Current projects


Click on our current projects below to find out more information. 

Canoeists out at sea heading towards setting sun

Exploring a regenerative tourism approach to rural community development in Scotland & Ireland content

Exploring a regenerative tourism approach to rural community development in Scotland & Ireland

Exploring a regenerative tourism approach to rural community development in Scotland & Ireland

This project, running from January to June 2023, will see researchers from CRTR work with partners at Munster Technological University to investigate how we can transcend the extant practice of gauging the health of the tourism sector by the value of its economic contribution and, instead, think in terms of measuring success with a wider range of more inclusive, non-monetary indicators.  The project is funded by the Royal Irish Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh through their Ireland–Scotland Bilateral Network Grants scheme.

COVID-19 had a profound effect on the tourism sector globally. As the industry moves into a more resilient, post-pandemic recovery, there is an opportunity to promote more responsible tourist behaviour and address sustainability challenges in the sector that have been brought into sharp relief. Sustainable, or responsible, tourism focusses on reducing the negative impacts of tourism.

Regenerative tourism practices, on the other hand, aim to replenish and restore what we have lost by helping to build communities that thrive, while allowing the planet to thrive too. This project brings together the two universities to explore the regenerative tourism paradigm in a rural community development context.

The objectives of the project are to:

  1. Act as a two-way conduit for the sharing of applied research and teaching expertise on regenerative tourism.
  2. Enable the development of a wider network of key stakeholders such as SMEs, communities, destination management organisations and policy makers. The research will create learning opportunities for stakeholders to reflect on tourism in their own communities and build capacity for rural development through regenerative tourism, fostering better places to visit and live.
  3. Form the core of a new consortium that will seek further external funding for a transnational project on the application and adoption of regenerative tourism for rural community development.
  4. Initiate policy and practice discourse amongst stakeholders, both at policy maker and community level through the dissemination of project findings.
PEAK - New Heights for Youth Entrepreneurship content

PEAK - New Heights for Youth Entrepreneurship

PEAK - New Heights for Youth Entrepreneurship

PEAK is a mountain entrepreneurship programme for youth which empowers participative and decisive action towards the rejuvenation of mountain economies and sustainable mountain development.  It has the following objectives:

  • Unlock the economic potential of youth entrepreneurship and new economic niches (such as offering tours or selling added value regional products)
  • Combat and reverse depopulation by attracting young people to stay, move to – or move back to – mountain areas and become entrepreneurs
  • Empower youth through entrepreneurship to be equal partners and torchbearers in creating and implementing goals toward environmental sustainability

The main results of PEAK will be open educational resources for non-formal youth education and a multilingual, interactive VLE platform to enable remote and distance learning and foster peer connections and collaboration among PEAK entrepreneurs across Europe.

The project, starting in May 2021, will last for 24 months and has the following partners:

  • The Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research, University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland (lead partner)
  • The National Technical University of Athens, Greece
  • FAS, Iceland (high school)
  • Momentum Marketing Services, Ireland (SME)
  • Canice Consulting, Northern Ireland (SME)
  • Meridaunia Local Action Group, Italy (NGO)
T-CRISIS NAV content



A new ERASMUS + project has started in September 2020 to help tourism SMEs to navigate their way through crisis.

Led by CRTR, the €445,000 project has academic and SME partners in Iceland, Denmark, Germany, Ireland and Spain, and will last for three years.

The project will develop an up to date HEI curriculum, a vocational education and training package, a set of open educational resources addressing SMEs and start-ups and an innovative learning app, all helping tourism SMEs to gain the knowledge and management competencies to navigate their company through the virulent crisis and to become more crisis-resilient in the future.

For more detail please contact Steve Taylor.

The Coast that Shaped the World (COAST) content Co-creating cultural narratives for sustainable rural development (CULTIVATE) content

Co-creating cultural narratives for sustainable rural development (CULTIVATE)

Co-creating cultural narratives for sustainable rural development (CULTIVATE)

CULTIVATE seeks to understand the role of cultural heritage in shaping sustainable landscapes and communities in the context of societal challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the climate emergency and transitions required to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  This research will explore how cultural narratives are co-created, contested and negotiated at community, regional and national scales using methods that bring to the fore cultural values, identity and relationships between people and land.  Cultural narratives will be reshaped using the ‘Seeds of a good Anthropocene’ methodology which focuses on using inspirational visions and stories to achieve transformations to sustainability.

The project will have valuable impact in real world socio-ecological systems by conducting research across four Biosphere Reserves which represent a diverse spectrum of rural cultural landscapes with an ethos of scientific-based management and community engagement.

The four partners are University of the Highlands and Islands (Centre for Mountain Studies leading), Czech University of Life Sciences, University of Bergen and Estonian University of Life Sciences.  The project runs for three years from June 2021 and has a total budget of €795,645.  CULTIVATE is financed through the Joint Programming Initiative for Cultural Heritage and Global Change, with UK activity funded through AHRC.