Tourism expert awarded UHI title

An expert in tourism has been awarded the title of Associate Professor by the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). Dr Steve Taylor from Glenfinnan was given the title in recognition of his contribution to research commercialisation and knowledge exchange.

Dr Taylor, who has worked with UHI West Highland since 2010, has been involved in more than 20 EU-funded transnational projects on tourism-related subjects, ranging from adventure sports to wellbeing tourism. Most recently he was involved in the Royal Irish Academy bilateral project with Munster Technological University, exploring regenerative tourism in a rural community development context.   

As Director of the Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research, Dr Taylor has overseen a number of flagship projects including Slow Adventure in Northern Territories and The Coast that Shaped the World. The former initiative saw partners and associated businesses across Northern Europe collaborate on the development of new tourism products, which culminated in a spin-off company, Slow Adventure Ltd, being established in Scotland. The Coast that Shaped the World, meanwhile, has seen UHI work with destination marketing organisations and communities on the west coast and islands of Scotland to gather maritime cultural heritage stories to be used to both celebrate our rich history and inspire visitors to more destinations.

A recognised academic author, his extensive publication record saw him included as part of UHI’s successful submission into the 2021 Research Excellence Framework exercise, a review of research in UK higher education institutions. He is also an experienced PhD supervisor, chair of UHI’s tourism knowledge exchange group, coordinator of the global Adventure Tourism Research Association and co-organiser of its international adventure conference, which takes place in Germany this summer.

Vicki Nairn, Interim Principal and Vice-Chancellor of UHI, commented: “The title of Associate Professor is reserved for academic colleagues who have established distinguished international reputations in their research or scholarship. Dr Taylor has dedicated his career to the development of the tourism sector, working with contacts across the globe to inform and create new opportunities. He is a credit to the UHI partnership and I am delighted his work has been recognised in this way.”

Lydia Rohmer was Principal of UHI West Highland when she nominated Dr Taylor for his Professorship. Lydia, now Principal Designate of UHI North, West and Highland, said:

"I am delighted Steve’s work has been recognised in this way, he has an extensive network of national and international colleagues and played a pivotal role in growing our international reputation for research excellence. He is highly deserving of this accolade. Our talented staff and their expertise are the foundation to our success at UHI West Highland and I want to thank Steve and his team at the Centre for Recreation and Tourism for all their fantastic work which has direct positive impact on our communities and businesses in providing local access to world-class expertise, research and innovation for more sustainable forms of tourism.”

She continued: “As we progress towards merger with our partners in UHI North Highland and UHI Outer Hebrides, we will be looking to continue to grow our research and innovation activity further enhance the positive impact on our students, staff and our communities locally, nationally and internationally.”

More information about business, leisure and tourism courses at UHI