An undergraduate student at the University of Liverpool has been awarded the J. Desmond Slattery Undergraduate Student Award 2013 from the internationally recognised Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA).
Matthew Dugdale, who is a first year undergraduate in the University’s Management School, won the award with a research paper exploring the effect of negative media on destination branding. The paper looked specifically at how the perceptions of visitors to Jersey altered following the reports in 2008 of incidents of child abuse at Haut de la Garenne.
The study also examined how the tourism board has adapted its branding strategy to overcome the negative perceptions and whether families still trust the island as a safe holiday destination.
Commenting on the research Matthew said: “Since a child I have visited Jersey many times and following the incidents I noticed a slowdown in tourism on the island. However, the incidents occurred around the same time as the economic downtown and it was important for me to understand the real effect the child abuse claims had on tourism to the island and what views people held”.
The TTRA awards programme was developed to encourage and recognise excellence in the field of travel and tourism research and marketing. The J. Desmond Slattery award was created in 1987 to honour the 16th Travel and Tourism Research Association President.
As the winner of the 2013 award, Matthew has been awarded a $700 cash prize and a one-year complimentary student TTRA membership.