Staff Directory

A843 simon thomas

Contact Details


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)


Dr. Simon Thomas is a Senior Lecturer at the University of South Wales Business School. Prior to commencing a career in academia Dr. Thomas worked in visitor services support for Cadw, the Welsh Government body responsible for the historic environment in Wales. Research interests include pilgrimage meaning, memorials as pilgrimage, and religious tourism. Current research projects focus on the meaning of pilgrimage at the shrine of Lourdes in South West France, roadside memorials as pilgrimage shrines, miracles as a motivator for touristic activity, conflict at pilgrimage shrines, spiritual consumerism and dark tourism. Recent consultancy projects include a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) supervision at the ‘Cardiff Story Museum’ rated as excellent by the KTP board, a Colegau Cymru skills analysis project in the retail, tourism and hospitality sector, and two Strategic Insight Projects. Dr. Thomas is an experienced journal reviewer and external examiner who has significant experience in quality and franchise arrangements.


Senior Lecturer – Research Methods / Events / Tourism
Course Leader – Doctor of Business Administration
Faculty Research Ethics Committee Member
Faculty Research and Programmes Committee Member


PhD/DBA/MPhil supervision


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)

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


1. Azley Abd Razak (PhD by publication) with Dr. Gareth White
Triple Helix Systems

2. Joe Cudd (DBA) with Dr. Catherine Farrell
An evaluation of the impact of the development of Professional learning Communities (PLC’s) in primary Schools on Academic Optimism: A case research approach

3. Sebastian Duerbeck (DBA) with Dr. Hazel Mawdsley and Dr. Gabor Horvath
Development of a corporate negotiating approach considering a changing organisational environment

4. Chris Jenkins (DBA) with Dr. Diane O’Sullivan and Dr. Elizabeth Lloyd-Parkes
Strategic directions for the Commonwealth Games Movement within a professional multi-sport environment

5. Shelley Poole (DBA) with Dr. Hazel Mawdsley
Hearing the Employee Voice: Identifying Opportunities for Reciprocal Learning between Employee Owned Organisations and the Industrial Relations School of Human Resources Management

6. Ewan Savage (DBA) with Dr. Andre Clark
Medical Device Regulation 2017/745: Impact, evaluation and practices for change execution

7. Richard Stabbins (DBA) with Dr. Gareth White
British Airways has effectuated changes to operating processes as a result of continuous advancements and implementation of technology. What, if anything, has been the subsequent impact on employee motivation and engagement following the change?

8. Claire Clement (DBA) with Dr. Gareth White
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the workforce

9. Fabian Starke (DBA) with Professor Christian Greiner and Dr. Gabor Horvath
Sustainable Enterprise Evolution: Enterprise Architecture driven Methodical Approach for Requirement Prioritization

10. Domitila Muvanya (DBA) with Dr. Gareth White
An evaluation of the determinants of fraud in procurement and its effects on economic growth

11. Adeyemi Aromolaran (PhD) with Dr. Gabor Horvath

12. Laura Castles (DBA) with Dr. Paula Stephens

13. Kerry Collier (DBA) with Dr. Jane Prince

14. Balvinder Singh (DBA) with Dr. Andre Clark

PhD/DBA/MPhil examination

Nadine Khair (PhD) 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) November 2019 – An investigation of marketing strategy in social enterprises – USW


Recent Publications


Bricolage of Belief: an exploration of spiritual consumerism
Elizabeth Lloyd-Parkes, Jonathan Deacon, Simon Thomas, Scar de Courcier, Amy Bilderbeck, Miguel Farias, Lluis Oviedo

I don’t want to hear anymore: a co-constructed autoethnography on participants’ reactions to the marketing of dark tourism
Elizabeth Lloyd-Parkes, Jonathan Deacon, Simon Thomas

‘…Blackpool with Crucifixes…’ – Conflicts in Tourism, Religion and Enterprise
Simon Thomas

The Disneyland of God: Miraculous Happenings at Lourdes
Simon Thomas

Roadside Memorials as Pilgrimage Sites
Simon Thomas

Cultural Events and Tourism on the Isle of Man
Brychan Thomas, Lisa Powell and Simon Thomas


Thomas, S., Thomas, B. & Powell, L. (2019) 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)

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

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

Thomas, S. (2017) 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 (Edited by Hooper, G)

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 Scientific Culture Jan 2017, Vol.3, No.1.

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

*Older publications are available on request


Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)


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


Pilgrimage Studies
Religious Tourism


Pilgrimage Studies
Memorials as Pilgrimage Shrines
Pilgrimage -Touristic Studies
Roadside Shrines as Sites of Pilgrimage
Religious Tourism
Visual Ethnography

Areas of Expertise

Pilgrimage Studies
Memorials as Pilgrimage Shrines
Pilgrimage -Touristic Studies
Roadside Shrines as Sites of Pilgrimage
Religious Tourism
Visual Ethnography



If you are a journalist on deadline and you need to speak with a member of university staff with particular expertise, please contact the Press Office.