ICTR Keynote Outlines

The following are outlines for the Keynote Presentations which will take place at ICTR

From eTourism to Smart Tourism and Ambient Intelligence towards Metaverse

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis of Bournemouth University will explain that Smart Tourism revolutionizes tourism and hospitality and change market conditions and industry structure. This leads to tourism and hospitality organisations to readdress the sources of competitiveness and repositioning their strategy and operations in their marketplace. Network economics and strategies suggest that organization need to reengineer their processes to take advantage of their ecosystem. Smartness takes advantage of interconnectivity and interoperability of integrated technologies to reengineer processes and data in order to produce innovative services, products and procedures towards maximising value for all stakeholders. This reengineering enables shaping products, actions, processes and services in real-time, by engaging different stakeholders simultaneously to optimise the collective performance and competitiveness and generate agile solutions and value for all involved in the value system.

Reskilling and Upskilling Human Resources in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry. Bridging the Gap

Professor Theodoros A. Stavrinoudis, Department of Tourism Economics and Management–University of the Aegean, Chios–Greece, tsta@aegean.gr  

As a recent report from the World Travel & Tourism Council clearly indicates, tourism sector is facing crucial staff shortages. There are many reasons for this, indicatively, the Great Resignation phenomenon, the effect of the pandemic and the consequent move of human resources (HR) towards other more "attractive" sectors etc. But the main reason is that tourism and hospitality industry have a weak employer brand.

Tourism enterprises must realize that HR and their qualitative characteristics are a crucial factor when it comes to achieving competitive advantages. They should focus on attracting, retaining, and developing HR that will have the appropriate skills and attitude for the internationalized tourism ecosystem. There is therefore an urgent need for new skills that will allow adaptation to the new competitive environment, overcome talent shortages and eventually focus on bridging skills gap. Upskilling and reskilling are among the initiatives that will confront the current and future shortages of the tourism and hospitality industry.

This paper, based on the international scientific research, groups into five categories, the main skills which will allow overcoming skills gap.  

Table 1. Main HR skills in the tourism and hospitality industry

Skills categories






Emotional intelligence and empathy

Strategic management-thinking

Sustainability and locality

Adaptability and resilience


Emotional and aesthetic labor

Adaptability and conflict management

Taylor-made experience


Artificial intelligence- gamification

Values development

Innovative thinking-creativity

Complain management

Skills gap identification

Web development

Diversity and gender equality

Commitment and ethos


Customer focus

Content management


Organizational culture

Health and safety

Business intelligence

Critical thinking

Talent management

Consumer behavior

Digital marketing

Problem solving

Systemic thinking

Destination management

Customer relationship systems

Time and stress management

Leadership (coaching and mentoring)

Loyalty programs

Key references

Stavrinoudis, Th., Kakarougkas, Ch. and Vitzilaiou, Ch. (2022) “Hotel front line employees’ perceptions on leadership and workplace motivation in times of crisis”, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp 257–276.

World Travel and Tourism Council (2022) Staff shortages, WTTC

Kakarougkas, Ch. and Stavrinoudis, Th. (2021) “Examining the interrelationships among reward systems, organisational climate and cultural changes in the hospitality industry”, Tourism Review International, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp 31–46.

Next Tourism Generation Alliance (2019) Desk Research Summary on the future of digital, green, and social skills in tourism, NTG.

Stavrinoudis, Th. and Psimoulis, M. (2017) “How do education and training policies determine customer satisfaction and hotels’ performance?”, European Journal of Tourism Research, Vol. 17, pp 176-189.

European Union (2017) Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills. Tourism Responding to skills mismatches at sectoral level. A key action of the New Skills Agenda for Europe, EU.