge (UK) can encourage temporally longer, symbolically deeper and meaningful tourism experience that celebrate local authentic and diverse resources and settings. In turn, the authors argue these principles can prevent economic leakage and more evenly distribute bounties of the visitor economy in to regional and local spaces to support a more sustainable approach to community development. The chapter unpacks these debates, justifies why this is a critical tourism movement required for twenty-first-century urban spaces, and proposes the new “Slow Phases” framework to help spearhead such change.

“Leveraging Physical and Digital Liminoidal Spaces: The Case of #EATCambridge festival”

Duignan, M.B., Everett, S., Walsh, L., and Cade, N (2017). Tourism Geographies.

This paper conceptualises the way physical and digital spaces associated with festivals are being harnessed to create new spaces of consumption. It focuses on the ways local food businesses leverage opportunities in the tourist-historic city of Cambridge. Data from a survey of 28 food producers (in 2014) followed by 35 in-depth interviews at the EAT Cambridge food festival (in 2015) are used to explain how local producers overcome the challenges of physical peripherality and why they use social media to help support them challenges restrictive political and economic structures. We present a new conceptual framework which suggests the development of place through food festivals in heritage cities can be understood by pulling together the concepts of ‘event leveraging’, ‘liminoid spaces’ (physical and digital) and modes of ‘creative resistance’ which helps the survival of small producers against inner city gentrification and economically enforced peripherality.

“The London 2012 Cultural Programme: A Consideration of Olympic Impacts and Legacies for Small Creative Organisations in East London”

Pappalepore, I., and Duignan, M.B. (2016). Tourism Management.

This study investigates the impacts of the London 2012 Olympic Games and their related cultural programme on local small creative organisations in East London. It contributes to unpacking the elusive concept of legacy thorough an in-depth analysis of creative organisations’ stories and experiences, combined with an analysis of policy documents and interviews with key informants, over a four-year period (2010–2014). A range of potential impacts of mega-events for creative organisations are identified and systematically discussed. The results highlight a gap between Olympic rhetoric and local reality. Problems include inadequate local consultation, barriers to accessing opportunities and inability to leverage effectively. The study also explores the role of cultural tourism in delivering an Olympic legacy for the local creative industry. It finds that opportunities to showcase deprived – but creative – areas in East London, and foster the development of creative forms of tourism, were missed.

“Events and urban regeneration: the strategic use of events to revitalise cities”

Duignan, M.B. (2013). Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events. Book review.

From the evolutionary changes seen in city event strategies, to the anticipated direction
of post-industrial cites and the role of infrastructure and appropriate urban development
strategies, Smith covers a complex series of relevant topics, inviting the reader to understand how urban regeneration is delivered within major event contexts. Starting with a
comprehensive theoretical platform of economic, political and social perspectives,
Smith delves deeper into the practical side of delivering such projects.

2) Public & industry engagement publications

Duignan, M.B. (2022). Human Rights, Diversity and Inclusion in Sport. International Olympic Academy.

Duignan, M.B. (2022). Banning Russia from World Events Will Help Alienate Putin. The Conversation.

Postlewaite, V., Theodoraki, E., and Duignan, M.B. London 2012: what the Olympic Games’ legacy of sustainability means for events today. The Conversation.

Duignan, M.B., and Koutrou, N (2022). Why the London 2012 Olympics had limited impact on volunteering across the UK. The Conversation.

Brittain, I., Postlewaite, V., and Duignan, M.B. London 2012’s legacy boosted Paralympic sport, but disabled people’s lives have worsened. The Conversation.

Davis, L., and Duignan, M.B. (2022). French Open: Understanding why Russian and Belarusian tennis players are competing despite Wimbledon ban. The Conversation.

Duignan, M.B., and Mair, J. (2021). Tokyo’s Olympic legacy: Will hosting the Games have benefitted local communities? The Conversation.

Duignan, M.B., and Talbot, A. (2021). Tokyo Olympics: how hosting the Games disrupts local lives and livelihoodsThe Conversation.

Duignan, M.B. (2021). Tokyo Olympics: no spectators is bad for business, but hosting could still bring long-term benefitsThe Conversation.

Duignan, M.B. (2020). Walking methods in Olympic cities (3-part video series and research resource). Funded by Economic and Social Research Council, National Centre for Research Methods.

Martin, L., and Duignan, M.B. (2020). Fostering an Entrepreneurship Legacy for the Olympic Games. Report to the International Olympic Committee.

Duignan, M.B (2019). Examining and Tackling Over-Tourism – Challenges and Strategies: Cambridge, UKUnited Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

Duignan, M.B (2018). Enforcement Balance at Sporting EventsJournal of Trading Standards (UK Government publication).

Walsh, L., and Duignan, M.B (2017). Regulatory Informality and the Power of Discretion at Mega-Sporting EventsJournal of Trading Standards (UK Government publication).

Duignan, M.B., and Ivanescu, Y (2017). Rio’s Olympic Legacy: How Has the City Fared? The Conversation, UK.

Duignan, M.B. (2016). Why Rio 2016 May Not Bring the Tourism Brazil HopesThe Conversation.

Duignan, M.B., and McGillivray, D (2016). How Rio 2016 Satisfied the Sponsors While Leaving Room for the PeopleThe Conversation, UK.

Duignan, M.B (2016). Glastonbury’s Festival Economics Signals Hope for Entrepreneurial SpiritThe Conversation, UK.

Duignan, M.B. (2016). Olympic territorialisation, shocks, and event impacts small businesses and London’s ‘Last Mile’ spaces. Ph.D thesis.

Academic and Industry Digests

These short pieces aim to bring together the main crux of some of the academic papers I have written and the industry work I have done — from an analysis of event-led overtourism in Japan to the way the University of Cambridge ‘Festival of Ideas’ seeks to include the interests of socio-economically deprived communities.

How does the University of Cambridge ‘Festival of Ideas’ include socio-economically deprived citizens?

How do events both exacerbate and help tackle overtourism in Olympic cities?

Utilising field theory to examine mega-event led development

It’s a Penalty’s work and University of Surrey collaboration

How did COVID-19 disrupt event operations and strategy?

How do hospitality events help support local homeless charities?

How do regulators straddle the formality-informality span at major events?