World’s expert in smart tourism to speak at tourism conference at WIT

Dimitros Buhalis

Dimitros Buhalis

Tourism and Hospitality Research in Ireland conference delegates will benefit from hearing some of the world's most renowned experts in smart tourism

Smart tourism, specifically the development of managerial insight into smart tourism, is the theme of a conference on tourism and hospitality research taking place in Waterford on 18 and 19 June 2018.

On 18 and 19 June 2018 Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) will host the 14th annual Tourism and Hospitality Research in Ireland Conference (THRIC) 2018 at the WIT Arena, with a gala dinner taking place in WIT’s fine dining facilities on the Cork Road campus.

Influence of web on tourism

Conference Director, Dr Pat Lynch said that the theme had been chosen because of the immense influence of the web on tourism e.g. enabling the tourist to co-create, narrate and review the tourist experience via social networks and review sites to the use of virtual reality, touch points and digital media to market, navigate and interpret this experience.

The keynote speaker Professor Dimitros Buhalis, Professor of eTourism and Director of eTourism Lab at Bournemouth University will give a talk on ‘Smart Tourism Destinations'.

17 speakers over two days

There are over 17 speakers from academia and industry across the two days including Liam Griffin of the Griffin Hotel Group on ‘Leadership in new evolving smart workplaces’, Jason Doyle, Managing Director, Bewley's Ireland, Prof Dianne Dredge of Aalborg University with Good and Smart: challenges and opportunities of digitalisation in tourism’, Eamonn McEneaney Museum Director, Waterford City Council and Prof Graham Miller of Surrey University (‘Driving sustainable tourism through data’) and Dermot Walsh, Co-Owner, Walsh's Bakehouse and many more.

Renowned experts in smart tourism

“We have delegates travelling from near and far to hear some of the world most renowned experts in smart tourism such as Professor Dimitros Buhalis Director of the eTourism Lab and Deputy Director of the International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research, at Bournemouth University in England who will address delegates on how tourism destinations can apply smart tourism thinking for enhanced competitiveness,” says Dr Lynch.

“We are very excited to be hosting this year’s National Tourism Conference – there is going to be so much for delegates to learn and experience from the Waterford Greenway to future technologies such as virtual reality to pioneering tourism practices to destination planning and regional development to a food village and demonstrations and even rides in a hot air balloon to experience the scenic views over the River Suir.”

Practitioner workshops and sessions

There are a number of ‘practitioner symposiums’. The Greenway Panel discussions include: 'The evolving Smart Landscape, priorities and possibilities for the Waterford Greenway'; The Camino Way 'The road less travelled... the stirrings of something new'; Munster Vales 'Smart Tourism Principles for Rural Destinations'

A second practitioner symposium titled Bia agus Deoch includes speakers from Bewley’s and Walsh’s Bakehouse, as well as a gin workshop from Nuala Gordon who is a lecturer in the Dept. of Languages, Tourism and Hospitality, WIT.

The Future Experience practitioner symposium features Eamonn McEneaney from Waterford Treasures - Three Museums in the Viking Triangle on the topic of 'The World's First Virtual Reality Viking Experience: King of the Vikings'; Eric Robson, Research Unit Manager, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, TSSG (WIT) on ‘Intelligent Tourism’; and 'VR and Smart Tourism Experience' from Orna Holohan, Tourism Officer, Waterford City and County Council.

Book a place at or join the conversation on Twitter @THRIC18_WIT  #THRIC18

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Higher Certificate in Business in  Tourism

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