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23 November 2013
Article about my participation in the International PhD Student Competition 2013 featured on the Bournemouth University School of Tourism Blog.
Barbara Neuhofer awarded as a winner of the International PhD Student Competition 2013

Barbara Neuhofer has just returned from a two-week overseas trip to Australia where she has been invited as one of the 15 winners of the International PhD Student Competition 2013.

The School of Management, University of South Australia hosted 15 of the world’s top PhD students to participate in an interdisciplinary forum entitled “Management in the 21st Century” in Adelaide, Australia from 11th – 13th November 2013. After receiving 107 applications from 33 countries, 15 winners have been chosen through a rigorous selection process by a panel of academic experts.

Barbara presented her winning paper “The experience economy of the 21st century: Innovation through technology-enhanced tourism experiences” and participated in a stimulating discussion and knowledge exchange with the 15 PhD students in the areas of strategy, operations management, innovation and entrepreneurship as well as HR management and ethics. As a special honour, Barbara was also invited by the Associate Head of the School to give the official thank-you speech on behalf of the winners at the award ceremony.

Barbara reports that the visit to the University of South Australia (UniSA) was a fantastic experience to meet excellent PhD researchers in the field as well as meet and network with academics in the School of Management of UniSA, including Prof Graham Brown, Dr. Sunny Lee, Dr. Aise Kim and Jenny Davis. Participating in the forum has provided an excellent opportunity to not only explore ideas for future collaboration but also strengthen the existing official partnership between UniSA and Bournemouth University.

Barbara Neuhofer

Barbara Neuhofer, BU eTourismLab, Bournemouth University receiving her certificate from Prof. David Lloyd (Vice Chancellor and President, University of South Australia) at the award ceremony.

During her trip to Australia, Barbara also took the opportunity to visit two further universities, including the University of Wollongong and the University of New South Wales. In her visits to both campuses, Barbara met with faculty members including Dr. Ulrike Gretzel (University of Wollongong), Prof. Sara Dolnicar (University of Queensland) as well as Dr. Nina Mistilis and Prof. Larry Dwyer from the University of New South Wales.

Barbara reports: “It has been a fantastic experience to participate in this great forum. As the only person selected in the field of tourism, it was a special honour for me to share key insights of my research in the interdisciplinary management forum. The visits to three Australian universities allowed me to strengthen and expand my existing network and look into concrete opportunities for collaboration after the completion of my PhD.”

Sincere thanks go to all people who made this visit possible, Barbara states: “I am very grateful to the UniSA for their generous invitation to fully sponsor my overseas travel, the perfect organisation of the event and the great stay in Adelaide. I would also like to thank all Dr. Ulrike Gretzel and Dr. Nina Mistilis for their warm welcome to their institutions. Last but not least, I would also like to thank the Graduate School and the School of Tourism for their funding contribution to make this trip possible.”

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis, Barbara’s supervisor commented “I am delighted that Barbara was selected through tough competition to participate in this sponsored workshop. This is a great recognition of the excellent work that Barbara is doing for her PhD and I am very proud of Barbara’s achievements. Traveling to Australia was a great opportunity for Barbara to extend our existing partnership with the University of South Australia and winning the competition is a real accolade for Barbara and the School of Tourism.”

For more information about the International PhD Student Competition 2013, visit:

Barbara Neuhofer 2

Footnote picture: Barbara Neuhofer, BU eTourismLab, Bournemouth University giving the thank-you speech at the award ceremony.

20 February 2013
Article about my PhD Research featured in the
World Travel Market Latin America 2013 Blog
in English, Spanish and Portuguese.


Technology Enhanced Tourist Experiences (English)

The notion of consumers increasingly striving for experiences constitutes an important concept for the tourism industry. The strategic staging of experiences in the experience economy has become crucial for companies as products have become commodified and competitive advantage can only obtained by providing customers with unique and memorable experiences. Recently, there has been evidence that the company-centric idea of staging is being advanced by the principles of co-creation, which recognise active, involved and empowered consumers in co-creating their experiences conjointly with the company in quest for personal growth.

More recently, there has been evidence that a second major shift is impacting upon the nature of tourism experiences. Experiences are not only transforming as consumers are empowered to co-create their own experiences but because information and communication technologies (ICTs) are implemented as a catalyst of change enhancing the tourism experience. The proliferation of ICTs in tourism has thus had fundamental impacts by changing the nature of the tourism experience distinctively.  These latest evolutions show that the developments in the field of experience are on-going.  With the dynamics of empowered consumers and proliferating technologies, conventional roles, structures and processes of creating experiences have changed. Despite the high relevance and cutting-edge nature of experience research, we currently lack in a full understanding of the use of technology for the creation of tourism experiences.

This makes research in this area critical. Studies are needed to shed light on this very subject and to reveal how to use emerging ICTs in order to facilitate the successful creation of technology enhanced tourism experiences in the future. The research carried out by Barbara Neuhofer, Professor Dimitrios Buhalis and Adele Ladkin at the eTourismLab at Bournemouth University tackles this issue and aims to generate a valuable knowledge by exploring the nature of Technology Enhanced Tourism Experiences.

Preliminary findings of the study indicate that through ICTs experiences are taken to a complete new level. By integrating the range of technologies available, such as mobile technologies and the plethora of social media platforms, businesses are enabled to not only co-create experiences in the physical destination space on-site but to extend experience co-creation with tourist consumers into a virtual space. This leads tourism businesses to operate in a new multi-phase experience co-creation space of a physical and virtual nature in the pre-/during-/post- stages of travel. Experiences can thus be created in multiple experience spaces, on multiple levels of engagement and social circles of interaction, leading to more meaningful experiences and added value for the tourist.

For the tourism industry, research on Technology Enhanced Tourism Experiences will be critical to understand technology as an instrument for increasing competitiveness, minimising the interchangeability and replicability of tourism products and services and maximising the creation of rich experiences and value. This research demonstrates that technology needs to be understood as a key tool, a source of innovation, strategic differentiation and competitive advantage to empower customer co-creation, one-to-one engagement and personalisation in order to create high-touch technology-enhanced tourism experiences in the future.

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis and Barbara Neuhofer
WTM Blog

Experiencias Turísticas Mejoradas por la Tecnología (Spanish)

La idea de que, cada vez más, los consumidores están en busca de experiencias constituye un concepto importante para el sector de turismo. La producción estratégica de experiencias en la economía de la experiencia se ha vuelto crucial para las empresas, en la medida en que los productos fueron mercantilizados y la ventaja competitiva solo puede ser obtenida proporcionándoles experiencias singulares y memorables a los clientes. Recientemente, han surgido evidencias de que la idea de producción, centrada en las empresas, está evolucionando según los principios de la co-creación, que reconocen a los consumidores como entes activos, facultados y comprometidos en la co-creación de sus experiencias en conjunto con la empresa, en busca del crecimiento personal.

Más recientemente, hubo evidencias de que un segundo gran cambio está afectando la naturaleza de las experiencias turísticas. Las experiencias están transformándose no solo porque los consumidores están facultados para co-crear sus propias experiencias, sino también porque tecnologías de la información y de la comunicación (TIC) son implementadas como catalizadoras de cambios que mejoran la experiencia turística. Así, la proliferación de TIC en el turismo causó impactos fundamentales al modificar distintivamente la naturaleza de la experiencia turística. Esos últimos avances muestran que la evolución en el campo de las experiencias es continua. Con la dinámica de los consumidores facultados y de la proliferación de tecnologías, cambiaron los papeles, estructuras y procesos convencionales de creación de experiencias. A pesar de la gran relevancia y de la naturaleza innovadora de la investigación sobre experiencias, actualmente carecemos de un pleno entendimiento del uso de la tecnología en la creación de experiencias turísticas.

Esto hace de la investigación en esa área algo de importancia fundamental. Se necesitan estudios para dilucidar ese asunto y revelar cómo usar las TIC emergentes para promover la creación exitosa de experiencias turísticas mejoradas por la tecnología en el futuro. La investigación llevada a cabo por Barbara Neuhofer, por el Profesor Dimitrios Buhalis y por Adele Ladkin en el eTourismLab de la Universidad de Bournemouth aborda esa cuestión y se propone generar un conocimiento útil al explorar la naturaleza de las Experiencias Turísticas Mejoradas por la Tecnología.

Las conclusiones preliminares del estudio indican que, por medio de las TIC, las experiencias son llevadas a un nivel totalmente diferente. Al integrar la gama de tecnologías disponibles, como las tecnologías móviles y la infinidad de plataformas de medios sociales, las empresas pueden no solo co-crear experiencias en el espacio local del destino físico, sino también ampliar la co-creación de experiencias con turistas consumidores en un espacio virtual. Eso da lugar a que las empresas de turismo operen en un nuevo espacio físico y virtual de co-creación multifásica de experiencias en las etapas pre, durante y pos viaje. De este modo, las experiencias pueden ser creadas en múltiples espacios de experiencia, en múltiples niveles de compromiso y círculos sociales de interacción, generando experiencias más significativas y mayor valor agregado para el turista. Para el sector de turismo, la investigación sobre Experiencias Turísticas Mejoradas por la Tecnología será esencial para entender la tecnología como instrumento para aumentar la competitividad, minimizar la permutabilidad y reproductibilidad de los productos y servicios de turismo y maximizar la creación de valor y experiencias ricas. Esa investigación demuestra que la tecnología debe ser vista como una herramienta clave, una fuente de innovación, diferenciación estratégica y ventaja competitiva para permitirle al cliente la co-creación, el compromiso individual y la personalización, a los efectos de crear, futuramente, experiencias turísticas mejoradas por la tecnología y con alto grado de interacción humana.

Profesor Dimitrios Buhalis y Barbara Neuhofer
WTM Blog

Experiências Turísticas Aprimoradas pela Tecnologia (Portuguese)

A ideia de que os consumidores estão cada vez mais em busca de experiências constitui um conceito importante para o setor de turismo. A produção estratégica de experiências na economia das experiências tornou-se fundamental para as empresas na medida em que os produtos foram mercantilizados e a vantagem competitiva só pode ser obtida por meio do oferecimento de experiências singulares e memoráveis aos clientes. Recentemente, têm surgido evidências de que a ideia de produção, centrada nas empresas, está evoluindo segundo os princípios da cocriação, que veem os consumidores como entes ativos, envolvidos e capacitados na cocriação de suas experiências em conjunto com a empresa, em busca do crescimento pessoal.

Mais recentemente, tem havido evidências de que uma segunda grande mudança está afetando a natureza das experiências turísticas. Elas estão se transformando não só porque os consumidores estão capacitados a cocriar suas próprias experiências, como também porque tecnologias da informação e da comunicação (TICs) são implementadas como catalisadoras de mudanças aprimoradoras. Assim, a proliferação de TICs no turismo causou impactos fundamentais ao mudar a natureza da experiência turística de maneira distintiva. Essas últimas evoluções mostram que os desenvolvimentos neste campo são contínuos. Com a dinâmica dos consumidores capacitados e da proliferação de tecnologias, mudaram os papéis, estruturas e processos convencionais de criação de experiências. Apesar da alta relevância e da natureza inovadora da pesquisa sobre este assunto, carecemos atualmente de um pleno entendimento do uso da tecnologia na criação de experiências turísticas.

Esse fato faz da pesquisa nessa área algo de fundamental importância. São necessários estudos para lançar luz sobre esse assunto e revelar como usar TICs emergentes para promover a criação bem-sucedida de experiências turísticas aprimoradas pela tecnologia no futuro. A pesquisa realizada por Barbara Neuhofer, pelo Professor Dimitrios Buhalis e por Adele Ladkin no eTourismLab da Universidade de Bournemouth trata essa questão e procura gerar conhecimento útil ao explorar a natureza das Experiências Turísticas Aprimoradas pela Tecnologia.

As conclusões preliminares do estudo indicam que, por meio das TICs, as experiências são levadas a um nível totalmente diferente. Ao integrar a gama de tecnologias disponíveis, como as tecnologias móveis e a infinidade de plataformas de mídias sociais, as empresas podem não só cocriar experiências no espaço local do destino físico, como também ampliar a cocriação de experiências com turistas consumidores em um espaço virtual. Isso leva as empresas de turismo a operar em um novo espaço físico e virtual de cocriação multifásica de experiências nos estágios pré, durante e pós-viagem. Deste modo, as experiências podem ser criadas em múltiplos espaços, em múltiplos níveis de envolvimento e círculos sociais de interação, gerando experiências mais significativas e maior valor agregado para o turista. Para o setor de turismo, a pesquisa sobre Experiências Turísticas Aprimoradas pela Tecnologia será essencial para entender a tecnologia como instrumento para aumentar a competitividade, minimizar a permutabilidade e reprodutibilidade dos produtos e serviços de turismo e maximizar a criação de valor e experiências ricas. Essa pesquisa demonstra que a tecnologia precisa ser vista como uma ferramenta fundamental – uma fonte de inovação, diferenciação estratégica e vantagem competitiva para permitir a cocriação pelo cliente, o envolvimento individual e a personalização de modo a criar, no futuro, experiências turísticas aprimoradas pela tecnologia e com alto grau de interação humana.

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis e Barbara Neuhofer
WTM Blog