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Alison Dunn

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Alison Dunn

Alison Dunn

Lecturer in Tourism
Tasmanian School of Business & Economics

Room 315, Centenary Building, Sandy Bay Campus

+61 3 6226 1914 (phone)

Alison.Dunn@utas.edu.au

Rethinking the stereotypes that are holding craft beer tourism back

The industry is changing.

A recent field trip to an English brewery has launched a research project spanning three continents, investigating why tourism has become such an important part of the craft beer industry.

“There’s an historical notion that wine can make people travel to taste particular varieties, but nobody would travel for beer, because beer was for a long time thought of as a very mass-produced, characterless product,” says Dr Alison Dunn from the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics.

“But the craft beer industry has changed all of that, and it’s making people travel to get a particular beer at its source, where you get it at its freshest.”

At the Black Sheep Brewery in North Yorkshire, England, Dr Dunn heard the owner talk about recent orders they’d been receiving from Scandinavia and the US.

“Tourists were coming to their visitor centre and tasting the beer locally, then going home and asking their local supplier or bottle shop to source the beer so could they could drink it at home,” she explains.

“This has seen a strong connection forged between tourism, travel, and a demand for beer.”

After looking into the existing research on beer tourism, Dr Dunn discovered that the area had been largely unexplored.

“There seems to be a bias against beer, because, in contrast with wine tourism, which has been researched to death, beer has been completely neglected in the tourism literature,” she says.

Dr Dunn began her research project in California, then expanded to the United Kingdom and the Northwestern United States, where she interviewed craft brewers about how tourism impacted their businesses.

She found that tourism is not just advantageous for craft breweries – it’s essential.

“Because the monopolies of the big, multinational brewers crowd out the market and make it difficult for craft brewers to break into the distribution networks and sell their beer, tourism is not just a gimmick to create brand awareness – it’s an essential part of the early stages of the business,” she explains.

The challenge now is to ensure that producers have the resources they need to understand how best to engage with the tourism industry.

“We found that there was no real understanding of how to manage a tourism business, because the brewers were focussed on maintaining the quality of the product,” Dr Dunn explains.

“The thought was that the beer is so good, people will come and buy it, but there was no understanding of what a tourist might expect when visiting a brewery. We need to encourage craft brewers to work more with tourism organisations.”

To tackle this problem, Dr Dunn teamed up with Dr Mark Wickham, also at the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, to call for a research agenda on craft beer and tourism to attract more researchers to study this area.

In 2017, Dr Dunn and her research partner Gerry Kregor from the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Learning and Teaching were awarded a grant by the Australian tourism industry via the Tourism Research and Education Network ( TRENd ) to extend their research to Tasmania.

Her Tasmanian research is also examining the relationship of the tourism industry with a broader range of craft beverages, including cider and spirits. The twin outcomes of this research will be additional academic publications and information for the tourism industry on how it can work with craft beverage producers to expand regional tourism in the state.

“Craft beer matters, because craft beer is the reason that there’s growth in beer sales,” says Dr Dunn.

“If you make a premium flavourful product that can attract a wide range of customers, you can distribute it by inviting people to your premises for a tour, conducting tastings, and achieving retail sales. It’s a model that’s worked for the wine industry, and appears to be working in the craft beverage industry, and that needs to be promoted.”

Research that makes a difference

Alison is Lecturer in Tourism within the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics at the University of Tasmania.  Her research interests are in tourism and niche products, tourism and urban re-development and tourism and higher education.  Her main areas of teaching include Food, Wine and Agritourism and Destination Management.

Biography

Alison joined the University of Tasmania in 2006 after holding teaching and research positions in leisure and tourism at the University of York St John, University of Queensland, University of Gloucester and the University of Strathclyde. Alison's main research areas are tourism and urban redevelopment, tourism and small business principally niche products and tourism higher education.

Career summary

Qualifications

DegreeTitle of ThesisUniversityCountryAwarded
PhDMuseum Visitors, Tourism and Local Economic Development in Greater GlasgowUniversity of StrathclydeUnited Kingdom1998
PgDipUrban DevelopmentUniversity of StrathclydeUnited Kingdom1990
BA (Hons)Politics and Modern HistoryUniversity of StrathclydeUnited Kingdom1987

Memberships

Professional practice

Member of the Council for Australasian Tourism and Hospitality Higher Education

Administrative expertise

From August 1999 to June 2006 was Head of Programme for the Bachelor of Leisure and Tourism Management, University of York St John, York, UK

Teaching

Teaching responsibility

View more on Dr Alison Dunn in WARP

Expertise

  • Tourism and urban redevelopment
  • Tourism and niche products
  • Tourism and higher education

Research Themes

Alison's research aligns to the University's research theme Creativity, Culture and Society.  Her research examines ways in which small premium producers use tourism in a creative ways to create economic and social benefits such as jobs and community pride in local products.

Fields of Research

  • Tourism Management (150603)
  • Innovation and Technology Management (150307)
  • Tourism (150699)
  • Tourism Marketing (150604)
  • Marketing Research Methodology (150505)
  • Impacts of Tourism (150601)
  • Business and Management (150399)
  • Marketing Theory (150506)
  • Economics, Business and Management Curriculum and Pedagogy (130203)

Research Objectives

  • Tourism (900399)
  • Management (910402)
  • Socio-Cultural Issues in Tourism (900302)
  • Marketing (910403)
  • Tourism Infrastructure Development (900303)
  • Hospitality Services (909901)
  • Pedagogy (930201)

Publications

Wickham, M, Dunn, A & Sweeney, S, 2012, Analysis of the leading tourism journals 1999-2008, Annals of Tourism Research, 39,3, pp 1714-1718.

Total publications

17

Highlighted publications

(3 outputs)
YearTypeCitationAltmetrics
2016Journal ArticleDunn A, Wickham M, 'Craft brewery tourism best-practices: A research agenda', Annals of Tourism Research, 56 pp. 140-142. ISSN 0160-7383 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.annals.2015.10.009 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5Web of Science - 2

Co-authors: Wickham M

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2014Conference PublicationDunn AM, Kregor GM, 'Making Love in a canoe no longer? Tourism and the emergence of the craft beer movement in California', Tourism and Hospitality in the Contemporary World: Trends, Changes and Complexitity, 10-13th February, Brisbane, pp. 190-198. ISBN 9780987050731 (2014) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Kregor GM

2012Journal ArticleWickham M, Dunn A, Sweeney S, 'Analysis of the leading tourism journals 1999-2008', Annals of Tourism Research, 39, (3) pp. 1714-1718. ISSN 0160-7383 (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.annals.2012.05.022 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 7Web of Science - 7

Co-authors: Wickham M

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Journal Article

(5 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2016Dunn A, Wickham M, 'Craft brewery tourism best-practices: A research agenda', Annals of Tourism Research, 56 pp. 140-142. ISSN 0160-7383 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.annals.2015.10.009 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5Web of Science - 2

Co-authors: Wickham M

Tweet

2015Dunn A, Wickham M, 'Building product awareness and distribution channels in crowded markets: An analysis of craft breweries in the USA', Academy of Taiwan Business Management Review, 11, (1) pp. 60-67. ISSN 1813-0534 (2015) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Wickham M

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2012Dunn A, Wickham M, 'The mix of research methods in the leading tourism journals: 2000-2009', Problems and Perspectives in Management, 10, (1) pp. 8-16. ISSN 1727-7051 (2012) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2

Co-authors: Wickham M

Tweet

2012Wickham M, Dunn A, Sweeney S, 'Analysis of the leading tourism journals 1999-2008', Annals of Tourism Research, 39, (3) pp. 1714-1718. ISSN 0160-7383 (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.annals.2012.05.022 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 7Web of Science - 7

Co-authors: Wickham M

Tweet

1995Prideaux B, Dunn AM, 'Tourism and crime: How can the tourism industry respond?', Australian Journal of Hospitality Management,, 2, (1) pp. 7-15. ISSN 1320-5161 (1995) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Chapter in Book

(2 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2018Dunn AM, Kregor GM, 'Craft beer festivals: The craft brewers' experience of getting beer to market in the USA and UK', Exhibitions, Trade Fairs and Industrial Events, Routledge, Frost, W & Laing, J (ed), London, pp. 145-160. ISBN 978-1-138-21935-9 (2018) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Kregor GM

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2017Dunn A, 'Tourism as a business strategy for growth in Oregon and Washington craft breweries', Craft Beverages and Tourism, Palgrave Macmillan, C Kline SL Slocum and C Cavaliere (ed), United States, pp. 105-118. ISBN 978-3-319-49852-2 (2017) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

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Conference Publication

(9 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2015Yamasaki M, Dunn A, 'Understanding the spectrum of soft and hard ecotourists', Proceedings of the 2105 CAUTHE Conference, February 2-5, 2015, Gold Coast, Australia, pp. 353-362. (2015) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Yamasaki M

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2014Dunn AM, Kregor GM, 'Making Love in a canoe no longer? Tourism and the emergence of the craft beer movement in California', Tourism and Hospitality in the Contemporary World: Trends, Changes and Complexitity, 10-13th February, Brisbane, pp. 190-198. ISBN 9780987050731 (2014) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Kregor GM

Tweet

2010Crispin SH, Dunn AM, Fishwick S, Franklin AS, Hanson DJ, et al., 'Proceedings of the 2010 CAUTHE Conference', CAUTHE, February 2010, Hobart, pp. 1. ISBN 978 1 86295 560 8 (2010) [Conference Edited]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Crispin SH; Fishwick S; Franklin AS; Hanson DJ; Reiser D; Wells M; Baxter CW

2009Dunn AM, 'Students' motivations and satisfactions: Lessons for curriculum development and recruitment', Proceedings of the 2009 CAUTHE Conference, 10-12 February 2009, Perth, pp. 1-22. ISBN 1 86308 152 6 (2009) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

2008Dunn AM, 'How does the student experience influence the career aspirations of leisure and tourism management students?', Proceedings of the 2008 SRHE Postgraduate & Newer Researchers Conference, 8 December 2008, UK, pp. 1-7. (2008) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

2003Dunn AM, 'The influence of work placement on the career aspirations of leisure and tourism management students', Educating for Tomorrow's Tourism, International Scientific Conference , 10-13 October, 2003, Macedonia, pp. 1-10. (2003) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

1999Dunn AM, Kregor GM, 'Horticultural visitor attractions: Delighting the Senses!', International Research Conference Proceedings, 10-13 february, 1999, Adelaide, pp. 1-10. (1999) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

1996Dunn AM, 'Are the motivations, attitudes and spending patterns of tourists different from locals when they visit museums in Glasgow? in Robinson et al (ed) Culture as the Tourist Product', Culture of the Tourist Product, October 1996, Morpeth, pp. 97-112. ISBN 0-907679-88-9 (1996) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

1996Dunn AM, 'Tourism and museums. A case study of the City of Glasgow', Tourism and traditions: The good, the bad and the ugly, July 1996, Melbourne, pp. 57-64. ISBN 0732610087 (1996) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Other Public Output

(1 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2014Dunn AM, 'Call to develop parks with caution', The Examiner, The Examiner, Launceston, 1, 1, pp. 1-2. (2014) [Newspaper Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Grants & Funding

Funding Summary

Number of grants

1

Total funding

$6,000

Projects

Exploring the use of tourism as a support mechanism to the value chain of small, premium niche producers in rural Tasmania. (2017)$6,000
Description
Although the economic impact of Tourism in Australia continues to grow the majority of visitors are concentrated in Metropolitan areas. There is therefore fierce competition to attract the smaller numbers of tourists who venture to rural locations. This is particularly true of international visitors. On a more optimistic note, the rise in interest in local production of premium products such as wine, fruit, cider, beer and spirits may provide a competitive advantage for small businesses to lure visitors to their locations. The success of Tourism Australias Restaurant Australia campaign highlighted the broad range of high quality food and beverages that are produced in Tasmania. The project aims to explore how Tasmanian producers of niche beverages add value to their business by attracting visitors to sample and purchase their produce where it has been produced.
Funding
University of Tasmania ($6,000)
Scheme
TREND seed grant
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Dunn AM; Kregor GM
Year
2017

Research Supervision

Current

4

Completed

3

Current

DegreeTitleCommenced
PhDExploring the Power of the Augmented Soft and Hard Ecotourism Spectrum to Segment Walkers on the Overland Track, Tasmania2012
PhDA Study on the Cross-Cultural Behaviour and Decision-Making of Chinese Tourists for Australia2016
PhDIs the lack of understanding of Chinese Guanxi and business tribes a barrier to China/Australia tourism2017
PhDA Study in the Mythology of Destination Narrative in Connection with Tourist Behaviour and the Visitor Experience in Tasmania2017

Completed

DegreeTitleCompleted
PhDExploring Local Government Approaches to Sustainable Practice: An investigation into tourism's development in Tasmania
Candidate: Barry Miles May
2017
PhDGay Neo-tribes: An exploration of space and travel behaviour
Candidate: Oskaras Vorobjovas-Pinta
2017
PhDPro-Poor Tourism and Rural Poverty Alleviation in Malaysia
Candidate: Norhazliza Abd Halim
2014