Category / BU research

New CMMPH nutrition paper published

Congratulations to FHSS authors on the publication of their paper “A Priori and a Posteriori Dietary Patterns in Women of Childbearing Age in the UK” which has been published in the scientific journal Nutrients [1].  The authors highlight that a poor diet quality is a major cause of maternal obesity. They investigated investigate a priori and a-posteriori derived dietary patterns in childbearing-aged women in the United Kingdom. An online survey assessed food intake, physical activity (PA), anthropometry and socio-demographics.  A poor diet quality was found among childbearing-aged women; notably in the younger age category, those of white ethnicity, that were more physically inactive and with a lower socioeconomic background.

The article is Open Access and freely available (click here!).

 

 

Reference:

  1. Khaled, K.; Hundley, V.; Almilaji, O.; Koeppen, M.; Tsofliou, F. (2020) A Priori and a Posteriori Dietary Patterns in Women of Childbearing Age in the UK. Nutrients 202012, 2921.

SciTech Postgraduate Research Conference 2020

The SciTech PGR Conference Committee are delighted to announce they will be hosting this year’s SciTech PGR Conference virtually via Zoom on Friday 9 October 2020, from 10:00 to 15:00.

PGRs are encouraged to join us, either for the full conference or just for particular sessions, to support their peers and learn about the exciting PGR research in the SciTech Faculty.

 

Conference programme is available!

 

The details for the virtual sessions are as follows:

Session 1: 

Topic: SciTech PGR Conference. Session 1.

Time: Oct 9, 2020 10:00 AM London

Join Zoom Meeting

https://bournemouth-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/87388217262?pwd=c0I4d1FzQVRNU2R5ajYyUUVwaUJsQT09

Meeting ID: 873 8821 7262

Passcode: 9y$u=t6P

 

Session 2:

Topic: SciTech PGR Conference Session 2.

Time: Oct 9, 2020 11:00 AM London

Join Zoom Meeting

https://bournemouth-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/85894954499?pwd=YkF1SGh1NXk4NDRKVS9WZ0phUS9oUT09

Meeting ID: 858 9495 4499

Passcode: 5V@.5X.M

 

Session 3:

Topic: SciTech PGR Conference Session 3.

Time: Oct 9, 2020 01:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

https://bournemouth-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/87814459247?pwd=MHdqUUsvaDNhbHJjRVdveEpaVEZ6UT09

Meeting ID: 878 1445 9247

Passcode: 7z$^9.pi

 

Session 4: 

Topic: SciTech PGR Conference Session 4.

Time: Oct 9, 2020 02:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

https://bournemouth-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/89129286359?pwd=MHJ2WWZoaERLdkxVV3lVSHdQYnNNdz09

Meeting ID: 891 2928 6359

Passcode: 5n#A^u9C

 

We look forward to seeing you all.

All the best,

On behalf of the SciTech PGR Conference Committee,

Call for Abstracts | The 12th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference

I am delighted to announce that the call for abstracts for The 12th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference is now open.

The Annual Postgraduate Research Conference is an opportunity for postgraduate researcher to showcase and promote their research to the BU community whether they have just started or are approaching the end of their journey at BU and this year we are going virtual.

Attending the conference is a great opportunity to engage and network with your PGRs and the wider PGR community and find out more about the exciting and fascinating research that is happening across BU.

For our 12th Annual Postgraduate Research Conference we will be hosting oral presentations via Zoom and showcasing research posters virtually on the website and the research and Faculty blogs.

How to apply guidance and the application form can also be found on the conference webpage.

I look forward to receiving the applications and hopefully seeing many of you at the conference.

Keynote speaker and registration coming soon. 

Research Professional – all you need to know

Every BU academic has a Research Professional account which delivers weekly emails detailing funding opportunities in their broad subject area. To really make the most of your Research Professional account, you should tailor it further by establishing additional alerts based on your specific area of expertise. The Funding Development Team Officers can assist you with this, if required.

Research Professional have created several guides to help introduce users to Research Professional. These can be downloaded here.

Quick Start Guide: Explains to users their first steps with the website, from creating an account to searching for content and setting up email alerts, all in the space of a single page.

User Guide: More detailed information covering all the key aspects of using Research Professional.

Administrator Guide: A detailed description of the administrator functionality.

In addition to the above, there are a set of 2-3 minute videos online, designed to take a user through all the key features of Research Professional. To access the videos, please use the following link: http://www.youtube.com/researchprofessional

Research Professional are running a series of online training broadcasts aimed at introducing users to the basics of creating and configuring their accounts on Research Professional. They are holding monthly sessions, covering everything you need to get started with Research Professional. The broadcast sessions will run for no more than 60 minutes, with the opportunity to ask questions via text chat. Each session will cover:

  • Self registration and logging in
  • Building searches
  • Setting personalised alerts
  • Saving and bookmarking items
  • Subscribing to news alerts
  • Configuring your personal profile

Each session will run between 10.00am and 11.00am (UK) on the fourth Tuesday of each month. You can register here for your preferred date:

10th November 2020

These are free and comprehensive training sessions and so this is a good opportunity to get to grips with how Research Professional can work for you.

Have you noticed the pink box on the BU Research Blog homepage?

By clicking on this box, on the left of the Research Blog home page just under the text ‘Funding Opportunities‘, you access a Research Professional real-time search of the calls announced by the Major UK Funders. Use this feature to stay up to date with funding calls. Please note that you will have to be on campus or connecting to your desktop via our VPN to fully access this service.

Academic Targeted Research Scheme (Sustainability, Impact and Consumption): Predator ecology and conservation

As part of the Academic Targeted Research Scheme, I started my new role as Senior Lecturer in Sustainability, Impact and Consumption on the 1st of July this year.

 

My research will focus on predator ecology and conservation and the project funded by the scheme is specifically centred on the porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus). The UK has several species of shark that call our waters home for at least part of the year and many are in dire need of conservation management. Highly mobile, migratory top predators like the porbeagle are important to understand and manage as they play vital roles in nutrient cycling, ecosystem linkage and maintaining food web stability as well as just being incredible species in their own right. Such species are also pretty difficult to study, especially in the marine environment!

Porbeagles are included on IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as critically endangered in Europe and the Northeast Atlantic, largely due to overfishing in commercial fisheries. They are closely related to great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) and share their more mammalian-like features of being warm-bodied and giving birth to live young, though they ‘only’ grow up to roughly 3.5 meters as opposed to the 6-meter white shark. Dorset is emerging as a hotspot for these elusive animals, which migrate to our shores in the summer months. They are proving to be a popular target in the catch and release recreational fishery, which provides a valuable opportunity to learn more about them.

Under Home Office licence, I’ll be joining recreational fishing trips and collecting small muscle biopsies from porbeagles and other sharks for stable isotope and fatty acid analyses. These analyses will provide insights into the relatively long and short-term diet and habitat use of the sharks, telling us more about their trophic ecology and movement patterns and providing information on how to best manage and protect them.

In addition to joining the angling trips, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of York, I’ll be conducting a survey of recreational shark anglers to gain insight into their perceptions of and attitudes towards UK shark populations and their conservation. In partnership with other external experts, I will also be running best-practice shark handling workshops with the aim of building capacity in the angling community and improving the sustainability of the fishery by maximising the health of released fish.

I am aiming to develop a suite of complementary projects alongside my work on the UK shark recreational fishery and am delighted to have already won some funding for a project on kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) trophic ecology, using stable isotope analysis of feathers to update our understanding of their contemporary diet. Furthermore, I am developing projects on small mustelids and big cats and am very excited to work on such a diverse group of species, conducting high quality research that will result in tangible conservation benefits for biodiversity and society. I am very open to interdisciplinary collaboration and would welcome anyone with ideas to get in touch!

Eating more eggs to increase protein intake in older adults

It is estimated that around 1.3 million older people in the UK are living with malnutrition or are at risk of being malnourished, with 93 per cent of these living in the community. With the rapid increase in British older adults, it is increasingly important to find strategies to maintain and improve good health and well-being in the older population. As people get older they tend to eat less, and specifically less protein. This could negatively affect health because protein intake is particularly important as we age. With age, people are less able to use the protein they eat to build muscles and perform other important biological processes. Moreover, many protein sources – such as meat, fish and nuts – become more difficult to eat or are expensive and time-consuming to prepare. As a result, people tend to eat less while they need more protein. Low protein consumption has been found to result in increased illness and infection and increased chances of falls, fractures and hospital stays. It can also lead to reduced mobility, independence and wellbeing, and increased early death. Dr Emmy van den Heuvel, Prof. Katherine Appleton and Prof. Jane Murphy have conducted research investigating the barriers to consuming high-protein foods in older adults. One research study examined whether finding new and interesting ways to eat eggs could be a way to encourage older adults to consume more protein.

Eggs are a good source of protein, and are soft, they are easy to prepare, they are relatively cheap and have a long shelf-life compared to other protein rich foods, and therefore may help to increase protein intake in older adults. In a randomised control trial with 100 participants, older adults were given six high-protein egg-based recipes every fortnight for three months, along with herb and spice packets. The study found that by providing these new ideas for high protein meals, participants who were given the recipes increased their egg intake for up to 12 weeks after the intervention.

The study is now published online ahead of print in Public Health Nutrition at http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980020002712.

The work was funded by Bournemouth University and the British Egg Industry Council.

https://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/news/2019-10-16/eating-more-eggs-increase-protein-intake-we-age?

New book on tourism and gender-based violence

 

Tourism and Gender-based Violence, Challenging Inequalities. Edited by Paola Vizcaino, Heather Jeffrey, Claudia Eger

A new book edited by Dr Paola Vizcaino (Department of Sport & Events Management, Bournemouth University), Dr Heather Jeffrey (Middlesex University, Dubai) and Dr Claudia Eger (Copenhaguen Business School) has been published by CABI. Link here

First of its kind, the book focuses on the multiple and interconnected manifestations of violence that women and girls encounter in tourism consumption and production, such as physical, sexual, emotional or socio-economic abuse. It brings together work by scholars who are engaging with the concept of gender-based violence (GBV) in a wide range of tourism settings and practices. Includes profiles of organisations and initiatives that are attempting to tackle GBV in tourism, hospitality and beyond.

Join the editors, chapter contributors and grassroots organisations in a virtual introduction to the book this Wednesday 30th September 2020, from 4-6 pm (UK time). All welcome. Please register to see the full agenda and get the Zoom link and passcode: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tourism-and-gender-based-violence-virtual-book-launch-tickets-122680415425

New paper concerning COVID-19 and Advance Decisions by Bournemouth academics

Mike Lyne and Prof Jonathan Parker of the Department of Social Sciences and Social Work and Centre for Seldom Heard Voices have published new research arguing for clarity and greater knowledge of Advance Decisions to Refuse Treatment as a means of increasing respect for people’s wishes at a time of urgency and uncertainty.

The full paper can be found on the Emerald Insight pages for advanced publication:

Lyne, M. and Parker, J. (2020), “From Ovid to COVID: the metamorphosis of advanced decisions to refuse treatment into a safeguarding issue”, The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAP-07-2020-0027

Academic Targeted Research Scheme (Sport & Sustainability): Women in Sports Leadership

Back in April I started my new post as Senior Lecturer in Sport and Sustainability – one of six appointments made under BU’s Academic Targeted Research Scheme. The Scheme has been designed to attract and recruit talented individuals to conduct research in specific, targeted areas which align with BU 2025.

My research under the scheme focuses on the area of sport and social sustainability, aiming to inform the work of National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs) in ensuring greater diversity on their boards, and to help create environments whereby women can fully and effectively participate in sports leadership. Attracting a more diverse workforce is a key aspect of making sports governance more socially sustainable.

The historical environment of sports governance in the UK shapes contemporary sport, providing a context in which women have often not been welcomed in positions of leadership in men’s sport – and women of colour doubly so. However, an examination of women’s sport shows that up until the 1990s many women were involved in sports governance at high levels – for example, the Women’s Cricket Association (who were the NGB running women’s cricket in England & Wales until 1998) was led entirely by women for its entire lifespan between 1926 and 1998.

The 1990s, however, seems to have been a particularly problematic period for women in sports governance. A push from the Sports Council (now Sport England) towards merged governance – that is, having women’s and men’s sport run by the same NGB – saw many of the women who had successfully run women’s sport for decades forced out of their governance roles.

My research aims to examine this process in more detail, asking:

  1. Why was a policy of merged governance introduced, and what impact has it had on women’s role and representation in the governance of sport?
  2. How can we learn from this process, to ensure that more women are represented in sports governance going forwards?

COVID-19 has inevitably affected my research plans: I am aiming to conduct interviews with those who were involved in the merger processes which took place in the 1990s, but may have to consider doing this via Zoom, instead of face-to-face.

I am also looking to create a new network which focuses on Sports Governance & Diversity, in order to bring together researchers in this area with key stakeholders including UK Sport, Sport England, NGBs, and charities like Women in Sport. It is crucial that academic research being conducted into the underrepresentation of certain groups in sport governance reaches those who are running sport, and informs their future policy.

Anyone who is interested in getting involved in this new network should feel free to email me – I’d love to hear from you.

Conversation article: Nurses are on the coronavirus frontline, so why are they being left out of the response?

More than 600 nurses worldwide have died from COVID-19 during the pandemic. This should not be a surprise: we are the largest group of healthcare workers in the world, dedicated to preventing the spread of coronavirus, and we are also engaged in caring for those who are suffering.

But although we are on the frontline of this crisis, nurses are too often being left out of responses to the pandemic.

Uniquely at risk

In the UK and other countries with high rates of coronavirus deaths, there are increasing inequalities in health outcomes for different income groups. In England and Wales, the mortality rates from COVID-19 in the most deprived areas are more than double the least deprived.

In general, the risk of ill health increases for people who live on a low income. Common health issues that affect these groups include high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, lung disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. All of these put people at higher risk of becoming sicker and dying from COVID-19. Death rates are highest among people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.

These communities are also disproportionately represented among nursing staff some of whom are living on the lowest wages.

Lacking equipment

Nurses working in hospitals, care homes and within communities are often put at greater risk from COVID-19 because they have not been given adequate personal protective equipment, or PPE.

A study of nearly 100,000 health workers in the UK and US found that people working on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic were three times more likely to test positive for the disease than the general community. Health workers from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background were found to be five times more likely to test positive than white people who did not work in healthcare. Workers who reported a lack of adequate PPE in their healthcare institutions were at greater risk still.

Another study by the UK’s Royal College of Nursing, meanwhile, found that more than half of Black, Asian and minority ethnic respondents have felt pressure to work without the correct PPE compared to just over a third of other respondents. These groups were also asked to reuse PPE more frequently than their white counterparts.

Denied a voice

It’s a painful irony that as nurses battle against the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 is the World Health Organization’s Year of the Nurse and Midwife which was supposed to raise the profile and perceptions of nurses globally.

But the response to the pandemic in the UK has starkly shown that our expertise and experience as a profession is not being called upon and our potential is not recognised. We are the biggest work force for health in the UK working in hospitals, care homes and community settings to care for those with COVID-19 and help prevent its spread yet we have no representation on the official scientific advisory group (SAGE), which advises the government on its coronavirus response. Nor are we represented on the rival Independent SAGE group.

Our role in policy development and planning is negligible despite the invaluable insights our unique position in health systems gives us. Our lack of representation and reward means that we are also suffering from the impacts of inequalities along with those we care for.

Given the chance, nurses could help guide coronavirus policy in a number of ways. First, by being a witness to the health impacts of COVID-19 on our local communities and staff, recording and researching inequity of access to services. Second, we can advise on how to provide prevention and treatment resources to those most at risk. Finally, we can set a positive example in terms of equality of opportunity, fair working conditions, protection from infection and pay. This could start with ensuring equal provision of PPE for all staff.

Nurses are at the forefront of trying to reduce existing health inequalities which are being made worse by COVID-19. We are also victims of those inequalities – a feminised, racialised workforce dealing with poor conditions and lacking a political voice. Care and prevention of disease are not perceived as being as important as finding a cure or a vaccine, but in the global recovery from COVID-19, all these elements are equally vital.

We have already lost too many colleagues in the fight against this disease. It’s time our work is recognised and we are given an official voice to help us all recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Ann Hemingway, Professor of Public Health, Bournemouth University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

How to avoid being late

I published the updated late submissions procedure earlier this week.  I thought it might be useful to those applying for funding to have a few tips on how to avoid being late:

  • Plan out your research for the year, five years and even ten years – the RDS Research Facilitators can help you with this by discussing your career progression, the impact you want your research to have both short- and long-term, and opportunities available to support you with your research plans
  • Ensure your Research Professional searches are up-to-date and finding the opportunities for you – RDS Funding Development Officers can help you set up searchers that ensure you get the heads-up on what’s coming up
  • Look for schemes where there are multiple calls and plan realistically for the call deadline that suits you – you don’t have to go for the one in two weeks’ time when there is another in 3 months’ time
  • Look for opportunities to ‘attend’ funder town meetings/information days for specific calls/ schemes – not only are these great opportunities to get a heads up on what calls are coming out soon but it is also an opportunity to network and find potential research collaborations. Most of these will now be online, making attendance easier
  • If you require partners to support your research, ensure these are in place and on board with your plans before considering applying. Similarly, ensure your research team are in place and can support you with the application preparation
  • Don’t put yourself under unnecessary pressure – start writing down your case for support and research ideas before looking for the right funding opportunity
  • Talk to your HoD and peers about what you want to achieve – they will be able to offer you support and can provide peer review
  • Take up the opportunities available under the RKEDF to help you with application writing
  • Get all those involved in a proposal on board before writing, especially if the funder has e-submission. Ensure investigators are registered on the e-submission sites; ensure CVs are updated for all those required; ensure letters of support from partners include a recent date, are on headed paper, and are signed; and make sure that any BU letters of support are drafted and that those who will sign it know what your application is about and what support you’re asking BU for.
  • TIME – this is the biggest thing you need! – to ensure your application stands a good chance of success you need to think through your objectives and ensure they’re well defined, make your hypothesis clear, consider the impact of your research, include relevant preliminary data, tell a compelling story, and justify your methods.  See the 12 top tips for writing a grant application provided by the MRC when they visited BU in 2017.

We’re here to support you and so do get in touch with your RDS colleagues as soon as you have an idea

First year postgraduate researchers…

First year postgraduate researchers…

PGRs and academics from BU have designed a series of bespoke, virtual workshops to provide you support as you start your PGR journey. The series of workshops are being trialled as part of a BU PhD research project. There are still spaces available in the following groups:

  • Mentoring Group (Tuesdays, 12-1pm, starting 6th October for 4 weeks).

Dr Steve Trenoweth will be offering support sessions for a group of PGRs, providing you with an extra layer of social support from an experienced academic outside of your supervisory team as you begin your research.

  • Mindfulness Group (Tuesdays, 10-11am, starting 6th October for 6 weeks).

Jason, a mindfulness trainer and PGR here at BU, has designed an introductory, guided course especially for PGRs, teaching you skills to help reduce stress and increase focus and concentration.

  • Project Planning Group (Mondays, 2-3pm, starting 28th September for 4 weeks). 

Dr Orlanda Harvey, a recent BU graduate, is running a practical and hands-on course in project planning to help you to plan and mentally prepare for the challenges of PGR study.

Please register via the following link if you would like to take part in any of the workshops and study:

https://bournemouth.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/pgr-registration

Mindfulness and project planning resources will also be available for you to access via the Brightspace PGR Peer Support unit once the workshops have started.

If you have any questions please contact Chloe Casey (ccasey@bournemouth.ac.uk).

 

NERC standard grants (Jan 2021 deadline) – internal competition launched

NERC introduced demand management measures in 2012. These were revised in 2015 to reduce the number and size of applications from research organisations for NERC’s discovery science standard grant scheme. Full details can be found in the BU policy document for NERC demand management measures available here.

As at January 2020, BU has been capped at one application per standard grant round. The measures only apply to NERC standard grants (including new investigators). An application counts towards an organisation, where the organisation is applying as the grant holding organisation (of the lead or component grant). This will be the organisation of the Principal Investigator of the lead or component grant.

BU process

As a result, BU has introduced a process for determining which application will be submitted to each NERC Standard Grant round. This will take the form of an internal competition, which will include peer review. The next available standard grant round is January 2021. The deadline for internal Expressions of Interest (EoI) which will be used to determine which application will be submitted is 23rd October 2020.  The EoI form, BU policy for NERC Demand Management Measures and process for selecting an application can be found here: I:\RDS\Public\NERC Demand Management.

NERC have advised that where a research organisation submits more applications to any round than allowed under the cap, NERC will office-reject any excess applications, based purely on the time of submission through the Je-S system (last submitted = first rejected). However, as RDS submit applications through Je-S on behalf of applicants, RDS will not submit any applications that do not have prior agreement from the internal competition.

Following the internal competition, the Principal Investigator will have access to support from RDS, and will work closely with Research Facilitators and Funding Development Officers to develop the application. Access to external bid writers will also be available.

Appeals process

If an EoI is not selected to be submitted as an application, the Principal Investigator can appeal to Professor Tim McIntyre-Bhatty, Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Any appeals must be submitted within ten working days of the original decision. All appeals will be considered within ten working days of receipt.

RDS Contacts

Please contact Lisa Andrews, RDS Research Facilitator – andrewsl@bournemouth.ac.uk if you wish to submit an expression of interest.

 

Conversation article: How Airbnb got its IPO plans back on track

Airbnb is gearing up for its long-awaited IPO.
Shutterstock.com

Michael O’Regan, Bournemouth University

It’s been a rollercoaster year for Airbnb and its much-anticipated plans for an initial public offering or IPO. The home sharing platform had planned to file back in March to go public but then coronavirus hit and its revenue nose-dived.

Now, it looks like plans are back on track. Airbnb confidentially filed its IPO paperwork with the securities and exchange commission in mid-August. None of the financial specifics were revealed but the company was valued at US$18 billion in its last funding round in April, which is a long way down from its previous 2017 valuation of US$31 billion.

Of course, like the entire tourism industry, the coronavirus pandemic has had an enormous effect on Airbnb’s finances. New bookings stopped, cancellation rates soared, refunds to hosts and guests cost millions and revenue fell, even as cost cutting measures like layoffs were implemented. To help mitigate this, it was forced to fundraise US$2 billion in debt and equity securities in April 2020 with onerous terms.

So the decision to file its IPO paperwork and potentially list in 2020 was surprising to some. Critics point to the ongoing pandemic and the many issues it continues to throw up: the hosts and guests that have been angered by changing cancellation policies, new laws and regulations in cities seeking to reclaim housing for locals, as well as the falling revenue and ongoing losses. Others point to the lacklustre IPOs from sharing economy bedfellows Uber and Lyft in 2019, not to mention WeWork’s fall from grace.

Reasons to IPO

But there are lots of reasons to go public, including pressure from employees (shares held by early employees will expire this year). But another big motivation is the fact that Airbnb has rebounded better than its competitors from coronavirus. Booking rates were above expectations from June 2020 onwards and the Airbnb model could take advantage of changing host and tourist behaviour during the pandemic.

The company’s overheads are far less than the hotel sector due to its limited fixed costs. It also took advantage of the rise in domestic staycations in rural locations across the globe, and the increased demand for countryside retreats where people could safely socially distance. Unlike hotels, short-term rentals tend to facilitate longer stays and can offer full-service amenities, living space, and gardens. Research shows that the more spacious environments of short-term lets have been popular with holidaymakers and people wanting to work from home elsewhere.

Despite broad marketing cuts to reduce losses, Airbnb has strong brand recognition through past campaigns like “Don’t go there. Live there” that tapped into people’s desire to not just visit a place but have a more authentic experience of it. This helped it become the go-to platform for short-term rentals during the pandemic.

Hosts in rural areas also responded to the demand by listing. Meanwhile urban hosts responded by switching their properties to private rental, or dramatically reducing prices.

Airbnb logo held by a hand in front of wooden hut in countryside.
Rural retreats have risen in popularity.
AlesiaKan / Shutterstock.com

While the broader tourism and hospitality sector is weak, perhaps Airbnb sees this stage of the pandemic as its time to shine and push ahead with its IPO. Plus, stock markets in the US are on a record high, fuelled by stimulus from Washington.

Questions remain

Questions remain for Airbnb, however. In particular, when will travel behaviour revert to business as usual, if ever? This will determine whether current bookings growth will lead to profitability.

Then there are the safety issues that have dogged the company for years and played a big role in Airbnb’s loss of profitability in 2019. It spent US$150 million on safety initiatives, including verifying the accuracy of listings, creating a 24/7 safety hotline and even tied employee bonuses to safety.

There is also the threat of more tax and regulation in major markets, which could emerge as authorities seek new revenue to pay for the effect of coronavirus on their economies. The basis of the favourable market conditions are also open to question, as there is concern that the current strength of the stock markets isn’t based on strong economic fundamentals and is a bubble that’s waiting to burst.

Success in the tourism industry is never a given. Airbnb will be all too aware of this, having totally disrupted the hotel industry. Airbnb has more than 7 million listings – dwarfing the largest hotel chain, Wyndham Worldwide, which has 8,000 hotels. But rather than seeing this as a burden, Airbnb is capitalising on it.

But for all its market positioning as a different kind of travel provider – one that offers unique, authentic and personalised experiences – Airbnb still sits firmly with the tourism sector. Like its competitors, its success still depends on post-pandemic travel rebound.

Michael O’Regan, Senior Lecturer in Events and Leisure, Bournemouth University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

New FHSS nutrition publication

Congratulations to Dr. Jib Acharya on the publication of his latest research paper ‘Exploring Food-Related Barriers and Impact on Preschool-Aged Children in Pokhara, Nepal: A Qualitative Review’ which is based on his PhD research [1].  Dr. Acharya has published several papers [2-3] from his PhD thesis in collaboration with his supervisors, Prof. Jane Murphy, Dr. Martin Hind and Prof, Edwin van Teijlingen.

Congratulations!

 

References:

  1. Acharya, J., van Teijlingen, E., Murphy, J., Hind, M., Ellahi, B., Joshi, A. (2020) Exploring Food-Related Barriers and Impact on Preschool-Aged Children in Pokhara, Nepal: A Qualitative Review, Participation 22(20): 98-110.
  2. Acharya, J., van Teijlingen E., Murphy, J., Hind, M. (2015) Assessment of knowledge, beliefs & attitudes towards healthy diet among mothers in Kaski, Nepal, Participation 17(16): 61-72.
  3. Acharya, J., van Teijlingen E, Murphy, J., Hind, M. (2015) Study of nutritional problems in preschool aged children in Kaski District Nepal, Journal of Multidisciplinary Research in Healthcare 1(2): 97-118. http://dspace.chitkara.edu.in/jspui/bitstream/1/560/1/12007_JMRH_Acharya.pdf