The International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research (ICTHR) is a globally leading centre for research in tourism, hospitality and related fields of study.
The international centre was established in 1996 as an interdisciplinary research centre at Bournemouth University, and has conducted research projects for international agencies (e.g. the EU, UNWTO, USAID and Development Banks), national government organisations in the UK and around the world and private sector businesses and consortiums. ICTHR has over 30 research active members of staff, including 6 professors, and collaborates closely with other research centres at Bournemouth University such as the Centre for Events, Leisure, Society and Culture and the Sport and Physical Activity Research Centre.
ICTHR is part of Bournemouth University’s Faculty of Management, and contributed to a submission in the 2015 Research Excellence Framework where 82% of the outputs in unit of assessment 26 “Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism” were identified as being either world-leading or internationally recognised. In 2010 Bournemouth was recognised as being in the top 10 universities worldwide in tourism and hospitality research in Law et. al.’s assessment published in the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research.
Recent ICTHR research has included projects for research councils, government agencies and industry bodies:
Tourism management, marketing and etourism
Digital technologies are continually revolutionising the way that tourists experience destinations, from information search, through booking and technology use at the destination, and ICTHR’s research is at the cutting edge of developing research in this ever changing area, from research about how businesses interact with digital technologies (such as the ESRC funded “Digital Destinations” project) to research on augmented reality (such as the EU funded “Digital Interactive Graffiti” project). Management of tourism destinations is also often innovative in other ways, and ICTHR research has been at the heart of recent research into managing accessible destinations (through the EU’s “IDEALTOUR” project) and development of new tourism routes (the EU’s “GRAIL” project)
Tourism economics and impact modelling
From survey based estimates of the value of tourism (such as The Economic Impact of Wildlife Tourism in Scotland) to the construction of complex economic models (such as the Spatial Computable General Equilibrium model used in the Airport Commission’s “Wider Economic Impacts Assessment” of airport expansion options), ICTHR’s economics research embodies the application of the latest economic modelling techniques to tourism research questions. ICTHR research is used in industry reports, such as UK Music’s “Wish You Were Here” assessment of the size and value of music tourism in the UK and assessments of the economic impact of reducing VAT for tourism in the UK.
Transport, travel, mobilities and sustainability
Travel activities are inherently mobile, and the movement of people, services, goods and information creates patterns of movement, with implications for sustainability. Given the complexity of these issues, cross disciplinary and collaborative research is central to our exploration of these themes, for example research on mobilities and wellbeing (such as the EU funded “Stay Active and Independent for Longer” (SAIL) project incorporating health and tourism) and on how new technologies are impacting on business travellers’ lifestles (for example, the ESPRC funded “Family Rituals 2.0” project).
Hospitality management is a mainstay of the tourism industry and ICTHR has considerable expertise in the management, marketing and distribution channels of hospitality organisations and the development of multi-channel strategies for stakeholders in the hospitality industry. Our recent research into management, marketing and human resources has examined marketing and customer relationship management strategies and the relationships between tourism, hospitality and wellbeing (such as the ESRC funded “Destination Feelgood” project) and on how hospitality organisations can use new technologies and partnerships to develop innovative products (an example in food nutrition being the EU funded “Food Smart” project).