Christopher Hayes


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Academic Biography

Dr Christopher J. Hayes is Lecturer in Tourism & Events and Course Leader for the BA (Hons) Tourism Management and BA (Hons) International Tourism Management (Top-Up) programmes at Teesside University International Business School. He has an interdisciplinary background, which is reflected in his research interests and outputs.

Christopher's original disciplinary background is in languages and cultures, reading German and Japanese for his Bachelor's at Cardiff University. For his PhD (2014-2019), also at Cardiff University, Christopher's research examined perceptions and representations of Japan in the contemporary British press, analysing the discourses about Japan found in articles and linking these to historical stereotypes and Orientalism. 

In 2019, Christopher secured a postdoctoral fellowship at the Kyoto Institute, Library and Archives in Kyoto, Japan. His research here continued his previous work of looking at foreign perceptions of Japan, but this time looked at it from the perspective of the tourist, using the Rugby World Cup 2019 as a case study. 

Following this fellowship, Christopher was then a short-term research assistant at Liverpool John Moores (2020), before holding two concurrent positions at the University of East Anglia (2020-2021) and the University of Suffolk (2020-2021). At the University of East Anglia, as a Research Associate, Christopher continued his research on tourist perceptions of Japan while also teaching on the MA Interdisciplinary Japanese Studies programme, and at the University of Suffolk, Christopher was Course Leader for the HNC International Tourism Management programme.

Christopher joined the International Business School in November 2021, where he is keen to pursue further research about Japan, help develop the tourism management provision, and engage in the wider community. 

Summary of Research Interests

Christopher has broad interdisciplinary research interests with a geographical focus on Japan. He is principally concerned with how Japan is perceived internationally, examining Japan's "destination image" in the tourism context. He is currently looking at how official tourism campaigns perpetuate certain narratives about Japan, including those that are stereotypical, and is keen to investigate how post-Covid tourism recovery may affect future tourism campaigns. 

With a background in media and discourse analysis, Christopher is interested in the relationship between tourism and the media, specifically how tourism is mediatised and destinations are "packaged" on screen. The increased media attention on Japan in the UK in the build up to the Rugby World Cup 2019 and 2020 Olympics led to a number of television programmes about Japan being made. Christopher is interested in these as travel narratives and televised "tours", reducing the country down to a selection of key destinations along a prescribed route. 

He is also interested in historical narratives about Japan, including early foreign "tourism" to Japan and the representation of Japan at world expositions, and how these depictions and understandings of Japan continue to inform views today. 

PhD and Research Opportunities

Christopher welcomes contact from potential PhD students with interests in destination image, destination branding, tourist experiences, tourist perceptions, travel television, events tourism, and projects focusing on tourism to and from Japan.

Enterprise Interest and Activities

Christopher welcomes opportunities to work with local businesses seeking to engage with Japan, with the ability to offer advice on intercultural communication, Japanese business culture, and more general Japanese etiquette and customs. 

He is also interested in working with local tourism organisations to improve tourism to Teesside, "level up" the tourism economy, and attract Japanese/East Asian tourism to the North East. 

Research Projects & External Funding

2019-2020: Kyoto Studies Research Fellow, Kyoto Institute, Library and Archives

Project title: Foreign visitors' percpetions of Kyoto and Japan: Expectations, Impressions and the Impact of the Rugby World Cup 2019

Stipend of 300,000 JPY per month as well as a monthly allowance of 40,000 JPY for research expenses. 


2014-2019: PhD Global Language-Based Area Studies, Cardiff University

Thesis Title: Contradictory Stereotypical Depictions of  Japan’s Relationship with Technology in the British Press

Externally funded by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, £10,000 per annum, and also awarded the British Association for Japanese Studies John Crump Studentship for his writing-up year


2014-2018: Conference attendance funded annually by the British Association for Japanese Studies


External Roles and Professional Activities

  • Board member, Mutual Images Research Association, since 2018
  • Book review editor, Japan Forum, since 2022
  • Co-opted board member, British Association for Japanese Studies, since 2022

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Contradictory stereotypical depictions of Japan's relationship with technology in the British press, Cardiff University

1 Oct 201430 Apr 2019

Award Date: 30 Apr 2019

Bachelor, BA German & Japanese, Cardiff University

1 Sept 201014 Jul 2014

Award Date: 15 Jul 2014

External positions

Academic Associate, University of East Anglia

1 Sept 2020 → …

Communications Officer, Mutual Images Research Association

1 Sept 2018 → …


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