Bournemouth University’s International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research has long been at the forefront of research into the effects of new technologies in measuring and driving tourist activity and economy. As the internet continues to dominate in all sectors, the Centre’s pioneering research into eTourism is proving invaluable to tourists and tourism industry stakeholders alike.
The Rise of eTourism
Since the 1980s, Information Communication Technology (ICT) has been transforming tourism globally and has dramatically transformed the best operational and strategic practices in the industry. eTourism has given scope for the development of a wide range of new tools and services that facilitate global interaction between players around the world.
The interaction between technology and tourism in recent times has brought fundamental changes to both the industry and our perceptions of its nature. Increasingly, ICT plays a critical role for the competitiveness of tourism organisations and destinations as well as for the entire industry as a whole.
Developments in search engines, carrying capacity and speed of networks have influenced the number of travellers around the world that use technologies for planning and experiencing their travels. ICT has also changed radically the efficiency and effectiveness of tourism organisations, the way that business is conducted in the marketplace, as well as how consumers interact with organisations. The ICT driven business processes re-engineering, observed in the industry, gradually generates a new paradigm-shift. This alters the structure of the entire industry and develops a whole range of opportunities and threats for all stakeholders.
Not only does ICT empower consumers to identify, customise and purchase tourism products but it also support the globalisation of the industry by providing effective tools for suppliers to develop, manage and distribute their offerings worldwide. As a result, a major research field is emerging from this interface, as increasingly researchers seek to understand and communicate the significance of the new technologies, investigate and interpret contemporary activity, and attempt to forecast the way ahead for both industry and technological developments.
The International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research has an enviable record of pioneering research in eTourism including:
- eTourism strategic management and marketing.
- eTourism and accessibility.
- Online design and development and web presence assessment.
- Destination Management Systems and eDestinations.
- Web 2.0 and Social Media networking.
- Mobile tourism and wireless systems.
- Online marketing including Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns.
- Technology and Small and Medium Tourism Enterprises.
- Online distribution and multi-channel strategies.
- Email marketing and customer relationship management.
- Customer engagement online and management of web 2.0 channels.
- Affinity marketing and best practice web design.
The team includes world experts in eTourism and tourism related technologies, having pioneered eTourism research and published some of the most widely quoted papers on this area. Our texts are used for teaching students and practitioners around the world and used by professionals to develop eTourism strategies.
Our research focuses on a wide range of eTourism aspects from a strategic marketing perspective. A member of our team is a Founding Member and an ex Vice President of the International Federation of Information Technology for Tourism and Travel.
Team members have been teaching, writing and consulting in eTourism for more than two decades. They regularly contribute to the Tourism IT ENTER conferences, are invited to edit special issues on eTourism and New Media, and have research experience relating to consumer behaviour as it applies to e–commerce, including the motivation to, and attitude towards, using e–commerce.