Eastern Journal of European Studies

e-ISSN: 2068-6633 | ISSN: 2068-651X

Volume 14  |  Special Issue |  November 2023

 Tourism of the future: Opportunities and challenges of smart technologies and digitalisation
Guest editors: Sebastien Bourdin, Leila Kebir, Stanislav Ivanov, Oana Mihaela Stoleriu

Editorial: Tourism of the future -
opportunities and challenges of smart technologies and digitalization

 Sebastien Bourdin, Leila Kebir, Stanislav Ivanov,  Oana Mihaela Stoleriu

ABSTRACT: In recent years, the tourism sector has undergone a significant transformation, driven by the rise of technology and digitalization. Whereas travel was once seen as an escape from everyday life, it is now augmented and enriched by a wide range of digital tools that shape every stage of the traveler's experience (Ahmad et al., 2023). From this point of view, the pandemic has acted as a driving force behind this digitalization, both in terms of services offered by tourism actors and the openness of tourists toward digital tools, smart apps, and immersive experiences. Digitalisation has also served as a catalyst for numerous strategies aimed at enhancing the territorial resilience of the European Union in response to this unforeseen shock (Entin & Galushko, 2021).

Pages: 5-12 | Full text (PDF)


European smart specialisation strategies (RIS3): catalysts for tourism innovations?

* Sebastien Bourdin,  Philippe Jean-Pierre ,  David Perrain

ABSTRACT: This article examines the issue of innovation in the tourism sector, emphasising its crucial role in the transformation of the tourist offer within European regions. Faced with territorial disparities in terms of tourism innovations, we examine the impact of Regional Innovation and Smart Specialization Strategies (RIS3) on the deployment of tourism innovation. By analysing the 2014-2020 program through a three-step action research study, we identify a positive correlation between RIS3 initiatives and innovation in the tourism industry. However, RIS3 seem to be a necessary but not sufficient condition to stimulate innovation.

KEYWORDS: innovation, smart specialisation, smart destination, quintuple helix model,

Pages: 13-36 | Full text (PDF)


Examining short-term rentals' influence on tourists' well-being using Airbnb reviews

 Cristina Lupu,  Ana Brochado

ABSTRACT:  Smart tourism innovations are changing tourism. Tourists are increasingly demanding more authentic experiences and non-traditional accommodations (e.g., Airbnb) that offer closer connections to hosts and locals. Airbnb presents lodgings ranging from shared rooms and apartments to treehouses. Peer-to-peer accommodations create value for customers via reasonable prices, flexibility, ease of use, and local-guest interactive communication. Smart tourism has facilitated this new business ecosystem's development within the sharing economy. This study sought to examine guests' experiences in Bucharest Airbnb apartments and the main themes associated with these tourists' subjective well-being. The sample of 750 online reviews were analysed using Leximancer, which revealed five themes-apartment, stay, old, host, and nice (view)-and their positive outcomes-recommend(ation), thank you(s), and value (for money). The results reveal that hosts' friendliness contributes the most to guests' affective well-being, which has theoretical and practical implications for Romania's tourism industry.

KEYWORDS: subjective well-being, Airbnb, online reviews, hosts, overall satisfaction, smart tourism,
Pages: 37-57 | Full text (PDF)


Effects of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) drivers on customers' behaviour

 Galina Ilieva,  Diyana Boteva

ABSTRACT: In today's world, eWOM has become increasingly important in the tourism sector because it is considered far more influential than advertising and marketing messages. Since it is usually information spread by friends or relatives, it is perceived as a more credible and reliable source than service providers' advertising. Due to the fact that eWOM occurs when customers exchange information online, it can take many forms, such as user-generated content, online product reviews, personal emails, and social media posts. More and more travellers are turning to social media platforms like Facebook, You Tube, Instagram and blogs to get first-hand information, learn about others' experiences and their reviews and recommendations for different destinations. Users' interaction with one another influences their behaviours and travel decision-making. The purpose of this study is to identify the factors of eWOM information, which affect consumers' behaviour, compare the influences of these factors on different platforms and their impact on destination choice through the moderating role of age and experience.

KEYWORDS: eWOM, social media, customers' behaviour, impact, destination selection,

Pages: 58-78 | Full text (PDF)


Effects of social media on restaurant visit intention and willingness to pay more: generation Z

 Sercan Aras

ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of social media reviews on restaurant visit intention and willingness to pay more. Research data were obtained from Turkey between January-March 2023 by using a questionnaire. The data obtained from 404 questionnaires were analysed by using PLS-SEM. The findings revealed the positive effect of the attitude toward social media reviews on restaurant visit intention and on the willingness to pay more. In addition, it has been observed that there is a positive relationship between perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, trust, information quality, and attitude.

KEYWORDS: tourism, social media, restaurant visit intention, willingness to pay more,

Pages: 79-95 | Full text (PDF)


Unfolding visitor experiences at music festivals through online reviews 

 Oana Mihaela Stoleriu,  Bogdan-Constantin Ibanescu, Marina Madalina Caciula

 ABSTRACT: Music festivals represent one of the most dynamic tourism sectors of the last decades, their impact extending beyond the initial music-based nucleus. Festivals are subjectively interiorized by visitors through their own experiences which, in time, can influence the overall levels of satisfaction and loyalty. This paper uses the computed analysis of online visitor reviews in order to offer valuable insights into the main components of visitors' subjective experiences. The overall results are in line with the classical models. However, new connections, dependencies, and even new components related to music festivals are emphasized through the analysis digital reviews of, such as 'appraisal' and 'anticipation', emerged. Furthermore, our results indicated that 'authenticity', a major concept in festival studies during the '90s, failed to emerge as significant thus supporting the idea of an ongoing trend focused on standardisation. The findings have both theoretical and direct managerial implications, underlining the core structure of visitor experiences, as well as providing a series of suggestions for festival organisers in order to enhance visitors' satisfaction.

KEYWORDS: music festival, visitor experience, user-generated content, text analysis, event management,
Pages: 96-115 | Full text (PDF)


Can digital nomads solve the problem of tourist economy? The case of Croatian islands

 Peter Gladoic Hakansson,  Predrag Bejakovic

ABSTRACT: Many Croatian island municipalities depend on tourism, which provides income by using natural resources; however, traditional tourism is labour intensive and low-skilled which leads to low wages and low possibilities to increase productivity. This paper aims to analyse and discuss other possibilities than traditional tourist industry for the Croatian islands to develop. We will turn towards the concept of digital nomads to discuss if digital nomads can be a solution for the Croatian islands. As a starting point, we use a conceptual model inspired by Harris and Todaro's theoretical outline. We discuss the new possibilities that digitalisation has opened for these islands. The digital economy has made where and when work is performed less important. Thus, the lines between work and non-work are blurred.  Tourist industry must look ahead for new forms of mobility and new kinds of work and non-work, which may bring positive exogenous effects to the islands in the form of higher educational level, cultural activities, and purchase power. Our main point is that turning towards attracting digital nomads can, to some extent, be a solution.

Keywords: tourism, Croatian islands, digital nomad, creative class, economic development, labour market,
Pages: 116-134 | Full text (PDF)


The geography of social media platform attention for tourist attractions -
spatial digital data analytics of scenic hot spots in China

 Huiqin Li,  Jingyan Pan,  Yujie Hui,  Jingjing Liu,  Peter Nijkamp

ABSTRACT: Based on the geo-spatial distribution and rich social media data of many important scenic tourist places (high-level scenic spots in China), this study presents a quantitative analysis using GIS technology and several spatial statistical tools to examine the geographical distribution and network attention of these spots. It is found that there is a clear geographical imbalance in the spatial distribution of these scenic spots in China, primarily concentrated in the lower-lying and densely populated eastern regions. Using spatial autocorrelation methods to assess the degree of match between these two spatial patterns, it is observed that the spatial network attention and geographical distribution of hotspots are mutually correlated only in major coastal cities. The results enhance our understanding of effective tourism network marketing instruments and provide further insight into the geographical layout of scenic spots in the country.  

KEYWORDS: tourist scenic attractions, social media platform, geographical distribution, network attention, destination marketing,

Pages: 136-158 | Full text (PDF)


A nexus between foreign students, foreign medical students, international tourism and health tourism -
global trends and the case of Turkey

 Ana Maria Agudaru,  Alina Taran

ABSTRACT: This study investigates the interrelations within the international tourism field related to education and medical sectors by analysing the connections between foreign students, foreign medical students, international tourism and international health tourism, globally and in the case of Turkey. Descriptive and comparative analyses show that these tourism niches grow internationally based on the significant role of globalization and technological development. In Turkey, the numbers of foreign students and foreign medical students are on a highly increasing trend followed by the increasing size of health tourism. Moreover, the analysis of official statistics data for all 81 provinces of Turkey during the period 2013-2021 indicates that foreign students may have a great impact on international tourism. These findings offer new perspectives on developing upcoming strategies for tourism niches, such as educational and health tourism internationally.

KEYWORDS: international tourism, health tourism, foreign students, Turkey,
Pages: 159-180 | Full text (PDF)


Tourism in the National Recovery and Resilience Plans of the EU member states

 Sonia Mileva,  Zlatina Lyutova

ABSTRACT: European Union member states have approached the tourism sector differently in the formulation of their respective National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs). An analysis of these plans has identified common themes, including digital and green transitions, sustainability, diversification of tourism offerings, and the development of workforce skills as integral components of strategic tourism development. Through a qualitative content analysis and comparative evaluation of all NRRPs, we assessed these plans based on three criteria: (1) Relevance to Tourism, (2) Support for Sustainable Tourism, and (3) Inclusion of Reform Components. This evaluation also highlighted the connections between NRRPs and the European Agenda for Tourism and the Transition Pathway for Tourism. The results indicate that NRRPs align with EU strategic priorities and effectively tackle country-specific challenges within the framework of the European Semester, underscoring the pivotal role of tourism in the EU's overall strategy.

KEYWORDS: recovery, resilience, Tourism, NRRPs, EU,

Pages: 181-202 | Full text (PDF)


Pascariu, G.C., Ţigănaşu, R., Kourtit, K., & Nijkamp, P. (Eds.) (2023). Resilience and regional development, New roadmaps. Edward Elgar Publishing

Author: Ioana-Maria Ursache   
Pages: 203-207  | Full text (PDF)


EJESİ Centre for European Studies - Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași 2010 |