Professor Dimitrios Buhalis contributes to the Smart Cities Innovation and the future of City Tourism panel at the UNWTO Global Summit as UNWTO launch One Billion Tourists: One Billion Opportunities Campaign

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis of Bournemouth University and President of IFITT contributed to the Smart Cities Innovation and the future of City Tourism panel at the UNWTO Global Summit on City Tourism in Istanbul.

Professor Buhalis said as “Global tourism is reaching 1 billion, international tourism is becoming a global industry regenerating economies and regions contributing to the welfare and happiness of people around the world. We need new innovative management and marketing strategies to achieve competitive advantage for global tourism destinations.

To manage this industry in an innovative way we need to use advanced Information Communication Technologies to coordinate and manage the local culture, resources and businesses. Creating Smart Cities and Smart Tourism Destinations will enable dynamic networking, proactive management and customer orientation enhancing the value of tourism activity. Neural networks will allow dynamic clustering of tourism products towards individualised products that are context aware and add personal value.

Technology and particularly Social Media will also enable us to engage prospective and active tourists in a meaningful co-creation of memorable tourism experiences. User Generated Content will not only offer inspirational ideas for people in their travel decision making process but will also encourage the development of deep and personal memorable experiences. Cocreating between travellers and tourism destinations and organisations will be based on a range of technological mobile platforms and devices and will amalgamate content from the best resources available dynamically at the context of the user.

Augmented Reality and Gamification will allow us to develop technology based solutions that blend reality with information and digital content to enhance tourism experiences and support a deeper engagement and interaction. This will be particularly important for Cultural Heritage destinations where information on culture and heritage will be presented in advanced visual technologies to help interpretation and deep level consumer engagement as well as co-creation with fellow travellers before, during and after the travel experience.

It is great to see how technologies can enhance destinations such as the vibrant cosmopolitan city of Istanbul to take full advantage of their potential and maximise the value generated for all their stakeholders.”

Dimitrios’ involvement in the future of City Tourism panel at the UNWTO Global Summit comes as UNWTO launch their new One Billion Tourists: One Billion Opportunities Campaign <> .

This campaign is being launched to celebrate the fact that one billion tourists will travel internationally in 2012: a huge opportunity for economic growth, jobs, development and environmental protection.

The campaign will culminate on 13 December, the date chosen as the symbolic arrival day of the one-billionth tourist. More information can be found in the following press release:

There are three ways you can get involved in this campaign:

1.            Vote for the travel tip you believe would have the greatest positive impact and pledge to follow that tip when traveling: <

2.            Help us share the winning tip with millions on 13 December by joining our Thunderclap campaign <

3.            Become a ‘Face of the One Billion’: If you were one of the one billion tourists to travel internationally in 2012, send a photo of yourself on your trip to <>  (or by tweeting @UNWTO with #1billtourists) and we’ll upload the best ones in our Faces of the One Billion Facebook album.  Don’t forget to include your name, where you’re from and where the picture was taken.






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