My passion for food has driven me to get involved with cooking from an early age developing a personality in culinary arts.  My commitment to the industry led me to my studies: I hold a master’s degree in international hospitality management with distinction from the University of Derby and a first-class Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Culinary Arts from the same University.

I have a background in the Hospitality Industry, and started in 2006 working in kitchens in Cyprus and the UK. My experience in the Hospitality industry in Cyprus and UK as a chef working in very demanding and quality hotels, restaurants and pubs gave me the opportunity to develop skills such as leadership, deliver quality service and customer satisfaction. As a kitchen manager I had the experience of being in charge for all the preparations and service of the restaurant, control and organize the staff duties for the service, creating and prepare new menus for the restaurant and control and manage labour cost, food cost etc. 

After thirteen years working in the hospitality industry in Cyprus and the UK, I joined the University of Cumbria in December 2020, as a Lecturer in Tourism Management. My field of research to date has focused on gamification and understanding hotel visitors’ motives when using hotel gamified applications. This has now led to broadening the research to include levels of satisfaction, visitor traits and happiness indexes in the tourism and hospitality industry, where gamification is used in the research methodologies and methods. This research has attracted funding from a Destination Management organisation and SME’s. in the U.K looking at an innovative digital solution enabling deeper understanding of visitor behaviour in Cumbria.   

Qualifications and memberships

PhD: “Understanding hotel visitors’ motives to use hotel gamified applications”, University of Derby, UK 

MA in International Hospitality Management (distinction), University of Derby, UK

BA (Hons) in Professional Culinary Arts (first class degree), University of Derby, UK

Diploma in Culinary Arts, Higher Hotel Institute of Cyprus

Academic and research interests

My field of research is focused on gamification and understanding hotel visitors’ motives when using hotel gamified applications. My principal research interests lie in the field of tourism and hospitality, new technologies, gamified applications, e-marketing, mobile application systems in marketing, management and operations.

Research supervision

Currently supervising 2 PhD students 





 Demos Parapanos & Eleni Michopoulou (2022) Innovative Mobile Technology in Hotels and the Use of Gamification, Tourism Planning & Development, DOI: 10.1080/21568316.2022.2107563 


Book Chapters: 

Parapanos, D. (2023). Make it fun for everyone. IntechOpen. doi: 10.5772/intechopen.1002007  

Parapanos, D., Michopoulou, E. (2023). Meaning of Fun in Hotel Gamified Applications. In: Ferrer-Rosell, B., Massimo, D., Berezina, K. (eds) Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2023. ENTER 2023. Springer Proceedings in Business and Economics. Springer, Cham. 

Parapanos, D. & Michopoulou, E. E. (2022). Let's All Play Together: Motivations of Different Gamification User Types. In O. Bernardes, V. Amorim, & A. Moreira (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Cross-Disciplinary Uses of Gamification in Organizations (pp. 1-23). IGI Global. 

Parapanos, D., Michopoulou, E. (2022). How to Design Hotel Gamified Applications Effectively: Understanding the Motives of Users as Hotel Visitors. In: Stienmetz, J.L., Ferrer-Rosell, B., Massimo, D. (eds) Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2022. ENTER 2022. Springer, Cham. 

Parapanos, D., and Michopoulou, E. (2022) Gamified Mobile Applications in Tourism, in Buhalis, D., (ed) Encyclopedia of Tourism Management and Marketing, EDWARD ELGAR PUBLISHING  

Parapanos, D., and Michopoulou, E. (2021). “Gamification, Game Mechanics, Game Thinking and Players Life Cycle”, In Xu, F., and Buhalis, D. (eds.) Gamification in Tourism, Channel View Publication 

Parapanos, D., and Michopoulou, E. (2019). “Understanding Key Motivations for Using a Hotel Gamified Application”. In Pesonen, J., and Neidhardt, J. (eds.) Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2019, Vienna-New York: Springer 

Conference Papers & Poster Presentations: 

Pope, E. & Parapanos, D. (2023) Geographic mapping of tourism in rural areas: A case study of Cumbria, United Kingdom. ICTDPP 2023: XVII. International Conference on Tourism Development, Policy and Planning, June 2023, Barcelona. 

Parapanos, D. (2023) Hotel visitors’ motives to use hotel gamified application. Game-changers in the hospitality industry and education, CHME 23-26 May 2023, Leeuwarden.  

Parapanos, D. & Michopoulou, E. (2020) ‘Value co-creation in Hospitality through Gamification’ Tourism, Hospitality and Events International Conference (THEINC), Netherlands 

Parapanos, D. & Michopoulou, E. (2019). “Understanding Key Motivations for Using a Hotel Gamified Application”. Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism. ENTER 2019. Proceedings of the 26th International Conference in Nicosia, Cyprus. 

Parapanos, D. & Michopoulou, E. (2017). “Using Gamification as a Relationship Marketing tool to retain customers in 5 star hotels”. PhD Workshop 2017, International Conference in Rome, Italy.  

Parapanos, D. & Michopoulou, E. (2014) “Gamification in Tourism and Hospitality”. Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference of Council for Hospitality Management Education (CHME) Buxton, UK. 

Recent external roles

External Examiner for BSc Tourism Management and BSc Tourism Management (with Placement), University of Sunderland

External Examiner, London Geller College of Hospitality and Tourism 

Peer Reviewing

  • Reviewer for the Events Management journal 
  • Reviewer for the International Journal of Spa & Wellness 
  • Reviewer for the Tourism Planning & Development Journal 
  • Reviewer for the Sustainability journal