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Professorship disruption, innovation and new phenomena in hospitality and tourism

The world faces many challenges and changes, whether it is the emergence of new technologies such as light computing, stereolithography or programmable matter. Artificial Intelligence (AI), driven by the concept of technological singularity is full of unknowns and how the workplace and humanity will change. Technology has always advanced, such as developments in Revenue Management, Geographical Information Systems and Online Travel Agents which made the high street travel agent redundant. 

Demographic trends such as falling birth rates and an ageing population mean a different hospitality workforce and service provision. Climate change is a certainty and our approach and understanding of the trend is driving changing menus i.e., climate change diets or shaping the design of hotels through sustainable architecture.

However, what is recognized is that the hospitality and tourism industries are adaptive and leaders of change. They are industries at the centre of innovation and new phenomena.

At the core of the professorship is understanding the future of the hospitality and tourism industries through foresight, futureproofing and game changing.

The Team

Professor of Disruption, Innovation and New Phenomena

Dr Ian Yeoman

Dr Ian Yeoman LPSNZ is a Professor of Disruption, Innovation and New Phenomena at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands.

Ian is the champion of tourism futures based upon his initial work as the Scenario Planner at VisitScotland where he introduced scenario construction, economic modelling, and trends analysis within the organisation to understand and make sense of the external environment. He then moved to New Zealand where he was involved in several tourism futures projects for government agencies and national strategies whilst an Associate Professor at Victoria University of Wellington.

Ian is the co-editor of the Journal of Tourism Futures, editor of the Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management and book series editor of the Future of Tourism. Ian has a PhD in Operations Research from Edinburgh Napier University, author of over 70 research papers and 22 books.

He is presently writing/editing several books including ‘2075: The Future of Food Tourism’, ‘Scenario Planning and Tourism Futures’, and ‘Scenarios for Global Tourism’ for publication in 2024/25.

He is also a passionate Sunderland AFC fan (so don’t mention Newcastle United).

Senior Lecturer in Destination Marketing

Dr David Proctor

David Proctor is a Senior Lecturer within Hotel Management School Leeuwarden at NHL Stenden.

Originally from Ireland, David accumulated a wealth of international experience in the hospitality industry before joining our university in 2011. His research interests include sports tourism, destination marketing and the overlap with hospitality. David has a PhD from TU Dublin with a thesis that mirrors these themes, and he has published on how the world’s most popular sport, football, can be leveraged for its tourism potential.

David is a keen football fan, a season ticket holder at Old Trafford, and an avid cyclist (aka MAMIL) who loves to travel.

Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship

John Hornby, PhD candidate

John Hornby has worked in the hospitality industry for over 10 years in various roles in Africa and Europa. John worked as a chef, Food & Beverage Manager, General Manager and on a number of new hotel opening projects.

John joined NHL Stenden in 2010/2011 as a lecturer at the Hotel Management School. He has completed a Master in Business Science in Internationalisation at Southeast Technological University (IRL) and also holds post – graduate diplomas in Research from the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (NL) and diploma in Multilevel Modelling and Multivariate Analysis from the University of Utrecht (NL). John is currently a PhD researcher at Oxford Brookes University (UK) in the field(s) of entrepreneur with a passion for entrepreneurship, an entrepreneurial mindset, experiential education, skills development, and futurism.

With a deep understanding of the entrepreneurial landscape and an entrepreneur himself, John has dedicated his career to exploring innovative ways to foster entrepreneurship and develop the next generation of business leaders. John has a keen interest in sports namely football and rugby and has keen interest in real estate and real-estate development particular in the hospitality context.

Senior Lecturer in Revenue Management

Marit de Vries, MA

Marit de Vries is a Senior Lecturer in Revenue Management at Hotel Management School Leeuwarden at NHL Stenden.

Since 2016 she is involved in the research part and more specifically in co-writing chapters in books and writing articles as either co-author or by herself. Her journey started by writing about how Online Travel Agencies influence a customer’s choice for a hotel, also called, the information bubble. This made her write more about this topic either in chapters or articles. With time preceding, her interest in Revenue Management got expanded with Technology and Innovation and how both areas influence Revenue Management as well. Before diving deeper into that world, she first took a sidestep to delve into the Technology world by finding out what is written in literature about how Virtual Reality can be embedded in hospitality education. The outcome of this research is the basis for the next article as well as for a new chapter to write in the book Future of Hotels.

Besides being so eager on learning and reading, she loves to play volleyball, enjoy a good meal with friends, visit musea, and all that gives her the required relaxation and workout to keep being in balance.

Senior Lecturer in Tourism Economics

Dr Radu Mihailescu

Radu Mihailescu has a BCom Hons in Economic Sciences from University of Port Elizabeth and an MCom in Travel and Tourism Economics from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Radu is currently in the final stages of completing his doctorate DCom in Resource and Tourism Economics at NMMU. Radu started his academic career as an Economics lecturer and course co-ordinator at the University of Port Elizabeth in South Africa. In 2008 he moved to Italy where he taught microeconomics at Free University of Bolzano. He was also appointed as Senior Lecturer in Economics and Tourism at the University of Malta where he taught for a couple of years. More recently, Radu worked as a senior lecturer and module co-ordinator at NHL Stenden South Africa before moving back to Europe and continuing his career at NHL Stenden in Leeuwarden.

He is a member of International Association for Tourism Economics (IATE) and American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE). Radu has a number of publications in economic and tourism academic journals and has published a book on Cost Benefit Analysis of Charter Airlines.

Editor in Chief - Research in Hospitality Management

Dr Rodney Westerlaken

Dr Rodney Westerlaken, M.A., M.Si., M.Ed., is a versatile professional with a passion for driving positive change across various domains. With a rich background encompassing philanthropy, activism, research, lecturing, and disaster management expertise, he brings a holistic approach to his research.

Currently serving as a lecturer at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, his commitment to education and academia extends to his role as the Editor in Chief of the Research in Hospitality Management journal, where he leads the charge in advancing scholarly discourse within the field.

Having earned his PhD in Cultural Studies from Universitas Udayana in 2020, Dr Westerlaken has conducted impactful research focused on cultural modification concerning children placed in child welfare institutions in Denpasar. This work underscores his dedication to addressing complex societal issues and advocating for vulnerable populations.

Beyond academia, Dr Westerlaken is the founder of the Westerlaken Foundation and serves as a Patron at Yayasan Westerlaken Alliance Indonesia, demonstrating his commitment to philanthropy and community development.

His academic journey includes acquiring master’s degrees in humanities, environmental studies, and education, reflecting his interdisciplinary approach to learning and problem-solving.

Dr Westerlaken’s research contributions span a diverse range of topics, from hospitality volunteer engagement and consumer behaviour to the impact of tourism on local communities and environmental sustainability. Notable publications include studies on volunteer engagement in residential care facilities, the ethical implications of wildlife tourism, and the relationship between sustainability initiatives and employee motivation in the hospitality industry.

With a keen focus on social responsibility and ethical practices, Dr Westerlaken continues to make significant strides in his academic pursuits, leveraging his expertise to effect positive change and inspire future generations. Currently, Dr Westerlaken is involved in a research project in volunteerism in hospitality, together with Breda University of Applied Science (BUas).

Learn more about this professorship