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.
In collaboration with leading academic, business, public, and third sector partners across a broad spectrum of disciplines, we provide rigorous and critical scientific foundation to deliver value to the visitor economy of tomorrow.
We focus on three core themes:
- The 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
- Smart systems in tourism, hospitality, and events; including artificial intelligence and robotics, sensors and internet-of-things
- Data science and innovative methodologies in tourism, hospitality, and events; including biometric research, data analytics and pattern recognition in big data.
- Principal investigator: Dr Nikolas Thomopoulos
- Co-investigators: Prof. Caroline Scarles, Dr Nicola Carey
Within the Healthy Aging and Future Transport themes, the Ready2Drive project aims at addressing the attitudes of individuals aged 60+ about driver training needs. This Proof-of-Concept HEIF Strategic Fund project will develop, test and evaluate relevant scenarios through a video survey distributed in the UK. Multidisciplinary expertise from the Department of Tourism and Transport, the Digital Lab, DIGMY, the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and Nervtech working on simulation algorithms will provide input for this project. Collaborators include WISE-ACT experts in Europe and at the University of Wollongong in Australia.
- Funder: HEIF Strategic Fund
- Amount: £97k
Do you ever wonder how much water you use in a shower? Some say a power shower can use as almost as much water as a bath!
At a time where energy efficiency and sustainability have never been more important in hospitality and tourism, this project, the research for which formed part of Dr Pablo Pereira-Doel's PhD, explores whether persuasive communication encourages hotel guests to behave more responsibly during their stay by reducing their shower usage.
Through a partnership with Aguardio ApS, the University of Surrey installed 276 smart water devices in 7 tourism accommodations in Denmark, Spain, UK and US, to develop three randomised covert field experiments to test the effectiveness of the device alongside different persuasive messages.
The 'Aguardio' pilot technology consisted of a sensor -- able to unobtrusively detect shower use and measuring movement, sound, humidity and temperature -- and a timer display that is visible to the guest. Covert experiments took place in different hotel and hostel locations over a twelve-month period in 2019-2020.
IAA funding is now helping to test market acceptance of the product, with the intention that the device creates lasting impact on the hospitality sector. Tests showed that up to 13 litres of water per shower could be saved which translates as 60-90 euros saving per room per year!
- Funder: Impact Acceleration Account
Caroline Scarles and Gang Li and Dr Husna Zainal-Abidin have been awarded an ESRC IAA grant in partnership with Smartify to engage with organisations in the arts and heritage sector to increase knowledge transfer of the benefits of adopting technology-based solutions for visitor engagement in arts and heritage. The project will offer organisations hands-on experience of Smartify, support the development of virtual tours, and facilitate increased reach to new and existing audiences. The timeliness of the project is important as during COVID-19 galleries and museums have faced forced closures of physical sites, decimating visitor numbers and significantly impacting organisational revenue streams. This research aims to provide augmented reality solutions that enable organisations to deliver online, virtual tours to allow visitors’ continued exploration of exhibits and collections while on-site visits remain restricted, whilst also opening opportunities for developing new ways of engaging visitors beyond traditional means of physical visitation in a post-covid climate.
- David Frohlich
- Caroline Scarles
- Sporea, R.
- Revill, G.
- Bober, M.
- Yuan, H.
Project funding: £203k.
We are involved in augmented reality projects in arts and heritage attractions with partners such as Hampton Court Palace, Visit Surrey and Watts Gallery. The group also involved in multi-institutional projects that include investigating popular culture and retailing, a project with the Swedish Institute for Innovative Retailing, and a project on social media usage in the Scandinavian mountain regions funded by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. Our work also looks at marketing and consumer behaviour. We are co-founders of the Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre.
- Principal investigator: Dr Iis Tussyadiah
- Co-investigators: Professor Graham Miller and Professor Annabelle Gawer.
Additional team members
The project involves a consortium of three universities: University of Kent (lead), University of Surrey, and University of Warwick. Project partners include:
- China Travel Service
- Crossword Cybersecurity
- HAT Community Foundation
- International Federation for IT and Travel & Tourism
- NCC Group
- World Travel and Tourism Council.
- Amount: £1,135,799 (grant numbers: EP/R033749/1, EP/R033196/1, EP/R033609/1)
- Funder: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
The PriVELT project is a response to a call on trust, identity, privacy, and security in the digital economy 2.0, led by Prof Shujun Li from the University of Kent.
The aim of PriVELT is to formulate a holistic socio-technical framework of travellers' privacy-related behaviour, in order to develop an innovative user-centric and privacy-aware digital platform for personal data management that will benefit both travellers and other stakeholders (e.g. travel service providers, government, and relevant industries) in delivering seamless, personalised end-to-end travel experiences.
- Principal investigator: Professor David Frohlich
- Co-investigator: Prof Caroline Scarles.
Additional team members
The project team is comprised of members from the University of Surrey and the Open University. Non-academic partners include:
- Bradt Travel Guides
- Emirates Holidays UK
- Librios Web Publishing
- Otava Publishing Company
- Ifolor Photo Printing
- Amount: £953,078 (grant number: EP/P02579X/1)
- Funder: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
The next generation paper project is a response to a call on content creation and consumption in the digital economy. The project will develop a new form of interactive paper with hyperlinks to the web, making it easier for customers to move between sources in the reading process. It will assist in travel and tourism technology where people already read a combination of printed and digital information, by using travel brochures, guide books and leaflets alongside smartphone apps, e-books and TV programmes.
Chen, F., Naylor, M., Li, Y., Dai, S., & Ju, P. (2021). Festival or Sport? Chinese Motivations to a Modern Urban Hiking Event. SAGE Open, 11(1), 2158244020986155.
Chen, Y., Tussyadiah, I. (2021). Service Failure in Peer-to-Peer Accommodation. Annals of Tourism Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2021.103156
Ling, E.C., Tussyadiah, I., Tuomi, A., Stienmetz, J., Ioannou, A. (2021). Factors Influencing Users' Adoption and Use of Conversational Agents: A Systematic Review. Psychology & Marketing. https://doi.org/10.1002/mar.21491
Sharma, A., Shin, H. S., Santa-María, M. J., & Nicolau, J. L. (2021). Hotels’ COVID-19 Innovation and Performance. Annals of Tourism Research. 103180. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2021.103180
Tuomi, A., Tussyadiah, I., Hanna, P. (2021). Spicing Up Hospitality Service Encounters: The Case of Pepper™. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-07-2020-0739
Tuomi A., Tussyadiah I., Ashton M. (2021) Covid-19 and Instagram: Digital Service Innovation in Top Restaurants. In: Wörndl W., Koo C., Stienmetz J.L. (eds) Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2021. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-65785-7_45
Berridge, G. (2020) Chapter 21 Designing Event Experiences in Page, Stephen J., and Joanne Connell, eds. The Routledge handbook of events. 2nd ed. Routledge, 2020. https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Handbook-of-Events/Page-Connell/p/book/9780367236489
Benítez-Aurioles, B., Tussyadiah, I. (2020). What Airbnb does to the housing market. Annals of Tourism Research. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2020.103108
Choi, A., Berridge, G. and Kim, C., 2020. The Urban Museum as a Creative Tourism Attraction: London Museum Lates Visitor Motivation. Sustainability, 12(22), p.9382.
Ioannou, A., Tussyadiah, I., Miller, G. (2020). That's private! Understanding travelers' privacy concerns and online data disclosure. Journal of Travel Research. DOI: 10.1177/0047287520951642
Ioannou, A., Tussyadiah, I., Lu, Y. (2020). Privacy concerns and disclosure of biometric and behavioral data for travel. International Journal of Information Management, 54, 102122. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2020.102122
Li, H., Liu, H., Zhang, Z. (2020). Online persuasion of review emotional intensity: A text mining analysis of restaurant reviews. International Journal of Hospitality Management (Accepted).
Loureiro, S., Guerreiro, J., Tussyadiah, I. (2020). Artificial Intelligence in Business: State of the Art and Future Research Agenda. Journal of Business Research. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2020.11.001
Park, S., & Stangl, B. (2020). Augmented reality experiences and sensation seeking. Tourism Management, 77, 104023.
Scarles, C., Treharne, H., Casey, M., & Zainal Abidin, H. (2020). Micro-mobilities in curated spaces: agency, autonomy and dwelling in visitor experiences of augmented reality in arts and heritage. Mobilities, 15(6), 776-791, DOI: 10.1080/17450101.2020.1816439
Shin, H. S., & Kang, J. H. (2020). Reducing perceived health risk to attract hotel customers in the COVID-19 pandemic era: Focused on technology innovation for social distancing and cleanliness. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 91, 102664. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhm.2020.102664
Stangl, B., Ukpabi, D. C., & Park, S. (2020). Augmented Reality Applications: The Impact of Usability and Emotional Perceptions on Tourists’ App Experiences. In Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2020 (pp. 181-191). Springer, Cham.
Stangl, B., Prayag, G., & Polster, L. (2020). Segmenting visitors’ motivation, price perceptions, willingness to pay and price sensitivity in a collaborative destination marketing effort. Current Issues in Tourism, 23(21), 2666-2682.
Stienmetz, J., Liu, A., Tussyadiah, I. (2020). Impact of perceived peer-to-peer accommodation development on community residents’ well-being. Current Issues in Tourism. DOI: 10.1080/13683500.2020.1797644
Tuomi, A., Tussyadiah, I.P. (2020). Building the sociomateriality of food service. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 89, 102553. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhm.2020.102553
Tuomi, A., Tussyadiah, I.P., Stienmetz, J. (2020). Applications and implications of service robots in hospitality. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1938965520923961
Tuomi, A., Tussyadiah, I., Ling, E.C., Miller, G., Lee, G. (2020). x=(tourism work) y=(sdg8) while y=true: automate(x). Annals of Tourism Research, 84, 102978. DOI: 10.1016/j.annals.2020.102978
Tussyadiah, I. (2020). A review of research into automation in tourism: Launching the Annals of Tourism Research Curated Collection on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in Tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 81. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2020.102883
Tussyadiah, I.P., Zach, F.J., Wang, J. (2020). Do travelers trust intelligent service robots? Annals of Tourism Research, 81. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2020.102886
Xu, S., Martinez, L. R., & Smith, N. (2020). The effects of attractiveness, gender and self-esteem in service jobs. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 32, 249-266.
Xu, S., Stienmetz, J., & Ashton, M. (Accepted). How will robots redefine leadership in hotel management? A Delphi approach. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. Featured in SurreyNews, ScienceDaily, Hospitality&CateringNews,Metro, Guildford Dragon, AzoRobotics, NewsWise, Gadget, News8Plus.
Wu, S., Li, Y., Wood, E., Senaux, B. & Dai, G. (2020) Liminality and festivals—Insights from the East. Annals of Tourism Research, 80, 102810.
Yu, Y., Xu, S., Li, G, & Kong, H. (Accepted). Systematic review of research on abusive supervision in hospitality. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.
Zou, S., Tan K. P. S., Liu, H. & Li, X. (2020). Mobile versus PC: Does device type affect online survey response quality in tourism research? Current Issues of Tourism(Accepted).
Abidin, H.Z., Scarles, C. & Lundberg, C. (2019). Digital Collaboration: A Solution for Destinations, e-Review of Tourism Research.
Corrigan-Kavanagh, E., Scarles, C., Frohlich, D., Revill, G., Beynon, M., Van Duppen, J. (2019). Explorations on the future of the book from the Next Generation Paper Project. Publishing History.
Corrigan-Kavanagh, E., Scarles, C., Revill, G. (2019). Augmenting Travel Guides for Enriching Travel Experiences. e-Review of Tourism Research. 17, 344-348, Texas A&M Agrilife.
Frohlich, D., Corrigan-Kavanagh, E., Bober, M., Yuan, H., Sporea, R., Le Borgne, D., Scarles, C., Revill, G., van Duppen, J., Brown, A.W. & Beynon, M. (2019). The Cornwall a-book: An Augmented Travel Guide Using Next Generation Paper, Journal of Electronic Publishing, Vol.22(1), online:http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/3336451.0022.101.
Kastner, M., Stangl, B., & Schmidinger, G. (2019). Combining Data Sources and Capitalizing on Collaborations With Industry Partners to Investigate the Appropriateness of “Pay What You Want” for Heterogeneous Customer Groups. SAGE Publications Ltd.
Lund, F., Scarles, C. & Cohen, S. (2019). The brand value continuum: Countering co-destruction of destination branding in social media through storytelling. ,Journal of Travel Research. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0047287519887234.
Park, S., Tussyadiah, I. (2019). How guests develop trust in hosts: An investigation of trust formation in P2P accommodation. Journal of Travel Research. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0047287519884654.
Siegel, L., Tussyadiah, I., Scarles, C. (2019). Does Social Media Help or Hurt Destinations? A Qualitative Case Study. e-Review of Tourism Research.
Stangl, B., Prayag, G., & Polster, L. (2019). Segmenting visitors’ motivation, price perceptions, willingness to pay and price sensitivity in a collaborative destination marketing effort. Current Issues in Tourism, 1-17.
Sun, H., Wu, S., Li, Y. & Dai, G. (2019). Tourist-to-tourist interaction at festivals: A grounded theory approach. Sustainability, 11(15), 4030. doi:10.3390/su11154030
Tussyadiah, I., Miller, G. (2019). Nudged by a robot: Responses to agency and feedback, Annals of Tourism Research. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2019.102752.
Tuomi, A., Tussyadiah, I.P., Stienmetz, J. (2019). Leveraging LEGO® Serious Play® to embrace AI and robots in tourism, Annals of Tourism Research, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2019.06.003.
Wong, I., Xu, S., Chan, G., & He, M. (2019). A cross-level investigation of the role of human resources practices: Does brand equity matter? Tourism Management, 75, 418-426.
Xu, S., & Cao, Z. (2019). Antecedents and outcomes of work-nonwork conflict in hospitality: A meta-analysis. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 31, 3919-3942.
Xu, S. & Wang, J. (2019). Still waters stay put: Uncovering the effects of emotional variability using experience sampling methodology. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 19, 317-332.
Lundberg, C., Ziakas, V. (2018). Fantrepreneurs in the Sharing Economy: Co-Creating Neo-Tribal Events. Event Management, 22 (2), 287-301.
Lund, F., Cohen, S. & Scarles, C. (2018). The Power of Social Media Storytelling in Destination Branding, Destination Marketing and Management, Vol.8: 271-280. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdmm.2017.05.003.
Sporea, R., Le Borgne, B.H., Yrjana, S., Nordman, S., Ritvonen, T., Seisto, A., Revill, G., Bober, M., Brown, A., Scarles, C. & Frohlich, D. (2018). Next Generation Paper: an augmented book platform, Proc. SPIE 10738, Organic and Hybrid Sensors and Bioelectronics XI, 1073811 (14 September 2018).
Tussyadiah, I.P., Park, S. (2018). When Guests Trust Hosts for Their Words: Host Description and Trust in Sharing Economy. Tourism Management, 67, 261-272. DOI: 10.1016/j.tourman.2018.02.002.
Tussyadiah, I.P., Wang, D., Jung, T., tom Dieck, M.C. (2018). Virtual Reality, Presence and Attitude Change: Empirical Evidence from Tourism. Tourism Management, 66, 140-154. DOI: 10.1016/j.tourman.2017.12.003.
Tussyadiah, I.P., Jung, T., tom Dieck, M.C. (2018). Embodiment of Wearable Augmented Reality Technology in Tourism Experiences. Journal of Travel Research, 57(5), 597–611. DOI: 10.1177/0047287517709090.
Gkritzali, A. (2017). Online sentiment recovery during a destination crisis. Annals of Tourism Research, 66, 183-185. DOI: 10.1016/j.annals.2017.05.012.
Gkritzali, A., Gkritzali, D., Stavrou, V. (2017). Is Xenios Zeus Still Alive? Destination Image of Athens in the Years of Recession. Journal of Travel Research, 57(4), 540-554. DOI: 10.1177/0047287517705225.
Li, S., Li, H., Song, H., Lundberg, C., Shen, S. (2017). The Economic Impact of On-Screen Tourism: The Case of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Tourism Management, 60, 77-187. DOI: 10.1016/j.tourman.2016.11.023.
Lundberg, C., Ziakas, V., Morgan, N. (2017). Conceptualising on-screen tourism destination development. Tourist Studies, 18 (1).
Park, S., Tussyadiah, I.P. (2017). Multidimensional Facets of Perceived Risk in Mobile Travel Booking. Journal of Travel Research, 56(7), 854–867. DOI: 10.1177/0047287516675062.
Stangl. B., Prayag, G. (2017). Collaborative destination marketing and PWYW. Annals of Tourism Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.annals.2017.09.001.
We have extensive industry links across the hospitality, tourism and events sectors. Partners have included organisations specialising in digital media and technology, as well as a range of other prestigious organisations:
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:
- Susan Deer, Director of Industry Relations, ABTA
- Richard Veal, MD, SimpleView
- Will Wright, co-founder, Destination Core
Our panel of Surrey academic speakers included:
Our research group is equipped with a world-class biometric research laboratory to facilitate various consumer behaviour studies using psycho-physiological measurements. The digital lab is outfitted with an integrated system of biometric sensor equipment including remote and mobile eye-tracking, facial expression, galvanic skin response (GSR), optical heart rate, etc.
Using various biometric sensors in addition to other methodologies such as interviews and surveys, researchers are able to combine and synchronise data to enhance our investigations. Our lab allows us to experiment with the latest technology applications in tourism, hospitality, and events, such as virtual reality and social robots.
Find an expert
Professor Iis Tussyadiah
Acting Head of School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Professor of Intelligent Systems in Service
Surrey Affiliated Members
Dr Ranjana Das
Reader in Media and Communication; University Theme Champion for Technology and Society
Dr Irina Cojuharenco
Reader, Founding Director of the University of Surrey Business and Economic Experiments (USBEE) Laboratory
Postgraduate research students
Programme Leader and Lecturer in Events / PhD Researcher (Environmental Psychology & Travel)