Dr David Bowen

Research Affiliate

Oxford Brookes Business School


Until August 2023, David held the role of Reader within OBBS and now continues his OBBS connection as a Research Affiliate. 

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'. 

For over 15 years until 2022, David was the Head of Doctoral Programmes, Oxford Brookes Business School (OBBS). This involved all aspects in the development of the PhD and DCM programmes, from selection and academic monitoring of doctoral candidates, e.g. 80+ PhD in total, through to organisation and leadership of seminars and events. For ten years, David led a Doctoral Summer School in Dalyan, Turkey, that helped develop the work of 200+ PhD students from Oxford Brookes University, Northumbria University, and Ulster University.

In relation to his own doctoral supervision, David has co-supervised 18 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 PhD external examiner in a number of doctoral systems such as the UK, Italy, Hong Kong, and New Zealand

Through time, David contributed to the development and teaching on OBBS MSc. programmes via leadership on a wide range of modules, especially in relation to tourist behaviour and tourism destination development. He also 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. He has also presented his work in conference settings notably, on a number of occasions, at the Council for Australasian Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE) and the Royal Geographical Society (RGS).

Research has typically stemmed from funded projects and other collaborations with colleagues and postgraduate students from OBBS and beyond. For example, one recent project (with Dr Jackie Clarke) 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 award of a British Academy/Leverhulme grant supported the research. Another recent project (with Shahida Zubair and Professor Levent Altinay) explored aspects of politics, power and tourism destination development in Maldives. Apart from journal articles and conference presentations, it led to the co-edited book publication Malatesta et al (2021) Atolls of the Maldives: Nissology and Geography published by Rowman and Littlefield.

Such research activity, as well as teaching, latterly generated two book publications that to an extent offer a summary overview of his thinking and experience: 

  • Bowen, D. (2022) Contemporary tourist behaviour: Yourself and others as tourists. Wallingford: CABI, 2nd Edition
  • De Vita, G., Begley, J. and Bowen, D. (2021) Roadmap to a successful PhD in business & management and the social sciences: The definitive guide for postgraduate researchers. Peter Lang: Oxford

David is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.


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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.