Horizon CDT Research Highlights

Research Highlights

How Can Technology Help a Group of People Effectively Make Personalised Vacation Plans?

  Lanyun Zhang (2013 cohort)   www.nottingham.ac.uk/~psxlz3

Introduction: My PhD aims to study group tourists’ trip planning process, find their unique characteristics and requirements, design novel interactions, and finally facilitate group tourists’ planning experience. Existing studies showed that planning a single traveller’s trip distinguished from planning a group trip, which involved intra-group dynamic interaction. My research tries to investigate the intra-group interaction, take advantage of it to understand one group travellers, and design tools to help them collaborate in the planning process.

Current Work: An empirical study was conducted to collect in-depth data in terms of real travellers’ planning behaviour. 12 groups’ 2015 summer vacation planning were investigated through a diary study and a follow-up interview. This study tried to explore how technology might support the group planning process. Preliminary results show that group’s information search, division of labour and intra-group communication are the most distinguishing characteristics. Requirements to facilitate group planning experience have been concluded from the perspectives of tourism information presentation and intra-group interaction. On the other hand, Chinese participants have expressed unique comments in the interviews and I think it might be interesting to focus on Chinese users’ requirements at some point.

Future Work: To get comprehensive insights, future studies will validate the concluded requirements in further empirical qualitative and quantitative studies. I will explore differences in different types of tourist groups and evaluate design feasibilities in terms of technical realisation and impacts on user experience.


Zhang, Lanyun. 2015. Supporting group tourists’ planning: Understanding group preferences through Ubicomp systems. In Proceedings of Ubicomp/ISWC'15 Adjunct , September 07-11, 2015, Osaka, Japan.

Zhang, Lanyun. and Sun, Xu. 2016. Designing a trip planner application for groups: Exploring group tourists’ trip planning requirements. In Proceedings of CHI'16 Extended Abstracts, May 07-12, 2016, San Jose, CA, USA.

This work was carried out at the International Doctoral Innovation Centre (IDIC). The authors acknowledge the financial support from Ningbo Education Bureau, Ningbo Science and Technology Bureau, China's MOST, and the University of Nottingham. The work is also partially supported by EPSRC grant no EP/G037574/1.