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Professor Sarah Nicholls

Professor, Business

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Office 302 - 302
Third Floor
School of Management
Bay Campus
Available For Postgraduate Supervision


Sarah Nicholls is Professor in – and Deputy Head of – the Department of Business within Swansea University’s School of Management. She holds a Chair in Placemaking and Destination Management and serves as Director of the Centre for Visitor Economy Research. Prior to joining Swansea in April 2018, Sarah spent 16 years at Michigan State University, in the Departments of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Resources, Community Sustainability, and Geography. She holds a BSc in Geography from University College London and her MS and PhD degrees in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Sciences from Texas A&M University. 

Sarah’s work focuses on the planning, development and management of leisure resources and tourism destinations, with the ultimate goal of understanding and promoting the role of tourism, recreation and parks in the creation of active, vibrant, resilient and sustainable communities. Her work has been funded by a variety of agencies and organisations including Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Isle of Anglesey County Council, Travel Michigan/Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Office of the Great Lakes/Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Department of Agriculture, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. In 2013 Sarah was presented with the “Outstanding Achievement in Michigan Tourism Award” by Governor Rick Snyder in recognition of her contributions to the tourism industry in that state.

Sarah serves as Programme Director for both the BSc and MSc in International Tourism Management. She is actively seeking PhD students interested in any aspect of parks/recreation/tourism planning, development and management.

Areas Of Expertise

  • Planning, development and management of parks, recreation and tourism resources
  • Tourism as a development strategy
  • Implications of environmental and climate change for parks, recreation and tourism resources, and for recreation/travel behaviour

Career Highlights

Teaching Interests

Sarah’s teaching focuses on all aspects of the planning, development and management of parks, recreation and tourism resources and the travel industry.

Research Award Highlights