STHM Research Seminars - School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM)



STHM Research Seminars

The School of Tourism and Hospitality Management 

The University of The South Pacific 

Research Seminar 

No.10

Ethics of Chinese & Western Tourists in Hong Kong

 

Speaker: Denis Tolkach

 

Date: Tuesday 25th July, 2017

Time: 6.00 – 7.00pm

Venue: STHM Tutorial Room

Abstract

The potential for tension between tourists and residents due to tourist behaviour is rising. In such environment, understanding tourists’ ethical judgments of different scenarios is important. This study asks tourists and residents to ethically evaluate five different scenarios, using a multidimensional ethics scale and rate the likelihood they are to engage in these scenarios while at home and on vacation. An intercept survey of 1,827 questionnaires were collected from Hong Kong residents, Mainland Chinese and Western tourists. Teleological ethical theories may justify actions that are deemed ethically inappropriate by deontology or ethics of justice. Western tourists are more likely to engage in unethical behaviour on holidays than at home. For Mainland Chinese visitors, the opposite is true.

Biography

Dr. Denis Tolkach is an Assistant Professor in the School of Hotel and Tourism Management of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Prior to moving to Hong Kong in 2013 he has undertaken teaching and research in Australia and Timor-Leste. He has received his PhD at Victoria University, Melbourne. Dr. Tolkach has been teaching a variety of subjects in the hospitality and tourism field including visitor management, contemporary issues in tourism and ethics & social responsibility. His other research interests include nature-based tourism, community-based tourism as well as politics and ethics of tourism.


The School of Tourism and Hospitality Management 

The University of The South Pacific 

Research Seminar 

No.9

Fijian culture and the environment: A focus on the ecological and social interconnectedness of tourism development

 

Speaker: Apisalome Movono

 

Date: Wednesday 19th July, 2017

Time: 5.00 – 6.00pm

Venue: STHM Tutorial Room

Abstract

Understanding the complex and adaptive nature of Pacific Island communities is a growing yet relatively unexplored area in the context of tourism development. Taking an ethnographic research approach, this study examines how over 40 years of tourism development have led to complex and multi-scale changes within an indigenous Fijian village. The study establishes that tourism development has brought a range of ecological shifts that have, over time, spurred far-reaching changes within the embedded socio-cultural constructs of the community. The development of the Naviti Resort, a water catchment dam, a causeway, and a man-made island has created substantial changes in totemic associations, livelihood approaches, and traditional knowledge structures within Vatuolalai village. The emergence of internal adaptive cycles and new behaviors, practices, and values that redefine the cultural landscape will be discussed. This paper demonstrates the interconnectivity of nature, society, and culture within indigenous communal systems and asserts that ecological changes introduced in one part of a community stimulate complex, non-linear responses in other elements of the socio-ecological system of a Fijian village. 

Biography

Apisalome is a final year PhD research student from the Department of International Business and Asian Studies, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia and an assistant lecturer at the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, the University of the South Pacific. 


The School of Tourism and Hospitality Management 

The University of The South Pacific 

Research Seminar 

No.8 

Quality Service Experiences in Island Destinations: Cultural Perspectives from the Frontline in tourism: Preliminary Findings

 

Speaker: Lynn Beckles

PhD USP Student

 

Date: Wednesday 14th December, 2016  

Time: 4.00 – 5.00pm   

 Venue: STHM Tutorial Room

Abstract

The frontline employee is considered critical to the successful delivery of quality tourism services in small island developing state (SIDS) destinations. The study aims to hypothesize the comparative advantage that the frontline employee's culture can offer a destination. In examining the cultural constructs that influence the perspectives of frontline employees in the service encounter, this study seeks to identify the drivers and inhibitors in affect when delivering quality service experiences in the multiethnic, multilingual SIDS destination, Fiji. This qualitative study is framed within the ontological perspective of social constructivism and uses techniques from organizational, digital and reflective ethnography to collect data. Initial findings highlight a multiplicity of culturally influenced factors that affected sense making as management and guests react to the service experience delivered by the frontline employees at the hotel. The cultural schemas in effect originate in the differentiated work and community life experiences of the various ethnic groups employed in the enterprise.

Biography

Lynn is a PhD research student from the University of the West Indies, who is being supervised by Professor Marcus Stephenson (STHM). Lynn has worked in destination management and the airline industry in operations and management roles for over 20 years. Lynn is a qualified assessor and evaluator in competency based training. 


The School of Tourism and Hospitality Management 

The University of The South Pacific 

Research Seminar 

No. 7

Collaboration for Sustainable Solid Waste Management within Rarotonga’s Tourism Accreditation Scheme

 

Speaker: Rerekura Teaurere

PhD USP Student

 

Date: Wednesday 21st, 2016

Time: 5.30-6.30pm

Venue: STHM Tutorial Room

Abstract

Tourism is a major contributor of solid waste to a host country and for small islands that use tourism to develop. Therefore, sustainable management of solid waste is critical to ensure environmental, social and economic sustainability. The challenges small islands face in being able to manage solid waste sustainably is amplified by the increasing volumes of solid waste being generated through tourism. Inadequate solid waste management on small island developing states can have severe impacts on islands ecosystems and on the health of the human population. A significant generator of solid waste is the tourism accommodation industry. Collaborative institutional pressure from participation in environmental networks has shown promise in promoting industry wide environmentally sustainable practices which can contribute to a small islands sustainable development. This presentation will introduce the research intent to evaluate the Cook Islands voluntary Tourism Accreditation Scheme in providing the environment for a collaborative framework for sustainable solid waste management across Rarotonga’s tourism accommodation industry. 

Biography

Rerekura Teaurere completed her BSc in Geography specializing in Environmental Science, a PGDip Sci in Environmental Management, and MSc in Environmental Management from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.  


The School of Tourism and Hospitality Management 

The University of The South Pacific 

Research Seminar 

No. 6

 

Sustainable Tourism Certification: A case study of Noosa Biosphere Reserve

 

Speaker: Cathie Withyman 

Specialist Adviser - Communication

 

Date: Thursday 17th March 2016  

Time: 6.00pm

Venue: STHM Tutorial room (FBE annex)

Abstract

Tourism is the world’s largest and fastest growing industry (UNWTO, 2012). It is a global phenomenon with widespread impacts that are both positive and negative. In this context, there is increasing pressure on tourism providers and destination managers to demonstrate sustainable practices and efforts to protect and conserve the natural environment upon which most tourism depends. Eco or sustainable certification has been highlighted as a key tool in sustainable tourism management (Bien, 2007; Font, 2009; Honey, 2008), but after nearly 30 years in the marketplace, uptake of certification remains low (Dodds & Joppe, 2009b).  The aim of this research is to gain an insight into how sustainable tourism certification is currently viewed, implemented and promoted as a tourism management tool in a biosphere reserve setting. The case study setting of this research is Noosa Biosphere Reserve in Australia. One hundred tourism firms were surveyed and in-depth interviews were conducted to gain a comprehensive insight into the activity system of sustainable tourism certification. Cultural Historical Activity Theory was used as a methodological analysis framework to assist in the identification of expansive learning opportunities from the surfacing ‘tensions’ and ‘contradictions’. The research reveals potential for biosphere reserves to act as learning sites for development of sustainable practices. However, this will only be fully embraced where there is a significant stakeholder engagement. Education and consultation along with cooperation and communication should be clearly focused on ensuring any tourism within biosphere reserves is sustainable and considers the protection and conservation of environment and local community.

Biography

Cathie Withyman is a tourism professional and practitioner with 20 years of experience across of a range of industry sectors and locations. She is currently employed as a specialist communication adviser with the Australia-Pacific Technical College, based in Suva.  Her professional background is firmly placed in the destination management, outdoor adventure and sustainable tourism fields. Cathie has an undergraduate Business degree specialising in Tourism Management from the University of Queensland and a Master of Business Research postgraduate degree from Central Queensland University. Her current research focuses on sustainable tourism certification within Biosphere Reserves. This research stemmed from Cathie’s 10-year involvement in Noosa Biosphere Reserve’s tourism industry as an Advanced Ecotourism Certified business owner. 


The School of Tourism and Hospitality Management 

The University of The South Pacific 

Research Seminar 

No. 5

Examining the Golden Opportunities for the Development
of Tourism and Trade Opportunities between Brazil and Fiji

Speaker: Nick Cooper 

Owner of Ocean Charters (Fiji) Limited 


Date:
Tuesday 3rd November 2015  

Time: 5.00pm 

Venue: STHM Tutorial room (FBE annex)

Abstract

This paper is very detailed in its direction and scope, comprising of a discussion on taking advantage of one specific event to launch what could be a potentially lucrative long-term outbound tourist market for Fiji. The event, The Rio 2016 Olympics Rugby, is running for the first time at the Olympics since 1923, and involving the Fiji Sevens rugby team. With many countries, including Fiji’s neighbours New Zealand and Australia, vying for a piece of the potentially lucrative South American travel market, together with airlines introducing new routes and increasing traffic on existing ones, opportunities flourish. Fiji needs to mirror its current promotional efforts in existing markets in South America, such as awareness campaigns and educational trips, as well as to address the need for conducive visa regulations strategies and airline access routes. The presentation also focuses on examining the importance of sport tourism development in relation to a mega event such as the Olympics. This is not the only sector in South America that has development potential, other sectors include educational tourism, eco-tourism, business tourism, conference and event tourism, wedding tourism, adventure tourism, spa and health tourism. As indicated, infrastructural airline access needs (and concerns) between Fiji and Brazil are critically observed, as well as looking at marketing approaches; indicating ways in which strategies can be developed to strengthen the relationship between ‘Destination Fiji’ and ‘Destination Brazil’. Taking a holistic approach to promoting Fiji and its links with Brazil is essential, not only acknowledging Fiji as a tourism destination but as producer and exporter-with products such as Fiji Water and Pure Fiji, under the umbrella of “Brand Fiji”. 

Biography

Nick has lived in Fiji for 11 years and has owned a boat charter business for the past five years: Ocean Charters Fiji Limited. He has 25 years of experience in the tourism and hospitality industry, both private and public sectors - from industrial catering in the Middle East to Club Med in the Caribbean. He also worked for the Australian Federal Government as a tourism policy analyst in the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources and was part of the team that authored the ‘Platinum Ten Year Plan for Tourism’. Nick has an Ordinary National Diploma in Hotel Management from Scarborough College, a Higher National Diploma in Hotel Management from Blackpool and Fylde College, an MBA from James Cook University and a Masters of Tourism Management from Canberra University. He is looking at commencing with a PhD and exploring possible research avenues, including tourism policy and its ramifications on small island states and developing nations. 

 


The School of Tourism and Hospitality Management 

The University of The South Pacific 

Research Seminar Series

No. 4


The Chinese are coming – is Fiji ready? A study of Chinese tourists to Fiji

Speaker: Sera Vada-Pareti 

Assistant Lecturer

School of Tourism and Hospitality Management

University of the South Pacific

 

Date: Tuesday 13th October 2015 

Time: 5.00pm 

Venue: STHM Tutorial room (FBE annex)

Abstract

Many tourism destinations are diversifying to new markets and specifically to the Chinese outbound market in order to sustain their tourism industry.  For Fiji’s tourism industry, China represents one of the most important emerging markets, alongside India and Russia.  This study is of particular importance for the tourism industry in Fiji, as there is presently a paucity of evident research to determine whether the option for Fiji to diversify to the Chinese outbound market is wise, viable and promising. This study sought to develop an understanding of the perceptions and expectations of Chinese tourists to Fiji, identified and discussed conditions, opportunities and constraints of diversifying to the Chinese market, and how these implicate private industry practices and public policy. It is anticipated that the findings and recommendations outlined in this study will assist key tourism stakeholders and destination marketers in Fiji to recognize and appreciate the importance of the Chinese outbound market to Fiji in terms of its ability to sustain Fiji’s tourism industry in the event of downfalls experienced in traditional markets due to exogenous shocks. It is further anticipated that the findings from this study will also provide tourism practitioners with the realization and acknowledgement of the evident need to regulate the Chinese inbound market to Fiji.  This study also addresses future research implications in terms of expanding stakeholder representation in such areas as retail shopping outlets, restaurants, tour operators and excursions, especially to obtain additional insight and stakeholder perceptions concerning Fiji’s Chinese tourist market.

Biography

Sera is an Assistant Lecturer with the School of Tourism & Hospitality Management at USP.  She has an undergraduate degree in International Hotel Management and Tourism from the University of Queensland, Australia and gained her Masters in Development Studies from the University of the South Pacific. Sera has 10 years of experience in event management, tourism and destination marketing and project management whilst working for various organizations which include the World Health Organization, Tourism Fiji and the University of the South Pacific. Sera’s research interests include destination marketing and diversification of tourist markets, tourism and small states with specific interest on tourism development challenges in the Pacific, sustainable tourism for small islands and states, and the Chinese outbound market with a focus on cultural aspects and behaviour of Chinese tourists. 

 


The School of Tourism and Hospitality Management 

The University of The South Pacific

Research Seminar Series

No. 3

 

Service Quality in Island Destinations: cultural perspectives from the frontline

Speaker: Lynn Beckles

PhD Candidate

Department of Management Studies

University of the West Indies,

Cave Hill Campus, Barbados


Visiting Researcher CARPIMS

School of Tourism and Hospitality Management

The University of the South Pacific

 

Date: Tuesday 6th October, 2015

Time: 5.15pm

Venue: STHM Tutorial room (FBE annex)

Abstract

The service encounter represents the touch points in the customer experience, created by the enterprise where quality value propositions are presented and consumed as financial transactions. In addition to the multiple pressures and the dyadic nature of the encounter itself, several stakeholders contribute to its creation, presentation and consumption. For value in the highly experiential service offerings of the tourism industry, it is purported that human resources be used to create unique and memorable service experiences. Realising this potential comparative and competitive advantage is however challenged by the increasing cultural diversity, evident in the demands of the travelling public and in the availability of labour to the industry. As global travel continues to grow, the impact of cultural schemas on the perceptions the service provider and the expectations of the service receiver provides additional complexities to be considered in the design and delivery of a quality service experience. This research will investigate the perspectives of frontline employees in a locally owned hotel chain in the Fiji Islands. The study first frames the service encounter within a suggested ecosystem for the delivery of the tourism services, identifying positions and roles of select stakeholders relative to the encounter. Within that framework, the study then proposes a model to analyse the perspectives of service quality from the frontline employee - a Phenomenological Hermeneutic Perspective model based on Schultz's theorizing of common sense knowledge. The research hopes to contribute to the development of a culturally bounded construct of service quality and the service encounter.

Biography 

Lynn has worked in destination management and the airline industry in operations and management roles for over 20 years. Her education includes: Diploma Human Resource Management; BSc Social Sciences (Psychology, Sociology, Management); MSc International Trade Policy. She also mentors entrepreneurs and provides business development support for micro and small enterprises in the Caribbean. Lynn is a qualified assessor and evaluator in competence based training. Her research interests include tourism in island spaces; socio-cultural influences on the service encounter; entrepreneurship and strategic business development; and qualitative research methodologies


The School of Tourism and Hospitality Management

The University of The South Pacific

Research Seminar No. 2

 

People-First Tourism: Collaborative Research and Technology
to Engage Micro-Entrepreneurs in Tourism Development

Speaker:  Dr. Gene L. Brothers

Associate Professor

North Carolina State University

 

Date: Thursday 16 April 2015

Time: 5.15pm

Venue: STHM Tutorial room (FBE annex)

Abstract

Tourism has become increasingly important to many countries around the world. Visitors bring much needed income to communities but often with some problems including unequal distribution of income, changes in social and cultural health of communities and the potential for environmental degradation. In many destination settings the formal tourism sector interacts with under-resourced rural host communities in neo-colonial ways; creating representations of the destinations infused with Orientalist biases. In doing so, the industry appropriates local natural and cultural heritages for economic or preservation goals for what is seen as desirable experiences. In contrast, People-First Tourism supports an informal sector of tourism businesses. The goal is to fuel a counter movement through engagement of local hosts in producing unscripted cultural experiences that speak more of what story the locals want to tell rather than of what the industry thinks tourists desire. The foundation of People-First Tourism is built upon theories of self-determination, the subaltern voice, and social capital. Collaborative research has engaged micro-entrepreneurs in defining what unscripted stories they want tourists to hear, and has identified cooperative linkages among entrepreneurs within networks which define tourists’ experiences. Utilisation of innovative web-to-cell technology provides micro-entrepreneurs with access to markets and tourists with unique interactive experiences. Discussion of application to the South Pacific and specifically Fiji Islands will follow. This work has been developed in collaboration with colleagues at NCSU: Dr. Duarte Morais, Dr. Tim Wallace and John Bass.

Biography

Gene Brothers is an academic who specialises in tourism destination planning and management. Current research interests are: recreation and tourism resource analysis and planning, survey research design and implementation, assessment of natural resources, level of service assessment, public participation in the planning process, and determination of limits of acceptable change in destination community development. Recent and ongoing research efforts include Economic Impact analysis of the US Open Golf Tournaments, Pinehurst, NC and analytics for People-First Tourism. Gene has had extensive experience in domestic and international tourism research and planning which has included an administrative sabbatical position at The University of the South Pacific, Fiji Islands (1999), a teaching sabbatical at CERAM Business School, Sophia-Antipolis, France and University of Innsbruck, Austria (2008), as well as research project work in numerous US states, the European Alps, Fiji, Mexico, Belize, Dominica, and Moldova.

 


The School of Tourism and Hospitality Management

The University of the South Pacific

Research Seminar No. 1

 

Researching Tourism in Australia, Antarctica and Asia: Challenges and Opportunities

Speaker:  Dr. Thomas Bauer

 

Date: Thursday 4 December 2014

Time: 3.00pm

Venue: STHM Tutorial room (FBE annex)

Abstract

This presentation is based on a biographical account of Dr. Bauer’s research experiences over the past two and a half decades. His presentation will thus concern his research activities in Australia, Antarctica and Asia, initially focusing on his research in Australia in the late 1980s. The work investigated the reasons as to why there was a lack of German speaking visitors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland to Southern Australia, notably Victoria and Tasmania. Tour operators in German speaking countries were interviewed via a structured questionnaire, which proved fruitful. However, as the discussion will indicate, the main challenge concerned the employment and use of visitor surveys. The presentation then focuses on his research for his PhD in the early 1990s, which concerned an underdeveloped region of tourism research, i.e., Antarctica. The challenge was based on the fact that what was written on the topic largely came from people who had never been to the region. The discussion will highlight the methodological processes involved in retrieving information: desk research in libraries in Australia and New Zealand, and at the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University; a Delphi study of over 30 Antarctic experts carried out via mail; and visitor surveys of their expectations of a visit to Antarctica and their opinions after a visit was carried out aboard ships. The presentation will also focus on research and tourism consultancy projects in Hong Kong, China, Laos, Vietnam and the Maldives, where the presenter will try to cover the highlights of such research activities in an endeavour to expand on the opportunities and challenges of tourism research; which are indeed diverse, unique and complex.

Biography

Thomas Bauer has been involved in tourism in various incarnations since 1971. He has travelled in over 70 countries on all continents. His academic qualifications include a PhD (Monash University), Master of Business in Tourism Development (Victoria University) and two undergraduate business degrees from Germany. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London and is an Adjunct Professor in Sustainable Tourism at Central Queensland University. Thomas taught tourism at Victoria University in Melbourne and at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University for 23 years, and has carried out tourism research in Australia, Antarctica and Asia. Thomas has also been engaged in consulting projects for the UNWTO in Vietnam and the Maldives and has consulted to the governments of Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China. Thomas is also an experienced auditor of THE ICE.

 







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