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Successful Seminar launches the new MSc in eTourism

"eTourism: trends – challenges-solutions" was the title of hugely successful seminar run by The School of…

"eTourism: trends – challenges-solutions" was the title of hugely successful seminar run by The School of Management Studies for the Service Sector at the University of Surrey and the Tourism Society in February. Chaired by Professor David Airey (Head of School) and Dr Dimitrios Buhalis, the programme included presentations by seven speakers who captivated their audience with the latest issues in the fields of eTourism, eTravel, eHospitality, eDesinations, eMediaries, eRevolution, and eFutures.

Speakers included Dr Dimitrios Buhalis (Course Leader of the new MSc in eTourism, University of Surrey), Peter Dennis (TIME), Oliver Dombey (Partners in Marketing), Andrew Duff (ETC), Dr Karsten Karcher (Telewest Imminus), Maria Cristina Licata (Genesys Information Ltd) and Anna Pollock (Consultant).

The groundbreaking issues discussed included

The emerging range of new techniques revolutionising tourism and hospitality management.

The conflicting trends of disintermediation (where all intermediaries are being threatened) vs. reintermediation (where new intermediaries emerge to facilitate better tourism distribution management).

The requirement of destination organisations to manage their brand holistically and take advantage of IT for managing tourism impacts.

The need for successful destinations to integrate their marketing and information distribution across all media channels.

Destinations need to use technology to add value to their customer's experience.

The growth of digital television is much faster than that of personal computers and the internet.

It is estimated that almost 10% of the main markets will be using Broadband technology by 2003.

Tourism, travel and hospitality enjoy some of the most successful applications on the internet due to the information requirements of the industry and the consumer

The emerging Information Communication Technologies further support the individualisation of products and services for tourism.

After the event Dr Dimitrios Buhalis said: "eTourism is like flying an aeroplane with one engine on fire!!! You are trying to put the fire out, land the plane safely and at the same time investigate the cause of the trouble. The new MSc in eTourism and the research activity we are generating in parallel will be analysing all of the factors that maximise the competitiveness and profitability of tourism, travel and hospitality organisations. At the same time we will be training people to innovate. As there is not enough time to sit down, plan properly and reflect, managers will increasingly be called to do all that on-flight…. a really challenging task for them and for us!".

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