DiGMY logo

Centre for Digital Transformation in the Visitor Economy

We are dedicated to researching, endorsing, and advocating the power of information technology and digital media in the visitor economy.

Research aims

DiGMY logo

The Centre for Digital Transformation in the Visitor Economy (DIGMY) work in collaboration with leading academic, business, public and third sector partners across a broad spectrum of disciplines to provide rigorous and critical scientific foundation to deliver value to the visitor economy of tomorrow. Driven by innovation and technological advancement to create resilience and digital inclusion, we focus on four core themes: 

  1. Digital transformation in tourism, hospitality and events; including new media and consumer behaviour, new business models and disruptive innovation, transformation in business operations and performance,
  2. Smart systems in tourism, hospitality and events, including: artificial intelligence and robotics, sensors and internet-of-things,
  3. Technology for social good in tourism, hospitality and events, including: technology facilitating health and wellbeing, social isolation and loneliness, inclusion and accessibility,
  4. Data science and innovative methodologies in tourism, hospitality and events; including biometric research, data analytics and pattern recognition in big data.   
Person carrying passport at the airport

Covid-19 research in hospitality and tourism

Our research aims to understand the needs and requirements of businesses and travellers to be able to return to a new normality when it comes to travelling and the prosperity of businesses.

Research projects

Start date: October 2022

End date: February 2023

Start date: October 2022

End date: December 2022

Start date: September 2022

End date: March 2023

Start date: September 2021

End date: September 2022

Start date: March 2021

End date: September 2021

Start date: March 2021

End date: September 2021


Principal investigator: Dr Nikolas Thomopoulos

Start date: February 2021

End date: January 2022

Start date: January 2020

End date: Ongoing

Start date: November 2017

End date: December 2020


Recent events

Technology enhanced future of work in the visitor economy

This webinar delved into exploring ideas and solutions to support tourism, hospitality and event leaders to address how technology can help them solve the tough questions they are facing. Industry and academic speakers talked about how employers tackle the war on talent, how employee apps will evolve to become more engaged, and how artificial intelligence and robotics can be applied while considering mindfulness in technology-enhanced future of work.

Welcome and introduction by Brigitte Stangl (Acting Director of the Centre for Digital Transformation in the Visitor Economy, SHTM, University of Surrey): https://youtu.be/KcHp7W5m2sM

  • Michael Easton (EVP CitizenM rollout) on "Hyper Growth during Hyper Uncertainty": https://youtu.be/sykQP400rqw
  • Tim P. Brown (Vice President, Global F&B Solution Engineering at Oracle) on "Point of Sale becomes Employee Point of Service": https://youtu.be/GlqcWzGWEzo
  • Tracy Xu (Senior Lecturer, SHTM, University of Surrey) on "How will service robots redefine leadership in hotel management?": https://youtu.be/qRwWgav8nwk
  • Emily (Jintao) Ma (Professor, SHTM, University of Surrey) on "Working with service robots, implications in job design": https://youtu.be/fyS27EinZe0
  • Erin Ling (Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Future of Work in the Surrey Institute for People-Centred AI and SHTM, University of Surrey) on "How will artificial intelligence impact the future of work?": https://youtu.be/o8YbQ7AHAiA
  • Yao-Chin Wang (Assistant Professor in the Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management at the University of Florida) on "Mindfulness in Technology-Enhanced Future of Work": https://youtu.be/UpuxqCfrc2U.

Q&A chaired by Iis Tussyadiah (Head of School, SHTM, University of Surrey): https://youtu.be/yeaCnqBX944.

The future of destinations online forum

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to have devastating impacts on destinations, governments and destinations have taken action to restore and invigorate the sector. This seminar drawing upon industry and academic insights aimed to consider what the impacts of the pandemic have been and how destinations are able to reposition visitor experiences during times of continued uncertainty whilst planning for the future.

Our panel of distinguished industry speakers included:

Our panel of Surrey academic speakers included:

Find an expert


Mark Ashton profile image

Mark Ashton

Associate Professor; Associate Dean (Education) FASS - Interim

Chris Cowls profile image

Professor Chris Cowls

Visiting Professor

Anita Eves profile image

Professor Anita Eves

Professor of Hospitality Management

Leo Jago profile image

Professor Leo Jago

Emeritus Professor

Yoo Ri Kim profile image

Dr Yoo Ri Kim

Senior Lecturer

Yanning Li profile image

Dr Yanning Li

Senior Lecturer in Events Management

Erin Chao Ling profile image

Dr Erin Ling

Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work

Hongbo (Daisy) Liu profile image

Dr Daisy Liu

Senior Lecturer in Hospitality

Manuel Alector Ribeiro profile image

Dr Alector Ribeiro

Associate Professor in Tourism Management, Director of Tourism Programmes

Caroline Scarles profile image

Professor Caroline Scarles

Professor of Technology in Society, Director of Centre of Digital Transformation in the Visitor Economy

Jonathan Skinner profile image

Dr Jonathan Skinner

Reader in the Anthropology of Events

Nikolas Thomopoulos profile image

Dr Nikolas Thomopoulos

Associate Professor in Transport

Iis Tussyadiah profile image

Professor Iis Tussyadiah

Professor of Intelligent Systems in Service, Head of School of Hospitality & Tourism Management

Zhenni Wu profile image

Zhenni Wu

PhD researcher

Shi (Tracy) Xu profile image

Dr Tracy Xu

Associate Professor in Hospitality

Surrey affiliated members

Adrian Hilton profile image

Professor Adrian Hilton

Director Surrey Institute for People-Centred AI Director of Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing

Ranjana Das profile image

Professor Ranjana Das

Professor in Media and Communication

Irina Cojuharenco profile image

Dr Irina Cojuharenco

Reader, Founding Director of the University of Surrey Business and Economic Experiments (USBEE) Laboratory

Husna Zainal Abidin profile image

Dr Husna Zainal Abidin

Researcher Wakayama University, Japan

Athina Ioannou profile image

Dr Athina Ioannou

Lecturer in Business Analytics

Postgraduate research students

Serge Chamelian

Postgraduate Research Student

Hoyoung (Rachel) Chang profile image

Rachel Chang

Postgraduate research student

Jiaolong Cheng profile image

Jiaolong Cheng

Postgraduate Research Student

David Cloarec profile image

David Cloarec

PhD Researcher

Vanessa Cumper profile image

Vanessa Cumper

Postgraduate Research Student

Brana Jianu profile image

Brana Jianu

Postgraduate Research Student and Associate Tutor

Wenliang (Max) Li profile image

Max Li

PhD Researcher

Gilang Maulana Majid profile image

Gilang Majid

Postgraduate Research Student

Elisa Mameli profile image

Elisa Mameli

PhD Researcher and Associate Tutor

Ikram Nur Muharam profile image

Ikram Nur Muharam

Postgraduate Research Student

Xiaoyi Xu profile image

Xiaoyi Xu

Postgraduate Research Student

Haoyue Yu profile image

Haoyue Yu

Postgraduate Research Student