Tim Coles is Professor of Management in the University of Exeter Business School where he is also Director of Impact. Tim moved to the Department of Management in 2005 after a two-year secondment as a University Business Research Fellow tasked with developing research with external partners. Tim joined as Senior Lecturer and then Associate Professor with responsibility as Programme Director for the MSc Tourism Development and Policy and MRes in Tourism Studies.

His recent work has examined how travel and tourism operators have adapted their management practices to address the major challenge of global environmental change. His previous work examined how the processes of globalisation have shaped new types of tourism and mobility.

He is a leading authority on business and management research in tourism. He edits two book series for Routledge and he is on the editorial board of four international, peer reviewed journals. His work also has strong practical and applied dimensions. Since 2000, he has completed over 35 projects for and with businesses and organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors, such as the World Travel and Tourism Council, Tate, the National Trust, Flybe, the Ministry of Defence, UK Trade and Investment, BT, and Land Securities.

In 2008, he was appointed the Director of Centre for Sport, Leisure and Tourism Research. This university research centre, spanning five schools and led by the Business School, is a national centre of excellence. Funded by a five-year, £1.5 million grant from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) through its Capacity Building Cluster scheme, it establishes Exeter as the leading UK university for postgraduate and postdoctoral training and knowledge transfer in tourism and leisure.

Prior to his joining the Business School, Tim‘s academic background and training had been in the geographies of consumer services. During his undergraduate studies in Geography with European Studies, he spent a year at Göttingen University. His PhD examined the restructuring of the retail sector in Germany from 1848-1914 and it was conducted part-time while he completed a four-year Leverhulme Trust-funded project on business sources. From 1996-2000, he was a Lecturer at Bath Spa University where he established the Tourism Management programmes. He returned to Exeter in 2000 to the School of Geography where he joined the programme team that successfully developed the first ESRC-accredited tourism training at Masters and doctoral levels in business and management studies.

Administrative responsibilities

  • Director of Impact, University of Exeter Business School


BSc, PhD (Exeter)