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Alan Machin: Tourism As Education
Home page: blogs, introductions, links to main pages
Berlin: Editing a Townscape
... and reading a city that has had many rebuilders
Making Sense of The Travel Learning Experience- 1
1 Information Streams
Making Sense of the Travel Learning Experience - 2
Some basic theories
Back to Basics: Presentation given at the Cuba EduTourism Conference
The CETA Conference in Havana, Cuba, 8/9 November 2010
About the author
Comments - CV - photos
At the heart of the tourist experience
Learning through Landscapes
Exploring Oxfordshire (and a bit of Gloucestershire!)
The Environment As Data: Building New Theories For Tourism
How tourists relate to places
Sail Gives Way to Steam
A return visit discovers just how much has been achieved in this iconic restoration
Richard III and the Battle of Bosworth Reenactment
Visits to Leicester and the battlefield event, 2013
Along The Way
Recollections and Reflections of 60+ Years' Learning about the World and its Ways
On the Edge of the New World
Shaping New England
Exploring Holderness in East Yorkshire; October 2012
Past Historic
Graf Zepplin, Spain 1968, OS History, Much Wenlock Olympics, Chatham Dockyard, Hawes Tourism, Colonial Williamsburg,
A Summer of Travelling / Matthew Starr
Three months' backpacking in Africa, Asia and Australia
East Anglia
The Broads, Pensthorpe natural history, Radar Museum, Caister Lifeboat Service and more!
A Richer Earth
Discoveries in the landscape and attractions of Shropshire
Blog Index Page
Blog pages from 2009 listed
From Strip Map to Sat Nav
'Finding the way' aids to exploration
Showcasing the World
How the Tourist Microcosm took centre stage
Doing A Dissertation
Notes to help students preparing their proposals
The Japanese Tsunami Destruction at First Hand
Sarah and Tom Wadsworth saw for themselves
Showcases: Examples
The range and variety of tourism's focal points examined
Jigsaw: Frameworks of Knowledge
The tourist jigsaw puzzle of - knowledge
Books and other works useful in studying tourism as education
Tourism's Educational Origins: Part 2
The development of tourism as education, 1845 -
Tourism's Educational Origins: Part 1
Tourism's educational origins and management
Impressions of Tourism in Cuba
Thoughts on having seen some of the country myself
Captain James Cook: North Yorkshire Days
Tracing the early life of Britain's greatest maritime explorer
Hunting the Hound of the Baskervilles
Tracking down places that inspired the famous detective story and moulded Dartmoor's image
Exploring the Idea of Dark Tourism
What is it? Is it a useful idea?
Talking to Tourists
Visitor interpretation - guide books, visitor centres and other media
Shades of Light and Dark in the Garden of England
An exploration in East Sussex and Kent, June/July 2010
Hunting the Gladiator and the Gecko
A thirteen-year search for a wartime adventure
Steam Up For A Famous Film's Birthday Party
The Railway Children weekend on the Worth Valley line raises questions about heritage presentations
Anne-Marie Rhodes: Making a Difference in South East Asia
Leeds Met graduate of '07 describes her activities
Discoveries in Northumberland, April 2010
Alnwick Gardens; Winter's Gibbet; Holy Island, Cragside, Wallington Hall
Discoveries in the Midlands, March 2010
Bletchley Park National Codes and Cipher Centre; and the Rollright Stones
Alan Machin's Blog - April 2010
The development of tourism as education continued
Jigsaw Puzzle!
The Adventure of the Timely Tourist
Leaders Into The Field
People who inspired everyone to explore
Alan Machin's blogs - February and March 2010
Postings on the history tourism as education - redirection
Alan Machin's Blog - January 2010
Tourist photography and souvenirs
Earlier front-page blog postings - January 2010 onwards
Archived after being on the Home Page
News from higher education and - beyond
The Development of Educational Tourism
Key dates in the development of educational tourism
Alan Machin's Blog - December 2009
Christmas Quiz and other postings
Analysing Heritage Tourism
Ideas and perspectives on a hugely important sector
Alan Machin's Blog - November 2009
Visitors' Views of Stonehenge, West Sussex - and other Postings
Are Universities Losing Their Way?
Reflections having retired
Teaching Tourism At Leeds Met
Remembering the Best
Alan Machin's Blog - October 2009
Thoughts about university life and discovery by travel
Alan Machin's Blog - September 2009
Further postings about a trip last month to the USA, and about higher education
Alan Machin's Blog - August 2009
Postings about a trip this month to the USA
Alan Machin's Blog - July 2009
The Story So Far reaches the summer
Alan Machin's Blog - June 2009
The Story So Far looks back on seventeen years at Leeds Met
Alan Machin's Blog - May 2009
Another month of The Story So Far
Alan Machin's blog - April 2009
Yet more of the Story So Far
Alan Machin's blog - March 2009
More of The Story So Far
Alan Machin's Blog - February 2009
The Story So Far - pioneers, people and places
Alan Machin's Blog: January 2009
The Story So Far .... first postings of '09
Alan Machin's Blog: December 2008
The Story So Far .... latest postings
Alan Machin's Blog - November '08
The Story So Far.... continued
Alan Machin's Blog: October 2008
The Story So Far....
No Place Like Rome
The eternal city with the eternal tourists
Charleston, South Carolina
A photo essay about a fine historic city
Idealog - December 2007
Ideas, notes and comments
Idealog - November 2007
Ideas, notes and comments
The Educational Origins of Tourism
Discussion paper
Idealog - October 2007
Coton Military Cemetery; Education and Tourism; Chatham Maritime; Dickens World; Quiz Answers; Tourist Guides; Mediation In Tourism
Idealog - September 2007
Plane Paradox;Tour Guiding; Where in the World?; Do Tourism Students Know Where They Are?; Leeds Met's Wow!; Sea Harrier; Scarborough and Tourism As Education; Doing A Dissertation; Types of Tourist; A Media Lens; Cost of Travelling Alone; Risk of Bias?
Idealog - August 2007
A People Industry; Heritage Interpretation; Lud's Church; Tourists Go Home!; Stone Gappe YHA; Insight Guides; Eyewitness Guides; Bramhope Tunnel; Elizabethan Progress; Information Quality Matrix
Idealog - July 2007
Hidden Heroes, Health Tourism, Holme Fen Posts; Harrogate (again); Whitby Abbey; Dramatic Interpretation; Harrogate Interpretation, Attractions and Royal Hall
Idealog - June 2007
Christian Pilgrimage; Cincinnati Museums Centre; The Coming of the Guide Book; Talking to Tourists - Media, Stages of the Visit, The Service Journey; Tourism's Missing Link; The Final Call; SATuration level; Halifax's Edwardian Window on the World
Idealog - May 2007
Martin and Osa Johnson, Wensleydale Creamery, Malham Tarn, Thomas Cook, Northern Ireland's Tourism Rebuild, Jamestown Festival Park, Cite des Sciences
Idealog - April 2007
The Promenade Plantee, The Jardin des Plantes, Environmental Data, Victorian Beauty Spot Rediscovered, Jamestown, The Anglers' Country Park, Children's Museums, Fairburn Ings
Idealog - March 2007
A Sense of the Past- The 'Amsterdam', The Outdoor Classroom, Film-Induced Tourism, Making Tracks for the Coast and Country, Pictures, Context and Meaning, Classics-on-Sea, Hi Hi Everyone!, Dark Side of the Dream, Holodyne - The Action Cycle
Idealog - February 2007
Don't Go There!, Space Tourism, The Crystal Cathedral, New Books on Tourism, Dark Tourism - Undercliffe Cemetery, Showcase - The Louvre, A Class Act, First Impressions Count, Postal Pleasures, Canaletto in Venice, Serpent Mound, Capsule Culture etc
Idealog - January 2007
Capsule Culture,Seaside Style, Poble Espanyol, Mallorca, Edgar Dale, Children's Holiday Homes, Representations of Reality, Outdoor Education in Germany, Baedeker Guides, Geography Textbooks, Environmental Data Theory etc
Idealog - December 2006
Writers on Landscape, Story Books, The Deep, Flour Power and the Archers,Showcases: Grand Tour, Halifax Piece Hall, Books of Concern about Tourism, Tourist Traces, Tourist Typologies, The Growth of Educational Tourism, The Field Studies Council, etc
Idealog - November 2006
A blog of ideas, comments and notes
Travel To Understand: Belfast
Telling the stories of troubled times
World Quiz 2010
Geography with a tourism angle
The Monterey Bay Aquarium
An outstanding educational facility in California
Chicago: Tourism Re-Imaging
A closer view of an iconic city
Colonial Williamsburg
A Virginia history showcase
A Social Club Outing By Train, 1935
How to do Scotland in 30 hours flat
Going Dutch
Presenting the past in the Netherlands
Keukenhof: Business is Blooming
Using tourism to promote an industry
A View of Italy for the City
Trentham Gardens Revived
A Case Study in Heritage Management
A curious tale of misleading publicity
Old Rice Farm
The story of the house in the 'holler'
Perfection in Paradise: The Eden Project
New page being added: The Eden Project's design for success
Escaping From Slavery: Facing Our Past
The US National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Prague Tourist Shows
Outstanding showcase attractions in the city
Retracing the Steps: Tourism as Education
ATLAS Conference paper given in Finland, 2000
Tourism and Historic Towns: The Cultural Key
A background paper for a Council of Europe Conference
The Social Helix
Visitor Interpretation as a Tool for Social Development, 1989
Malta Residential, 14-21 Feb 2006 - Page 1
Reports and Pictures
Malta Residential, 14-21 Feb 2006 - Page 2
Photos and reports of Friday 17 Feb onwards
Malta Residential, 14-21 February 2006 - Page 3
Reports and pictures from Sunday, 19 February onwards
Tourism Alumni Reunion, 8 March 2003
Leeds tourism students reunion 2003
World Geography Quiz 1
A test of your knowledge
The Adventure of the Timely Tourist
The answers
Tall Ships Race 2010 Converged on Hartlepool
A major event-based boost for tourism in the town
Plymouth: From the Tamar to the Sea
Starting point for explorations round the globe
Plimoth Plantation
A reconstruction of the Mayflower settlers' village of the 1620s on the north east coast of North America
World Geography Quiz 2010 - Answers
Geography with a tourism angle
World Geography Quiz - Answers
Christmas Quiz 2009 - Answers
A day in the city including the Botanic Garden
Tourist Showcases
Examples from around the world

Idealog - November 2007

Frequent amendments notice
Idealog title strip - November 07
Fort Rinella, Malta

Tourism Boom In Malta*

30.11 07

Military re-enactments in Malta have gone beyond "In Guardia" and "Alarme!" - of which details have appeared on other pages. At the saluting base below Upper Barrakka Gardens a cannon is fired every day at 12.00, the echo of the explosion being heard all round Grand Harbour. Some of the volunteer 'soldiers' who take part then hop in a minibus taxi to get over to Fort Rinella.

This was a late-Victorian fort which helped to guard the entrance to Grand Harbour and Marsamxett Harbour from naval invasion. In 1884 an Armstong 100-ton gun was installed. The largest muzzle-loader ever built, it was never fired in anger but for twenty-one years was manned and ready. Ironically the gun had been placed in the specially built Fort Rinella because two Italian warships had been launched, designed to carry each two new naval guns - sold to the Italians by the British armaments manufacturer - Armstrongs.

Visitors can now watch a smaller weapon being loaded and fired - for a small fee they can light the touch powder themselves. A squad of uniformed 'soldiers' gives displays of gun practice, marching, bayonet drill and musketry. Tourists can explore the underground tunnels which housed the ammunition and soldiers' quarters, and see an excellent DVD describing how the great gun was swung round to a loading mechanism driven by hydraulic power and steam. In theory it could have bombarded and enemy with a shell fired every six minutes to a maximum range of eight miles. The explosion was so great that a long lanyard allowed the gunner to fire from a safe distance. A sophisticated triangulation system based on two points at the rear of the Fort gave the range and bearing - the crew stood well clear!

* I know -it was just too much to resist

Fort Rinella, Malta - signalling


Upper Barraka Gardens viewpoint

In A Personal Top Ten

29.11 07

During a week spent teaching trainee tourist guides in Malta about some of the wider aspects of guiding, it was nice today to spend time at Upper Barrakka Gardens. This spectacular vantage point overlooking the Grand Harbour, itself a World Heritage Site, has been made even better by improved layouts on the garden elements.

Queen Elizabeth came here with the Duke of Edinburgh to plant a tree marking their 60 years of marriage, the anniversary being on 2o November. The royal couple spent some years in Malta before Princess Elizabeth, as she then was, acceeded to the throne in February 1952. Her husband had been serving in the Royal Navy in Malta.

The delight of these small gardens and the adjacent terrace overlooking the harbour, with the Three Cities opposite, is in the peaceful nature of the place. There is a very relaxed atmosphere and with the warm Mediterranean climate, even in November (forgetting last night's hour-long electrical thunderstorm), and, let's face it, not too many tourists, this spot comes easily into my own top ten of favourite places. Name the others? Er - not yet, but you can have Big Ben seen from the former County Hall in London; the Boqueria Market in Barcelona; Times Square in New York and Three Cliffs Bay in South Wales to be getting on with. All Europe and the USA? Yes: those happen to be the places I have seen so far.

Upper Barrakka Gardens, Malta


St Georges Bay Project, Malta

Put The Blue Flags Out For St Georges Bay


Malta has earned its first Blue Flag for beach quality. St Georges Bay is small but an essential part of the St Julians area with its five-star hotels and the Bay St shopping and entertainment complex. Seen above today, on a blustery and becoming rainy day the beach looks little like the sun trap that it is in the summer. Water quality has been a long standing issue for Malta and beaches are not common, so St Georges is very important. The beach was extended with imported sand as noted in earlier postings.

The Malta Tourism Authority comments:

St. George’s Bay was the first beach in Malta to undergo a replenishment programme. The Malta Tourism Authority recognised the potential of the beach and in 1998 decided to embark on a project that would see the beach transformed into a clean and welcoming site.

The project involved many aspects. The first step was to carry out all the necessary environmental studies to ensure that replenishment of the beach would not result in any major negative environmental impacts, and to ensure that environmental benefits would be accrued. A detailed marine survey was carried out and the results were used to develop a beach restoration plan. Once a preliminary plan was developed more detailed scientific studies were carried out over a number of years. These studies were subjected to quality assurance throughout their execution. An Environmental Impact Assessment was carried out to ensure that the potential impacts resulting from the project were properly understood and measures to reduce these incorporated into the project design. The Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) granted a permit for the development of the project in 2000.

Work on the detailed design, sand movement, and ancillary infrastructural improvements (which included the construction of culverts to divert storm water from the beach, the replacement of sewage infrastructure, and installation of utilities) commenced in 2003.

In May 2004, the beach was replenished and subjected to a monitoring programme that aimed to obtain information on the stability of the beach in terms of whether sand was being lost and to ascertain the quality of the water in the bay and the response of marine organisms.

Besides replenishing the beach, MTA committed to embellishing the area. A promenade was constructed that segregated the road from the beach, no longer allowing access of vehicles to the beach. The promenade also served to improve the visual amenity of the area. The implementation of a landscaping scheme sealed
the transformation of St Georges Bay.

Fortina Spa Development

Malta Moving Up-Market


Leeds Met alumni who took part in any of nine residential weeks we ran in Malta will be interested in some updates. The country has many developments affecting tourism including a marked shift up-market. Joe Bonello of the Malta Institute of Tourism Studies says here are no one or two star hotels and three star units are often being converted into apartments, some for retired residents. The Bugibba Holiday Complex where the later visits were based has now closed awaiting a decision on redevelopment. The Prince of Wales Hotel in Sliema is now apartments with supporting services for the over-60s. At the same time the Corinthia Hotel at St George's Bay has extended and Radisson SAS opened the 5-star Golden Sands Hotel with spectacular views over one of Malta's best beaches. Overlooking Marsamxett Harbour and Valletta is the Fortina Hotel and Spa (above), part of the developments that have been taking place on the former barracks site of Fort Tigne.

Also noticeable around the tourist promendes of Sliema are attractive new landscaping projects which have tidied up previously nonedescript walkways. Much needs to be done, however, as the country still has a sense of untidyness in many locations. Particularly pressing is the solid waste landfill problem. The 40-hectare Maghtab waste site - effectively a prominent hill now - has been closed and is being landscaped, but rubbish is being dumped nearby. A plan for a new landfill site in the south west of the island had to be dropped for environmental considerations, and on the sister island of Gozo the Qortin site, also closed, has not yet been satisfactorily replaced by a sound long-term solution.

Scarborough beach cameos

On The Beach


The beach is different. Not the hum-drum world of work, nor the escapist destination that is foreign travel, but somewhere in between and yet easier to reach. It is a playground that can be dug up, sculpted, churned up as a sports pitch or walked over by generations who want to watch their toes sink into wave-washed sandbanks. And then twice a day it is smoothed over by the tides (OK, we're talking oceans here and not inland seas such as the Mediterranean) and once a day by the local council's tractor-hauled sand-rake.

It is what the tourist wants to make it. Some beaches become moated castles or places to temporarily bury daddy. Others are places to walk the dog (if the party-pooping no-poo posters allow it), ride the donkeys or spend luvvy-dovey hours.

Some places find they can't compete if they don't have enough beaches. I have just arrived once more in Malta where the tourist industry is beginning an up-market boom, but which could do with a few more beaches to add to Golden Sands, Mellieha Bay, Birzebugga and Ramla. So they have extended the little beach on St Georges Bay by importing the right kind of sand - smoothly rounded and heavy enough to resist the scouring waves - from Jordan. A new industry could be born with the right bit of marketing: build a better beach today!

Aubrey-Maturin books

Armchair Roamer


Literary tourism and film-induced tourism have long histories. Explorations by holidaymakers of the western states of the USA was stimulated by many of the very earliest of films, and come to that, Buffalo Bill's Wild West Shows did the same before then through their version of theatre. It's a frequently quoted fact that Shakespeare's Stratford-on-Avon was being promoted by the actor David Garrick in his Festival and his play productions in the eitheenth century. There were visitors to the Haworth of the Brontes during their lifetime, thanks to their novels.

The current BA in-flight magazine includes an article by Dom Joly and his early - but continuing - interest in Tintin, the strip cartoons that began life in 1929 and are still highly popular. Dom Joly has been trying to visit each of the world-wide locations of the boy reporter's adventures - and he is setting his daughter off in the same direction.

Patrick O'Brian's seafaring adventures have a huge following. It may be that dozens of his readers are even now planning trips to the locations sailed in to, fought over, and explored by his two Napoleonic-era heroes, Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin. A well-made recent film spread the stories wider through a new medium, but it is the books by O'Brian and his devotees that have founded this industry of the imagination. Twenty completed books (and one more, unfinished by the time of the author's death) have spun a long, unbroken thread of the story of these two characters and a wide cast of supporters through the years of the Napoleonic and Anglo-American Wars. Each book can be read alone or as part of the full sequence. The power of O'Brian's narrative, his varied characterisations, world-wide settings and, above all, incredible knowledge of naval life in the broadest sense, can hold readers spellbound. Supporting books on the life and times of Jack Aubrey and the others increase the fascination. O'Brian describes ship-handling in a fluent style which does not attempt explanations of the vocabulary and methods of the sailor. The reader might feel a little mystified at times, but knows roughly what it is all about and never feels that he, or she, is being talked down to. O'Brian treats the reader as an intelligent being - while doubtless knowing that he - or she - might wish to have the Oxford Book of Ships and the Sea, or one of the works shown above, close at hand.

Is a tourist industry being launched down the slipways by an army - sorry, a navy - of exploration-minded holidaymakers? There must be many who see Gibraltar or Minorca, Boston Harbour or the coast of Australia and think that Aubrey and Maturin were, in fiction at least, there before them. Groups of enthusiasts can follow. In years to come maybe there will be maps with little tick boxes by locations round the globe for marking off another successful engagement. Let's hope they enter the spirit of Georgian England as well as the twenty-first century and go by sea. Preferably under sail. The carbon footprint will be smaller, and O'Brian's world view understood better.

Little Chef at Markham Moor

Little Chef On The Way Out?


In the late 1950s the combination of increased leisure and business travel along with new road building led to the need for more refreshment stops. On the motorways this meant service stations. On trunk roads it meant small restaurants, perhaps with a filling station nearby. Britain's first stretch of motorway was the Preston by-pass, later to be part of the M6. It opened in 1958.

In the same year the first Little Chef set out 11 stools in front of a service counter and provided tea, coffee - and what became its best-known meal, the Early Starter breakfast. The tiny restaurant was in Reading. Over the next decades the business grew into a huge chain which, when takeovers and rebranding are included, topped over 360 outlets. For many people the convenience, familiar service and attractive design made Little Chefs welcome breaks on long journeys. Business meetings were often arranged over Olympic breakfasts and even some family Sunday dinners were taken in them. For the travellers wanting to avoid motorways and their factory-canteen style service stations the figure of Fat Charlie, the Little Chef symbol, meant a more human-scale experience.

The business has had a convoluted history, however, especially as Fat Charlie became less attractive in the 2000s. Grills and table service were becoing less popular. Now some of the chain have been sold off or closed in a more uncertain future for this type of operation.

A stop made recently at the Markham Moor Little Chef (above) found cheerful staff and good food but a unit looking tired and frayed at the edges. It so happens that this particular building, designed as an early service station with an unusual sweeping roof line, has a devoted band of followers ready to argue for its conservation.

Managing Coastal Resorts

Back To The Beaches


A new book from Channel View Publications revisits an old tourism phenomenon - the coastal resort. So much has been written recently about city, mountain, adventure, wine, cycle, religious and just about everything else in tourism that the focus has shifted from the classic coastal situation where so much began. The new book contains 16 chapters on all kinds of destinations by the sea around the world. Studies include Cyprus, the south coast of England, Tenerife, Egypt and Australia among others. The book is edited by Sheela Agarwal and Gareth Shaw, who point to the relative lack of recent academic studies. There is a wealth of material here and it is good to see some new names amongst the more familiar writers, and consideration given to more unusual coastal developments such as those in Malaysia and South Africa. The bibliography of almost 40 pages gives it a special value, too.

Agarwal S & Shaw G (eds)(2007) Managing Coastal Tourism Resorts: A Global Perspective, Clevedon, Channel View Publications
ISBN 978-1-84541-072-8 (pbk)
19.96 (publisher's web page discount rate)

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