Bournemouth University

School of Tourism

Social networking offers tourism a fastpass to consumers

Page published: 16 September 2011

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.

“The advent of Social Media can have a real effect on the perception of consumer behaviour and industry response time,” explains Nicolas. “The nature of social networking means service providers have a greater idea of consumer’s wants and needs.”

Real-time interaction means that the tourism industry can react almost instantly to trends among customers and by monitoring their status become ever more proactive rather than reactive. In effect services can be redesigned and constantly updated according to reports generated by social media activity.

Nicolas says embracing this technology can only improve service:

“Adapting service offerings to what tourists want in near real-time helps hospitality and tourism firms to provide more relevant products and increase their responsiveness to the true wants and needs of their customers. Leveraging what we call The Service of Now is key to achieving service excellence in a highly competitive market.”

You can meet Nicolas and find out more about his work at BU’s School of Tourism stand at the World Travel Market, ExCeL, London between 7-10 November, 2011.