I was born between Manchester and Liverpool in the (very) late 1950s but spent most of my youth in the south of England (Poole Harbour), one of the most beautiful places in England. I worked for two years or so in the insurance industry before going to university to read Business Studies, graduating from Plymouth Polytechnic.
After graduation I specialised in Tourism and Leisure Insurances, then moved to the Southern Tourist Board as Projects Appraisals Officer (managing a government financial assistance scheme to tourism industry projects in the region, worth, in today’s money, about 10M € per annum). I was subsequently promoted to Research and Development Manager, responsible for writing Tourism Development and Management Strategies for local and regional government and for setting up a research capability open to commercial or public sector operators. This involved networking ‘vertically’ at national, regional and local level, and ‘horizontally’ across public, private and voluntary sectors.
After feeling the need for a new challenge, I became Senior Lecturer in Tourism Management at an institution now known as Bournemouth University, teaching applied Tourism Management units such as: Economics; Strategic Management; New Technology Applications; Planning & Development, Public Sector Management, Sustainability and Professional Development at Degree and Masters levels. This institution was the first in the UK to offer Tourism as a specialist subject in Higher Education. I subsequently became Programme Manager for a multi-partner, multi-lingual, inter-cultural Masters in European Tourism Management, taught in association with 5 other partner institutions in Chambéry, Breda (NL), Heilbronn (D), Madrid (Esp) and Dalarna (Swe). The revolutionary and unique feature of this programme was that it involved ONE course document in English agreed and validated by ALL the partners in their respective systems by means of which ALL successful students received a British Masters PLUS the Master’s equivalent qualifications of all the partner institutions at which they studied. Student graduates have operated their own commercial, self-help network since 1990: the ETM Association.
My primary research interest was in the development, trialling and application of what are now called ‘Virtual Learning Environments’, having created my first, embryonic, ‘tonyversity’ learning and teaching website in the infancy of the web with the very first generation of web editors. I was particularly interested in how online environments could assist students in an attending (rather than distance-learning) mode. This work was duly recognised with the award of the very first Learning and Teaching Fellowships in 2002.
The ‘trailblazing’ done enabled me to help my Faculty develop and implement a strategic approach to online learning environments.
I taught within the International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research, one of a very small number of such centres worldwide to be recognised by the UN World Tourism Organisation, working alongside Prof. John Fletcher and Prof Steven Wanhill (Whose names will be instantly recognisable to generations of Tourism students from their industry standard textbook: Tourism Principles and Practice.)
One of my prime concerns was to engage directly with the Tourism Industry, as a result of which I helped to establish and manage the Dorset and New Forest Tourism Partnership, writing a number of successful applications to the EU under ADAPT and ESF Objective 1 programmes for in the region of 2M+ € designed to improve the competitiveness of the area’s Tourism industry. This work continues under the auspices of Bournemouth University’s Market Research Group.
As part of the dissemination of the findings from my Fellowship, I was invited to address a Faculty at the University of Haute Alsace, Mulhouse, France, on the value of virtual learning environments to students in the traditional attending mode at University. As a result of this I was then invited in 2004/5 to deliver modules on a new Intercultural Management and International Business Masters. This ‘snowballed’ to the extent that I moved to France and now teach on Management, Research and Tourism programmes at UHA Mulhouse, IUT Colmar and Berufsakademie Lörrach (now recently ‘restyled’ as DHBW Lörrach).
Recently married, I live with my family plus two nutty Golden Retrievers and an Alsatian puppy for Christmas 2012, ideally located on the rural edge of Brunstatt just South of Mulhouse and 15 minutes’ drive from Bâle-Mulhouse ‘Euroairport’, Germany and Switzerland. Hence pictures like this:
Tony and Minty
Anyone for Table-Tennis (and guitars and poetry)
I play guitar (Taylor T5 and a veritable ‘stable’ of Ibanez acoustic-electrics) and have done for years and would like to write and play Blues and Rock ‘n’ Roll a bit better than I do! Who knows, if you pester me I might even play for you some day…. but I promise not to sing, OK… my wife is the one with the fabulous voice, not me! I try to keep the weight off by playing for the village Table Tennis Team… they take it VERY seriously here…it’s taken me two whole years to get up the rankings to make the team! Otherwise, and somewhat to my own surprise, I find myself writing no end of poetry, most of it you will find on my site ‘Tonyverses’ where you can view, comment and download to your heart’s content…. and, if you are a poetry editor, invite me to publish!