Within Bournemouth University’s International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research (ICTHR), there are a team of researchers and academics who study all aspects of the hospitality industry from hotels, restaurants and catering to marketing and human resources within the industry. Hospitality management is a mainstay of the tourism industry and this team 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.
The ICTHR’s research into management, marketing and human resources has examined marketing and customer relationship management strategies in large international hotels and the impacts of leadership in food-service organisations. Our research has also focused on how hospitality organisations can use the internet and partnerships with key stakeholders for developing their products and services through local clusters and promoting them throughout the world. This has complemented our existing research and expertise in customer satisfaction, loyalty and customer participation.
Managing the hospitality organisations through the use of Application Services Providers is another area of research, especially for small and medium–sized hospitality organisations where there is often a lack of expertise and ICT resources to do this within the business. We have not only been assisting businesses and governments in this area, but also exploring the use of wireless technologies and location–based services as well as the use of technology for improving accessibility, through an EU funded project.
The Wider Aspects of the Hospitality Industry
In addition to our industry–focused and applied research, our team also contributes to wider societal and disciplinary debates. The team has actively engaged with such important contemporary issues as the experiences of Asian, Middle Eastern and Eastern European migrant workers, including their adaptation into UK society.
Recent work has also examined the role of hospitality and culture in urban change and regeneration, the emerging home-stay phenomenon, and the experiences of women and children in commercial hospitality settings.
Colleagues continually engage in pedagogic research, considering such issues as the development of employability skills among graduates, the use of IT to enhance learning and teaching, best practice in self and peer assessment, and the application of practical work in hospitality education. This work provides leading–edge knowledge to drive the support for our client base.
Our team has challenged the existing approaches to hospitality management by developing the concept of hospitality as consumer experience, including the notion of hospitality as hospitable behaviour and hospitable space. This new direction draws on the concepts and methods of social rather than managerial science. This has led to a number of research projects, including those looking at the restaurant experience, the relationships between commercial hospitality provision and hospitable relationships, the role of the physical and symbolic environment in shaping consumer experience, the intersection of hospitality, culture and identity, the ethics and politics of hospitality provision, staff and customer performances in creating the consumer experience and ‘foodie’ culture as an experience.