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

BU at the World Travel Market

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis at the World Travel Market Today

Today was our first day at the World Travel Market and as far as we know the first day at the WTM for any UK university.

BU received some fantastic compliments on the quality of students but industry figures were really excited that we wanted to be innovative and engage with them on a professional level too.

Key outputs from the day were a substantial addition to the School database, a number of new placement opportunities, fantastic PR from press contact and a very impressive buzz created by Dimitrios’ seminar. This worked really well in partnership with the stand as those who heard the seminar and were keen to find out more had somewhere to go, and people who could answer their questions about how to get involved with BU.

Dimitrios said that for him the highlights were talking with industry about how they can engage with BU and giving three press interviews that will see a global audience. He also talked to a variety of organisations about research opportunities especially in relation to eTourism.

The quality of the leads could not be under estimated, the majority of visitors were key industry figures or press. Moreover, the stand looked great bringing in a wide variety of interest.

Dr Vijay Reddy talks to Radio 4 you and yours programme

Dr Vijay Reddy

Dr Vijay Reddy appeared on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme today talking to the man in charge of building new airside hotels at Heathrow airport.

If you listen to today’s You and Yours programme from 19 minutes in you can hear Dr Reddy talking about why airside hotels are safer than sleeping in your departure lounge, and the success since their birth in 2008, launched by the CEO of Yo! Sushi in Japan.


Dr Vijay Reddy attends the United Nations Conference on ‘Green Economy and Sustainable Development’

Dr Maharaj Vijay Reddy was invited to attend the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development’s conference on ‘Green Economy and Sustainable Development’ at the European headquarters of the United Nations Office in Geneva UNOG (10-11 Oct 2011).   The aim of this cutting-edge conference was to debate and identify the sustainability and green economy priorities and to prepare and shape subsequent social policy discussions before the Rio+20 global summit next year.

The UNOG conference received invited attendees from different parts of the world from several international organisations (e.g. UNDESA, UNESCAP, UNEP, UNESCO, and UNDP), many national and international funding agencies (e.g. World Bank, DFID, AUSAid), research institutes and leading universities. Key areas covered in the discussions include: the Global Economic Crisis, Nature in the Market-World, The Social Dimensions of Carbon Trading, Economic Growth, Social Divides and Sustainable Development, Climate Change, Double Injustice and Social Policy, The Global Political Economy, Governance in Environmental Policy, Realizing Pro-Poor Development in the Carbon Commodity Chain, The Potential and Constraints on the Payment for Ecosystem Services Markets, Agriculture and Rural Development, An Institutional Analysis of Biofuel Policies and their Social Implications in Developing Countries, and Future Research and Directions for Rio+20.

To tackle these key global sustainability and climate change challenges, the United Nations is organising the next major world summit, the Rio+20 conference in 2012 (http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/). It is expected that around 50000 participants including the heads of many govenments, leading UN agencies and policy agencies will attend the forthcoming significant Rio+20 summit.

How dangerous is mould? BU lecturer talks to the Guardian.

Mould can be potentially fatal, BU's Philipa Hudson tells the Guardian

If left for too long they can cause liver cancer apparently- Phillipa Hudson Senior Lecturer in Food Safety at BU told the Guardian.

Philippa Hudson, senior lecturer in food safety at Bournemouth University, admits that she would only remove a centimetre or so beyond the surface mould to continue eating a product. Stating that is just our harmless old friend Penicillium.

“But it’s important to say that not all of the Penicillium moulds are safe,” she adds. “Some of them do produce toxins and you can’t necessarily tell which are the bad ones by looking at them. It’s not as if all green moulds are good, all white moulds are good and all brown ones are to be avoided.”

How dangerous can moulds be? “Seriously dangerous,” she says. “The genus Aspergillus, which grows on peanuts and peanut products, produces a group of toxins called aflatoxins. They can cause liver cancer – and cooking won’t destroy them.”

If you want to read the full article on the dangers of mould, visit the Guardian website here.