“Money is no longer the decision factor, creativity is” – Professor Dimitrios Buhalis on charities using Social Media

The eTourism Lab, ICTHR , in the School of Tourism at Bournemouth University is supporting Just a Drop– a water charity to spread its word through Social Media and the Internet.

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis and Georgina Sekadakis a Masters student at Bournemouth University work closely with Fiona Jeffery Chairman of World Travel Market & Just a Drop and Ana Sustelo of Just a Drop to demonstrate how charities can use Social Media to benefit their great causes. Just a Drop is a registered water charity raising money to build wells, install boreholes and hand pumps as well as carry out sanitation and health education programmes in some of the poorest parts of the developing world. The mission they are trying to accomplish is to reduce child mortality. Currently a child dies every 20 seconds as a result of water-borne diseases and this must stop. Their main donors are from the Travel and Tourism industry however they are now trying to attract donors from all industries and individuals.


‘Tourism comes of age’ by Professor Alan Fyall

Professor Alan FyallAlthough a major contributor to life at BU, the study of Tourism is often wrongly maligned as being a niche subject on the periphery of more established areas of study such as Business & Management and Geography. Well, in the UK alone over 100 institutions offer HE courses at undergraduate level including “top tier” universities such as Exeter, Surrey, Strathclyde and Stirling with many more competing for students and staff across Europe and beyond with major concentrations of activity in North America, the Middle East, South East Asia and Australia and New Zealand where tourism is not only a significant area of academic interest but also of valuable income, foreign exchange earnings and employment.


Sports Consultancy Projects – The FA pass it on!

The consultancy project, run by Sports and Retail within the school, brings in some high level industry partners to work with. In the past the sports students have worked with the RFU, Dorset County Football Association, Goodwood, and of course, RELAYS, as well as many others. Our projects are conducted by teams of Level H students across our four degree programmes with very positive feedback and results from all, a testament to all the hard work the students (and staff) put into these.

I recently made contact with one of the organisations that we worked with last year, The FA (Tesco Skills Programme), and got this response from them:

‘The FA Tesco Skills Programme is a revolutionary approach to youth coaching that has been providing high quality football skills courses for 5 to 11 year old boys and girls of all abilities since 2007. The programme is not just about learning basic football skills but also getting children involved in physical activity and leading healthier, happier lives.  Since September 2009 the Dorset team have been supported by Year 4 Sport Development and Coaching Science [and Sport Psychology and Coaching Science] Students consultancy teams from Bournemouth University.  These teams have collected and analysed video footage of skills sessions with players aged 5-11 years and offered their analysis on coaching methods, questioning and behaviour management, as well as attempting to identify any areas to improve upon based on relevant literature.  Additionally a team has also created a DVD Resource for the team to use when working with other coaches.  This partnership has been a huge success with Students from the University producing professional work and gaining valuable insight into youth coaching work.  This partnership has been showcased nationally as best practice and other teams from across the country have begun to create links with their local Universities to develop similar projects.’

It is extremely encouraging to see that we are promoting new thinking within the FA and that the principles we have laid out with the consultancy projects, as a school, are being taken to other institutions around the country. Bournemouth University leading the way yet again!

BU’s Academy of Performance Coaching helps Barry Light

Barry Light training

Barry Light training

BU’s Academy of Performance Coaching, based in the School of Tourism, has been providing specialist performance support to a local runner- Barry Light, who plans to run 60 marathons in 60 weeks at the age of 60. Barry’s challenge is due to start December this year and will raise money for Mosaic, Wessex Autistic Society, Dorset and Somerset air ambulence, Team PB, and WaterAid.

The academy have been working with Barry in a number of different ways to help assist him with this challenge, and have already provided biomechanical running analysis and psychological support.The team at the Centre of Event and Sport Research are also working with Barry on various research projects in association with the challenge.

To find out more about Barry’s challenge please visit 60 in 60 at 60 website

Social networking offers tourism a fastpass to consumers

As part of Bournemouth University’s (BU) renowned John Kent Institute in Tourism, PhD student Nicolas Gregori, under the supervision of Professor Dimitrios Buhalis, is investigating the impact of real-time enabled social media and technology on the delivery and design of services in tourism and hospitality.

See the School of Tourism’s news pages for more information.

How winds of change affect global tourism

It may be a slump in the European economic markets, a natural disaster in the Far East, political disharmony in Israel, Facebook in China or an e-coli outbreak in France. In the past year all of the above have hit the world news headlines and the ripple effect has inevitably changed Tourism in the affected areas.

Professor Alan Fyall, Deputy Dean of Research & Enterprise at the School of Tourism, Bournemouth University has been monitoring the global economic and political situation. In a speech being delivered at this year’s Resort Development Conference (RDO2) conference in Marbella, Spain at the end of September, he aims to examine the impact these events have had and how they may change the future direction and management of tourism.

See BU’s School of Tourism news pages for more information.

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?