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About us

CERTE is at the heart of the Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Events (THE) at the University of Sunderland, and operates as the beacon for knowledge generation through research implementation.



Tourism is the third largest economic activity worldwide in terms of direct earnings (after the petroleum and automobile industries), and the largest one if we also estimate its indirect financial impact. Hospitality is the largest sector of tourism, whilst events are an integral part of the industry. The changing dynamics of tourism, hospitality and events both locally and globally, in relation to the potential for peripheral and national development, highlight the importance of high-quality research in the field.

The research centre CERTE was established in 2017 and has already engaged in numerous activities and projects. The name CERTE stands for Centre for Research in Tourism Excellence. Etymologically, ‘certe’ is a Latin word and has a dual meaning. Firstly, it means ‘events’, which is one of the three pillars of the centre. ‘Certe’ also means ‘certainty’, which is what research actually generates and also challenges.

CERTE is a proud member of ATHENA (Association of Tourism, Hospitality and Events Networks in Academia), an international research association of tourism-related research centres/institutes around the world. This membership provides CERTE a wide spectrum of research collaboration, including co-organisation of research events, high quality publications, and research projects.

CERTE is at the heart of the School of Hospitality, Events, Aviation and Tourism (HEAT) at the University of Sunderland, and operates as the beacon for knowledge generation through research implementation. It is dedicated to employing both applied and academic research in the field of tourism, hospitality and events. It also aims to impact on the generation of knowledge as well as its application in the industry. Moreover, it operates as a platform for research-led teaching and provision of better education and knowledge dissemination.

Research in the HEAT is underpinned by a critical, interdisciplinary approach that mirrors the dynamic nature of tourism, hospitality and events in contemporary societies. CERTE’s vision is to position the University of Sunderland as a leading centre for research. Therefore, we are committed to undertaking world-leading research that underpins the curriculum and delivers impact to the wider community.

The pillars of our research engagement are: (i) tourism, (ii) hospitality, and (iii) events. Our research connects these pillars of the service industry, and formulates knowledge under a multidisciplinary perspective. The main areas of our research are the following:


  • Transport, aviation, lifestyle and travel mobilities
  • Applied theories and philosophies
  • Culture, heritage and creative industries
  • Policy, planning and sustainable development
  • e-tourism, e-marketing and ICT
  • Risk and crisis management 



  • Operations and management
  • Marketing and formulation of competitive advantage
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Human resources management



  • Service quality
  • Event and festival experiences
  • Alternative events
  • Event impacts in locality