The Tourism Subject Group is pleased to welcome Dr Isabelle Frochot to the University for a five-week visit, until November 26th 2016. During her time at Edinburgh Napier, Dr Frochot will be working with colleagues on a number of projects, as well as contributing to November’s Tourism seminar series.
8 November 2016
Dr Frochot's seminar, entitled ‘Immersion: how to translate the liminality processes in situ’ takes place on Wednesday 9th November. We caught up with Isabelle, to find out more about her research interests, and what her first impressions of Edinburgh Napier have been.
What brings you to Edinburgh Napier University?
The university I work for in France, Université Savoie Mont Blanc, has strong links with Edinburgh Napier, and I have worked with a few of the academics here in the past. I was invited here as part of the forthcoming seminar series, but also to contribute to some projects, with the hope of setting up research collaborations between the two universities - focusing particularly on areas such as consumer experience.
It’s great to be back in Scotland - I lived and worked in both Scotland and England for 9 years, leaving in 2000. I have a good understanding of the culture here in Scotland, and I’ve missed its atmosphere.
How have your first few weeks been?
My first couple of weeks have been excellent; the staff are extremely welcoming, and I enjoyed meeting the whole Tourism Subject Group team over coffee. From my experience of working in Scotland previously, Edinburgh Napier is the university with the best grounding in Tourism - so it is nice to be working alongside very experienced and enthusiastic colleagues.
My children are here with me for the duration of my visit, and are attending a school nearby. The visit is a great opportunity for them to experience a different culture, and from my point of view, it’s a chance to experience different methods of teaching too.
Back in France, students at my university have a full week of lectures - whereas here in the UK students have less time in the classroom, which encourages them to have their own ideas and have more autonomy when developing their work. I really enjoy this aspect of education in the UK; the work ethic of staff and students is very impressive.
What areas of Tourism do you specialise in?
My main area of research at the moment is in consumer experience, particularly in how tourists immerse themselves in holiday experiences. I will be delivering a seminar this week showcasing the results of a recent study of tourists in a French ski resort. We interviewed the residents each evening to find out how they were anchoring or immersing themselves in their holiday experience. The results can help resort management take better steps to ensuring visitors fully engage in their visit.
What projects will you be involved in during your visit?
One of my forthcoming projects builds on this study, and looks into physical measures of immersion. People tend to struggle when voicing how they feel about a tourist experience - so I am looking into sourcing wearable technology, such as bespoke t-shirts and wristbands, that can measure sweat and heart rate changes. This will hopefully help us to track the physical effects of the consumer experience.
I am also interested in co-construction, which involves working with consumers to develop products designed specifically for their needs and where they can actively co-construct the experience - with the provider. With this approach, we can achieve much higher standards of tourist experiences.
Dr Isabelle Frochot is visiting from Université Savoie Mont Blanc, which has close exchange links with us here at Edinburgh Napier University. To find out more about Université Savoie Mont Blanc, and study abroad options, click here. Dr Frochot will be delivering her seminar ‘Immersion: how to translate the liminality processes in situ’ on Wednesday 9th November at 3.15pm in room 3/10 at Craiglockhart campus.