• Accessibility to spa experiences

      Michopoulou, Eleni; Hilton, Sarah J.; University of Derby (IGI Global, 2021-01)
      This chapter aims to highlight and raise awareness of the previously unknown barriers currently faced by wheelchair using consumers in the spa industry and the implications of these barriers for consumer and industry alike. Existing research on accessibility within this specific environment is extremely limited (if any). This study shows that access to accurate information is a key issue, a key barrier to participation and not only for those who have not visited a spa before. Gaining information pre visit in tourism is increasingly done online and there is the opportunity to use technologies and especially websites and social media platforms to help provide this information. The chapter also illustrates the potential for health and greater mental and social wellbeing the spa industry and the wider wellness tourism industry have for wheelchair users and how they could mutually benefit each other, as well as further promoting the case for barrier free accessible tourism and leisure opportunities.
    • Accessible tourism futures: the world we dream to live in and the opportunities we hope to have

      Michopoulou, Eleni; Ambrose, Ivor; Darcy, Simon; Buhalis, Dimitrios; University of Derby; University of Technology Sydney; Bournemouth University (2015-09-14)
      Purpose Accessible tourism is evolving as a field of academic research and industry practice, set within a dynamic social context. The field is interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary. The purpose of this paper is to examine key concepts and global initiatives that will shape accessible tourism futures. Design/methodology/approach Three of the authors have extensive academic experience in the area and the fourth author is the Managing Director of the pre-eminent European Network for Accessible Tourism. In taking a limited Delphi approach to canvassing key areas likely to shape accessible tourism futures, the following concepts and policy initiatives were examined: motivations, dreams and aspirations of people with disability; demography; UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; destination competitiveness; universal design (UD); and the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Findings A discussion of each of the above areas was placed in context to accessible tourism futures and to contextualise the papers that were selected for the special issue. The latter part of the paper outlines the contribution of each empirical paper to the issue discussing the approach, findings and implications. Stakeholder collaboration was identified as the key common theme of the papers and the factor for developing accessible tourism solutions, recognising the value of the market and capitalising on it. A collaborative approach is required to recognise the complementary nature of the different paradigms; to re-shape and transform the future of the accessible tourism industry. To assist in the development of accessible tourism futures, UD principles should provide a foundation to enhance the future competitiveness of tourism destinations and organisations. Originality/value The paper’s examination of the concepts and global policy considerations provides a strong academic and practitioner foundation for considering accessible tourism futures. In doing so, accessible tourism futures are shown to be affected by key concepts related to core tourism considerations and major policy initiatives on accessibility and sustainability. Yet, accessible tourism futures also have the potential to create their own momentum and contribute unique learnings on the diversity of tourism markets that will shape tourism concepts and global policy initiatives in their own right.
    • Accessible Tourism Marketing Aspects

      Michopoulou, Eleni; Buhalis, Dimitrios; University of Derby (IV International Congress of Tourism for All, 26-28 June 2013, Avila, Spain, 2013-06-26)
    • Accessible Tourism Stakeholder Analysis

      Michopoulou, Eleni; Buhalis, Dimitrios; University of Derby (Channel View Publications, 2010-12)
    • Challenges in managing peripheral workers within diverse environments.

      Michopoulou, Eleni; Melpignano, Claudia; University of Derby (Cognizant Communication Corporation, 2019-03-21)
      This paper explores the HR issues that tour operators experience in the planning, coordination and management of tours revolving around cycling events. It does so by using a tour operator based in the UK as a case study and by deploying a qualitative ethnographic approach. This methodology was deemed as the most fitting to enable an in-depth and rich analysis of the issues that characterise the complex management of core (office-based employees) and peripheral workers (tour guides on the event site). Not only do the different operations, time frames, environments and activities within which the employees operate result in the company’s workforce division into two distinctive groups, but they also determine low levels of professional satisfaction and motivation among the tour guides. Investigating the stances held by the company’s employees in relation to the difficulties encountered in the workplace is necessary to develop a strategy that allows for retaining peripheral workers, for creating synergy between the two different teams, and consequently for ensuring the achievement of the organization’s goals and objectives. The findings highlight how the adoption of HR practices that aim at enhancing the company’s internal marketing would entail an optimistic shift in the tour guides’ perception of their position within the company, resulting in improved product delivery and reduced absenteeism, burnout and turnover challenges
    • Co-creating value in desert tourism experiences

      Michopoulou, Eleni; Al-Qasmi, Idrees; Melpignano, Claudia; University of Derby (Informa UK Limited, 2021-01-21)
      This study investigates the determinants of value co-creation in desert camps in Oman from both the customers' and the camp managers' perspectives. The concept of value co-creation in hospitality and tourism has been investigated in a range of ways in the extant literature. However, limited attention has been paid in the process of value co-creation in remote and unique destinations such as desert camps. This research focuses on 5 aspects of value co-creation which are then explored both quantitatively and qualitatively. The findings of the study indicate that within the context of desert camps, value co-creation is influenced by authenticity, engagement, place attachment, and marketing though the value-in-use concept. However, the level of this influence varies between the customers and the camp managers. Finally, findings are discussed in the light of this variance to identify and provide recommendations that enhance value co-creation in the desert camps of Oman.
    • The complexity of decision-making processes and IoT adoption in accommodation SMEs

      Pappas, Nikolaos; Caputo, Andrea; Pellegrini, Massimiliano Matteo; Marzi, Giacomo; Michopoulou, Eleni; University of Sunderland; University of Trento, Italy; University of Lincoln; University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Italy; University of Lincoln; et al. (Elsevier, 2021-01-18)
      The current competitive scenario is fast-moving toward an integration of sophisticated technological innovations, i.e. smart solutions for hospitality, in particular the accommodation industry. Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are able to connect and let communicate different devices to craft a personalized customer experience. Given the undeniable impact for the hospitality sector, the decisions about adopting smart solutions are not always linear: benefits and limitations co-exist and need to be weighed against each other. By adopting fsQCA, this paper compares several decision-making factors that may influence the willingness to adopt IoT, surveying owners/managers in the Greek accommodation industry. Results show four types of decision-making: (i) rational, a weighted evaluation of risks and opportunities; (ii) enthusiast, mostly highlighting benefits to gain a competitive advantage; (iii) cautious, emphasizing risks and barriers to innovate; and (iv) futurist, a consideration of future technological necessities related to the increasing digitalization.
    • Edible insects and their acceptance in western societies

      Jauniskis, Pijus; Michopoulou, Eleni; University of Derby (Cognizant Communication Corporation, 2020-11-27)
      This paper examines current literature on edible insect consumption in western culture through an inductive lens, addressing environmental, nutritional, food security, anthropological and psychological aspects of the topic. Findings show that western aversion towards edible insects is deeply psychological and cultural, mostly ignoring the pleasure dimensions such as taste, texture and flavour. The nature of the problem appears to be predominantly social. Results suggest that a beneficial route of introducing edible insects into the western diet could be formed through a societal perspective. Tourism and hospitality can potentially play a big part in the edible insect development. For instance, food as a tourism product can attract visitors from different backgrounds whilst food consumption as a tourism experience subliminally promises an experience of novelty and potential newfound pleasure in food. Food as an integral part of various cultures and local heritages entails local dishes that can be considered ‘cultural artifacts’ and their consumption symbolises the consumption of ‘other’. Tourism experiences can expose an individual to lasting personal change, self-discovery and intellectual development. Hence, taking into consideration that acquiring new cultural knowledge increases openness to experience, it is possible that tourism could contribute to adopting the practice of insect consumption in the western cultural sphere.
    • Events in a changing world - Introductory remarks

      Michopoulou, Eleni; Azara, Iride; Pappas, Nikolaos; University of Derby; University of Sunderland (Cognizant Communication Corporation, 2019-03-21)
    • Exploring the relationship between food and spirituality: A literature review

      Michopoulou, Eleni; Jauniškis, Pijus; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2020-03-14)
      Spirituality is emerging as a novel research area throughout different subjects but being a highly subjective and controversial topic, it very often fails to deliver academically (McSherry and Cash, 2004). Spirituality, in the same way as food, is not merely about theories or concepts but is deeply embedded in the practical elements of life (Salonen, 2018). From that perspective, the conjoint area of research between food and spirituality is auspicious fertile land for new knowledge both for academics and practitioners. The general aim of this review is to synthesize current available literature on spiritual aspects of food consumption in attempt to find reoccurring themes and ultimately establish a useful definition for future research.
    • Guest introduction: Making sense of event experiences.

      Ramsbottom, Olivia; Michopoulou, Eleni; Azara, Iride; University of Derby (Cognizant Communication Corporation, 2018-02-01)
    • Hotel social media metrics: The ROI dilemma.

      Michopoulou, Eleni; Moisa, Delia Gabriela; University of Derby; Manchester Metropolitan University (Elsevier, 2018-06-11)
      This study offers a perspective of social media performance measurement techniques adopted by hoteliers, with a focus on financial returns. The research adopted a qualitative approach, data was collected through semi-structured, open-ended interviews. Findings indicate that ROI is understood as an umbrella concept, where engagement rates, customer response and volume of likes and comments are most important. However, the element of ROI in the form of financial outcomes derived from social media remains elusive. This research contributes to social media adoption literature by investigating current social media measurement practices within the hospitality industry. While hotel managers employ diverse strategies for social media deployment, the focus on the effectiveness of these strategies is questionable, particularly considering financial metrics. This study presents key metrics currently used, but more importantly highlights which aspects of social media performance measurement are neglected and the gap they create in assessing social media strategies holistically and effectively.
    • Information provision for challenging markets: the case of the accessibility requiring market in the context of tourism

      Michopoulou, Eleni; Buhalis, Dimitrios; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2013-07)
      The paper investigates the requirements of users with disabilities and the implications that these tourists have for developing accessible tourism information systems. A series of focus groups and interviews revealed the informational needs of people with disabilities, as well as the relevant technical difficulties involved in addressing these needs. The results indicated that the indispensable requirements include the following: (1) the veto or absolutely minimal prerequisites principle; (2) an indication of holistic accessibility paths; and (3) door-to-door access maps. The technical challenges identified focus on interoperability, content integration and personalization. The paper concludes by demonstrating how the tourism industry can overcome these challenges and address disabled travelers’ needs.
    • Investigating the triangular relationship between Temporary event workforce, event employment businesses and event organisers

      Michopoulou, Eleni; Azara, Iride; Russell, Anna; University of Derby (Emerald Publishing, 2020-04-13)
      This study examines issues of talent management in events. Specifically, it investigates the triangular relationship that exists amongst temporary event workforces, event employment businesses and event organisers. A mixed method design was used including 1) a quantitative survey of UK Temporary Event Workers (TEW) to examine their characteristics and motivations to work at events; 2) a qualitative survey with Event organisers (EOs) to understand the reasons for using Temporary Event Workers and Event Employment Businesses and 3) interviews with Event Employment Businesses (EEBs) to understand their challenges in delivering best-fit between Temporary Event Workers and Event organisers. This study sheds light on the complex relationships amongst temporary event workforces, event organisers and event employment businesses. Findings show TEW who display high levels of affective commitment towards their employment organisation, and possess the characteristics of extraversion and contentiousness, are highly motivated to work at events. Event organisers suggest their operational restrictions (such as limited resources, time and expertise) are fuelling the need to use Event Employment Businesses to source staff with the right skills and attitudes. In turn, these recruiters demonstrate they play an active role in reconciling the often-conflicting needs of Event Organisers and Temporary Event Workers. This study extends knowledge and understanding on Talent Management (TM) in events by providing insights into the characteristics of TEW as a growing labour market segment in the event sector. Significantly, the study contributes to a better understanding of the critical role that Event Employment Businesses play in the
    • An Investigation of European Destination Management Organisations’ Attitudes towards Accessible Tourism

      Michopoulou, Eleni; Buhalis, Dimitrios; University of Derby (2014-10-19)
    • An investigation on the Acceptance of Facebook by Travellers for Travel Planning

      Enter, Nina; Michopoulou, Eleni; University of Derby (2013-01)
      Due to the emergence of social media and web 2.0 applications within the last few years, tourists' travel behaviour and decision-making changed. This study investigates tourists' behavioural intentions to use Facebook for travel planning purposes. To address this objective, a combination of survey and 19 interviews provided qualitative and quantitative data. Results indicated that Information search, Sharing travel experiences and Trust were the main determinants of intention to use Facebook. In particular, travellers view Facebook as a tourism information source, they are more willing to share their experiences on their own profile rather than a providers page and that they trust other tourism related sites more than Facebook. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed.
    • IT and Well-Being in Travel and Tourism

      Moisa, Delia; Michopoulou, Eleni; University of Derby (Springer, 2022-10-27)
      Accelerating levels of stress and chronic disease have urged travellers to seek products and experiences that promote a holistic healthy living. However, in the context of increasingly integrated online and offline experiences, where technology does not always work in concert with human nature, tourists are facing the challenge of finding about how to best live a connected life. With travel being one of the most stress- inducing experiences we voluntarily subject ourselves to, tourism players are taking advantage of the latest technology to respond to the travellers’ changing needs and values, by designing innovative experiences that promote overall well-being. This chapter provides a review of the existing research on well-being related to the travel and tourism sector, while focusing on the link with technology advancements, especially the dual perspective of unplugging and intense technology use. As in all great technological revolutions, the digital traveller’s life may potentially unveil a dark side. However, the general consensus is that the positives of using technology within the travel and tourism sector will continue to outweigh the negatives. The chapter focuses on highlighting the different types of technology used to support the traveller’s state of well-being, as well as the role and impact of technology in relation to well-being while travelling.
    • Local community attitudes and perceptions towards thermalism.

      Fleur, Stevens; Azara, Iride; Michopoulou, Eleni; University of Derby; Department HRSM, College of Business, University of Derby, Derby, UK; Department HRSM, College of Business, University of Derby, Derby, UK; Department HRSM, College of Business, University of Derby, Derby, UK (Taylor and Francis, 2018-02-28)
      Thermalism is enjoying a global resurgence of interest as consumers seek out ethical, natural, and place-based wellness experiences. In Europe, the ‘success rate of healing through thermalism has maintained the high reputation of thermal springs with curative powers’. However, thermalism has been culturally lost in the UK. This study focuses on a UK historical spa site currently undergoing restoration. Once restored, this will be one of three UK's only spa hotels with direct access to natural thermal mineral waters. An ethnographic case study design was used to explore community's perceptions and attitudes towards thermalism and the wellness tourism development model being implemented on location. Findings suggest that memories of the values and virtues of thermalism persist within the community and that, if harnessed, can play a significant role in supporting the local and national wellness agenda. However, findings also suggest that the reintroduction of thermal tourism in the location is perceived by the community as a luxury commodity reserved exclusively for the wealthy and elite members of society. Thermalism is a social and cultural resource and thus attention should be paid to ensure that any wellness tourism development model follows a cultural participatory logic and not solely an economic one.