eTOURISM: Strategic and tactical implications of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) for the tourism/travel/leisure/hospitality/heritage industries. This is basically the essence of all my research and activity and my life long project. I am researching on this area constantly and I am in the process of writing the second edition of my eTourism book which is used around the world and has been translated into Mandarin and Persian.
AGILE ORGANISATIONS AND THE SERVICE OF NOW: This is an area that I am really keen on how we can develop agile organisations that are able to adapt themselves dynamically and instantly to the needs of consumers, offer personalised service and customise the service and product on the fly. Increasingly this will depend on an organisation operating as a nervous system, where all units of the organisation are interconnected and use any signal that they get from the internal and external environment to adapt the product and service dynamically. Increasingly signals will be coming through social networking and consumer generated content. This project is sponsored by the John Kent Institute in Tourism and Nicolas Gregory is my PhD student. He is working on this topic with me, Miguel Moital and Soo Hyun Jun to push the barrier of knowledge.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND TOURISM: Social Media, Web 2.0 and User Content Generated (UGC) is revolutionising the tourism industry and I am fascinated on how we can use this for tourism organisations. Increasingly brands are engaging in online conversations through a very wide range of media and there has never been more complexity in managing organisations through a wide range of platforms and media. Currently my friend John Fotis is doing his PhD on how social media is influencing consumer behaviour and Alan Fyall and Miguel Moital are cosupervising the project. This project is sponsored by Bournemouth University. There are some subprojects that we are currently working with MASMI CEO Nicos Rossides to explore the use of Social Media in the Russian Market going to Cyprus. I am working with Rob Law and Norman Au from Hong Kong Polytechnic University on complaints on the Online Environment - The Case of Hong Kong Hotels as well as the Impact of Culture on eComplaints with particular focus on Chinese consumers in Hospitality Organisations. We are also discussing with Jerome Touze of Wayn.com to explore possibilities to develop a specific research agenda on social media.
MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES AND CONTEXT (INCLUDING LOCATION) BASED SERVICES. This is the natural development from the European Commission iSet project. Increasingly mobile platforms in the form of iPhone, iPad, blackberry or Smart Android-empowered mobile phones will be used to manage information, particularly for users on the go (ie travellers). I am really interested in the personalisation and contextualisation of this information. This will be more interesting with the developments of augmented reality, which is already here with Layar, the world’s first mobile Augmented Reality browser. Currently Zornitza Yovcheva is doing her PhD under the supervision of myself and Christos Gatzidis on this issues and is particularly looking into system developments with 3D Maps on mobile platforms. This project is sponsored by the John Kent Institute in Tourism. We are also bidding for European Projects on FP7 and other programmes on this area.
TOURISM DESTINATION INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS: In the last 20 years I have been working on Destination Management Systems. It is becoming evident that DMOs and DMSs are changing from closed proprietary systems to open platforms that aggregate content from a wide range of sources. Joanna Matloka recently did her MSc dissertation on this topic under my supervision and we are developing a range of publications on destination systems.
ACCESSIBLE TOURISM: Following my engagement with the OSSATE project and the ENAT community, I am now committed on accessible tourism and inclusive design and service for the disabled and ageing traveller. To develop the area I have been working very closely with good friends Ivor Ambrose and Simon Darcy to develop two textbooks that will generate the future curriculum for accessible tourism. We are fortunate to work with more than 80 world experts on the topic and the books will open a totally new arena.
eTOURISM ADOPTION particularly by Small and Medium Tourism Organisations has been an ongoing research interest since my early research days. With my PhD student Andrew Spencer we are looking into the adoption of technology for Caribbean Travel Agencies in Jamaica and we are exploring the variables that affect the advanced use of technology as well as the impacts on tourism intermediation, disintermediation, reintermediation and industry structure.
PROSUMPTION and how consumers are becoming part of the production of tourism products. This is an interesting concepts and in particular how consumers influence the experience of other consumers. PhD student Ivana Rihova under the supervision of Dimitrios Buhalis, Miguel Moital and Mary Beth Gouthro is investigating presumption in the events context. This project is sponsored by the John Kent Institute in Tourism.
STRATEGIC TOURISM PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT underlines all the tourism activity we do and I have a long standing interest in how tourism destinations can manage their activities in order to optimise their impacts, maximise long term sustainable development and profitability. My friend Carlos Costa and Emese Panyik at University of Aveiro Portugal are co editing two books on European Union Tourism Policy, Destination Management, Integrated Spatial Development, Regional and Local Governance with the contribution of the top European tourism researchers.