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Dr Simon Thomas FHEA

Senior Lecturer – Research Methods (P/G & Doctoral)  

Course Leader – Doctor of Business Administration

Researcher – Pilgrimage, Memorial & Tourism Studies

Research Lead – Tourism, Hospitality and Events Group

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

South Wales Business School


Dr. Simon Thomas is a Senior Lecturer at the South Wales Business School.  Prior to commencing a career in academia Dr. Thomas worked in Visitor Services for Cadw, the Welsh Government body responsible for the historic environment in Wales. Dr. Thomas is an experienced Doctoral supervisor and PhD/DBA staff mentor who has examined, chaired, and supervised Doctoral candidates in a variety of business and tourism related subjects. Presently Dr. Thomas teaches MBA and DBA research methodology.

Research interests are focused on Pilgrimage, Memorial & Tourism Studies. Publications include a 4* ABS full paper as well as book and journal publications. Dr Thomas has consulted with a number of tourism organisations as well as completing a Knowledge Transfer Programme (KTP) with the Cardiff Story Museum which was rated as ‘outstanding’ by the KTP Board. 

Dr. Thomas is an experienced journal reviewer and external examiner who has significant experience in quality, curriculum design, research ethics, research degrees and franchise arrangements.


2007 – 2013

PhD Pilgrimage Tourism (University of South Wales)


Master of Arts in Heritage Tourism (University of Wales, Trinity College Carmarthen)


Post Graduate Certificate in Education - Tourism (University of Wales Newport)


BA (Hons) Tourism (and Leisure) Management (University of Glamorgan)

External Examining Appointments

External Examiner MSc International Hospitality and Tourism Management – Coventry University London 2019 – 2023

External Examiner BA (Hons) Management of Travel and Tourism – Coleg Llandrillo (Bangor University) 2018 – 2022

External Examiner BA (Hons) Heritage Studies – Bishop Grossteste University College Lincoln 2012 – 2017


Thomas, S. & Thomas, R.H. (2024) Curative Encounters; Visual Representations of the Pilgrim Journey in

Eds: Alec Grant, A. & Lloyd-Parkes, E. (2024) Meaningful Journeys: Autoethnographies of Quest and Identity Transformation Routledge Publications

Lloyd-Parkes, E., Deacon, J., Grant, A. & Thomas, S. (2021) Emotional Overload! A Dialogic Autoethnography of Scholar-Participant-Consumer Reactions to the Marketing of Thanatourism in The Qualitative Report Volume 26, Issue 3

DOI: 10.46743/2160-3715/2021.4733

Thomas, B.. Powell, L., & Thomas, S. (2020) An Investigation into Cultural Events and Tourism on the Isle of Man in Land Science, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2020 DOI: https://doi.org/10.30560/ls.v2n2p34

Thomas, S. & Powell, L. (2018) Key factors in the development of tourism-led local innovative heritage entrepreneurship in the South Wales Valleys in ‘Innovation and Social Capital in Organizational Ecosystems’ IGI Global Publications (Edited by Thomas, B & Murphy, L) DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7721-8

Thomas, S., White, G. R. T. & Samuel, A. (2018) To Pray and To Play: post-postmodern pilgrimage at Lourdes, Journal of Tourism Management 68 (2018) 412-422 doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2018.03.021

White, G. R. T., Samuel, A., Zhou, P., Razak, A. A. & Thomas, S. (2017) Religious Heterogeneity of Food Consumers: the impact of global markets upon methods of production, Journal of Consumer Behaviour 2017; 1–10 DOI: 10.1002/cb.1658

Thomas, S. (2017) Chapter 2: Promoting the sacred: The Potential for Pilgrimage-Touristic Growth in Wales – A Theoretical and Applied Analysis in 'Heritage and Tourism in Britain and Ireland: Nation, Conservation, Identity' Palgrave Macmillan London (Edited by Hooper, G) DOI: 10.1057/978-1-137-52083-8

Thomas, B. & Thomas, S. & Powell, L. (2017) The Development of Key Characteristics of Welsh Island Cultural Identity and Sustainable Tourism in Wales in International Journal of Scientific Culture Jan 2017, Vol. 3, No.1 DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.192842

Colegau Cymru Research Project (2016) Survey of Skills and Qualifications in Wales: Retail, Tourism and HospitalityDavid Pickernell, Mark Lang, Malcolm Beynon, Celia Netana, Paul Jones, Rachel Bowen, Simon Thomas, Jonathan Deacon

Thomas, B., Powell, L. & Thomas, S. (2013) Heritage Tourism Entrepreneurship Development in An Independent Wales in International Centre for Business Research Vol 2 – Feb 2013

Thomas, B., & Thomas, S. (2012) Cultural Events and Tourism in the Channel Island of Jersey in the International Journal of Research into Island Cultures Vol 6, No 1, pp 55-73

Thomas, S., Thomas, B. & Powell, L. (2011) Chapter 6: Museums and Small Memory Institutions – Multimedia Knowledge Management Systems in ‘Innovation and Small Business Volume 2’ (Edited by Thomas, B. & Miller, C. & Murphy, L.)

Powell, L., Thomas, S. & Thomas, B. (2011) Innovation and heritage entrepreneurship development in the South Wales Valleys in Annals of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Vol 2, No 1

Powell, L., Thomas, S. & Thomas, B. (2010) Regeneration Schemes in South Wales: A Stimulus for Innovative Heritage Enterprise Development in International Business Management 4 (3): 177-188, 2010 ISSN 1993-5250 Medwell Journals.

Thomas, S., Miller, C., Thomas, B., Tunstall, R. & Siggins, N. (2007) Mastering intrapreneurial behaviour for sustained socioeconomic development: a public service analysis of the south-east Wales heritage tourism attractions sector in The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Special Edition 8 (1), pp 75-83 doi.org/10.5367/000000007780007371

Thomas, S. & Thomas, B. (2005) The south Wales heritage tourism industry and small industrial museums in The International Journal of Applied Entrepreneurship 1 (3), pp 1-9

Thomas, S. & Thomas B. (2004) New heritage tourism business formats for small museums and other sites in Wales in The International Journal of Applied Entrepreneurship 1 (1), pp 64-76

Thomas, S. & Thomas, B. (2003) A national policy analysis of new heritage tourism business formats and the virtual interface for small museums and other sites in Wales. Welsh Enterprise Institute Working Paper Series No 36.

Thomas, S., Miller, C., Packham, G. & Thomas, B. (2003) The Welsh heritage tourism industry and entrepreneurship. Welsh Enterprise Institute Working Paper Series No 35

PhD/DBA/MPhil supervision


Dr Brian Finn (PhD by portfolio)

Digital Darwinism: Temporal Myopia and the Transformation of Institutional Logics. A critical analysis to clarify the why, the what and the how of digital transformation to improve implementation success.

– DoS (with Dr. Gabor Horvath)

Dr Julian Zarb (PhD by portfolio)

The Process of Research in Developing an Effective Local Tourism Planning Strategy and Policy – A Community-Based Tourism Model from Malta - Supervisor (with Professor Jonathan Deacon and Professor Andrew Jones)

Dr Christopher House (PhD by publication)

An evaluation of coastal management and policy implementation: A case study approach – DoS (with Prof. Allan Williams)

Dr Gary Fuller (DBA)

Critical Evaluation of Individual's Perception of Team-working at a Highly Technical Aircraft Engine Overhaul Provider – Supervisor (with Prof. Hefin Rowlands)

Dr Tim Scheuerer (DBA)

Business Modelling based on the future need for funding in the German Mid Cap Market – DoS (with Prof. Thomas Peisl)

Dr Joe Cudd (DBA)

An evaluation of the significance of Academic Optimism of a sample of Primary schools: A case study approach based in west Wales – Supervisor (with Prof. Catherine Farrell)

Dr Claire Clement (DBA)

Technological coalescence, recombinant innovation and future work; Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the workforce - Supervisor (with Prof. Gareth White)

Dr Robert Baustel (DBA)

An investigation of the entrepreneurial behaviour of a German Medtech start-up with a focus on disruptive innovation - DoS (with Professor Dominik Hammer) 

Gbolahan Faleye (MPhil)

How Networks and Interaction Drive the Co-creation of Value within the Museums Context – Supervisor (with Prof. Anne Marie Doherty)


Azley Abd Razak (PhD by publication)

The Triple Helix model of innovation - DoS (with Dr Palash Kamruzzaman)

Christoph Stiel (PhD)

The corporate innovation dilemma: Learnings for the next generation of automotive innovation programs - DoS (with Dr Elizabeth Lloyd Parkes)

Adeyemi Aromolaran (PhD)

User Experience and Online Conversion for NGOs - Supervisor (with Dr Gabor Horvath)

Tutu Adebiyi (PhD by Portfolio)

‘Developing an asset-based, equitable system and culturally inclusive collaborative approach to enable market access and preparedness support for the sustainable growth of Ethnic Minority-led MSEs’- DoS (with Dr Gabor Horvath)

Chris Jenkins (DBA)

Can the Commonwealth Games new model address or mitigate some of the negatives around hosting a games and accentuate the legacies and ensure these benefits reach the local community? - DoS (with Dr Elizabeth Lloyd Parkes)

Shelley Poole (DBA)

Hearing the Employee Voice: Identifying Opportunities for Reciprocal Learning between Employee-Owned Organisations and the Industrial Relations School of Human Resources Management - DoS (with Dr Ahmed Abdullah and Dr Elizabeth Lloyd Parkes)

Ewan Savage (DBA)

Medical Device Regulation 2017/745: Impact, evaluation and practices for change execution - Supervisor (with Dr Andre Clark)

Balvinder Singh (DBA)

Chemical Legislation (REACH) Business Impact Analysis on UK Aerospace Industry and Brexit - DoS (with Dr Andre Clark) 

Cael Sendell-Price (DBA)

Caveat Emptor: Developing and maintaining true value in a local government procurement service – DoS (with Dr Darar Apiri)

Bede Chukwuekezie (DBA)

Managing professionals in a reconstituted knowledge intensive work environment: An ‘info-forensic management’ approach - DoS (with Dr Gabor Horvath)

Martin Crilly (DBA)

Information Warfare Services - Supervisor (with Dr Palash Kamruzzaman)

Sian Lyons-Nicholas (DBA)

Shouldn’t We Matter Too? - An Exploration into the Interface Between the Psychological Contract and Survivor Syndrome Behaviour of the Forgotten Employees as a Result of Downsizing in the Public Sector – Supervisor (with Dr Gabor Horvath)

Emilia Piera (PhD)

Organisational transformation through shared leadership and social influence in a traditional public sector organisation. The NHS case study – DoS (with Dr Ahmed Abdullah)

Gwyn Mapp (DBA)

PTREAD – Model Refinement and Well-being Diagnostic Tool Development – Supervisor 1 (with Dr Lauren Thomas DoS & Professor Steve Smith Supervisor 2)

Melanie Wilkey (DBA)

Exploration into the implications for leaders of Impostor Phenomenon amongst employees – Supervisor (with Dr Filliopos Proedrou)

Faisal Al Awadhi (PhD by Portfolio)

Leading Innovation and Entrepreneurship Within a Small Nation (Focus on projects made to encourage Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Kingdom of Bahrain) – DoS (with Dr Naveen Madhavan)

Jason Robinson (PhD by Portfolio)

Entrepreneurial Research into the use of Positive Solution-Oriented Media as a Mechanism for Shifting Sustainability Consciousness and Prosocial Behavioural Norms – DoS (with Dr Naveen Madhavan)

Najma Khatun (PhD)

Storytelling in fast fashion marketing: Effective Strategy to promote Sustainable Consumption – Supervisor (with Dr Elizabeth Lloyd Parkes)

PhD/DBA/MPhil examination experience

Nadine Khair (PhD Viva Internal Examiner) July 2019 - Exploring the meanings Jordanian consumers allocate to foreign brands: an ethnography on understanding the effect of brand country of origin image on consumption - USW

Maxine Johnson (MPhil Transfer Examiner) November 2019 - An investigation of marketing strategy in social enterprises – USW

Daniel Griffiths (MPhil Transfer Examiner) February 2020 - How do emotions impact the consumer decision-making process? – USW

Tina Thomas (MPhil Transfer Examiner) January 2021 - Parental social identity and the child’s sports-related consumer behaviour: a qualitative study – USW

Bosun Sanusi (PhD Viva External Examiner) February 2021 - Slum an Urban Tourism Resource in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Case Study of Kalingalinga Informal SettlementSwansea University

Alex Boswell (MPhil Transfer Examiner) January 2022 - The Consumer Behaviour of LGBTQ+ Individuals During ‘Pride Month’: A Thematic Analysis - USW

Lara Audu (PhD Viva Chair) April 2022 VFM in public procurement policy implementation - USW

Abasiokpon Udoakah (MPhil Transfer Examiner) September 2022 Social Capital and National Poverty Eradication Programme in Nigeria - USW

Noor Jamsheer (MPhil Transfer Examiner) February 2023 The Influence of Social Media Influencers on Consumer Behaviour in the Kingdom of Bahrain – USW

Joanne Kirrane (DBA Viva Chair) April 2023 Voluntary Collaboration Between Health, Social Care and Housing in Practice: An exploratory instrumental mixed method case study - USW

Saima Asghar (DBA Viva External Examiner) July 2023 Employees Experience of Authentic Leadership: A UK Perspective - UWTSD






Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

PhD Pilgrimage Tourism (University of South Wales)

Award Date: 1 Dec 2013

Master of Arts in Heritage Tourism (University of Wales, Trinity College Carmarthen), Trinity College

Award Date: 1 Jul 2005

Post Graduate Certificate in Education – Tourism (University of Wales Newport)

Award Date: 1 Jul 2003

Tourism and Leisure Management, BA (Hons) Tourism (and Leisure) Management (University of Glamorgan)

Award Date: 1 Jul 2001

External positions

External Examiner MSc International Hospitality and Tourism Management – Coventry University London


External Examiner BA (Hons) Management of Travel and Tourism – Coleg Llandrillo (Bangor University)


External Examiner BA (Hons) Heritage Studies – Bishop Grossteste University College Lincoln



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