Star students win prestigious tourism awards


By Dean Eastmond

On 18th July 2013, BU students Barbara Neuhofer (PhD in Travel and Tourism) and Charlotte Young travelled to Westminster where they were both presented with prestigious awards.

This year’s Institution of Travel and Tourism Chairman’s Summer Cocktails took place at Terrace Pavilion, in the House of Commons.

Dame Tessa Jowell MP (former Shadow Minister for the Olympics and London) attended the annual event to present the awards to both prizewinning students.

Sponsored by Leeds Metropolitan University, the annual event hosts the ITT Student Awards and is a true celebration of a select few students’ efforts in their own work and research at their universities.

Charlotte Young received one of three awards for CoE (Centre of Excellence) Students of the year.

For Barbara, ITT PhD Student of the Year comes with great delight and her work in Travel and Tourism is of great credit to not only herself but Bournemouth University.

“I feel truly proud and honoured to receive this prestigious award by the Institute of Travel & Tourism,” she said.

“It is a great recognition for my PhD research and I am extremely grateful to Bournemouth University and to all the people who have supported me in my studies, in particular to my supervisor Prof. Dimitrios Buhalis.

“It was a privilege to celebrate this achievement in such a fantastic location, the House of Commons of the UK Parliament. It was a truly memorable evening for all of us.”

Barbara’s Supervisor, Profess in Technology and Tourism Dimitrios Buhalis, continued: “This is a great recognition of the great progress that Barbara is doing in her PhD and the contribution to knowledge she is producing as evidenced in her publications and her community service through IFITT and other communities.

“I am particularly happy that this is the second student after Dr Andrew Spencer who won the ITT award last year.”

Dean is a student at Budmouth College in Weymouth, who is working at Bournemouth University in the Press and PR Department. He joined BU on a Sir Samuel Mico Scholarship, which provides 10 students from his college with essential work experience for four weeks over the summer.

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis on how to get a good holiday deal

Professor in Travel and Tourism Dimitrios Buhalis gave advice on how and when to get the best holiday deals on BBC Radio 4 consumer programme You and Yours.

The British Association of Travel Agents say that the market for package holidays is growing again, with more young people choosing to go for ready made package deals instead of creating their own online.

Professor Buhalis said that there are several market conditions that are leading people to go back to package holidays.

“There’s a measure of safety and security,” he said. “They feel the tour operator can look after them in case of emergencies.”

He said that the first principle for getting a good package deal was thinking about demand and supply.

“If you can go against the flow, for example, avoid the school holidays or go to places where there is not an awful lot of demand, it’s very likely that you are going to get some bargains out there.”

He added that the earlier you can book a holiday, the better deal you are likely to get – especially if you are looking to go to one particular destination.

“There are still going to be some bargains at the last minute, but they may be in places that you would not necessarily like to travel to,” he told presenter Winifred Robinson.

He also advised to look at the tour operators’ websites to see what offers are available, and to try ringing hotels directly to see if you can negotiate a better price or get extras for your money.

Listen to the full interview on You and Yours

BU Professor chairs international conference into technology and tourism


Technology and social media are becoming critically important tools for successful international tourism.

This has been recognised by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and the Minister of Tourism in Costa Rica, who organised a Technical Seminar on Tourism and New Technologies.

Delegates came from 22 countries – including Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and the Bahamas – and the conference discussed how tourism has been influenced by the latest technological breakthroughs, as well as the opportunities that lie ahead.

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis, Director of the e-Tourism Lab at Bournemouth University (BU), chaired the seminar, which took place in Costa Rica.

A tourism marketing expert who specialises in e-tourism and technology, he chaired panels looking at the internet, social media and mobile marketing in relation to tourism.

He also trained delegates – who included 12 tourism ministers – on how to use technology and social media to increase the competitiveness of their tourism industry.

Professor Buhalis said: “It is gratifying that increasingly the international tourism industry and governments from around the world, as well as the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, recognise how technology can support the competitiveness of the tourism destinations and organisations.

“Cutting edge research and solutions we develop at Bournemouth University provide technological tools such as social media, augmented reality and gaming to enable organisations to dynamically engage with consumers and facilitate co-creation of products and value in the marketplace.”

Professor Buhalis added that social media is reversing tourism marketing strategies, with consumers becoming advocates and ambassadors for products around the world.

He believes that mobile technologies can make interaction between organisations and consumers dynamic and agile – revolutionising engagement and economic benefits.

“Only those organisations that are able and willing to use these tools in an agile way will be able to develop their competitiveness in the future and generate prosperity for their stakeholders,” he said.

“I am glad that Latin American countries are committed to develop their knowledge through our expertise, and innovate in order to maximise their benefits.”

Other speakers at the seminar included executives from Google, Trip Advisor and Expedia Latin America.

The seminar took place in San Jose, Costa Rica on May 14 and 15.