Research Projects


The European partnership involved in the NTG project have been successful in securing additional funding of €4 million to continue the project for an additional four years with the School of Hospitality Management & Tourism receiveing a portion of this funding.

Full details of the PANTOUR project will be presented here shortly.

A Sustainable Agenda for Gender Equality in Tourism and Hospitality: Promoting Entrepreneurial Pathways for Women in Central Vietnam (SAGETH)


Research Area

This project aims to consolidate an existing collaborative relationship between Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) in Ireland and Hue University in Vietnam by developing mentoring activities in tourism entrepreneurship for women in Central Vietnam, with a pilot in Hue city. It aims to encourage, support and promote inclusive opportunities in the region of Hue. This project aims to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 and Ireland’s Policy for International Development’s agendas for gender equality, developing collaborative research and concrete actions to overcome challenges that women face due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the region of Central Vietnam.


Key Themes

It is widely acknowledged that despite high levels of female participation in the tourism sector worldwide, women’s roles, status and opportunities in the sector are significantly impacted by structural and cultural challenges. These challenges include gender inequality, fewer opportunities for development and advancement, income disparity, and poor quality of work and harassment (Baum, 2013; Ferguson, 2011). To compound these issues, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women around the globe (UN 2020). The proposed project, developed in partnership with Hue University in Vietnam aims to address these challenges and impacts.

The project focuses on aspiring and existing female entrepreneurs in Hue Province in Central Vietnam, a popular tourist destination. The evidence suggests that new actions to provide opportunities for women in the labour market are needed. The current project addresses this need by focusing on the provision of career development tools, to support women entrepreneurs in tourism.


Research Objectives:

  • To design and undertake research on skills gaps for women in Central Vietnam 
  • To develop a mentoring programme to support existing or aspiring women entrepreneurs in the tourism sector in the Hue region of Vietnam
  • To facilitate knowledge exchange and networking between Irish and Vietnamese  stakeholders and to disseminate learning to a broader audience
  • To improve collaboration between Ireland and Vietnam, furthering activities between the global south and global north  
  • To facilitate the development of further funding proposals, focusing on overcoming challenges for the female workforce.



This proposal builds on an existing collaborative relationship between the School of Tourism & Hospitality Management, Technological University Dublin and the School of Tourism and Hospitality, Hue University. The project will take an action research (AR) approach. AR ‘seeks to bring together action and reflection, theory and practice, in participation with others, in the pursuit of practical solutions to issues of pressing concern to people, and more generally the flourishing of individual persons and their communities’ (Reason and Bradbury, 2008, p.4). It places value on transformation, empowerment and ongoing involvement of participants, and therefore, as highlighted in previous research (Nivarangkul et al 2012, McHugh et al 2011), is an ideal methodological approach to take in research focused on supporting and empowering women in traditionally gendered environments. AR is as focused on adding to practical actionable knowledge as it is on adding to theoretical knowledge so it is also useful in piloting initiatives such as the one proposed in this project which is focused on encouraging women to start or develop their own businesses.

AR involves cycles of planning, taking action and evaluating that action, and in this project the cycles will focus on a number of key actions: 

  • Exploring challenges faced by women interested in starting or developing tourism businesses in the Hue region of Vietnam.
  • Developing and evaluating a mentorship and career development programme for aspiring or existing female entrepreneurs. 
  • Sharing information more widely
  • Supporting collaboration/networking opportunities for academic and industry stakeholders.



Dr Denise O'Leary (Principal Investigator), Dr Geraldine Gorham & Dr Fernanda Rabelo.


  • Dr Liên Trần Thị Ngọc, School of Hospitality and Tourism, Hue University, Vietnam
  • Truong Thanh Hung, Finno Business Innovation Consultancy, Vietnam.


Further Information:

Project period: January - September 2022

Funder: New Foundations, Irish Research Council



Baum, Thomas. International Perspectives on Women and Work in Hotels, Catering and Tourism. Bureau for Gender Equality Working paper, 1/2013. ILO: Geneva, 2013.

Coghlan D. and Brannick T. (2010) Doing Action Research in your Own Organisation, 3rd edn. Sage Publications, London.

Ferguson, Lucy. Promoting Gender Equality and Empowering Women? Tourism and the Third Millennium Development Goal. Current Issues in Tourism, Vol 14, N. 3, April 2011, 235-249.

McHugh T-LF, Kowalski KC. ‘A new view of body image’: A school-based participatory action research project with young Aboriginal women. Action Research. 2011;9(3):220-241.

Nilvarangkul, K., Srithongchai, N., Saensom, D., Smith, J.F., Supornpan, A. and Tumnong, C., Action Research to Strengthen Women Weavers’ Self-Care in North-East Thailand. Public Health Nursing, 30: 213-220, 2013.

United Nations Women, Asia and the Pacific. Policy Brief: the Impact of Covid-19 on Women, 2020.



Diversity & Intercultural Inclusion in Hospitality (D&ICIH): promoting intercultural awareness and integrating best practices among the TU Dublin community


Key Themes:

This proposal focuses on investigating cultural differences and communication barriers migrant workers encounter in hospitality services within TU Dublin, improving the relationship between the staff and students, and implementing good practices in the university. Hospitality is still an area with rare studies in diversity and inclusion, and this proposal is based on the understanding of the socio-economic and cultural challenges migrant workers in this sector face in Ireland and Europe. It also aims in creating awareness of these challenges, producing a qualitative research with interviews with migrant workers of hospitality services in TU Dublin, with an intercultural awareness framework and also with an intersectional approach, as it investigates specific challenges female migrant workers may face as this sector is highly gendered. It aims to raise awareness about diversity in the university and to promote good practices between the community, recognising the existing diversity and the importance of inclusion on campuses.


Key Objectives:

  • To recognise the importance of diversity and inclusion initiatives in the university, exploring cultural and communication barriers migrant workers face in this micro-universe, and how to produce a better relationship between staff and student.
  • To produce a small research based on interviews with migrant workers in hospitality services in TU Dublin on intercultural awareness, also with an intersectional approach related to gender and socio-economic background.
  • To create awareness on the need of more studies related to diversity and inclusion in the hospitality sector.

This project aims to raise awareness on differences in communication and expression of cultural values that migrant communities have in Ireland, seeking to facilitate the communication and recognise the multicultural context of the university. It aims to discuss migrant’s motivations and barriers in working in hospitality in Ireland, and also female migrant workers specific challenges in the industry. It aims to improve relationships and attitudes towards this specific staff group and other staff workers and students of the university. Therefore, this proposal seeks to bring an open discussion on diversity and inclusion in the university, benefiting the university directly, promoting good practices, and raising awareness on its cultural diversity and importance of inclusion. It seeks, as well, to improve integration outcomes through initiatives in the university that might reflect outside of the campus, influencing socio-cultural attitudes towards the existent migrant communities in Ireland.


Team members:

Dr Fernanda Rabelo (coordinator/PI), Dr Ana Maria Fernandes and Dr Mariia Perelygina (School of Tourism & Hospitality Management)


Further Information:

Project period: March - September 2022

Funder:  Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Funding 2022, TU Dublin


Research Area

Without any warning, and with very little planning, social, cultural, and economic practices including festivals were rudely propelled into the digital sphere overnight because of COVID-19. Festivals were unable to operate because of the social distancing requirements and other constraints imposed by public health guidance. Accordingly, festivals either cancelled or pivoted entirely or partially online. The disruptive effects of this were immense, particularly for rural communities where achieving digital connectivity remains an important societal challenge. Undoubtedly some of the larger festivals had already been digitally engaged, but the pandemic has acted as a catalyst propelling a much fuller engagement with the digital arena, even when most were ill prepared and unsupported to do so. There is now an urgent need to identify how the sector is reacting, to assess its needs and to understand how its artistic missions and practices are undergoing change.

However, the sustainability of arts festivals, especially in rural areas is under threat if festivals lack the technological capabilities to function digitally, and if digital connectivity is not enabled. Ireland’s national broadband plan NBP is currently being rolled out and some 300 Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) have been selected as public locations to receive high speed connectivity in the first year of the NBP. FADE will investigate the current and future potential of BCPs to facilitate digital enabled festivals and extend audience reach.


Key Themes

The aim of the FADE project is to investigate changing patterns of arts festivals consumption in the digital environment, to shed light on the digital upskilling and capacity building required to enable high quality festival making and to propose solutions to the digital connectivity problems that beset festivals in rural areas.

The objectives of the project include:

  • To access the sector’s needs and shed light on the digital upskilling and capacity building needed to enable high quality festival making
  • To understand how the digital turn has changed artistic practices
  • To understand how the sector is negotiating and making decisions about the digital platforms available and what criteria are influencing its decision making
  • To access the current and future potential of the National Broadband Plan's Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) to facilitate digitally enabled festivals
  • To understand how the sector can extend audience reach
  • Evaluate festivals' potential use of other digital technologies such as Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR).



AHSS PI: Dr Bernadette Quinn

STEM PI: Dr Brian Vaughan, TU Dublin School of Media

Samantha Morris (Senior Research Assistant)

Dr Enya Moore





Further Information

Funder: Irish Research Council, under the Collaborative Alliances for Societal Challenges (COALESCE) scheme. 

Contact: Dr Bernadette Quinn:; Dr Brian Vaughan:

Project period: 2021-23


NTG logo

Research Area

The Next Tourism Generation Alliance (NTG) is the first European partnership and alliance for improving a collaborative and productive relationship between education and industry. The NTG Alliance will provide employees, employers, entrepreneurs, teachers, trainers and students with a set of Core NTG modules in digital, green and social skills.

The consortium is a multi-disciplinary partnership which comprises 14 partners: 7 Industry Partners and Tourism Sector Representatives, 6 Universities and ATLAS – Association for Tourism and Leisure Education and Research.


Key Themes

  • To improve the relationship between Industry and Educational Providers in the Tourism sector
  • To provide concrete innovative and highly relevant skills products and tools and respond to skills need
  • To provide a detailed assessment of the current and anticipated skills shortages, gaps and mismatches in the sector
  • To develop a common methodology for assessing the current situation, anticipating future needs and monitor progress to respond to skills gaps
  • To identify, describing and indicating priorities for the review or the establishment of new qualifications
  • To improve image of tourism career pathways at company and educational level.



Dr Denise O'Leary

Dr Fernanda Lima Rabelo

Dr Theresa Ryan

Rachelle O'Brien

Dr Ruth Craggs

Dr Ziene Mottiar

Dr Mariia Perelygina



Desk Research Summary (January 2019)

Survey Report Ireland (May 2019)


Further Information


Social media: Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn

Funder: Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union

Project period: 2018-2021



In total, 14 partners represent the whole tourism sector including specialists in hospitality, food and beverage, travel agencies, attractions and recreation. Drawn from 8 EU countries (Italy, UK, Spain, Bulgaria, Hungary, The Netherlands, Germany and Ireland), the consortia comprises:

  • Federturismo Confindutria (Italy)
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University (Wales, UK)
  • ATLAS-The Association for Tourism and Leisure Education (Netherlands)
  • Unioncamere (Italy)
  • Varna University (Bulgaria)
  • Eurogites Rural Tourism Association (Europe)
  • Stichting NHTV internationale hogeschool Breda (The Netherlands)
  • University of Alicante (Spain)
  • People 1stSector Skills Council (UK)
  • IHK Academy (Germany)
  • CHEAT/Instituto Tecnológico Hotelero (IHT) (Spain)
  • Sopron University (Hungary)



FestSpace logo

Research Area

Festivals and events staged in urban public spaces take various forms; there are many free cultural festivals and sport events hosted in street settings, but more commercially oriented events are increasingly staged in plazas and parks too. Festivals and events are, by definition, time-limited phenomena but they can have enduring effects on the people and places involved. They may affect who uses public spaces and how they are used, both in the short and longer terms. In the contemporary era, festivals and events offer opportunities for urban public spaces to be reimagined as more welcoming and more diverse spaces encouraging different behaviours and producing the inter-subjectivity that can foster the integration of migrants and other socially excluded people. However, there is also a risk that festivals and events represent merely a superficial ‘quick fix’ to social problems or worse – they might exacerbate social and economic exclusion. In their planning, and in their realisation and legacies, festivals and events include and exclude people and they allow (and restrict) the celebration of certain identities. They have the power to disrupt the fixed nature of public space and to change the dynamics of spaces. Like the spaces they inhabit, urban festivals and events are contested – with different interests competing to secure their own objectives.



The FestSpace project focuses on how festivals and events enable or restrict access to, and use of, public spaces, including the extent to which they might effectively host interactions and exchanges between people from different cultural, ethnic, socio-economic and socio-demographic backgrounds. We are interested in how the design and operation of urban festivals and events might help to dismantle existing divisions. However, we acknowledge that festivals and events have the potential to symbolically, financially and physically exclude marginal populations from conventional public spaces, hence making spaces less public or less diverse. This provides even more justification for a study that seeks to establish if and how festivals and events affect the inclusivity of urban public spaces. There is the potential for cities to go beyond multi-culturalism towards inter-culturalism by harnessing the “the dialogue and exchange between people of different cultural backgrounds to facilitate the transformation of public space, civic culture and institutions”. Therefore, FESTSPACE will also examine the extent to which diversity is embedded in the conception, organisation and delivery of festivals and events and the wider effects of this involvement.



Dr Bernadette Quinn

Dr Ana Maria Fernandes

Dr Theresa Ryan

Dr Mariia Perelygina



Quinn, B. et al. (2020) Festivals, Public Space and Cultural Inclusion: Public Policy Insights, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, December 2020. DOI:10.1080/09669582.2020.1858090

Smith, A. Osborn, G. and Quinn, B. (forthcoming 2021) (Eds) Festivals and the City, the Contested Geographies of Urban Events. London: University of Westminister Press.

Quinn, B. & Ryan, (forthcoming 2021) The publicness of local libraries: Some insights from Dublin, in Smith, A. Osborn, G. and Quinn, B. (Eds) Festivals and the City, the Contested Geographies of Urban Events. London: University of Westminister Press.

Smith, A,; Vodicka, G.; Colombo, A.; Lindström, K.; McGillivray, D.; Quinn, B. (forthcoming 2021) "Staging city events in public spaces: an urban design perspective" International Journal of Event and Festival Management.


Further Information


Social Media: TwitterYouTube Channel / YouTube - the impact of COVID-19 on commemoration events

Radio broadcast: Dublin City FM Green Room Interview 17 April 2021

Funder: The project HERA Public Spaces has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement 769478.

Contact: Dr Bernadette Quinn (

Project period: 2019 - 2022



  • University of the West of Scotland (United Kingdom)
  • University of Gothenburg (Sweden)
  • University of Westminster (United Kingdom)
  • Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Spain)


Key Themes & Objectives

In response to SDG 4.7, which requires learners acquire knowledge and skills for sustainability, two modules targeting both Level 8 and Level 9 have been developed which address a gap identified by the National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development in the ‘preparedness of lecturers to facilitate the type of participatory learning’ associated with balancing social and economic well-being with Earth’s ability to replenish its natural resources. For Tourism, Hospitality, Event, Sport/Leisure educators who are committed to embedding sustainability in their academic practice, these modules develop a community of practice, comprising faculty, students, industry, and community that can support authentic and transformative living-lab experiences for a sustainable future for the Tourism, Hospitality, Event and Sport/Leisure sectors.  Unique to the delivery is the cross- disciplinary focus on sustainability, complemented by discipline specific delivery which delivered centrally within the module. Using an inquiry and evidence-based, and action-learning approaches, the modules focus on addressing issues relating to the future of the industry within a holistic framework informed by the 4 Cs of culture, campus, curriculum, and community as a means for transforming Tourism, Hospitality, Event, Sport/Leisure sector higher education for Sustainability.  Outputs will also include a range of teaching resources such as a digital library of recordings relating to sustainability across the disciplines.



Dr Cormac McMahon (Lead). Contact:

Dr Gemma Kinsella (School of Food Science and Environmental Health)

Dr Adrienne Fleming (School of Science and Computing)

Dr Lucia Walsh (School of Business)

Dr Catherine Gorman (School of Tourism & Hospitality Management)


Further Information:

Funded by: National teaching and Learning Forum (NTLF)

Project period: 2021-2022


Synergies Funded project


Project Themes & Objectives

To ensure graduates have the skill to work within the tourism industry, and spurred on by the paradigm shift in teaching due to Covid 19, this research focused on developing innovative solutions using technology. Innovative solutions and technological implementation are required as part of the educational system to ensure that students as future employees have the skill to work within the tourism sector (Kongtaveesawas and Prasarnpanich 2020). This project involved a number of stages. Using virtual assessment techniques, industry co-created evaluation, and integrated assessment, it explored how virtual field-trips can be developed as part of remote teaching methods. To provide context to the topic of sustainable tourism and technology, a student-led virtual seminar with industry was undertaken linking with TU Dublin Green Week 2021.  In place of a fieldtrip using Google Earth and Screen-cast-o-matic, students created videos incorporating the sustainability message which was assessed from an academic, industry and peer perspective. Finally, based on an adapted UTAUT model (Venkatesh 2003) student evaluation and feedback  focused on use, adoption and perceptions of using technology as part of delivery.



Jennifer Stewart, Louise Bellew, Dr Catherine Gorman.


Further Information:

Project funder: TU Dublin and National Teaching and Learning Forum (NTLF)

Project period: 2020-2021

Accelerator Funded project logo



Seik Logo

Research Area

The business of organising and managing planned events is a relatively recent development in the service economy. From an academic perspective, this means that much remains to be done in terms of developing links between theory and practice. Now, event management curricula at third level are insufficiently informed by practice with distinct gaps in provision existing. At the same time, the small-scale, fragmented and gig economy nature of much of the sector means that valuable knowledge and expertise is routinely lost, as skilled professionals retire or move on to other sectors. This problem has been compounded by the current COVID-19 crisis. Furthermore, from a sustainability perspective, the sector can be seen to be lagging behind other sectors in adopting sustainability practices.


Key Themes

SEIK aims to develop teaching resources to enhance event management curricula at levels 8, 9 and 10 in TU Dublin. In the process it aims to: bridge the gap that exists between academia and event practitioners; harness a wealth of knowledge for the benefit of students, academics and the events industry, and share learning with event management educators in other HEIs in Ireland. SEIK will generate data by capturing and recording knowledge and expertise held by industry practitioners on a range of topics related to the event industry. It will use the data to reproduce a variety of outputs that can be incorporated into third level event management curricula. These outputs will be reproduced using both traditional and new technologies for use in both offline and virtual environments. They will include, for example: print material (case study series) as well as an eBook, podcasts, blogs, videos and audio-visually recorded interviews and webinars. All of these resources will be made available through Arrow, TU Dublin’s searchable open access repository with all material licensed under Creative Commons licenses. 



Students also participating: Level 8: Mary-Aoife Ong, Erin Madden & Hannah Dempsey; Level 9: Nyrenee Bailey & Kate Sarapulova; PhD: Danielle Lynch





Further Information

Social Media & Web Links: LinkedIn / Twitter / TU Dublin IMPACT


Funding: The Sustainable Event Industry Knowledge (SEIK) project is funded under the TU Dublin Impact Accelerator funding 2020.

Contact: Dr Bernadette Quinn:

Project period: 2021

Accelerator Funded project logo



 LEAF logo

Research Area

This project sought to address a key issue in third level Teaching and Learning, that of assessment and assessment feedback. This is an issue which is being grappled with internationally as academics, academic leaders and policy makers adapt to a changing environment. With increasing student numbers (OECD, 2016), changing student profile (Department of Education, 2011) and the focus on graduate attributes, the projected move to a new learning environment in Grangegorman and the shift towards increased use of digital resources, it is timely to review assessment and feedback strategies within TU Dublin. Learning from best practice nationally and internationally, this project has developed a set of recommendations which will enhance practices in assessments and feedback and ultimately result in better student and lecturer experiences with the assessment processes in TU Dublin.


Key Themes

Assessment strategies have been shown to have a large impact on shaping how students learn and how they develop key employability skills. This project aims, through a phased approach, to develop and pilot assessment and feedback strategies focusing on the development of employability skills represented by TU Dublin graduate attributes. A breadth of disciplinary knowledge and experience within the project team has informed the project methodology and facilitated the design of a strategy that takes different disciplines, levels and graduate attributes into account.

The objectives of this project were:

  1. Identify the key issues for stakeholders within the institute relating to assessment and assessment feedback

  2. Review relevant literature in the area of assessment and assessment feedback

  3. Conduct interviews with national and international academics and academic leaders to learn about best practice in other institutions regarding assessment and assessment feedback

  4. Develop a strategy to enhance assessment and assessment feedback practices in the institute, taking into account the development of key graduate attributes

  5. Identify and develop tools and resources to support the implementation of this strategy
  6. Trial the assessment and feedback tools on a variety of programmes at various levels across all four colleges

  7. Develop a report detailing SMART recommendations for the institute regarding assessment and assessment feedback

  8. Ensure that the outputs of this project have maximum impact



The project team includes representatives of all four colleges and 10 schools. The team leader is Dr. Ziene Mottiar. The award is being funded, jointly, by the Directorate of Academic Affairs, Digital and Learning Transformation; the College of Arts and Humanities; the College of Business; the College of Engineering and Built Environment, and the College of Sciences and Health.

Staff involved in the project:

Ziene Mottiar, Louise Bellew, Sara Boyd, Greg Byrne, Jane Courtney, Cliona Doris, Helen O'Brien Gately, Geraldine Gorham, Rebecca Gorman, Leanne Harris, Natalie Hopkin, Anne Hurley, Louise Lynch, Ciaran O'Driscoll, Denise O'Leary, Noel O'Neill, Emma Robinson, Mary Scally, Barry Sheehan, and Mairead Stack.



Mottiar, Z., Bellew, L., Boyd, S. et al. (2020) LEAF (Learning from and Engaging with Assessment and Feedback) Final project report, LEAF Teaching Fellowship project TU Dublin City Campus 2018-19.

Robinson, Emma; Mottiar, Ziene; Byrne, Greg; Courtney, Jane; Gorham, Geraldine; Hurley, Anne; Lynch, Louise; Harris, Leanne; and O'Leary, Denise (2020) "Learning from and Engaging with Assessment and Feedback (LEAF): Growing Practice," Irish Journal of Academic Practice: Vol. 8: Iss. 1, Article 6.


Further Information

LEAF project seminar presentation at the 9 May 2019 National Forum for the enhancement of teaching and learning seminar in TU Dublin, Grangegorman.

Video Introduction to LEAF by Dr Ziene Mottiar

Funder: TU Dublin Team Teaching Fellowship Award

Contact: Dr Ziene Mottiar (

Project period: 2018-2019