Rami Mhanna meets Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button as part of the Santander Scholarship Programme


Back in October it was announced that Rami Mhanna was a successful applicant of the Santander Scholarship. Each successful applicant was awarded up to £5,000 to travel to a university in the Santander Overseas Network to build or develop relationships. 

As a PhD student in the School of Tourism Rami is interested in the planning requirements of major sporting events such as the London 2012, Sochi 2014 and the FIFA World cup in Brazil 2014. He therefore plans to travel to Universities in Russia, Brazil and London with his scholarship money.

As part of the Scholarship, Rami and other Santander Scholars got the opportunity to meet Lewis Hamilton and Jensen Button at the Royal Opera House in London on July 4th over a lunch meeting.

Rami and the other Santander Scholars got the chance to network as well as listen to speeches from Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

Lewis Hamilton told the group how when he was growing the type of opportunities that they had been given were from Santander were not available for him. Jenson Button continued by saying “We are here today because Santander chooses the best, and Santander chose you. This will help you really concentrate on what you want to achieve in the future”

Rami commented:  “My PhD focuses on exploring stakeholders’ perceptions of leveraging legacy outcomes of different sized mega sport events and therefore my research requires travelling to three different host destinations in order to collect the required data for my PhD. I believe the importance of my research and the potential contribution of my PhD project helped me in getting the Santander Travel Grant.

 I will use the travel grant to visit the 3 host destinations that host the forthcoming international sporting events: the London 2012 Summer Olympics, Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup in Brazil 2014.

I will thank Santander for this grant as well The School of Tourism for the support they are offering in order to succeed my PhD.”

 We will keep you updated on any news regarding Rami’s exciting trips and any more news from the Santander Scholarship programme.

PhD Success for Maeve Marmion

Last week, after a successful defence of her thesis, Maeve Marmion was awarded her PhD subject to some minor amendments.

 Maeve’s PhD titled “Understanding Heritage: Multiple Meanings and Values”, aimed to explore the ways in which people understand and value heritage through a focus on the lay rather than the expert view.

Maeve conducted focus groups for her research into the lay perspective of heritage in order to compliment the academic and industry definitions of heritage that already exist.

Maeve intends to disseminate  her findings through conference papers and  journal articles, and she aims to develop her research into interpretations of heritage by targeting a different population from that used in her doctoral study.

She is also intending to publish a journal article on the practical use and pitfalls of focus groups research.

Lorraine Brown , Masters framework leader, who was the 3rd supervisor on Maeve’s PhD commented that “Maeve gave an excellent defence of her thesis, and was passionate and engaging throughout” Maeve was further praised for how well written her thesis was.

For anyone interested in undertaking a PhD at Bournemouth University School of Tourism please click here.


BU School of Tourism at the Olympics and Paralympic Games

 With less than a month to go until the Olympics get underway, Bournemouth University School of Tourism is heavily involved in the Games. From Gamesmakers, to Torchbearers, volunteers, venue managers and researchers, the School of Tourism is heavily involved in London 2012.

The School of Tourism has 3 lecturers who were nominated to be Torchbearers. Dr. Debbie Sadd, Dr. Dorothy Fox and Alexis Major were all chosen to carry the torch when it comes through the Dorset area from July 12th.  Dr. Keith Wilkes, the Dean of the School of Tourism, commented that “the fact that Alexis, Dorothy and Debbie were chosen is a fitting recognition and reward for their long standing contributions to various communities and groups within Bournemouth and Poole”.

Dr. Debbie Sadd has also completed her PhD concerning the Olympics entitled: Mega-events, community stakeholders and legacy; London 2012 around the impacts on the site residents in London and she will be working as a volunteer during the Games in the Basketball arena.

Dr. Matt Frew is also pursuing research around the Olympics. His ground breaking research looks into the use of Live sites and social media:  ‘Live Sites and Social Media: from policy to practice’  This is a study that focuses on how the policy of mega-event Live Sites translate co-created convergence/promotion to active participation through social media.

As well as lecturers being involved in London 2012, the School of Tourism have also helped place lots of current and former students from the school in high profile positions associated with the Olympics. Below are highlighted a few examples of the varied roles that our School of Tourism students have acquired:

  • John Millard: involved in a consultancy project on motivational techniques for staff at Sodexo Prestige for the Olympic Games.
  • Rachel Rhodes will be a London ambassador for a week during the Games at Heathrow Airport
  • Emma Lincoln is working for a ‘behind the scenes’ catering company supplying catering services to the Olympic Broadcasting Services. She has also been offered a Games Maker role in the Events Services team at the Handball Arena for the Paralympic Games.
  • Aini Maensivu, position as an assistant venue manager at Eton Dorney the rowing venue.
  • Charlotta Eriksson, volunteering during the Olympics, as part of the Press Operations Team as a photo team member at Excel
  • Zoe Poole, Rongrong Zhang, Eleanor Cole, among many students working for Sodexo
  • Sophie Ridge – will be working working within the Sport Information Team for the Gymnastics and the North Greenwich Arena.
  • Shun-Han Chang working in Weymouth as an interpreter
  • Jessica Bailey working with one of the marketing partners to deliver their hospitality programme centred around the Games.
  • Mustafa Saricalar is also working on the Games as a transportation team leader
  • Leroy-Winston Scott will be working at both Games looking after the National Olympic Committees with roles including driving the delegations around from athletes to ambassadors and will be based at the Olympic village.
  • Valentina Tkachenko  is working with Jet Set Sports an Official Olympic Games sponsor
  • Harriett Clarke – is going to be a volunteer at the Paralympic Swimming. In addition she will work on the Ceremonies in Weymouth & Portland.
  • Lucy Vollborth – will be part of the protocol team, particularly language services and will be based in the Athlete’s village.

  In addition to this the School has been asked to arrange and supply the volunteers for the ceremonies at the sailing academy affectionately known as ‘WAP Vollies’ and the internal interview process has been managed on behalf of LOCOG by Caroline Jackson and Virginia Bailey. Students involved include: Sophie Wrench, Rosemary Carter, Amy Unwin.

 Former School of Tourism student Emma Needham has got a job as a Hospitality Co-ordinator for the Corporate Hospitality side of the Olympics. Emma commented that “Being a former Events Management student having the opportunity to work on one of the largest international hallmark events is a once in a life time opportunity and I am so very excited to be a part of it.”

 With so many people involved in the Games this summer, it looks set to be an interesting summer for the School of Tourism.

Bournemouth University School of Tourism Graduates sought out by employers after taking the E-Marketing unit.

Bournemouth University School of Tourism graduates who undertook the E-Marketing unit in their final year have been sought out for jobs by several online marketing agencies due to their skills gained from the unit.

Gemma Cooper who works for atom42, an online marketing agency, directly contacted Dr Philip Alford, the leader of the unit, as she recognised that the skills that students learned from the unit were attributes of their ideal candidate.

Gemma who is a recent Bournemouth University graduate herself commented that she thought the roles they had available at atom42 would be of “particular interest to anyone that had taken the unit. “

Ruth Cole, the manager of the Link Building Outreach team at iCrossing, which is a full service line digital agency, also contacted Dr. Philip Alford directly about job opportunities for recent graduates. Ruth commented that she believed taking the E-Marketing unit in her final year seriously contributed to her getting her current job.

Dr. Alford commented that “The Unit covers the digital marketing spectrum and provides the students with the knowledge and hands-on experience to enhance their employability.

 This is supported by a number of students who have completed the Unit and secured good quality jobs working for digital marketing agencies such as Gemma and Ruth. The great news is that they are eager for our next wave of graduates

One element of the unit that is similar to life in a digital agency is the Google Online Marketing Challenge. This involves students working in groups with a small business and running a live Google Adwords campaign (with $250 which they receive from Google). The challenge aims to provide students with a mix of theoretical and practical insights into E-Marketing.

Former E-Marketing student Jessica Child commented that the Google Online Marketing Challenge was really beneficial because “it gave you actual experience within the industry, instead of just learning about it. I now feel confident that I could undertake my own Google campaign, which could be an  asset to any future employer.”

Jessica continued to comment on the unit as a whole saying “ I feel  E-Marketing has improved my employability as it has introduced me to a range of skills and understanding that will be vital in the near future as a communication tool for businesses

Top Dorset dragons implement pitches from BU undergrads

Owner of the Chocolate Boutique Hotel Gerry Wilton with students and staff

In an experience akin to the adrenaline rush of pitching to the worldly dragons on dragons den, BA (Hons) Events Management and BA (Hons) Leisure Marketing undergrads from BU’s School of Tourism have been pitching their ideas to Dorset’s top businesses.

Three of the business which have taken their chosen students idea forward includes Aruba, the Chocolate Boutique Hotel, and The Captains Club Hotel.

This involved the Events and Leisure students being given a project brief, preparing a consultancy report identifying a gap in the market for a new event or leisure product and outlining a fully cost effective business case.

The team who won Matthew Piovan, Operations Manager at Aruba’s attention proposed to bring ‘Ascot to Aruba’, with the students already working with Matthew to make the event a reality this Autumn,

“Every year the students manage to come up with wonderful new event concepts for Aruba that give me the ideas and inspiration for events that we can actually carry out throughout the group. This year was no different with an excellent range of ideas, well thought out, researched and presented.”

Owner of the Chocolate Boutique Hotel Gerry Wilton was so impressed by the winning events students proposal he is already in the process of organising their idea, a chocolate festival for families in line with national chocolate day.

“I was surprised and pleased by the quality of ideas that were presented to me. Detailed thought was given to the theme, marketing and finance of all ideas and most importantly profit.”

Other ideas being carried forward by the dragons include a Titanic black tie event this coming October at The Captains Club.

Bournemouth University stands out at World Travel Market Workshop

On Friday 22nd June Claire Taylor, Student Experience Administrator, and Anna Jones, Social Media Administrator for the School of Tourism at Bournemouth University attended the World Travel Market workshop in preparation for the World Travel Market in November.

The day was attended by exhibitors and PR’s wanting to learn about the best ways to make the most out of the World Travel Market in November. However, the day also provided an excellent opportunity for exhibitors to network with each other during the breaks of the workshop.

A highlight of the day was a talk on Online and PR Opportunities from Jamie Bell, the eMarketing Manager for World Travel Market. Jamie highlighted Bournemouth University’s 2011 exhibitor profile as a great profile and highlighted to the audience why they should make their profiles similar to the Bournemouth University profile.  As currently the only University that exhibits at the World Travel Market, this acknowledgement was a great achievement for Bournemouth University.

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis from Bournemouth University commented on the growing relationship between World Travel Market and Bournemouth University:

“Over the years we have developed a strategic partnership with the World Travel Market as it gives us a great opportunity to engage with the global tourism and travel community and exchange views and knowledge. This partnership was cemented with the provision of a number of seminars during the show in London, strategic advice on their seminar program as well as contribution of a social media strategy for Just a Drop – their water charity.

Professor Buhalis continued to comment on the strong relationship Bournemouth University has with Fiona Jeffery OBE of World Travel Market, who has previously attended Bournemouth University for a talk: “We had the opportunity to invite Fiona Jeffery’s on an Audience at Bournemouth University and we are looking forward to expand this engagement further for offering more strategic benefits to all our stakeholders

The School of Tourism will be exhibiting on behalf of Bournemouth University at the World Travel Market 5th – 8th 2012.

Click on the link to view our Exhibitor Profile http://www.wtmlondon.com/page.cfm/Action=Exhib/ExhibID=12419

For more information on the World Travel Market please visit http://www.wtmlondon.com/

BU’s John Fletcher speaks to BBC Radio 4 about the changing economics of UK tourism


Professor John Fletcher

Professor John Fletcher spoke to BBC Radio 4’s Face the Facts programme today about the economy of the UK Tourism industry, and what patterns are expected to arise in the near future.

John revealed that the UK tourism industry is the 3rd largest export after the chemical and financial industries, and it affects every sector of the UK economy, from hotels, to transport and agriculture.

Also giving the tourism industry credit for being ‘incredibly resilient’, as it survives natural disasters like Tsunamis. Although with residents outside of the EU having to apply for two visas to visit the UK under the current Schengen agreement John said,

“It is harder to come to the UK than it ever has been, it is forecast over the next 17 years that tourism will grow by 60%, half of this statistic is expected to be Chinese, the effort expected of them to get a UK Visa is crazy.”

John also says that domestic tourism shouldn’t be forgotten, as it is a large part of the tourism economy, and that the Olympics may even bring a dip in tourism to the UK as visitors will be dissuaded by crowding, but credits the UK’s appeal,

“We have so much going for us, we have a gift of presenting our culture and heritage, even in the rain!”


To listen to the full programme featuring John’s interview, tune into BBC Radio 4’s Face the Facts programme on July 11 at 12.30, and July 15 at 21.30.

Greek Euro crisis, does it mean a cheap holiday?

With Greece in the news recently regarding their position in the Euro, Professor John Fletcher, Director, International Centre for Tourism & Hospitality Research at BU discusses the effects of this on tourism with the potential of cheaper holidays.

Prof Fletcher said: ‘The economic crisis has already had a dramatic effect on tourism in Greece with the industry’s contribution to the Greek national economy falling significantly from its 2007/8 high. The current situation is a double-edged sword in that the strong £1 means that the tourist offer in Greece is more attractive than it has been for many years, not so much in terms of the cost of the packages, but in terms of the tourists’ spending once they arrive – things are currently much cheaper! 

 ‘However, its not all olives and sunshine – first, attracting more tourists can create greater environment and social stresses without bringing in greater revenue if it attracts tourists that are spending less per head. To add to this, the civil unrest witnessed recently tends to deter tourists from travelling to places that are perceived to have an enhanced level of risk – even though the unrest tends to be confined to the urban areas rather than the tourist resorts which are well away from the protest areas – but tourists still find such events unsettling and there are alternative destinations they can go to where the perceived risks are not so high. Finally, the Euro crisis in part being driven by the turmoil in Greece can have major repercussions on the UK economy which is already hurting from the global financial crises. This means that UK tourists may travel less often in the next year or two until matters are stabilised and this could add further pressures to faltering Greek economy. The end result is that the Greek tourist industry is likely to be in for a roller coaster ride over the next few years.’

Events students pitch in Dragons Den to CEO


Events management students were challenged to a Dragons Den style entrepreneurial presentation on Tuesday 24 of April, fighting for the ‘investment’ of Tony Brown CEO of Beales department stores.


Other Dragons included Events Management Programme leader Pearl Morrison and Miguel Moital, Senior Lecturer in Events Management.


There were 4 presentations throughout the morning, each trying to impress Tony Brown to be awarded the best business idea to suit Beales, £100 worth of vouchers and a day shadowing the CEO himself at work.


The first group proposed a ‘Toytastic’ ticketed event, which did impress the Dragons, although they were criticised for using inaccurate marketing and advertising costs, and not using enough digital marketing.


Francesca Gorvin, a student from the ‘Toytastic’ group said after her presentation,


“I think it went really well and we had a few issues with group dynamics in the year, so think that now that has been resolved I think it was a good turn out and it has been received well by the dragons.”


Other presentations included a ‘Gourmet junk food’ event, which would feature a celebrity chef teaching students how to cook healthy typical junk food meals focusing on discounted cooking equipment, ‘Beales be beautiful’ a complimentary focused fashion and beauty event, and ‘Beales Olympics’ focused on using the Xbox kinect to hold Olympic based competitions in store.


Tony Brown CEO of Beales department stores described the presentations as ‘very innovative’ and will probably use ‘some aspect of all of them’. He also gave some practical advice to the events students,


“I think it would be useful for students to get involved in the real commerciality of what businesses do… to understand the rationale about what stands behind it and the real costs, as that’s the bit that I think most groups have missed.”


After all the tough pitching and stiff competition Tony declared each team a winner, stating the ideas were all so innovative he could see them all working in the store, promising to duplicate the voucher money for each team.


Dragon Pearl Morrison said,

“The students did so well Tony Brown couldn’t choose the best one which is phenomenal really, so we are really proud that they have come on from the journey from their tour around Beales to standing up in our board

room at Bournemouth University today and doing their presentations.”






HE & Graduate Careers Convention







Keith Hayman, Head of Continuing Professional Development attended the first Higher Education and Graduate Careers Convention at the Cannington Centre in January.

Keith was invited to be a key note speaker at the convention. He  highlighted the importance of  the skills graduates could acquire during their studies

Jeremy Kerswell, Head of Land-based Studies Sport and Services was at the Cannington Centre said: “Your input helped to ensure the day was extremely successful. Our students were delighted with the Convention, gaining a significant amount of valuable advice and guidance regarding future careers and pathways.”