New Publications: Tourism Planning and Organisation Systems

Prof. Dimitrios Buhalis has co-authored two new books on Tourism Planning

Costa, C., Panyik, E., Buhalis, D., 2013 European Tourism Planning and Organisation Systems: The EU Member States, Channel View Publications, Bristol  

This book provides a systematic, country-by-country analysis of tourism policy, planning and organisation in the EU. Its main objective is to explore 21st century policy responses to the global challenges shaping tourism planning and organisation systems in the EU. The book offers a new critical approach to comparative policy analysis of EU member states and focuses on six key themes: territory, actors and structures, economics, policy, methods and techniques and vision. The book is designed primarily for undergraduate and postgraduate tourism students and researchers. The book will also be useful for industry practitioners who would like to engage in the theoretical principles and the conceptualisation of planning and organisation systems.

Costa, C., Panyik, E., Buhalis, D., 2013 Trends in European Tourism Planning and Organisation, Channel View Publications, Bristol 

Written by leading international tourism researchers, this book examines the key trends in European tourism planning and organisation. It introduces a theoretical framework to tourism planning and organisation using a procedural and structural approach. Despite having a European focus, it is globally relevant as many lessons from Europe can be applied to international tourism development. The book identifies and discusses six key themes in the context of European tourism planning and organisation: territory, actors and structures, economics, policy, methods and techniques and vision. It also identifies leading and emerging practices and offers a new vision for European tourism planning.

eTourism Dynamics: Technology and Hotel Distribution Online @ WTM 2014 Global Stage


The most significant worldwide event in the travel and tourism industry, World Travel Market 2014, began on November 3 rd 2014. A huge number of international destinations were present with their impressive national stands.
The travel tech exhibitor zone at WTM 2014 was also very popular  with powerful tourism players present such as GTA, JacTravel, TripAdvisor, and many companies specializing in the new trend: augmented reality in tourism.

One of the highlights on the first day of WTM 2014 was the event in WTM Global Stage: eTourism Dynamics: Technology and hotel distribution online. It was chaired by Professor Dimitrios Buhalis and Richard Lewis. The discussion was very alive as it was about “burning” topics like the growing power of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), the increasing usage of smartphones for hotel reservations and reviews, the powerful meta search engines, and hotels trying to win over the battle with OTAs. It was underlined that hotels have been trying to motivate more customers to book through the hotel website or reception as opposed to booking via OTAs. This can be done by offering them special treats like discounts for future stays, a high quality wine or SPA treatment. There are also many discount restrictions which are embedded in OTAs contracts and many hotels have been experiencing problems with this. Thus, some hotels have been trying to survive alone and have left OTAs but they had to go back to them as they lost a lot of their customers who booked through OTAs. This indicates that OTAs will continue making profits due to the high dependency of many hotels worldwide on OTAs’ wide customer reach. Another interesting point was given about TripAdvisor. Some hotels have had problems with negative reviews and even though they requested TripAdvisor to remove them, in reality no action was taken from TripAdvisor within 6 months. Hoteliers expressed their concern about this matter which has lead to rooms’ cancellations after tourists had read these negative reviews. The event was wrapped up by emphasizing that OTAs should improve their policies and collaborate in an improved manner with hotels. In the end, customers will always want to stay overnight in hotels but it is vital that they are given a respective high quality service by hotels and OTAs while booking.

BU Tourism @ WTM2014


Also this year, the eTourismLab will be represented at the World Travel Market in London.

On November 3rd, Professor Dimitrios Buhalis will encourage participants to contribute to the debate and discussion of eTourism Dynamics - Technology and hotel distribution online: outstanding competitive practices and exciting trends for the future.

On November 5th, Professor Dimitrios Buhalis will chair the BU Tourism Futures Forum once again. The Forum is organised by The University of Bournemouth in partnership with the World Travel Market and the TravelDailyNews to facilitate the debate about the key strategic changes and to engage in a discussion about the successful response of the industry. This discussion will be followed by the launch of  the European Tourism Planning books.

For more information please visit this link.


Bournemouth University eTourism Lab leads at the ENTER 2014 Digital Tourism Conference in Dublin

Bournemouth University eTourism Lab leads at the ENTER 2014 Digital Tourism Conference in Dublin, From January 21-24 the famous ENTER 2014 will bring together again the eTourism community from all over the world for an exciting week full of eTourism events centered around the conference theme ‘Where Social Inspiration meets Dynamic eTourism Innovation’. Heavily involved in the organization and research aspect of this conference are also several members from the eTourism Lab at Bournemouth University.enter2014

ENTER has been organized by the International Federation for Information Technology and Travel and Tourism (IFITT),for the last 21 years. With Professor Dimitrios Buhalis being the President of IFITT Barbara Neuhofer the Treasurer and Dr Alessandro Inversini the Communications director, the eTourismLab members are heavily involved in developing and delivering the conference. The conference will attract 350 people and will offer an exciting mix of more than 150 keynote presentations, workshops, panel discussions and research sessions on cutting-edge eTourism developments.

The conference programme is organised in three streams. In particular the research stream will focus on the discussion of successfully submitted conference papers by BU eTourism students and academics. The following BU eTourism Lab members will present:

The conference also includes a PhD Workshop which Dr Inversini is co-chairing. The workshop will be a forum for PhD students to interactively discuss their research proposals with peers, colleagues, leading supervisors and scholars in the eTourism field. Among them will be three PhD candidates from Bournemouth University:

  • Jessika Weber: Augmented Reality Gaming: A New Paradigm for Tourist Experiences
  • Meikun Loi:The Influence of Social Media on eWOM in Online Reputation and Brand Personality
  • Barbara Neuhofer: The Technology Enhanced Tourism Experience

All papers have been published in the conference proceedings ‘Information and Communication Technologies Tourism 2014. Proceedings of the International Conference in Dublin, Ireland’, which will accessible for IFITT members on the IFITT Website ( and can be purchased online.

Apart from the research track, conference delegates can also enjoy the parallel-running industry and destination tracks where representatives of world-known technology-savvy tourism and technology organisations such as Google, Tripadvisor, Facebook, Digital Tourism Think Tank, Yahoo!, Tourism Ireland, Aboutourism, Bookassist, Realex Payments, Kayak, Amadeusand many more will give insightful presentations. The programme of the conference can be found at

The BU eTourism lab explores cutting edge information and communication technologies, alongside e-based strategic management and marketing for the tourism and hospitality industries and is organises a number of eTourism events throughout the year. For more information, please visit

IFITT President and Director of the eTourism Lab at the School of Tourism at Bournemouth University says: “I am proud that so many members of the eTourism Lab at Bournemouth University are involved actively in ENTER and were able to successfully submit their research proposals and papers to the conference. All their research topics tackle very cutting-edge and innovative eTourism approaches, which will be the basis for further investigations and industrial implications. ENTER gives us the opportunity to showcase the innovations we research at Bournemouth, engage in conversation with partners and expand our impact to industry.”

ENTER 2014 expects more than 350 participants and is a must-attend event for experts from academia and industry who are keen on staying updated about the latest news about information and communication technology in travel and tourism. Registrations for ENTER 2014 are still open. Don’t miss out and register now on the website at

For more information contact: Professor Dimitrios Buhalis (IFITT President) atifitt@ifitt.orgor

By: Professor Dimitrios Buhalis

ESRC Festival of Social Science 2013. Social Media: ‘Make or Break Your Reputation’


On Friday November 8th, 2013, as part of ESRC Festival of Social Science 2013, Bournemouth University eTourismLab will host an interactive seminar titled Social Media: “Make or Break Your Reputation”. By inviting students and professionals from tourism, hospitality, marketing and technology field, this event will promote social science by exploring how using a social science approach can help unpack the impacts of social media in tourism. It will emphasize the need to examine evidence, think critically and change practice as a result. The topic is of particular value to the target audience given that Bournemouth and the area around depend on tourism as a major economic activity. It will also facilitate participation from professionals who are in urgent need to manage their reputation on social media.

During this event, the discussion will focus on monitoring online conversations about brands and executing online strategies to manage the online reputation of organizations. It will include short presentations from research results undertaken at Bournemouth University. An open discussion will be encouraged between researchers and professionals. This event has been chosen as there is a growing research agenda on the impact of social media on organisational reputation for tourism destinations and organisations. Thus researchers recognise the need to engage researchers, marketing and tourism industry professionals in discussion.



Arrival, and Registration  ALLSEBROOK LECTURE THEATRE


Welcome and Setting the scene 

© Dr Keith Wilkes Dean School of Tourism

© Professor Dimitrios Buhalis (Bournemouth University)

Inspiring Short Presentations: Social Media and online reputation 

© Dr Scott Mccabe (Nottingham University): Social media and new marketing

© Dr Philip Alford (Bournemouth University): Coaching 60 Bournemouth business on social media – the Digital Destinations project

© Rowena Revill (Dorset Creative) : Social media best practice in Dorset

© Dr Anastasia Mariussen Associate Professor Oslo School of Management: Affiliate Marketing and Social Media
© Dr Brigitte Stangl (University of Surrey) Innovation, User-based Design and Social Media
© Daria Kakoian (Bournemouth University): Social Media across cultures and the Russian Market
© Dr Eleni Michopoulou (Derby University): Disability, Accessibility markets and social media
© Alessandro Inversini (Bournemouth University): Online Reputation and competitiveness
© Vicky Loi (Bournemouth University): Social media and brand personality
© Nicolas Gregory (Bournemouth University): Social Media in real time
© Dr Nigel Williams  (Bournemouth University): Twitter network analysis and social engagement
© Dr Matthew Frew (Bournemouth University) future technologies, city brandscaping and identity
© Alex Moss (National Coastal Tourism Academy Bournemouth): Networking for competitiveness   


Interactive Live Social Networking Lunch:

Musical Tables and experience exhange 



Industry Panel Discussion and Interactive Audience :

Chaired by Professor Dimitrios Buhalis (Bournemouth University)

Sharing experience – Make our tourism reputation : Anything social you wanted to know but you were scared to ask

Confirmed Industry / Practitioners panel

© Jon Weaver Bournemouth Tourism

© Richard Teideman London Creative

© Ben Dames National Trust

© Andy Martin Bournemouthecho

© Rosie Akenhead  Yelp UK

© Olivia O’Sullivan The Green House Hotel

© Miles Howard The Langtry Manor Hotel

© Emily Goodyer Marriott Hotel Bournemouth

© Sam Sutton New Forest Activities

© Hannah Caines West Beach

© Hotel Terravina


Concluding Remarks and future developments

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis Bournemouth University


The place is limited. Thus, don’t forget to secure yours by register through:

And engage with recent updates through our page:


eTourism Innovations in The Digital Era

As part of Festival of Learning in Bournemouth University, eTourismLab held an exciting event titled ‘eTourism Innovations in The Digital Era’ on June 10th, 2013 which attracting around 70 attendees. During this event, members of eTourismLab were showcasing their most recent research ranging from SoLoMo Marketing as a tool for tourism marketing, Social Transformation and ‘Digital Travellers’ generation, Augmented Reality and Gamification, as well as Online Reputation and e-Branding.

As been told by Dimitrios Buhalis, this event is a unique opportunity to engage in the cutting edge research and engage in a dialogue with all stakeholders on how they can use this research to develop their competitiveness and achieve unique experience propositions. He also opened the event by introducing eTourismLab to the audience, who was consists of business people and researchers from tourism and technology fields. Those who could not attend the event, could simply access live streaming by using Ustream and also follow twitter updates by using #BUeTLab.

The event was part into two sessions. In the first half, the topic was focusing on ‘eTourism innovations and tourism and hospitality competitiveness’, with discussion ranging on variety of issues such as SoCoMo-Social Context Mobile Services in Tourism and the EU DIG project as presented by Soultana Symeonidou, Consumer-to-Consumer co-Creation in the Tourism and Event Experience as presented by Ivana Rihova, Active Seniors’ Engagement with Online Media in Their Holiday Purchases as presented by Philip James, as well as as Branding eWOM and Online Reputation as presented by Vicki Loi. Two guest speakers also took part in this event, namely Rowena Revill from Dorset Creative who was presenting on Innovative Applications for Tourism Business and Ramona Wagner from DigitalTourismThinkTank who was explaining on Global Best Practices of e-Destinations. Philip Alford was closing this session with his presentation on Digital Destinations and competitiveness of Small businesses.

After a short coffee break, Nicolas Gregori opened the second session by explained his current research on The Service of Now. In the second half, ‘eTourism Innovations and the future applications and re-engineering of travel experience’ was being the main topic. The other discussion within this topic was stretching from smart tourism cities as presented by Nao Li, gamification in terms of marketing tourism as presented by Feifei Xu and how augmented reality gaming could be implemented in tourism purpose as presented by Jessika Weber. Guest speaker for this session was Liz Gordon from Brilliant Fish who showed the sample of gamification implementation at Corfe Castle. More insightful issues were also placed along in this session, such as how technology enhanced tourist experiences as presented by Barbara Neuhofer and smartphone context-aware augmented reality applications in tourism as presented by Zornitza Yovcheva.

These packs of great presentations had stimulated vibrant and interactive discussions between speakers and audiences. Afterwards, all the speakers, event organisers and participants of the event were seal the day by having drinks and dinner at the Slug and Lettuce Pub as an informal get together.


The Flying Team: It's a wrap!

The Flying Team: It's a wrap!


Here below are some comments on the event:

@mona_wagner: Great presentations about #mobile, co creation, smart cities, eWom and service of now @SchoolofTourism @buhalid #BUeTLab

@beesocialmedia: @buhalid thanks, great event. I’ve been scribbling down notes!

@DorsetCreative: @buhalid great concept on co-creation & experiences that we experience tourism ‘through the eyes of others’ via social media #BUeTLab

@SPLASHRICHMOND: @buhalid @BUFestivals @SchoolofTourism thanks for #BUeTLab today – sharing some AR ‘actual reality’ coming to dest. + attractions soon.

@TruTourism: @buhalid thanks for an excellent afternoon yesterday, well worth coming to. Some great work going on. Look forward to the next one!

@TouristNetwork: @buhalid Thanks for the retweet! Plus your hard work yesterday. Hope to seen you at another Festival of Learning soon!


[Slides from the speakers could be found here]

IFITT Doctoral Summer School Update

1. The IFITT Doctoral Summer School costs only 30 Euros for IFITT members and BU Students

2. The submission deadline for the abstracts has been extended to May 13!

–> Submission is highly recommended as you will extremely benefit from useful suggestions by experienced researchers for your research project!

Please submit at:

3. If you do not have the chance to submit an abstract you can also just attend the event!

Remember! The IFITT Doctoral Summer School is a great opportunity to discuss your research topic. Attendance will provide you with great advantages, especially if you are in the process of writing a Masters or PhD Thesis. Moreover, the event will give you a good chance to network with other researchers and speakers from across the globe.

For information about the Summer School please look at

IFITT and the eTourism Lab are looking forward to meeting you soon!

Augmented Reality in Tourism: 10 Best Practices

The Digital Tourism Think Tank focuses on best practice by providing a programme of best practice reports and case studies based on SE1 Media’s own research and knowledge resources. See:


The latest report featured Prof Dimitrios Buhalis and Zornitza Yovcheva from the BU eTourismLab about Augmented Reality in Tourism.

With the release of powerful smartphone devices, and more recently Google’s project Glass, Augmented Reality (AR) quickly became the new buzz word. The technology allows combining seamlessly physical world and virtual information, but is still widely under-utilised in the field of Tourism. This report presents 10 highly innovative AR experiences that showcase the potential of the technology to revolutionise the way we experience new destinations and services within the industry.

This report looks at the following best practices:

  1. An Enhanced Booking Experience
  2. Museum Interactivity
  3. AR Browsers in the Destination
  4. Responsive Experience Through Gaming
  5. Services in the Restaurant
  6. Re-living Historic Life and Events
  7. The Hotel Experience
  8. Transportation
  9. Accessibility and Translation
  10. Participative Destination Management


Access the full report here: DOWNLOAD REPORT

BU eTourismLab hosts IFITT Doctoral Summer School at Bournemouth University from 8-9 July 2013

IFITT Doctoral Summer School: Vision of eTourism

Bournemouth University, July, 8th-9th 2013


Hosted by the eTourism Lab at Bournemouth University, this first edition of the IFITT Summer Doctoral Summer School aims to bring together the future eTourism researchers for a two-day unconventional workshop on a variety of cutting edge eTourism topics.

The IFITT Doctoral Summer School provides all participants a unique platform for knowledge and idea exchange in the field of Travel and Tourism technologies and a great opportunity to network with early career researchers and speakers from across the globe. The Summer School will provide inspirational and practical insights on the current and future technological trends. Early-career researchers will familiarise with various research methodologies and will be introduced to the world of academic journal editors. Parallel sessions will help in sharing and discussing research ideas, and will provide participants with valuable and topic-specific feedback on their research.

Chairs: Alessandro Inversini and Barbara Neuhofer
Research Chairs: Carlos Lasmfus, Sofia Reino, Anastasia Mariussen
Host: Dimitrios Buhalis, BU eTourism Lab
Social Programme: Barbara Neuhofer and Nicolas Gregori



In order to take part in the parallel sessions participants will be asked to submit a short abstract (500-800 words – See call for abstracts for details). Accepted abstracts will be assembled in an online publication “Letters from IFITT Doctoral School 2013”.

Call for abstracts:

Time Schedule

  • Submission closes: May 1st 2013
  • Acceptance: May 30th 2013
  • Registration: June 2013
  • Summer School: 8-9 July 2013



To register, please your abstract according to the deadlines indicated above. Upon successful acceptance we will send you a confirmation of registration.

Costs for registration:

  • 30 euros for IFITT members
  • 150 euros for non members (IFITT Student Membership 30 euros)



Download the programme


Content, context, co-creation and other eTourism predictions for the next 20 years

This article by Prof. Dimitrios Buhalis, Director eTourismLab appeared on

Predicting technology is a thankless task, as it changes dramatically. It becomes more complex when trying to apply it to the tourism and travel industry; an industry that is extremely volatile, fragmented and dynamic.

Nevertheless at the eTourism Lab of Bournemouth University, the team is developing a range of Information Communication Technology (ICT) solutions that will engage the most cutting edge technology with the most innovative strategic management and marketing techniques in the tourism marketplace.

It is evident that the world is going to be totally interactive, using personalisation, context information and a variety of inter-connected devices to facilitate dynamic interaction. These are some of the predictions emerging through this research.

Social Transformation

Two major trends can be observed in the generation change. First, Generation X (Gen X, baby boomers born after 1950), which in 2010 had already reached 21% of the world’s population, becomes more active and enjoys travelling in their newly found leisure time. This generation is also known as ‘digital travellers’ making use of new technologies in all stages of the customer journey (mobile devices, tablets, desktop PCs etc.).

The other rising trend is ‘digital natives’ (20th century kids) growing up with technology and interacting with digital technology from early stages in all lifetime situations. Therefore, the increasing adoption of ICT by consumers will be a catalyst for changes in the tourism industry as well as for the development of sustainable strategies and lead to a competitive advantage within the market sector. This as a result, brings transparency, cocreation and interoperability in the marketplace.

Customer Co-Creation

Through extended value chains and co-creation between organisations and consumers as well as consumers with each other, the new tourism industry is evolving to one that is based on engagement and value added services, all amalgamated due to technology. Value in tourism is co-created by tourists themselves, as they engage in meaningful interactions and relationships not only with the tourism provider but also with each other. Technology will provide increasingly crucial tools that will support and facilitate tourists’ co-creation processes.

Tourism enhanced-experience with ICT

Creation of meaningful and memorable experiences constitutes a key concept in today’s tourism industry. Integrating emerging technologies in consumers’ everyday lives and travel activities will be critical in order to facilitate successful tourism experiences throughout all stages and touch points of travel. Research will deliver key knowledge of how to strategically use technology as a source of innovation, strategic differentiation and competitive advantage.

The tourism industry will benefit from creating high-touch technology-enhanced tourism experiences in the future by empowering customer co-creation, one-to-one engagement and personalisation.

Content & Context

Content will still be ‘king’ in the future as it is essential to convince potential tourists. However content presentation and amalgamation will change fundamentally. The power of pictures transmitting authentic experiences made in a tourism destination, hotel or any tourism attraction is what tourists are striving for.

Videos and increasingly interactive videos will also be of critical importance to demonstrate the experience and narrate the story. For tourism players, it will be more essential than ever to build up a strong online marketing strategy to (re-)position the brand on the web and at the same time meet the customer’s needs. Consumer generated context will be so much more powerful and convincing.

Therefore, a two-pronged strategy will be vital. On the one hand it will be needed to spread media rich data on different social media channels/platforms and on the other, to curate user-generated content on the tourism organisation platform and enrich it with unique content to make it more valuable and personalised.

New features such as private cloud computing, internet TV and face/pattern/image recognition will provide more exciting ways for interaction and visualisation.

Social Media, Location Based and Mobile (SoLoMo) Marketing

SoLoMo marketing is increasingly becoming a critical and pivotal tool for tourism marketing. It combines social media, location and context based marketing as well as mobile devices. Interactions are no longer bound by the constraints of stationary computers, as they are becoming digital real-time experiences at a physical location. SoLoMo represents a powerful opportunity in the field of social commerce, allowing marketers to serve better today’s multi-channel, multi-experience consumer.

Service of Now and Real Time

Enabled by social media and mobile internet devices, travellers are sharing their experiences, opinions and sentiments about products and brands during the consumption stage. Therefore, monitoring the social media sphere, and responding to or proactively engaging with the customer, becomes critical for competitiveness. This includes instant adaptation and personalization of services, immediate recovery of service failures and pro-active development of customer surprises and delights on the spot; all based on real-time social media input. This so-called ‘Service of Now’ concept will require employees across the company to drive social media engagement.

The industry will see a shift towards greater agility and flexibility of service operations, flattening of corporate hierarchies and increasing empowerment of front-line employees.

Augmented Reality and Gaming

Together with NOW, enhancing the environment with highly relevant, personalized and contextualized content is a fundamental to creating meaningful and unique destination experiences. Intelligent, location-based and context-aware Augmented Reality (AR) information systems are a key in realizing this vision. AR has the potential to augment a number of important activities, as well as different types of environments (hotels, parks, airports) and services (entertainment, education). Further research will deliver fundamental knowledge regarding the successful design, development and implementation of effective AR information services which disappear in the background but at the same time are constantly aware about the needs, motivations and attitudes of tourists.

In this context, mobile gaming will also play an important role providing the opportunity to immerse the tourist on-site throughout exciting storytelling and role-playing, challenges and social interaction with other players. AR in combination with gaming will open more opportunities for tourists and visitors: to engage with a destination and its history, architecture, heritage and traditions; to interact not only with the physical surroundings but also with other people (residents and visitors). By challenging the player throughout the destination visit, an AR gameplay can merge the virtual and physical worlds and enhance the tourist experience in a fun and enjoyable, but more importantly memorable and unique way.

Online reputation and E-Branding

The internet has transformed brand management in travel and tourism. To a large extent, it has shifted the brand creation that for so many years worked in favour of brand managers. However, with the interactive power of social media, more business to consumer, consumer to consumer engagements and dialogues are further encouraged.

Successful brand management in Web 2.0 is not conducted by brand managers alone, but instead co-created through on-going interactions among brand users so that establishing a common understanding of the brand concept. Stories about travel brands, products and services that are posting and sharing by travellers in social media create a central concern for tourism providers who try to manage their online reputation. Successful online reputation management in Web 2.0 and social media, require tourism providers to carefully curate the content available in their own platforms, for instance, official website in Facebook and Twitter, regularly monitoring content, and systematically monitoring all forms of social media such as third party online review websites.

It is evident that the world is moving real fast, with interconnectivity between systems, proximity marketing and context driving a range of these changes. However it is critical to remember that it is not about technology but about value generated, packaged and delivered to the right customer, at the right place, at the right time, and at the right price. Technology enables the interactivity, engagement and co-creation of this but it is fundamental to focus on the needs of the consumer, co-create the experience and ensure that all stakeholders work in harmony together. A small task considering the challenges, unpredictability and dynamic nature of both tourism and technology.