Tourism expert on CNBC today!

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis is on CNBC Africa at 15:10 (UK time) today discussing eTourism, Africa, Digital Divide and strategies for tourism marketing.

Tourism for the Games conference

BU is hosting a conference on Thursday 22 September to highlight the activity taking place across the region to support the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games. Guest speakers will include John Tweed, CEO of Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, Amy Crees, 2012 Games Project Manager for VisitBritain, and academics from BU’s Centre for Event & Sport Research.

The event is organised in partnership with Business Link South West and RELAYS (the Regional Educational Legacy in Arts and Youth Sport). RELAYS, which is ran in partnership with Universities South West, aims to inspire young people and communities to participate in sports and cultural activities to create a legacy beyond 2012.

Briefings at the conference will include:

  • Sailing venue preparations
  • Dorset preparations for London 2012
  • Leveraging the tourism benefits of the 2012 Games
  • Get set for 2012, an update from VisitEngland
  • Games Readiness, helping business prepare for the challenge
  • 2012 and Beyond: Developing Future Research and Partnership Opportunities for Olympic Tourism and Events

The free event is open to all and runs from 9.15am to 2pm, and includes a networking lunch.

For the programme and to book a place visit here.

The contribution of the dissertation to student employability

This entry is to share some anecdotal evidence of the (important) role the dissertation can play in promoting graduate employability. Last year one of the students I supervised was offered a job following an impressive display during the job interview. The first role of her graduate scheme was in the employee motivation department of a leading marketing services agency. The student had done her dissertation on motivation to attend events and this enabled her to talk about it during the interview. According to the student,

“I also found a few of the [motivation] theories were used in my company (…) which I already knew about which was great and meant that I could contribute”.

This year another student fed back a similar story. According to the student,

my dissertation enabled me to secure a job with (…). They are a large FTSE 250 company just off Oxford Street in London. I will be running conferences for them.

She further elaborated that

I had written on my CV that I presented my dissertation at a conference [the BCUR – British Conference of Undergraduate Research] and both my interviewers had been to Uni – one is currently doing a masters! So they were really interested and much of my interview was spent discussing each other’s dissertations which I think brought the interview to a more personal level”.

 I think this is another great example of the role the dissertation can play in fostering employability. It also provides further evidence of the direct benefits of attending the British Conference of Undergraduate Research. The BCUR was hosted by the University of Central Lancashire in April. Six students from the School of tourism presented at the conference.

Has anyone got similar examples?


MSc Tourism student awarded UNWTO.Themis Foundation internship

BU MSc Tourism Management and Marketing student Rachel Lao has been awarded an UNWTO.Themis Foundation internship. The Foundation – a United Nations associated institution – is responsible for implementing the work programme on Education and Training of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

The UNTWO.Themis Foundation undergoes annual recruiting drives to select the best young professionals looking to gain professional experience in the world of international tourism. The internships last six months, with the participants required to speak two languages and have a tourism-related education as they support the Foundation on their various pursuits.

Rachel, originally from Macau, has previously studied Heritage Management at the Institute of Tourism Studies in her home city.

Lorraine Brown, the MSc Tourism Management and Marketing Programme Leader is proud of Rachel’s achievement. “It is a great achievement for one of our postgraduate students to secure an internship with the UN World Tourism Organisation, given that our tourism programmes are accredited by this body. Rachel worked hard to win her place in this prestigious organisation, which will undoubtedly help her in a future career in the tourism industry”.

The UNWTO.Themis Foundation was founded on 3 June 1998 with the signing of an administrative agreement between the Principality of Andorra and the World Tourism Organisation at the 58th meeting of the Executive Council in Lisbon.

Bournemouth University at the World Travel Market 2011

Tourism experts at Bournemouth University have organised another BU Tourism Futures Forum at the World Travel Market 2011. The forum will facilitate debate about key strategic changes in the tourism sector and the successful response of the industry. The forum will take place on Thursday 10 November 2011 at the ExCeL in London.

The global challenges and opportunities for both tourism destinations and suppliers around the world require innovation in management and operations, calling for a major rethinking of both strategic and tactical Tourism Management. The Tourism Futures Forum will provide an insight into the future dimensions of the tourism industry. It examines major trends in tourism demand and supply and explores the strategic changes that lead to the international tourism industry restructuring.

For more information please visit:

School of Tourism showcases BU Talent

Guests at the School of Tourism's BU Talent event

Guests at the School of Tourism's BU Talent event

Bournemouth University welcomed more than 60 business leaders and prospective employers to its Lansdowne Campus last week to showcase the talent and expertise it has to offer the business community.

The University’s School of Tourism hosted a one-day ‘BU Talent’ event to launch its new Enterprise and Employer Engagement Network, which aims to establish and build links with industry. Such links will then create further opportunities for student placements, graduate employment and enterprise activities.

Students from the School were invited to meet employers and discuss the value of completing a 40-week work placement as part of their four-year degree at BU, as well as the skills and expertise they develop when completing student consultancy projects with national companies including Waitrose, the Club Managers Association of Europe, TUI Travel PLC and CH&Co. Business leaders and employers talked about benefits of consultancy packages on offer at BU, such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), which are Government-subsidised partnerships between a company, the University and a graduate. So far the School of Tourism has undertaken 17 successful schemes with leading companies such as Dorset Cereals, Olives et al and Strainstall.

Among the guests was PGA Golf Captain and golf consultant Eddie Bullock, who spoke about his involvement with the School to develop the opportunities for BA (Hons) Sports Management Golf students alongside Programme Leader Ian Jones.

Mr Bullock said: “It really is a breath of fresh air to be associated with innovative and enthusiastic people who are fully committed with energy to deliver the right product to the market. The Golf/Hospitality sector has been starving for this type of programme, it’s a pleasure to work with Ian, and we have certainly made many new pathways that others with similar programmes haven’t explored. It’s also been a huge pleasure also to work with the students and share my golf business experiences, ideas and contacts with them.”

Other special guest speakers were Josh Light, Learning and Development Manager at national corporate and commercial caterers CH&Co, and BU graduate Kris Gumbrell, who is now Chief Executive of chain Convivial London Pubs PLC. Mr Gumbrell is a keen champion of BU, having provided numerous work placement opportunities to BU students, as well as employing a number of graduates. Mr Gumbrell also discussed the benefits of the consultancy projects he and his team have undertaken with experts in the School of Tourism.

Hospitality student Rebecca Cupitt was also invited to speak to guests at the event, talking about the management and leadership skills she developed during her work placement with CH&Co. This year Rebecca was one of only five students in the UK to be crowned Young Guns winner – a national prize which recognises hospitality students across the country who have excelled in their work placements.

In closing the day’s events, Professor Alan Fyall, Deputy Dean Research & Enterprise, School of Tourism, thanked all delegates for attending and stressed that this initiative represented a step-change in the School’s commitment to its future engagement with employers. Professor Fyall commented: “In bringing together the School’s student placement, graduate employment, alumni and enterprise activity, it is hoped that the ‘BU Talent’ initiative will not only deliver benefits to employers but will enhance the student experience for all students in the School.”

More than 600 students in the School of Tourism complete a 40-week industry placement every year, of which 100 are overseas, across a range of sectors spanning retail, hospitality, tourism, leisure, sport and events. The next BU Talent day, sponsored by CH&Co, will be held in London on Thursday 24 November. For more information please contact Business Development Manager Claire Main via email at: or by calling: 01202 961481.

School of Tourism continues to build links with Emirates Academy

Crispin Farbrother, Hospitality Programmes Leader, in the School of Tourism, has had another successful trip as a visiting faculty member at the Emirates Academy of Hotel Management in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Crispin and an ex-BU colleague Lyn Randall have been teaching a Facilities Management and Design unit to students on the Hospitality Management degree programme at the Academy since 2007.

His trip this year to UAE involved taking the students on a tour of the famous 7* Burj al Arab hotel.  He also visited the Armani hotel at the base of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, where a quick trip in the lift up to the observation deck on the 124th floor travelled at 10m per second.

Hospitality management students have had internships in Dubai with Jumeria and Kempinski hotel companies. Dubai continues to attract leading businesses and the School of Tourism continues to explore opportunities in the UAE.

‘UK Government not embracing tourism enough’ says Ufi Ibrahim

Professor Adam Blake, Ufi Ibrahim and Dr Keith Wilkes

Professor Adam Blake, Ufi Ibrahim and Dr Keith Wilkes

The UK isn’t doing nearly enough to ensure we are one of the world’s top tourist destinations. That was the message from Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association (BHA), at the third conference of the International Association for Tourism Ec

onomics, hosted by Bournemouth University this month.

During her keynote speech ‘UK Tourism: Barriers to Growth’, Ms Ibrahim said the hospitality industry poses a serious opportunity that is not being leveraged at the moment.

“As international competition increases we have to be better than world class to get a strong market share. In 2009 the UK ranked 6th on the list of the World’s international arrivals, with 29.9 million visitors in comparison to France, which has 74.2 million.”

Ms Ibrahim said we need to address the factors that affect tourism and those that may prevent tourists from choosing the UK. For example the UK ranks poorly for fuel price levels in comparison to other countries across the world, and for ticket taxes and airport charges we are almost bottom of the world league alongside Mali, Senegal and Timor-Leste.

And after the recent Royal Wedding reportedly giving the UK economy a £2billion boost, now is the perfect time to capitalise on the global events ahead – the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Queen’s Jubilee to name a few – and the opportunities they present.

“VisitBritain says 4.7 billion viewers (70 per cent of the World’s population) saw at least some of the coverage of the Beijing Olympics. And 2012 is estimated to provide an additional 1.6 billion Games-related positive media coverage for Britain. But in order to maximise this potential we absolutely must have Government support,” says Ms Ibrahim.

“Hospitality is the fifth largest industry in the UK, contributing 2.6 million jobs. But given the right Government framework, the UK hospitality industry can create a further 236,000 new jobs by 2015.”

Ms Ibrahim called on the Government to take action. “The BHA wants Prime Minister David Cameron to genuinely embrace and champion the tourism and hospitality economy, and look at the barriers to growth and really tackle them. He needs to help us to help UK plc.”

Among these challenges are the unfavourable VAT rates for hotels and restaurants, public sector cutbacks to tourism budgets and agencies such as VisitLondon, and an immigration policy that prevents the recruitment of international chefs from outside the EU.

The BHA is taking steps to try and improve the outlook, such as jointly working with the Treasury to look at the impacts of VAT rates, raising the visibility of the Visit agencies, and promoting the Olympics Legacy beyond 2012 and London.

But Ms Ibrahim said a lot of work still needs to be done. More Government lobbying and a strong desire to invest is needed to keep domestic tourism alive and ensure the UK is a top tourist destination.

BU’s coaching academy prepares Atlantic rowers

BU's coaching academy prepares Atlantic rowersBU’s Academy of Performance Coaching, which is based in the School of Tourism, has formed a training partnership with David Whiddon and Lloyd Figgins – two men who will row across the Atlantic to raise money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

With the skills, training and expertise within the Academy, BU are helping the pair – who have not rowed before – to complete the biggest challenge of their lives when they depart from Agadir, Morocco to English Harbour in Antigua in December. Their epic mission has even attracted support from the legendary Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who has branded their challenge ‘remarkable’. (more…)

Qatar fails to win hearts of British public, research finds

Qatar fails to win hearts of the public, research findsWorld Cup 2022 host Qatar appeals to just a third of the British public.

Only a third of the British public would travel to Qatar, the destination for the 2022 World Cup, according to research by Bournemouth University’s Professor John Fletcher and the University of Plymouth’s Dr Yeganeh Morakabati.

Despite the very British images of Earl Grey Tea, Marmalade and Vintage Champagne filling the silence between the Qatar Airways sponsored episodes of Sky News, one of the world’s richest countries is yet to win the hearts of the British public. (more…)