Research and Teaching

First, I have done research and published widely in the areas of Sustainable tourism with focus on small scale community tourism ventures, Tourism Impact assessment, Nature based Tourism (NBT), regional development, Tourism policy and governance and destination management, with over 20 publications in international journals, government reports, books, book chapters, and monographs. In my research work which has mainly focused South America and East Africa, I seek to shed new light on the sustainability dilemma (bridging theory and practice) and contribute fresh multi-stakeholder governance approaches and perspectives of conciliating tourism development, natural resource management and the aims of socioeconomic development. I also receive many invitations to give keynote addresses at international tourism conferences and workshops worldwide. Between 18-19 of January, 2015, I was invited as a speaker and panellist during the special symposium (Ecotourism: A Partnership with Nature?), organized by The Canisius Institute for the Study of Human-Animal Relations (Buffalo, New York- USA) and the Tourism Department- Brock University. I have been awarded several scholarships and research grants to contribute to tourism knowledge including the current Research Fellowship Grant by the Mexican Nacional Council of Science and Technology (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología -CONACYT) and The Tecnological Institute of Cancún (ITC) to carry out research on tourism sustainability in the Mexican Caribbean, a Doctoral Scholarship and research assistantship by CONACYT (2012-2015), a National Research Excellence Award for the Best Doctoral Dissertation by the Mexican Academy for Tourism Research (Academia Mexicana de Investigación Turística A.C. – AMIT) and the IIPT Scholarship Award for the Best Paper received during the World Tourism Symposium 2015 organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the International Institute of Peace through Tourism (IIPT). I maintain strong links with the tourism industry at international, national, state and local levels. I have undertaken a number of consultancies for public and private sector tourism organisations within México including the Ministry of Tourism (Secretaría de Turismo) and for international agencies, including the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), Washington D.C where I serve as the the Reserach affiliate for South America.

In 2015, I founded the Center for Advanced Technology in Sustainability, with a special focus on tourism research. The center based in Queretaro was financed by the Mexican Nacional Council of Science and Technology (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología -CONACyT). The same year, I conducted research on tourism competitiveness and sustainability in Sinaloa; a project jointly financed by the Center for Responsible Travel CREST-USA and the Ministry of Tourism in Mexico (SECTUR). In 2013, I was the lead researcher in another study of tourism competitiveness and sustainability in two Mexican destinations: Mazatlán and the magical village of Cosala. The project was carried out through the Department of Graduate Studies, University of Occidente and formed part of a larger project commissioned by the President of Mexico, a total of 44 beach destinations were included in the main study, from the results, I managed to publish two books and two journal articles. Between 2011 and 2012, I conducted research on local residents’ attitudes and perceptions towards the development of slum tourism in one of Africa’s largest slums (Kibera) in Kenya, this was part of my Master’s dissertation. Other projects include: research on community tourism as a tool for poverty alleviation and socio-economic development (2009-2011), a survey of licensed small and medium scale tourism operators in Kenya (2008), tourism curriculum development and harmonization in Kenya, (2007) and an analysis of tourism activities and overall improvement proposal for Hallar Park, a subsidiary of Lafarge Ecosystems, Kenya (2007). My Ph.D dissertation, one of the few properly comparative case studies of biosphere reserves in developing countries examined how governance of these conservation areas under UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere (MAB) program influences the integration of conservation practices with local development. In particular, I sought to comparatively explore the influence of political ecology, actor involvement (public sector, private sector and local community) and the distribution of costs and benefits on conservation perspectives and practices in two biosphere reserves in Kenya and Mexico.

Secondly, I have had an opportunity to teach several tourism related courses and Spanish as a foreign language, this has equipped me with relevant teaching skills covering different levels of higher education. Some of the courses that I have taught at graduate and postgraduate level: Service Quality Management, Tourism Planning and Development, Tourism Sales & Marketing, Research Methodologies, Introduction to service Management and Cultural Heritage. Between 2009 and 2011, I held an academic leadership position as the head of department -Hospitality and Tourism Management at Alphax College.