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Professional development courses

In the Department of Tourism & Hospitality, we pride ourselves on the cutting edge knowledge and professional excellence we cultivate. The combination of staff expertise and enthusiasm, knowledge excellence and co-creation with industry, generate innovation and best professional practice. We have developed a suite of professional development courses for the tourism and hospitality industry to support managers in their operational and strategic thinking. They will bring you the tools and techniques to help grow your business.

Join us to learn how you can develop your potential and competitiveness through managing your staff, developing your product and service, understanding your customers and using digital marketing. You will also have access to our resources and networks to develop your competitiveness. The courses are delivered through interactive workshops and networking with leading academics and students and will support managers to develop contemporary knowledge of critical business aspects that influence their profitability and performance.

Head of Department, Professor Dimitrios Buhalis, said: “Bournemouth University is at the edge of knowledge creation and professional practice. The Department of Tourism and Hospitality Executive Education courses in 2019 will enable professionals to engage with industry colleagues and co-create best contemporary practice for tourism and hospitality. Delegates not only will get the latest information but will also have access to leading academics and students at Bournemouth University as well as resources and facilities to explore further collaborations towards enhancing competitiveness.”

Our short courses run from 18 March - 22 March, and can be booked individually or as a package at a discounted rate.

Professional development courses for tourism & hospitality professionals

Our series of half-day courses will be delivered through interactive workshops and networking with leading academics and students. They will support managers, supervisors and their teams in their operational and strategic thinking. Our half-day courses will focus on the following areas:

  • Digital marketing and branding
  • Finance & the economy
  • Tourism attractions and heritage
  • Conferences & events
  • Asian markets & culture
  • HR – managing & developing staff
  • Sustainable hospitality

View the full schedule of short courses and click below for more detail about each course.

Course dates and details

Monday 18 March - Morning - The power of technology

09:30-12:30: The power of technology for Smart Tourism and Hospitality delivered by Dimitrios Buhalis

Embrace the power of technology in your business. Technology has emerged as the pervasive and robust platform for the tourism organisation and destination distribution and management.

This course will cover:

  • Technology enabled tourism and hospitality marketing
  • Smart tourism and the collective competitiveness of destinations.

Technology has emerged as the pervasive and robust platform for the tourism organisation and destination distribution and management. The Web 2.0 and consumer generated content based social media engagement are revolutionising global tourism. New developments such as Augmented Reality provide incredible opportunities for tourism organisations to develop their competitiveness. Only tourism organisations and destinations that can take full advantage of the opportunities will be able to capitalise on the benefits in the future and enhance their competitiveness. This seminar will challenge participants to think of their use of technology and their digital footprint to maximise their visibility, engagement, conversion and loyalty. Participants will be encouraged to think of how they can cocreate tourism experiences and how they can develop benefits for all participants in the marketplace.

Smartness takes advantage of interconnectivity and interoperability of integrated technologies to reengineer processes and data in order to produce innovative services, products and procedures towards maximising value for all stakeholders. This reengineering enables shaping products, actions, processes and services in real-time, by engaging different stakeholders simultaneously to optimise the collective performance and competitiveness and generate agile solutions and value for all involved in the value system. Looking into the future this seminar will emphasise the importance of network competitiveness and how to maximise the benefits for all stakeholders. Smartness is the glue of interconnected and mutually beneficial systems and stakeholders and provides the infostructure for the value creation for all. Participants will be encouraged to consider how they can optimise their competitiveness based on optimising the performance of their networks in smart destinations and smart tourism hospitality ecosystems.

Delivered by:

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis is a Strategic Management and Marketing expert with specialisation in Information Communication Technology applications in the Tourism, Travel, Hospitality and Leisure industries. His latest assignment with Government and Public Sector organisations was to develop an eTourism Strategy for the Egyptian Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Tourism in Egypt as part of the Austrian Twinning project, whilst he recently completed a project on the development of Hotel School for the Government of Andorra. He has also been advising private sector organisations such as TUI, Pestana, Opodo.co and, YouTravel.com, on the strategic aspects of their business.

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Monday 18 March - Afternoon - Digital marketing and social media

13:30-16:30: Digital marketing and social media management delivered by Elvira Bolat

Stay in tune with digital transformation by transforming customer engagement and communication processes. This course highlights the role of digital transformation on customer-facing activities within organisations and offers an insight into current practices of successfully managing digital communications, with particular focus on social media interactions.

Make sure you stay in tune with digital transformation by transforming customer engagement and communication processes.

  • Review the scope of organisational digital transformation and its strategic importance
  • Review customer-engagement technological solutions
  • Focus on customer journey mapping activity
  • Focus on social media management: process, skills and tools.

This course highlights the role of digital transformation on customer-facing activities within organisations and offers an insight into current practices of successfully managing digital communications, with particular focus on social media interactions. The session will be interactive and will provide ample opportunity to discuss your best practice and concerns about digital transformation and social media management.

Delivered by:

Dr Elvira Bolat is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the Faculty of Management. She has led BU’s first cross-faculty degree, BSc (Hons) Marketing, and is currently a Global Engagement Leader at the Department of Marketing, Faculty of Management - responsible for driving BU's and Department's global agenda. Her teaching, research and consultancy work is focused on digital marketing. She is active member of the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM) and has recently accredited a suit of Faculty of Management and Faculty of Media and Communications programmes by IDM. Her recent consultancy project has covered digital marketing planning and implementation for Dr Jackson's (as part of the Grads for Growth EU-funded scheme), marketing communications campaign for Kudu Clothing and digital marketing consultancy for Eat Pho Ltd.

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Tuesday 19 March - Morning - Managing tourism destinations

09:30-12:30: Managing tourism destinations, economic impacts and development delivered by Adam Blake

Understand the economic impact of Brexit and tourism taxation. This course provides both practical insights into recent theoretical advances and research-based evidence for destinations and government organisations to explore how they plan, develop, manage and organise tourism to maximise economic benefits.

The course will provide both practical insights into recent theoretical advances and research-based evidence for destinations and government organisations to explore how they plan, develop, manage and organise tourism to maximise economic benefits. 

The session will also address the economic impact of tourism taxation based partly on research that Professor Blake has conducted for CutTourismVAT, outlining the reasons why reduced rates of VAT would benefit the UK. Professor Blake will also examine Brexit and Beyond and how to Maintain the UK’s Competitive Edge as an International Tourist Destination given the Brexit challenges and opportunities for the UK. The latest thinking on minimising the Brexit disruption to the tourism and travel sectors will also be explored.

  • Why tourism markets aren’t ‘perfect’ and why they need government help 
  • Research based evidence for destinations and government organisations to explore how they plan, develop, manage and organise tourism to maximise economic benefits
  • Tourism taxation, tourism VAT and local tourist taxes
  • Brexit and Beyond: how to maintain the UK’s Competitive Edge as an International Tourist Destination 

Delivered by:

Professor Adam Blake, a Professor of Economics in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality, Bournemouth University, and Head of the International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research. He is a specialist in computable general equilibrium (CGE) modelling and has used this modelling technique to examine the economic interrelationships between tourism and other sectors of the economies of the UK, USA, Scotland, the Canary Islands, Malta, Cyprus, Mauritius and Brazil. His research has provided both theoretical advances and research based evidence for government organisations.

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Tuesday 19 March - Afternoon - Heritage interpretation at visitor attractions

13:30-16:30: Heritage interpretation at visitor attractions delivered by Duncan Light

This course will cover the aims and scope of heritage interpretation; the nature of informal learning in a leisure setting and the ways that interpretation can facilitate such learning; the use of interpretation to manage visitor flows and movement; some key principles for the design of interpretive messages and principles for effective writing of interpretive materials.

This course will cover:

  • The aims and scope of heritage interpretation
  • The nature of informal learning in a leisure setting and the ways that interpretation can facilitate such learning.
  • The use of interpretation to manage visitor flows and movement
  • Some key principles for the design of interpretive messages
  • Principles for effective writing of interpretive materials

Many visitors to tourism attractions and destinations are open to learning and discovery. Although only a minority of visitors will actively seek learning as part of their leisure/holiday experience, many more visitors will be interested in developing a better understanding and appreciation of what (or where) they are visiting. This is a specific type of ‘informal’ learning that is voluntary, non-coercive, takes place during leisure time, and is shared with family and friends.

The activity which facilitates such informal learning is known as ‘heritage interpretation’. This is all about telling stories about places, attractions and destinations in order to bring them alive for their visitors. Heritage interpretation uses a wide range of media to help visitors to understand and ‘connect’ with the places they visit. Whilst its primary role is to enhance the experience of visitors, interpretation can also be used to manage the movement of visitors around an attraction or destination.

Delivered by:

Dr Duncan Light is a Senior Academic in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality at Bournemouth University. A human geographer by background, his postgraduate research focused on the ways that visitors to castles in Wales interacted with interpretive media. He has taught heritage interpretation to undergraduate and postgraduate students for over 20 years. He is a long-standing member of the Association for Heritage Interpretation.

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Wednesday 20 March - Morning - The greener conference

09:30-12:30: The greener conference delivered by Dr Julie Whitfield

Improving conference venues by employing environmentally sustainable practices and reduce negative impacts on the wider environment.

There is an increasing recognition that a conference has a significant impact on climate change and the wider environment. Extending from the production of paper based materials, food and beverage services, the operation of conference facilities to the transportation of delegates. “A conference in the conventional form is a very resource-demanding process with considerable environmental impacts” (Hischier and Hilty, 2002; p543).  As this recognition grows, so demands are being place on conference venues to adopt the principles of corporate social responsibility (CSR) (Mohindra, 2008). The aim of this course is twofold: 

  • Firstly to discuss strategies on how to make a conference and venue space environmentally friendly.  

  • The second part of the seminar will focus on the demand-side and will discuss whether or not delegates are motivated to book with supply-side greener conference venues?

The aim of the seminar is to influence and inspire conference organisers and venues to (further) employ environmentally sustainable practices. 

Delivered by:

Dr Julie Whitfield joined Bournemouth University in September 2005 where she is the postgraduate coordinator for the MSc Events Management and MSc Events Marketing programmes. She is a senior lecturer in Conference and Events Management, specialising within UK conference events sector.

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Wednesday 20 March - Afternoon - Managing self and others

09:30-12:30: Managing self and others delivered by Lia Marinakou

Develop services and improve quality through your people. This course will cover managing self and others through emotional intelligence (EI).

This course will cover managing self and others through emotional intelligence (EI).

  • Understand the concept of EI and consider factors that influence behaviours in the hospitality and tourism industry
  • Learn about EI skills for development and appraisal
  • Coaching and providing feedback
  • Tackle stress management with the use of EI.

Hospitality managers and employees are required to regulate their emotions in an effective way to provide high quality of services and exceed customer satisfaction. Recent research has recognised the importance of Emotional Intelligence (EI) in the hospitality and tourism industry. Most studies have focused on stress management, work behaviours and work effectiveness. Managing self and others with the use of EI provides hotel managers with the skills and competencies required to face the challenges in management and hospitality in general, as well as to the way we see ourselves, relate to others, make decisions and manage stress. EI is one of the largest and most important factors differentiating the best performers from the rest.
This short course will provide you with a detailed understanding of the key emotional intelligence skills and competencies managers and people in the hospitality and tourism industry need to develop in order to have high performance teams and maximise employee engagement, motivation and quality. The course is interactive and requires you to engage with the discussions, exercises and application of EI.
With this course you will be able to:

  • Critically understand the patterns of your behaviour, as well as the factors that influence this behaviour
  • Evaluate other people’s emotions and motivations
  • Develop self-awareness, self-management skills and EI to engage and/or manage teams
  • Apply EI skills to manage and motivate yourself and others
  • Develop skills to deal with daily pressures, stress and become more productive
  • Develop skills to use EI tools for assessing EI and providing feedback.

Delivered by:

Dr Evangelia (Lia) Marinakou is a Senior Lecturer in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Lia has been teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in higher education, following a career in management in the Greek hospitality industry. She has served as Head of Department and Dean at various academic institutions in Greece, Switzerland, Bahrain and the UK. Her research interests focus on women in hospitality management and leadership. She has also worked on European funded projects as project leader with focus on vocational training in hospitality and tourism. Moreover, she has trained many professionals in the industry in Lifelong Learning programmes.

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Thursday 21 March - Morning - Looking after your workforce

09:30-12:30: Human Resources: Looking after your workforce delivered by Adele Ladkin

Develop a workforce strategy and enhance your profile. This course recognises that human resources are an integral part of service delivery and competitive advantage, yet often how we recruit and develop a sustainable workforce is not considered part of an organisation’s strategy.

Looking after your workforce

Enhance your profile as an employer by considering your practices surrounding one of your primary assets – human resources. 

  • Develop your knowledge of labour markets
  • Understand a holistic approach to developing a sustainable workforce
  • Explore the key issues that relate to employee wellbeing and its influences on individuals and organisations
  • Discover how to attract and retain the next generation of employees.

This course recognises that human resources are an integral part of service delivery and competitive advantage, yet often how we recruit and develop a sustainable workforce is not considered part of an organisations strategy.  We look at the practice behind the theory to explore and discuss how sustainability and wellbeing might enable us to become more effective in our recruitment and retention of employees.

Delivered by:

Professor Adele Ladkin is Professor of Tourism Employment in the Faculty of Management at Bournemouth University.  Adele has research interests and publications in the areas of tourism employment and labour markets, labour migration and mobility, human resources management, employee wellbeing and the use of digital technologies for work-life balance whilst working on the move. She has conducted Research Council UK funded research in the area of tourism work related to mobile working and employee wellbeing. She has international teaching and research expertise and is an Honorary Professor at the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong. 

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Thursday 21 March - Afternoon - Managing a multicultural workforce

13:30-16:30: Managing a multicultural workforce in the UK hospitality industry post Brexit delivered by Dr Charalampos (Babis) Giousmpasoglou

Unlock talent potential by understanding different cultures. This course investigates issues such as national and organisational culture, people management in multicultural teams, communication, power and politics, and conflict.

The key to unlock the talent potential is the understanding of culture and how it works at an organisational level.

  • Investigate organisational versus national culture
  • Identify diversity & multiculturalism, considering challenges and opportunities
  • Enhance communication in multicultural teams.

The hospitality and tourism sector is the fourth-largest employer in the UK, with 10% of the workforce employed in 180,000 businesses, including independent restaurants, major hotel chains and visitor attractions. The latest figures reveal that more than two-fifths (43%) of workers in this sector are foreign nationals – mainly from the former eastern and southern European countries. The management of such a diverse and multicultural workforce poses significant challenges and great opportunities for hospitality businesses. The key to unlock the talent potential is the understanding of culture and how it works in organisational level.

This module investigates issues such as: national and organisational culture; people management in multicultural teams; communication; power and politics; and conflict. The facilitation of this module includes the discussion of the key applied research in each topic, case studies and small video cases. You will be encouraged to draw on their experience to solve practical operational problems related to the management of a multicultural team.

Delivered by:

Dr Charalampos (Babis) Giousmpasoglou is a Senior Lecturer in Hospitality & Tourism Management. Babis has a dual background: he worked for 20 years as a hotelier in the Greek luxury hospitality industry; in addition, since 2001, he worked as a hospitality & HRM educator in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. His research interests focus on Managerial work, Hospitality Management, Culture and Human Resources Management.

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Friday 22 March - Morning - Upcoming Asian and Chinese Markets

09:30-12:30: Upcoming Asian and Chinese Markets - Attracting new customers delivered by Philipp Wassler and Daisy Fan

Benefit from the steady development of this sector. China is an emerging and increasingly important source market for many destinations, including the UK, with an average visitor growth rate of 18% per year (VisitBritain, 2010-2016).

This course will cover the salient features of Chinese, Korean and Japanese tourists as customers and service receivers.

On this course, you will cover:

  • Cultural differences between Chinese, Korean and Japanese tourists as service receivers
  • Critical points of service perception in terms of satisfaction/dissatisfaction; and understand the preferences, habits, particular requirements of this market
  • What UK enterprises can learn from their Hong Kong counterparts in terms of delivering service to Chinese, Korean and Japanese tourists
  • Look into different markets segments: luxury tourists, budget hotel guests, and Airbnb lovers

While outbound tourism from East Asia is growing at a steady pace, more and more service providers have to acknowledge the effects of culture on their guests’ service perception and satisfaction. It is thus crucial for academics and practitioners alike to understand the cultural notions underlying East Asian tourists’ evaluation of their relevant service experiences.

Delivered by

Dr Philipp Wassler is a lecturer in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality. Philipp spent more than seven years studying and working in East and Southeast Asia, specializing on cultural studies, host-guest relations and tourist experience. He has taught in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Macau and Italy and has worked on several research projects in Europe, Australia, Asia and America. 

Dr Daisy Fan is a Lecturer in tourism and hospitality with her research interests in consumer behaviour, tourist-host interaction, travel motivation and Chinese market studies. She is a Ph.D. graduate of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and worked in a hotel consulting and management company in Hong Kong prior to her study. 

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Friday 22 March - Afternoon - Managing hospitality food waste

13:30-16:30: Managing hospitality food waste: an overview of opportunities and challenges delivered by Slava Filimonau

Integrate sustainability principles/environmental management practices in tourism and hospitality operations.

This course aims to highlight the opportunities associated with integrating the principles of sustainability in tourism and hospitality business operations. Drawing on examples of UK and international business ventures, it will demonstrate how environmental management practices can be beneficial in medium and long-term, thus calling for their more active uptake by the UK tourism and hospitality industry.

This course will cover:

  • How to reduce operational costs and enhance business reputation
  • An overview of opportunities for managerial interventions designed to improve environmental sustainability of (tourism and hospitality) business operations
  • The challenges of implementing sustainability initiatives in tourism and hospitality ventures. Solutions will also be considered, drawing on domestic and international examples.

While there are growing public expectations that environmental sustainability should become a cornerstone of any business operations, UK tourism and, particularly, hospitality organisations have been slow in taking sustainability principles on board. From the managerial perspective, environmental sustainability is often seen as an unnecessary burden which is costly to implement while difficult to justify, given there is rather fragmented and often insufficient evidence of consumer demand for sustainable/more responsible products and services.

The course will highlight the benefits of adopting pro-active thinking when managing hospitality food waste, a major societal challenge, globally and within the UK.

Delivered by:

Dr Viachaslau (Slava) Filimonau is a Senior Academic in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality at Bournemouth University. Viachaslau’s research interests include sustainable mobility, environmental management practices in tourism and hospitality enterprises and pro-environmental consumer behaviour. He is also interested in exploring the role of national culture in tourist consumption. Viachaslau holds a BSc degree in Geography, a MSc degree in Environmental Management and Policy and a PhD in Tourism.

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