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Dr Pau Obrador Pons

Assistant Professor

Department: Newcastle Business School

I am a senior lecturer in tourism and events management at Newcastle Business School. Before joining Northumbria in 2015, I held lectureship positions at Exeter (2004-2006) and Sunderland (2007-2015). I have a BA in Sociology (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 1998) and a PhD in Human Geography (Durham, 2004). I am originally from the Island of Menorca.

I work at the intersection of place, culture, tourism, and management. My trans-disciplinary research is internationally recognised for developing critical thinking on home and the body as sites of experience and being in tourism. My most impactful contribution is on dwelling-in-mobilities. I have also original publications exploring family tourism, the haptic sensualities of the beach, nudity, tourist arts, mass tourism, invented cultural traditions and critical hospitalities.

I am currently working on tourist platform economies, extending my conceptual interest in dwelling-in-mobilities to the temporary dwelling of tourists. I am interested in tourist platforms as homemaking (and unmaking) settings that affect the material and imaginary geographies of homes and the relations, intimacies, and identities they house.

My post-disciplinary standing in research nourishes a wide-ranging academic practice in teaching and learning. At Northumbria I have made strategic contributions to research-rich teaching and learning through my leadership in program design, undergraduate dissertation and research-informed teaching in tourism and events.

I am a senior fellow of HEA, a member of the editorial board of Tourist Studies, the Menorcan Research Institute and the Critical Tourism Studies network.  I regularly conduct expert analysis in international media of tourism issues and realities mainly in the context of the Balearic Islands

My personal interest includes running, literature, cinema, theatre, yoga, travelling and, of course, a trip to the beach

Pau Obrador Pons

Campus Address

Room 212, City Campus East,

I work at the intersection of tourism, place, culture, body and management. My trans-disciplinary research is recognised for repositioning tourism considering post-structuralist thinking. Underpinning my work is a post-disciplinary concern for the centrality of tourism and events within contemporary societies as well as the significance of humanities and social sciences concepts and skills for tourism policy and management. 

My highest impact publications are concerned with home, familiarity and the everyday in tourism. My most cited article is on dwelling-in-mobilities and was published in Tourist Studies in 2003. I have also published on the familiar character of tourism in Annals for Tourism Research. My most recent work is on caravan homes and has been published in Mobilities Sharon Wilson. The article extends philosophical debates on dwelling-in-mobilities for the analysis of mobile tourist homes, mobilising and socialising dwelling.

Another important concern running through my work is the nature of embodiment in tourism, focusing in particular on haptic articulations of the sensible. My work on the beach is credited to be one of the first to explore the sensibilities of touch in tourism.  On the beach, I have published on nudity in Social and Cultural Geography, sandcastles in Senses and Society and sensualities of Sea, Sun and Sand in Touching space, Placing touch.  I recently published a critical review in Tourist Studies mapping the trajectories of embodiment in tourism

Much of my work is on island and coastal tourism. I have a long-term interest on mass tourism and its impact on Mediterranean Modernities. In 2009 I co-edited a book on Cultures of Mass Tourism, which sets out to demonstrate the cultural significance of mass tourism as well as the significance of mass tourism to mass culture. I have also published a short paper on sustainable tourism policies in the Balearic Island and conducted expert analysis of tourism issues mainly in the contest of the Balearic Islands.

I have recently developed an interest on cultural identities and events following my involvement in funded research projects on invented traditions in rural Mallorca. I published on the decolonisation of tourist local identities in Mallorca in Tourist Studies and on the renewal of festival traditions for a book on Festival Cultures. I have also a short paper in Cultural Geographies on Tactical Tourism with Sean Carter and a chapter on the Nomadic Village project with Sharon Wilson

My final research interest is on critical hospitalities, where I developed a pedagogical innovation that uses freegan principles.  I have published an article in Hospitality & Society on a student pop-up café upcycling surplus food. The article vindicates the pedagogical and practical value of embedding critical hospitalities into vocational curricula. I have a pedagogical interest in fieldtrip practice, research rich and creative forms of learning.

My current research plans are concerned with the rise of tourist platform economies. I am interested in tourist platforms as homemaking (and unmaking) settings that affect the material and imaginary geographies of homes and the relations, intimacies, and identities they house. Building on my conceptual interest in dwelling-in-mobilities, my research plans address key disciplinary concerns on the digitalisation of tourism, critical hospitalities and placemaking. I am particularly interested in neglected geographies such as coastal and rural areas. I am developing my research plans collaboratively within Northumbria´s Place, Culture Consumption RIG as well as internationally with colleagues from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.



  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • A Freegan Pop-up Café: Embedding critical hospitalities into the curriculum, Obrador Pons, P. 1 Mar 2020, In: Hospitality and Society
  • Festive traditions and tourism in Mallorca: Ludic transgressions and the disruption of otherness, Vives Riera, A., Obrador Pons, P. 1 Mar 2020, In: Tourist Studies
  • The end of sustainability? A note on the changing politics of mass tourism in the Balearic Islands, Obrador Pons, P. 2017, In: Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events
  • The Place of the Family in Tourism Resarch: Domesticity and thick sociality by the pool, Obrador Pons, P. 2012, In: Annals of Tourism Research
  • The nomadic village: Communal creativity and political subversion in a temporary settlement, Wilson, S., Obrador, P. 18 Dec 2013, Travel, Tourism and Art, London, Taylor & Francis
  • Touching the Beach, Obrador Pons, P. Oct 2012, Touching Space, Placing Touch, Farnham, Ashgate
  • Cultures of Mass Tourism: Doing the Mediterranean in the Age of Banal Mobilities, Obrador Pons, P., Crang, M., Travlou, P. Sep 2009
  • Building Castles in the Sand: Repositioning Touch on the Beach, Obrador Pons, P. 2009, In: The Senses & Society
  • A haptic geography of the beach: naked bodies, vision and touch, Obrador Pons, P. 2007, In: Social and Cultural Geography
  • Being-on-holiday: Tourist dwelling, bodies and place, Obrador Pons, P. Apr 2003, In: Tourist Studies

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Invited talk: A cultural and political geography of the beach 2023
  • Invited talk: Round table on sustainability in small islands. 2022
  • Organising a conference, workshop, ...: Critical Tourism Studies Conference 2022
  • Examination: PhD Examiner - Albert Arias 2022
  • Invited talk: Habitar turísticament: Cap a una perspectiva domèstica de l'economia Col·laborativa (Tourist Dwelling: Towards a domestic perspective of the sharing economy) 2021
  • Visiting an external academic institution: Universitat Oberta de Catalunya 2021
  • Invited talk: Thinking tourism and the covid-19 pandemic through the body 2021
  • Invited talk: Creating an effective Blended learning curriculum and learning experience 2021
  • Invited talk: Les neofestes: Cos i Subversió de l’alteritat turística a Mallorca (The neo-festivals: The body and the subversion of tourist alterity in Mallorca) 2021
  • Examination: PhD Examiner - Jihane Adeimi 2020

Wesley Cooke At Home with Airbnb: The Fragility of a Homeliness Shared with Guest and Platform Start Date: 18/01/2021

  • Geography PhD April 01 2005
  • Sociology BA (Hons) May 25 1998
  • Senior Fellow (SFHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2015

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