Professor Sarah Nicholls
Telephone: (01792) 602101
Room: Office 302 - 302
Third Floor
School of Management
Bay Campus

Sarah Nicholls is a Professor in the Department of Business within Swansea University’s School of Management, where 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 Travel Michigan/Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Office of the Great Lakes/Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, 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.

Areas of Expertise

  • Planning, development and management of parks, recreation and tourism resources
  • Implications of environmental and climate change for parks, recreation and tourism
  • Contributions of parks, recreation and tourism to sustainability and well-being
  • Positioning of public parks and recreation resources
  • Impacts of parks, recreation and tourism amenities on property prices
  • Role of international students as place/travel ambassadors


  1. Impacts of environmental disturbances on housing prices: A review of the hedonic pricing literature. Journal of Environmental Management 246, 1-10.
  2. & Spatial Is Special: The Need to Consider Spatial Effects in Leisure Research. Leisure Sciences, 1-21.
  3. & Forty Years of Climate and Land-Cover Change and its Effects on Tourism Resources in Kilimanjaro National Park. Tourism Planning & Development 16(2), 235-253.
  4. Influences on international student choice of study destination: Evidence from the United States. Journal of International Students; Jonesboro 8(2), 597-622.
  5. & The contribution of scenic views of, and proximity to, lakes and reservoirs to property values. Lakes & Reservoirs: Research & Management 23(1), 63-78.

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  • MN-2059 Marketing Places

    This module details through a case study approach, how marketing principles are applied within the tourism industry. Its considers different elements of marketing such as segmentation, marketing research, the marketing mix and electronic marketing and through a range of detailed case studies evaluates how they are applied in practice. Examples of success and failure illustrate the importance of understanding the market, customers and of developing the right products and services to meet customer needs. The module is delivered through interactive discursive lectures based around case study material. There are also two visits to tourism destinations or attractions to illustrate practice in the field and to provide students with the opportunity to talk to professionals involved in tourism marketing. The assignment will evaluate the marketing of a tourism destination or business and plan how it can be improved.