STHM postgraduate students Ilisapeci Matatolu, Balbir Singh, and Eileen Yai after presenting their research.
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM) recently launched a new format for critical discussions of Postgraduate student projects.
The STHM Postgraduate research colloquium, which was initiated by Senior Lecturer and Postgraduate programme leader, Dr Alexander Trupp, provides a platform for presenting, sharing and discussing research ideas, conceptual and theoretical foundation, and methodological thoughts as well as more developed research outputs to an open and friendly yet constructive-critical audience.
Three (3) students of STHM’s Master of Commerce programme in Tourism and Hospitality Management presented and discussed their research with an interdisciplinary audience in the fields of Tourism, Geography, History, and Development Studies.
Student, Eileen Yai’s presentation on dark tourism discussed the case study of ‘Battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands’ in order to examine future prospects of developing this form of travel as a potential niche market.
The research project, ‘Quality of life and tourism in Fiji Islands: A case study of a rural Fijian village’ by another student, Ilisapeci Matatolu, is styled along an ethno-graphic approach and examines how the river safari tour has affected the quality of life of residents of a local village.
The third presentation by student, Balbir Singh explored the perceptions of tourism mobility and immobility of Fijians of Indian descent at the Northwest region of Viti Levu in Fiji. Sequential explanatory design guides the mixed method approach in this research study and highlights tourism mobility/immobility in relation to rural communities.
Dr Trupp said that the topics of the research projects reflect the diversity of the School’s research portfolio, adding that, “both student presentations and audience discussions were of excellent quality.”
Those students who presented benefitted from the constructive feedback to develop their research projects.
Head of STHM Professor Marcus Stephenson said that, Dr Trupp’s initiative, with full support of the students, was very productive and informative.
“Students’ research should produce fruitful findings, once finalised. The scope of tourism research in this region is phenomenal,” Professor Stephenson said.
Research colloquia at STHM will take place on a regular basis.
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