Page published: 8 June 2011
Congratulations to Svetla Stoyanova-Bozhkova who was recently successful in passing her PhD viva voce, with examiners recommending that she be granted the award of Doctor of Philosophy, subject to minor corrections of her thesis. Traditionally, the award of the academic degree is conferred at the University's Graduation Ceremony in November.
Svetla's research, "Tourism development in transition economies: an evaluation of the development of tourism at a Black Sea Coast destination during a period of political and socio-economic transition", looked into the transformation of a traditional mass tourism destination over the last two decades, through the perspectives of the major decision-makers. It suggested an analytical framework to explain the specific development path(s) of a tourist destination, taking into account the political, psychological, institutional dimensions of transition, the role of the state and the individual. Some of the themes that emerged from the primary data have been largely absent from previous research on tourism in transition and from the wider tourism studies. Dr. Jonathan Edwards (Head of Sustainable Development Research Group at the International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research) and Professor Roger Vaughan (Head of the Postgraduate Research Courses) supervised the research.
Svetla began researching for her PhD after being awarded a Bournemouth University(BU) PhD Studentship to conduct research on tourism development in transition economies. She says, "For me this has been a wonderful opportunity to undertake research activities for BU - a world-leading institution in the field of tourism research." Svetla's academic career began with a bachelor degree in 'International Tourism', before she advanced to undertake her master's degree in 'Tourism Policy and Management', for which she obtained a Distinction.
Svetla enthused that her future lies in academia, as she is looking for a post ideally combining teaching with research. She also said, "There has been interest in my study from the public authorities in my country (Bulgaria). I have found it very encouraging that through the academic networks I have received enquiries from tourism academics, who would like to use the case of Bulgaria's Black Sea coast in their lectures. I have already started working on publications and my priority at present is dissemination of the findings of my research."