This Research & Knowledge Exchange Doctoral Project brief summarises our priority areas of research interest under the heading of: Creating a Destination Storyworld.

We welcome all research degree applications aligned with and in response to this brief.

Project brief details

Storytelling has frequently been cited as an effective way for destination management organisations (DMO) to attract tourists to a set place.  However, there is little attempt within tourism practice to distinguish between the key features (I.e., story v narrative) and focus (I.e., destination to other) of telling stories, and a story’s ability to reach and influence the intended audience.  There is even less practical understanding surrounding the impact of real-life stories on the ‘other’ and how place-based stories can shape a deeper connection to the community, for everyone. 

Consequently, this project is designed to explore the extent to which local stories can add value to the community and strengthen their collective and individual connection to place.  From this perspective, key research questions can be suggested, including: 

  • What is the role of the local in building a storyworld of place? 
  • Can communities reclaim their identity and re-discover their place and its potential in the world through telling stories of place? 
  • Is the value of storytelling central to regenerative development? 
  • Are stories valued by DMO in England and/or abroad? 
  • Can local people convey influence over the ‘other’ to travel and become the foundation of promotional narratives / strategies of the DMO? 

Strategic alignment

Projects deriving from this brief are expected to sit within the Research & Knowledge Exchange strategy and the following department.

Department Cornwall Business school

All successful research degree project proposals must emphasise a clear alignment between the project idea and our Research & Knowledge Exchange strategy. 

Project brief lead

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Natalie Semley

Project Supervisor: Dr Natalie Semley

Natalie's academic roles extend back to 2007 when she was first appointed as a Lecturer at the University of Plymouth. It was within this role that Natalie developed her pedogeological practice and worked towards becoming a Senior Fellow of the HEA (2016).

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How to apply

Apply for a Research MPhil or PhD

We welcome all research degree applications aligned with this Doctoral Project brief. ​To apply in response to this brief or learn about the application process click the button below.

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Project brief & project proposal enquiries

To discuss this project brief, ideas or project proposal responding to this brief, please contact: Dr Natalie Semley.


Application enquiries

For all other application related enquires please contact the Research & Development team.


T01326 255831

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