BU’s first ever Hospitality Management Student Conference

BU held its first ever student and industry Hospitality Management Student Conference last week in London.

Over 90 students from the school of tourism travelled to the Kensington Hilton hotel in London, and were joined by around 30 students from West London College, where BU’s top-up hospitality degree is taught.

Final year students were excited about attending the event, hoping for it to provide an opportunity to increase employment prospects and network with potential employers.

Emily McMullan, a final year Tourism Management student said,

“I was interested in coming as I found out there would be a lot of employers from large hotels coming, and as I am going to be a graduate soon I have got to start looking for jobs and possibilities so I really saw today as an opportunity for future employment and networking.”

Students were able to listen to presentations and participate in a live Q&A with leading hospitality professionals from establishments such as Hilton worldwide Europe, Deloitte LLP, charity Hospitality action, and the Inter-Continent hotel group amongst others.

Two of the speakers were BU graduates, James Glover, Vice President of Food and Beverage for Hilton worldwide Europe and Trevor Childs Projects Manager at Ampersand.

James stated that “people and staff are the most important aspect of the business” and that Faulty Towers is the perfect example of how not to run a hotel, whilst complimenting Jamie Oliver as “epitomizing the modern day chef.”

He also commented on the current trend of guests having more knowledge, for example most customers have tasted a red Thai curry in Phuket, therefore expect an exact tasting one in your hotel.

Charles Kidd, head of learning and training delivery for Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa China and Australia for the Inter-Continent Hotel Group said he was keen to start working with BU grads,

“I think they are really passionate and give a really great foundation of learning and once you bring them into the working place they really have a great understanding of business.”

Students were pleased they attended the event, S. Yusupor, an MA Tourism and Hospitality Management student from Uzbekestan studying at BU said, “I cam to find out what is the future of the hospitality and touriusm industry what the plans are with other nationalities and senior management how they are planning to develop for the future of hospitality and tourism management.”


Barbara Neuhofer of the eTourism Lab receives 2nd Prize for PhD proposal at ENTER2012

Prof. Dimitrios Buhalis, IFITT President; Barbara Neuhofer, Bournemouth University PhD Student; Dr. Ulrike Gretzel, Chair ENTER 2012 PhD Workshop
Prof. Dimitrios Buhalis, IFITT President; Barbara Neuhofer, Bournemouth University PhD Student; Dr. Ulrike Gretzel, Chair ENTER 2012 PhD Workshop

Barbara Neuhofer, PhD student at the Bournemouth University eTourism Lab won the 2nd Prize of the PhD Workshop Best Proposal Award at ENTER 2012, held in Helsingborg, Sweden on 24th to 27th January for her proposal entitled “Revisiting the Tourist Experience: An exploration of the essence of the technology-enabled enhanced tourist experience”.

The annual PhD Research Workshop at the ENTER conference was attended by doctoral students from all over the world who are undertaking research in information and communication technology in the tourism industry. The ENTER 2012 conference was run by the International Federation for Information Technology in Travel and Tourism (IFITT), the leading independent global community for the discussion, exchange and development of knowledge about the use and impact of ICT in the travel and tourism industry.

Barbara’s research, supervised by Prof. Dimitrios Buhalis, Prof. Adele Ladkin and Dr. Scott Cohen, focuses on exploring how technologies can be used to enhance the tourist experience for the tourist throughout all stages, i.e. pre/during/post stage, of the travel process.

For further information on Barbara’s research go to: www.bournemouth.ac.uk/etourismlab/people/barbara-neuhofer

View Barbara’s PhD Research Poster: www.bournemouth.ac.uk/etourismlab/files/2011/12/ENTER-2012_Poster-Presentation_Barbara-Neuhofer.pdf

For further information on ENTER 2012  go to: http://www.ifitt.org/congresses/website/enter2012/Home_page


Professor Dimitrios Buhalis announced as key note speaker at Timeshare Association annual conference

Professor Buhalis


The annual Timeshare Association (TATOC) conference taking place next month will feature Professor Buhalis as the key note speaker.

The theme of this year’s conference is the e-tourism revolution and Professor Buhalis will be discussing how the tourism industry can take full advantage of technological developments such as consumer generated social media. Professor Buhalis will be specifically focussing on how organisations can use these tools to gain a competitive advantage.

The conference will be attended by delegates involved in the timeshare industry including committee members and business professionals.

The conference is taking place from Friday 9 March to Sunday 11 March at the Park Royal Hotel in Stretton. For further information visit: http://www.tatoc.co.uk/tatoc-conference

BU Hospitality students scoop first place at top industry conference

Three winning BU hospitality students were at the Hilton on Park Lane attending the Master Innholders conference on Monday to collect their competition trophy.

 Julian Dombrowsky, Suzanne Parr and Eleanor Moore stepped on stage in front of over 450 top industry professionals to do a short presentation and collect their award for creating  the winning video which addressed ‘Maintaining Sustainable Competitive Advantage’ in the hospitality industry.


From left to right; winning students Julian Dombrowsky, Suzanne Parr and Eleanor Moore

 The students joined a number of high profile speakers, including the CEO of Union Square Hospitality Danny Meyer, who complained that the internet has ‘disrupted the sanctity of a good idea’ and focused on the ‘empathetic and bespoke’ nature of good hospitality.

 Rupert Gutteridge, Regional Director of Sales for EMEA, spoke about the trends in discreet consumerism, augmented reality, and the fact that, “In 2013 more people will use their phone to surf the internet than PC’s.”

 Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association, spoke about the impact of the visit Britain funding cuts and the unusually high UK airport taxes. Martin Couchman OBE announced new legislation such as the fact it will be compulsory to detail food calorie content on a menu in 3 years time.

 The conference also discussed how the industry is equipped to tackle youth unemployment and the problem of alcohol and drugs abuse in the hospitality industry, with a powerful personal anecdote of destructive addiction from Phil Howard, Chef and Co-owner of The Square.  

Students networking at the conference

 Chairman of the London 2012 committee Lord Seb Coe was schedule to open the event, however the VIP guest ran 3 hours late and was swiftly rushed in and out, but gave a succinct thankful speech to the hospitality industry for making the Olympics 2012 feasible. 

 Lord Coe told his audience,

 “The Olympics started of as a conversation with a few friends in a pub about 7 or 8 years ago, now the Olympics 2012 committee is the same size as an organisation like Cadbury.”

 The former athlete credited the hospitality industry for making him feel at ease in his role for being in ‘such good shape’, and spoke about the ‘potential and opportunity outside London’, perhaps even hinting at BU’s very own local Weymouth site.

 After admitting to a few nerves beforehand the students felt the presentation went well, Julian said,

 “I am looking forward to the people I will be meeting and networking with over the next few days.”

 Associate Dean of Hospitality and Retail Management Andy Boer who accompanied the students to the conference, thought they did “remarkably well, as it is no mean feat doing a presentation in front of 450 general managers staring at you!”

The winning trophy

 Andy also acknowledged that at least 6 or 7 graduates approached him throughout the conference congratulating him on how great the students were, which also reflects how well the alumni go on to do in the industry.

 The conference finished today Tuesday 17 with the students coming to the end of their brilliant prize, of being chauffeured to and staying in 3 top London hotels, and having exclusive meetings with senior staff and general managers.


BU celebrates Chinese New Year

BU is celebrating the year of the dragon with the Chinese Student and Scholar Association (CSSA) on Monday January 23.

The CSSA invites anyone who wants to celebrate along to the evening, which is completely free and will be held in Dylans Bar on Talbot campus.

To celebrate Chinese new year there will be a Lion dance show beginning at 6.15 followed by a plethora of traditional Chinese music, costumes and culture activities from 7pm onwards.

There is also karaoke after the celebrations till late, and singing enthusiasts are invited to bring their own music if they have their own numbers rehearsed.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Bournemouth and the Mayor of Poole will be attending, along with
Ms Zhu Li from the Education Section of the Chinese Embassy.



BU students scoop first place at Hotel event of the year

The conference will be held at the Hilton on Park Lane, London

Three BU students have won the annual Master Innholders Competition, of which the award ceremony and conference will take place from the 16-17 January in The Hilton on Park Lane in London.

The competition was open to all Hospitality Management degree programmes within Europe, which required students to produce a 10 minute video on a subject of particular topical interest to the Master Innholders Society, this year being ‘Maintaining  Sustainable Competitive Advantage’, with 12 teams from different Hospitality Degrees in the UK and overseas entering, but BU created the winning entry.

Julian Dombrowsky, Suzanne Parr and Eleanor Moore all final year Hospitality Management Students at BU, successfully brainstormed the winning video submission.

Julian is credited as the main producer of the film, although he maintains the brainstorming was a group effort,

“What we ended up doing is looking at the economy and looking at what was happening in the industry and we noticed these trends of high unemployment rate, especially youths, so we tried to see if we could come up with something, what may help tackle these issues.”

Other winning student Suzanne said the brainstorm was a heavily collaborative project,

“We threw loads of ideas together about what constitutes competitive advantage, eg a changing hotel over the seasons, tech etc but at the end of the day we thought the ideas could be stolen by other hotels so is not sustainable, what’s really hard to copy is people.”

The group focused on the idea of the German model of apprenticeships to educate and retain staff, as people cannot, like ideas, be cloned or imitated, Suzanne continued,

“In Germany you can do loads of apprenticeships as part of an education system, whereas in England we really need something like that as not all kids can afford to go to uni, so more apprenticeships would be fantastic, then other things like staff exchanges schemes, which happens in few fine dining hotels, could be introduced into other businesses as well.”

The topic was set by the Master Innholders and The Springboard Charity, to challenge final year students to advise how hotels can best gain sustained competitive advantage, aiming to celebrate the contributions made to hospitality management by creative students and their universities.

The event on Monday will be attended by over 500 senior members of the hospitality sector, including Lord Coe and Ufi Ibrahim, (CEO of the British Hospitality Association), to name a few. The main focus of the event is to discuss the challenges facing the economy how to cope with the demands of an ever changing economic climate.

Andy Boer, Associate Dean of Hospitality and Retail Management, said he was incredibly proud of the winning team of students, not just for beating BU’s main UK competitor, Surrey University, but European Competitor Lausanne Hotel School in Switzerland too,

“Our students have also managed to come in first or second position every year and maintained the highest performance of any Hospitality institution since the competition started 3 years ago. This consistency and high profile reflects both the professionalism of the students concerned but also the high esteem in which the Hospitality Programme is held by senior members of industry.”

Also known as the annual general managers conference, the three winning students will have to prepare a short presentation to accompany their winning video.

Speaking ahead of the conference both Julian and Suzanne are determined to quash their nerves in order to maximise the great networking opportunity that lies ahead of them. Julian said,

“I’m a bit nervous, understandably as there are high profile individuals attending, I’m sure we will be alright, and they will understand we are students!”

The prize is sponsored by the Lancaster group, with the wining BU student team rewarded with a chauffer driven experience to stay and eat at 3 different top London Hotels, with exclusive meetings with key staff at each.








Travel companies need to offer more to attract online market

Two accountancy firms, KPMG and Wilkins Kennedy suggest that the amount of travel companies going bust in 2011 is linked to customers willingness to book online to get a better deal, rather than buy in store.

24 tour operators went into administration last year and more are expected in 2012.

Professor Buhalis of Bournemouth University said: ‘With information and competitive prices available it is inevitable that people will package their own holidays to gain value from both special offers and discounted prices and also from customised products and services. Tour Operators need to re-evaluate the value the offer and redevelop their business model accordingly.’

Student wins Vanessa Cotton Scholarship

The late Vanessa Cotton, who the scholarship is named after

Dominique Dashwood-Evans, a final year Hospitality student, has won the Vanessa Cotton Scholarship to attend the European Meetings & Events Conference 2012 in Budapest, Hungary from the 29-31 January.

She has had a beamingly successful past year, having just completed a highly desirable placement year with catering company CH&Co which led her fortunately to be paired with mentor Peter Haigh who suggested she applied for the scholarship.

“Finding out I had won was a huge surprise, I was not expecting it at all but it was fantastic news and I will now make sure I make the most of this amazing opportunity. I would like to thank my three referees who helped me to win this award, Simon Thomas, Natalie Mainwaring (CH&Co) and of course, my mentor Peter Haigh.”

Dominique is grateful not only for the bursary which will fund her travel to the conference in Budapest, but being given the opportunity to hone her public speaking skills,

“Attending this conference will provide me with the opportunity to develop a more professional presentation building my confidence for future occasions. It will also prove invaluable for my dissertation which looks into ‘how social media can influence the decision making of events bookers’ as social media is a topic which will be covered in the specific interest sessions at the conference.”

Andrew Stembridge visits BU

Andrew Stembridge winning Hotelier of the Year 2010

Andrew Stembridge, winner of the 2010 Hotelier of the year award, came to BU last Tuesday to give a speech to School of Tourism students.

Both students and staff were in attendance of the lecture, of which Andrew spoke about the recipe for building a successful career, regardless of the industry or sector. He shared his philosophy on how to differentiate yourself in a highly competitive employment market, gave examples of how to ‘go the extra mile’ and challenged students to set career goals that guide their development.

The guest lecture took place on Tuesday 8th November from 3-4 pm in the Barnes LTH.

Andrew has been a keen supporter of BU’s courses and students for a number of years and has always focused on people development within his business. As well as being named as Hotelier of the year in 2010, the Chewton Glen also picked up the Springboard award for ‘The Education Pipeline 2011’ which highlights the importance of links between industry and education at every level.

Andrew also gave an insight into the innovative and exciting projects at Chewton Glen. Firstly he has recently redesigned the food concept at Chewton Glen, challenging the preconceived ideas of fine dining in a five star country house hotel. Secondly there was an overview of the new Woodland Lodge project, delivering six eco lodges built in the grounds, situated within a green belt, that will create a unique and innovative experience for guests. The Woodland Lodges will be the first of their kind in the country and have already attracted much interest from the industry and media.

Over the next few weeks there will be people from Hilton, TUI, Carnival Cruises and an Olympic project coming in to give presentations, so watch this space.

BU’s World Travel Market 2011 stand praised by the Vice-Chairman of the World Travel & Tourism Council

Jean-Claude Baumgarten with members of the BU WTM team

Jean-Claude Baumgarten, Vice-Chairman of the World Travel & Tourism Council, visited Bournemouth University’s stand at the World Travel Market on 8 November 2011.

He commented on the fact that BU is the only UK university to be involved with the WTM: “Bournemouth University has always had a keen interest in the travel industry. What I like about BU is that it is reaching out of academia and coming to the private sector in one of the biggest human activities in the world. After all travel and tourism is the ultimate service industry that needs talented individuals because people serve people. All parts of the industry that I am involved with need the knowledge from research in order to make the right decisions – with the kind of investment currently spent in tourism, knowledge is critical.”

Jean-Claude Baumgarten with BU's Professor Dimitrios Buhalis