IFITT workshop at Eye For Travel

IFITT workshop at Eye For Travel Representatives from leading travel and tourism organisations and academia recently attended a workshop about ‘Technology and social media enabled service management in hospitality and tourism’, held at the Eye For Travel Summit in London.

Moderated by the International Federation for IT in Travel and Tourism (IFITT) president – Professor Dimitrios Buhalis (Bournemouth University) – the workshop saw KLM, VisitBritain, Google, TripAdvisor, British Airways, Tnooz.com, BrandKarma and the John Kent Institute in Tourism (Bournemouth University) discuss recent developments in real-time technologies, social media, context based services and augmented reality impact customer service management and marketing in the tourism industry.

Workshop Chair Professor Buhalis said, “This seminar, organised by IFITT with strong input from Bournemouth University, demonstrates cutting edge developments in eTourism which will shape the future of the industry through innovation.”

Nicolas Gregori of the John Kent Institute in Tourism (Bournemouth University) set the stage with a discussion on how real-time enabled social media can be used for designing services “on the spot”, pro-active personalisation of service offerings, identification of service complaints and subsequent recovery service failures.

The presentation was followed by Don Birch of VP Europe, BrandKarma, who provided insights into the challenges of monitoring real-time opinions of consumers during the consumption of tourism products, and its potentials for tourism businesses.

Nate Bucholz, Industry Manager at Google, discussed the various implications of real-time and social media enabled information tools and applications during the travel cycle.

Anna Ketting, Social Media Manager at KLM, showed how adapting social media has helped the company to engage better with their customer, enhance service operations, learn from their customers and increase customer loyalty.

Justin Read (Head of Digital and Social Media) and Adriana Conte (Social Media Programme Manager) from VisitBritain provided interesting insights into how the organisation embraced mobile technology, social media and real-time information, through developing a location based service for tourists in UK.

Helena Egan, Head of Destination Marketing Sales at TripAdvisor.com showed how TripAdvisor enables tourists to use reviews on the go through the newly developed augmented reality application.

Finally, Zornitza Yovcheva of the John Kent Institute in Tourism (Bournemouth University) discussed the current state of real-time enabled augmented reality applications for smartphones and their potential implications for tourism and hospitality. Chris Carmichael of British Airways and Kevin May, Chief Editor at Tnooz.com, joined the speakers for a lively panel discussion.

Watch out for upcoming videos of the event at the Eye for Travel youtube.com channel.

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