Friday, October 26, 2012

Presenting in Greece's leading tourism conference

It was an honor to deliver a key note at the 11th annual "Tourism & Development" conference organized by the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), after an invitation by its Director General Mr George Drakopoulos.

My keynote was entitled “Communication and promotional strategies for tourism enterprises and destinations: A low cost approach and ways of influencing travel related consumer behaviour”. The presentation described the role of social media in tourists’ “expanded trip”, their impacts on consumer behavior, and suggested tactics and actions that destinations and tourism companies can incorporate into their marketing and communication strategies.

This year conference was entitled: "Marketing Greece - promoting the quality side of modern Greece". It took place on 29-30 October at Athenaeum Intercontinental, and among the other keynote speakers were: Mr Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship; Mrs Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries; Mrs Olga Kefalogianni, Minister of Tourism; Dr Andreas Andreadis, SETE President; and Mr George Drakopoulos, SETE Director General and President of the Affiliate Members Board of UNWTO. 

Before my keynote, there was a round table discussion session on “Marketing Greece: Cooperation between public and private sector in promoting Greek tourism”. The discussion panel consisted of Mr K. Karahalios, Secretary General of the Greek National Tourism Organization; Mr K. Lambrinopoulos, President of the Hellenic Management Association; Mr D. Mavros, President of the Association of Greek Advertising & Communication Companies; Mr G. Tsakiris, President of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels; Mr G. Tsopelas, Managing Director of McKinsey & Company (Greece); and Mr A. Andreadis, President of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises.

The Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises ( represents 14 Panhellenic Unions of Tourism Enterprises & 485 Tourism Business Units. SETE aims at constantly boosting competitiveness and demonstrating the key role of tourism in the Greek economy. Their annual conference is considered to be the prime tourism forum in Greece. 

For more information you may visit SETE's conference page (in Greek).

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Bournemouth University eTourism Lab

I feel honored to be among the members of the Bournemouth University eTourism Lab. The Lab explores cutting edge information and communication technologies, alongside e-based strategic management and marketing for the tourism and hospitality industries. The eTourism Lab resides within the International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research (ICTHR) in the School of Tourism at Bournemouth University. The School has a long tradition of generating research output in the information technology and information systems field and the formation of the Lab demonstrates the university’s commitment to this field.
The eTourism Lab offers global excellence in the field of eTourism in the widest possible sense which includes eTravel, eTransport, eHospitality and eCatering/Food. In addition it researches how social media is becoming critical for organisations to communicate effectively and compete globally. Led by world expert Professor Dimitrios Buhalis who is also currently the President of the International Federation of Information Technology for Travel and Tourism (IFITT) the Lab is emerging as a research centre of global excellence.
Academic members include Dr Philip Alford, Dr Soo Jun, Dr Miguel Moital, Dr Christos Gatzidis, Dr Janet Dickinson and researchers include John Fotis, Nicolas Gregori, Barbara Neuhofer, Andrew Spencer, Ivana Rihova, Soultana Symeonidou, Georgina Sekadakis, Zornitza Yovcheva and Luca Smiroldo.
Read here about my research at the Lab

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New paper: Social media use and impact during the travel planning process

Fotis, J., Buhalis, D. and Rossides, N., 2012. Social media use and impact during the holiday travel planning process. In: Fuchs, M., Ricci, F. and Cantoni, L., eds. Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2012. Vienna, Austria: Springer-Verlag, pp. 13-24.


Through an empirical study among holiday travellers, residing in the Former Soviet Union Republics, this paper presents a comprehensive view of role and impact of social media on the whole holiday travel planning process: Before, during and after the trip, providing insights on usage levels, scope of use, level of influence and trust. Findings suggest that social media are predominantly used after holidays for experience sharing. It is also shown that there is a strong correlation between perceived level of influence from social media and changes made in holiday plans prior to final decisions. Moreover, it is revealed that user-generated content is perceived as more trustworthy when compared to official tourism websites, travel agents and mass media advertising.

Download the accepted version here. The original publication is available at

Monday, January 30, 2012

Presenting at ENTER 2012 in Helsingborg, Sweden

During the ENTER 2012, held in Helsingborg (Sweden) between January 24 and 27th, I delivered two presentations: The first was a full research paper co-authored together with by D. Buhalis and N. Rossides entitled "Social Media Use and Impact during the Holiday Travel Planning Process". The second was during a "Destination Focus" session and was entitled "Consumer Behaviour and Social media", where I presented some thoughts on how consumers use social media throughout their holiday process and what are the implications for destination marketers

Friday, July 22, 2011

The decision making cycle of connected consumers

Brian Solis released recently (in his Flickr page) the above graph describing the decision making cycle of connected consumers. As he admits, the graph is influenced by the McKinsey's Consumer Decision Journey and of course by his own work. Solis said that this graph belongs to a chapter in his forthcoming book "The end of business as usual: Rewire the way you work to succeed in the consumer revolution"

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Honoured to offer my knowledge and services to Bournemouth University's Digital Hub

The Digital Hub, an initiative by Dr Philip Alford, is an emerging centre which brings together the skills and knowledge of Bournemouth University academics that have expertise in digital media and innovative technology, providing a one-stop point of contact for research-led enterprise. The spirit of the centre is to work without barriers, in inter-departmental synergy, creating, using, and passing on knowledge for the benefit of all those we work with: students, businesses, our staff, government and many more. The Digital Hub offers a range of services drawing on the skills, experience, research and consulting work undertaken by academics at Bournemouth University (BU). The team consists of staff members from the School of Tourism, the School of Design, Engineering & Computing (DEC), the Media School and the Business School, sharing skills in Cloud Computing, Digital Marketing, Eyetracking, Geographic Information System (GIS) and Social Enterprise. The wealth of knowledge and expertise at BU provide business solutions through The Digital Hub online gateway and they are available to local, national and international businesses. The centre allows easy access to details of BU consulting services, online content advice, funding opportunities (including Knowledge Transfer Partnerships), training, seminars, conferences, Continuing Professional Development (CPD), e-learning, digital consumer profiling, usability testing, online advertising and more.  The Digital Hub services include: Cloud Computing, Geographic Information System (GIS), Market Intelligence, Social Enterprise, Digital Marketing, Process Improvement, Computer Animation, Eye Tracking, Continuing Professional Development (CPD), Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP), Training, and E-Learning. For more information about the Digital Hub, and how we can assist your business to gain competitive edge in digital media and innovative technology applications please contact Dr Philip Alford at