Dr David Bowen

Reader and Head of Doctoral Programmes

Oxford Brookes Business School


David Bowen gained his first degree in geography from the University of Oxford. His interest in academic study related to tourism started whilst teaching in Kenya, East Africa. As a result, he studied for an MSc in Tourism at Surrey University and, after joining Oxford Brookes University, completed a PhD entitled ‘Consumer Satisfaction on Long-Haul Tours'. 

David is currently the Head of Doctoral Programmes in the Oxford Brookes Business School (OBBS). This involves all aspects in the development of the PhD and DCM programmes, from selection and academic monitoring of doctoral candidates, e.g. currently 80+ PhD in total, through to organisation and leadership of seminars and events. For ten years David led a PhD Summer School in Dalyan, Turkey, that helped develop the doctoral work of 200+ PhD students from Oxford Brookes University, Northumbria University, and Ulster University.

In relation to his own doctoral supervision, David has now co-supervised 15 candidates to successful completion at PhD level, including topics as diverse as tourism and anti-social behaviour (with Dr Jackie Clarke), the tourism demonstration effect (with Dr David Bowie), and place, power and tourism (with Dr Peter Lugosi). He has acted as external examiner in a number of doctoral systems such as the UK, Italy and New Zealand.

David has also contributed in the development and teaching on MSc.programmes  through leadership on various modules, such as ‘Tourist Consumer Behaviour and Marketing’, and ‘Tourism Synthesis’. He has also lectured on a full range of undergraduate modules and acted as Field Chair for the undergraduate tourism courses over two periods, 1992-1996 and 1999-2004. 


David Bowen's research interests focus on tourist consumer behaviour and tourism destination development. He has published on these and other topics in Annals of Tourism Research, Journal of Travel Research, Tourism Management, Service Industries Journal, Tourism Geographies, Tourism Recreation Research, International Journal of Tourism Research and Journal of Vacation Marketing.

Recent publications and conference presentations have been generated from two funded projects with colleagues from the Oxford Brookes Business School. One project (with Dr Jackie Clarke) is focussed on the notion of familiar tourism with empirical work based on two areas of Wales, UK: the Gower Peninsula and the Mawddach Estuary. The research was originally supported by the Oxford Brookes University Central Research Fund. However, it was expanded following the award of a British Academy/Leverhulme grant.

The second project (with Shahida Zubair and Professor Levent Altinay) explored aspects of politics, power and tourism destination development in Maldives. It was supported by an Oxford Brookes Business School internal research grant. As with the familiar tourism study it generated a number of journal articles and conference presentations. Additionally, it was followed by the co-edited book publication Malatesta et al (2021) Atolls of the Maldives: Nissology and Geography published byRowman and Littlefield.


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Professional information


  • Bowen, D. and Clarke, J. (2018) “Coastal spaces and seascapes: In situ tourist tales of the familiar.” Royal Geographical Society - Institute of British Geographers, Cardiff September.
  • Bowen, D. and Clarke, J. (2015) “We always, always come back here”: Familiar places and familiar tourists. Royal Geographical Society- Institute of British Geographers, Exeter, September.
  • Bowen, D. and Clarke, J. (2015) We’ve been coming here forever: Familiar places and familiar tourists. Proceedings: Rising tides and sea changes. CAUTHE, Southern Cross University, Coolangatta, Gold Coast, Australia, February.
  • Zubair, S. Bowen, D. and Altinay, L. (2015) Enclave resort tourism in Maldives: Destination development and resistance to change. Proceedings: Rising tides and sea changes. CAUTHE, Southern Cross University, Coolangatta, Gold Coast, Australia, February.
  • Sayania, A. Bowen, D. and Harwell, J. (2014) Hindu pilgrimage and commercialisation: Char-Dham Yatra, India. Royal Geographical Society- Institute of British Geographers, London, September.
  • Yasothornsrikul, P. and Bowen, D. (2011) Tourism demonstration and behaviour change: blending theory with reality. CAUTHE, UNiSA, Adelaide, Australia.
  • Bowen, D. and Altinay, L. (2008) The dynamic game: skirting beyond access problems in academic tourism research. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Services Management (ICSM), Penn State University, USA.
  • Bowen, D (2004) Exploring service systems from a consumer perspective: participant observation in the tourism industry. Proceedings: International Conference on Service Systems and Services management (ICSSSM04), Tsingua University, Beijing, China.
  • Bowen, D. (2003) Inside the Wave – beyond conventional tourist research. Proceedings: Riding the Wave of Tourism and Hospitality Research. CAUTHE, Southern Cross University, NSW, Australia.
  • Bowen, D. with Wickens, E., Paraskevas, A. Hemmington, N. (2000). Satisfaction at the Millennium Dome, London: The visitors’ voice. Proceedings: Consumer Satisfaction Research in Tourism and Hospitality, Oxford Brookes University, November, pp.183-194.
  • Bowen, D. (1999) Participant observation as a research method in tourism management. Management Seminar Series, Center for Inter-disciplinary Studies, Waikato University, Hamilton, New Zealand, June 02 1999.