Research projects

1. Intelligent system of searching for tourist offers based on natural language understanding (NLP) algorithms

The aim of the project is to carry out research and development work leading to the development of a new, intelligent system for searching and presenting tourist offers based on natural language understanding algorithms. The solutions being the subject of the project will use the unique possibilities of selective semantic analysis of natural language texts, with particular emphasis on Polish, and adapted to large-scale use in a search engine. Solutions of this type are not available on the Polish tourist market, and they are used on foreign markets to a negligible extent and with limited functionality.

The result of the project will be the development of innovative solutions allowing for the effective selection of tourist offers through the contextual and semantic analysis of the phrases entered by the user and the mechanism of inspiring a potential customer, e.g. using semantic networks developed semi-automatically based on the analysis of large volumes of data.

The project is funded by the National Center for Research and Development (NCBiR) under the leadership of QTravel in cooperation with the Wrocław University of Technology (grant no .: POIR.01.01.01-00-0798 / 19-0).

 

2. Development of an intelligent predictive system for the tourism sector using advanced methods of multidimensional data fusion and machine learning (ePREDYKTOUR)

The aim of the project is to carry out research and development work leading to the development of a world-unique intelligent system for predicting prices of tourist offers, using the latest achievements in the field of Big Data processing and machine learning, with particular emphasis on deep learning. learning).

The solutions being the subject of the project will use unique algorithms for predicting the prices of tourist offers on the example of package tours, based both on historical data and taking into account external factors that may affect the price of the tourist offer. The approach taking into account the external and internal determinants of the tourist price will be the first systemic attempt to examine the impact of various factors on the tourist prices of package tours worldwide.

Solutions of this type are not available in Poland and, to a limited extent, on foreign markets. The result of the project will be the development of innovative solutions allowing for the effective selection of tourist offers by consumers on the basis of information provided by price prediction mechanisms (B2C segment) and advanced analysis of historical data for the entire tourist market provided as part of the Software as a Service service for entities operating on the market turn. (B2B segment).

The project is co-financed by the National Center for Research and Development (NCBiR) under the leadership of QTravel in cooperation with the Gdańsk University of Technology (grant no .: POIR.01.01.01-00-1252 / 19).

 

3. The use of big data in tourism sales forecasting

The explosion of big data (BD), automation and machine learning have allowed today’s businesses to better understand predict human behavior. In scientific research big data have been widely used to study consumer journey and opinions. One of the tools enabling forecasting of sales volume is the Bass diffusion model, which universal character has been proved in many applications in forecasting the sale of products belonging to various market segments. This article considers the use of BD as exogenous variables in the Bass model to predict the sales of tourist packages.

The purpose of the research is to assess the impact of using big data on improving the accuracy of forecasts for the sale of tourist packages. The Generalized Bass Model (GBM) has been thus expanded to include big data, which means that exogenous variables include: (1) marketer-generated content (MGC) and (2) user-generated content (UGC), including volume of web search and blog posts. This research analyzes online news, blog posts and web search traffic volume related to tourist packages, and then integrates the information into the Bass model, treating it as part of the exogenous variables representing the marketing efforts of tour operators. It has been assumed that the volume of tour operators’ web news is a proxy for content generated by marketers (MGC), while the volume of blog posts and web search traffic constitute user-generated content (UGC).

The empirical analysis found that by incorporating big data into the Bass model provides more accurate prediction of tourist packages’ sales volume. In addition, UGC (as an exogenous variable) is better at predicting sales volume than MGC. UGC is a fairly good tool explaining the level of interest and involvement of potential tourists. However, it has been shown that forecasting efficiency is different for blog posts and web search traffic volumes.

Medical Tourism in Poland (Warsaw School of Economics, Tourism Department, 2016-18)

In the last few years, Poland has joined the countries perceived as one of the most interesting destinations for medical tourism. Revenues from the medical tourism in Poland in 2013 have exceeded 200 mln EUR, and the number of patients amounted to 600,000. It is expected that this sector will grow by 10% p.a. What does attract foreign tourists to Poland? Mainly the price of medical services. Depending on the procedure, it is lower by up to 80 percent than in Western Europe. But the biggest assets are high quality of medical services and access to good specialists. The most popular are dental procedures, such as teeth whitening, porcelain veneers establishment or insertion of dental implants. Also popular are plastic surgery: face lift, nose shape correction, liposuction or major abdominal surgical procedures, such as hip or knee replacement.

Despite the great economic potential the development of medical tourism generates the number of questiones (rules and insurance, reliable facilitators, certificates and accreditation procedures, social aspects and the distribution of public funds) as well as organizational problems (at least two ministers should be involved in the process of medical tourism development and promotion). all the aspects mentioned above constitute the main focus of our research since the beginning of 2015).

Aboriginal tourism clusters development in Taiwan: economic and cultural foundations vs European experience (started in 2015)

The main purpose of the study is to build on the initial work by Ritchie and Hudson (2009) on the evolution of scholarly conceptualizations of tourism experience within the aboriginal tourism in Taiwan with a view to further enhancing the understanding of the conceptual and theoretical foundations of the aboriginal tourism experience and helping to improve managerial practice in the delivery of travel experiences. The additional purpose of the research is to find rationale for aboriginal tourism cluster formation in Taiwan and to formulate the definition and main attributes of aboriginal tourism clusters. The problem of clusters’ impact on local communities productivity and the destinations competitiveness will be discussed on the basis of the economic theory.

The above purposes gave rise to the following objectives

(1) To study the aborigines’ economic activity in the field of tourism
(2) To identify recent trends in aboriginal tourism experience in Taiwan
(3) To investigate the condition of community and culture resources
(4) To analyse the existing aboriginal tribes tourism products and the way to promote them
(5) To recommend new tourism products based on resources of aboriginal communities
(6) To assess the relative importance of “tourism experience” in Taiwan aborigine tourism
(7) To situate aboriginal tourism within the field of tourism experience types
(8) To study the role of archetypal elements in visitors’ interpretation and evaluation of different types of aboriginal tourism experiences
(9) To find rationale for aboriginal tourism cluster formation in Taiwan
(10) To formulate effective marketing tools for aboriginal tourism destinations.

The above research project has been started within the Taiwan Fellowship Program granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in 2015.

Gamification in tourism (2012-14)

The goal of the project is to present the application of gamification mechanism and social media tools in the promotion of tourism regions and enterprises as well as the promotion of tourism activity itself. The framework distinguishes between stimulus characteristics of the game (promotion mechanism) that lead to sociological responses toward the game (tourism brand) and actual buyers’ (tourists’) behaviour. Though the game-like mechanism has been applied in tourism for decades and some funware elements are well known among teens – they hardly deal with competition of computer games. Two popular systems of tourism badges in Poland are thus discussed in order to look for reasons of their falling popularity and teenagers’ resistance to participate in the systems.

Mobile devices enable teens to combine playing and travelling. The development of mobile applications, integrating social gaming and location-based technology, has led to the growing interest in location-based social network marketing, particularly in tourism and hospitality. The project will conclude with a proposal how to revitalize an old-school system of tourism badges in Poland through the modern gamification mechanism combined with social media tools.

Generation Y on the tourism market (2014)

The main aim of the research is to identify and characterize the behaviour of Polish generation Y’s representatives in the tourism market. The research includes the analysis of generation’s potential in the creation of basis for competitiveness and innovativeness in the Polish tourism market. According to the main research hypothesis, changes in the tourism market (in the structure of demand, products and services offered, in promotion and sales methods as well as in the level of competitiveness and innovativeness) will depend on:

  • the ability to identify the expectations of the new generation, the ability to select adequate forms of communication with GenY as well as the ability to adjust tourism offer to the new needs and lifestyles
  • the ability to use knowledge and skills of this generation to create innovative market offer and new means of communication with consumers
  • the level of entrepreneurial and innovative approach to shaping the conditions and working environment in tourism.

The project consists of six interdependent research units including the following areas:

  • the presence of features attributed globally to generation Y in the Polish generation Y (the analysis of features, social competencies and shared values),
  • the ways Polish generation Y lifestyles are presented in the mediated marketing communication campaigns for hospitality industry,
  • the structure of demand and consumer buying behaviour of the generation Y representatives in the tourism market,
  • tourism supply in terms of its offer adequacy to the generation Y’s needs and expectations,
  • the generation Y’s perception of labour market,
  • the ability of hospitality industry entities management to use the generation Y human resources potential.

The results of each part of research will constitute the basis for the verification of general thesis of the project, which assumes that the presence of generation Y in the tourism market boosts the innovativeness of tourism industry.

Tourism Development as the Determinant of Quality of Life in Village Areas (started in 2009)

The purpose of the research is to analyse how the attractiveness of tourism product is both: a result and a determinant of the quality of life in rural areas. Quantitative and qualitative research was taken in 36 villages developing rural tourism for at least 20 years in Poland. In-depth interviews were conducted with DMO leaders and cooperative locals. Direct observation was used to gain an understanding of ground reality. Round tables discussions with rural tourism managers and residents helped to make the cost/benefit analysis of rural tourism development.

The research reports the findings of three slots of two-year studies, 2009-2010; 2012-14 and 2015-16, to monitor patterns and changes in residents’ quality of life measurement and perceptions of rural tourism. The negligence and errors on the planning stage may result in a negative opinion of local residents on tourism effects, unfavourably effect the future development of tourism function, and cause the intolerable material, financial and social costs. Four fields of the tourism influence were identified: social and technical infrastructure, ecology, life attractiveness, and social capital.

Rural tourism development is considered a viable channel to attract tourists to a destination and to enhance residents’ overall quality of life. However, the perception of tourism influence on the overall quality of life depends on internal marketing and proper communication. The studies yield interesting conclusions that have practical implications for DMO and tourism leaders who continually evaluate rural tourism initiatives. Although the research referred to Polish village communities, the findings do prove that the detailed planning and DMO’s communication efforts result in a positive opinion of local residents on tourism effects, and helps to avoid the intolerable material, financial and social costs. The case studies from Poland offer the universal benchmark in managing rural tourism destinations and show the challenges that need to be adhered for the development of sustainable rural tourism destinations.

Rural Tourism Development and Sustainability in Poland (1996-1998)

The development of sustainable rural tourism has become a priority of national tourism policies and/or strategies in many countries. The need for the economic revival of rural areas, combined with the growing emphasis on sustainability, has created a new challenge for tourism as a potential means of achieving these two political goals simultaneously. Hoever not all the national strategies for rural tourism development lead to sustainability. The research concerns the principles of sustainable tourism and their relevance to the development of rural tourism. It examines how those principles can be translated into practice by the writing and implementing of regional sustainable tourism strategies, as well as considers the advantages of this approach, and offers guide‐lines for future practitioners.

Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) for Poland (yearly edition since 1996)

Due to the complex character of tourism economy, the estimation of tourism economic results requires the application of various sources of statistical information. The basic methodological assumptions for making such comparative estimates are included in the Recommended Methodological Framework (RMF). Its Polish adaptation was used in the elaboration of Tourism Satellite Accounts (TSA) for Poland. The main objective of the TSA reports is to make calculations that would permit an assessment of the tourism contribution to national economy. According to the a/m assumption, the TSA reports contain the description of the methodology and the evaluation of the following elements:

  • Tourism consumption by products incurred by residents and non-residents and indirect consumption in buyer’s current prices;
  • Global production of tourism products by types of activities in basic current prices;
  • Modified ratios of tourism added value;
  • Tourism added value and the so-called tourism GDP in current prices;
  • Employment and its structure in characteristic tourism activities (TCA);
  • Outlay for fixed assets in the TCA counted in buyer’s current prices.

Here you can find the English versions of TSA.

Other research projects:

  • The Influence of the World Financial Crisis on the Strategies of Management in Hotel Industry (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 2010).
  • The Determinants of Tourism SMEs Competitiveness in a Global World (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 2007).
  • Social cost of quality (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 2003).
  • Service Process Management as the Element of Quality Management in Tourism Industry (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 2002).
  • Airlines Alliances as the Example of Tourism Industry Globalisation (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 2001).
  • ISO 9000 Certification as a Tool of Branding in Tourism Industry (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 2001).
  • The Strategy of Product in Rural Tourism (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 2000).
  • Services Quality as a Tool of Diversification of the Tourism Product (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 2000).
  • Methodology of the “Foreign Travel” Position Measurement in the Polish BoP (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 1999).
  • Non Classified Current Turnover Position as the Standard Components of the BoP (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 1998).
  • Tourism Satellite Account as the Tool of Measuring Economic Effects of Foreign Tourism (Tempus Grant 1998).
  • Tourism in GATS (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 1998).
  • Liberalisation of Tourism market in the Context of Polish Membership in OECD (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 1997).
  • Tourism in the Structure of the Polish BoP (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 1996).
  • Tourism Exchange as a Specific Form of International Exchange (Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw 1996).
  • Tourism Satellite Account as the Tool of Measuring Economic Effects of Tourism – Canadian Method (Central Statistical Office of Poland, Warsaw 1996).
  • Methodological Proposal of Tourism Satellite Account for Poland (Central Statistical Office of Poland, Warsaw 1996).

Tourism Satellite Account for Poland (1996-2012)

Since 1996 I am a member of the Tourism Satellite Account research group. The main field of my interest is tourism employment.

The first experimental TSA for Poland was prepared in 1998 (Experimental Tourism Satellite Account for Poland, “Statistics in Transition” /A. Baran, E. Dziedzic, M. Kachniewska/, “Journal of the Polish Statistical Association”, Vol. 4, No 2, June 1999).

Setting any effective economic policy and evaluating the condition of the national economy requires reliable information describing ongoing processes. It was in response to that need that a system of national accounts was created as an internally coherent set of tables describing macroeconomic developments.

The set is based on terms, classifications and accounting principles that have been agreed at the international level. The international framework used by countries to compile their own national accounts is known as SNA 1993 – a system of accounts recommended by the United Nations. Poland implemented the European System of Accounts (ESA 1995), which is a modification of the aforementioned SNA 1993 recommended by the European Union.

The standard system of national accounts is primarily focused on the analysis of macroeconomic processes. In many cases more specific information is required, in particular for the purposes of formulating economic policies. For example, it refers to those areas of economy which do not form separate concepts within institutional sectors, activities, products or services.

Tourism is one of such areas. It is for these phenomena that satellite accounts methodology was proposed, to be both closely related to the core system of national accounts and at the same time tailored to specific information needs. An initiative to develop the tourism satellite account emerged at a relatively early stage, in view of the importance of tourism as a sector of economy at the global and national level, as well as due to the lack of tools for its analysis within the framework of the core system of national accounts.

As satellite accounts for tourism are concerned, several frameworks were developed: initiatives in this respect were presented by the OECD, WTO-OMT and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). The proposed accounts adopted different solutions with consequent significant differences between the results they yielded. For this reason, the OECD and the World Tourism Organization decided to co-ordinate their efforts and propose a common methodology. Such methodology was adopted and published in 2001 by the World Tourism Organization, the OECD and Eurostat, and has been recommended by the European Union as an instrument for measuring the effect of tourism on the national economy of the Member States.

In comparison with the methodology developed by the OECD, which was employed for the TSA 2000, the common methodology differed in the edition of tables; key concepts, the scope of the account and the classifications remained unchanged. Stress was also shifted for the principal objective of the account: in the OECD methodology, the objective was to measure key macroeconomic aggregates describing the contribution of tourism to the national economy, whereas in the case of the methodology proposed by the OECD, WTO and Eurostat, a detailed supply and consumption analysis was brought to the fore.

In view of the above, the Polish TSA has been compiled as a combination of both methodologies: it includes nine tables which generally comply with the new methodology, and has been complemented with tables which allow for comparison of results in both account editions. This refers to the table which presents contribution of tourism to the GDP and the table presenting information on assets involved in the supply of tourism-related products.