Thirteen students at Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT) presented their thesis to a panel of industry members for the third Tourism Education Student (Ted Summit) – Winter 2017 yesterday.
The Ted Summit is the final culmination of the research component that IFT’s undergraduate Bachelor of Science students undergo.
The event was conducted so that the senior student researchers could present their findings after having completed a research-based investigation into a number of the region’s tourism industry-related topics.
Four students, who represented the best scholars from the different programs, were showcased at the event and awarded MOP10,000 scholarships.
One of the students was awarded the “Best Paper Scholarship Awards Presentation”. Chan Ka Po presented to the panel his research paper on “Service with a Smile: Enhancement on Customer Satisfaction.”
Chan presented “smile factors” that would boost costumer satisfaction and noted that costumers are highly likely to appreciate a “smile with an eye and teeth movement.”
With 240 respondents, Chan concluded that these smiles are a significant contributor to a high level of costumer satisfaction.
“Some employees and staff just smile like a robot. Customers won’t be satisfied with that smile [so] I hope my research can help them smile better,” said Chan.
Another awarded student Xiao Jing Jin, presented her research study titled “Event Destination Selection – The Case of Macau.”
Xiao’s presentation focused on the local government and hospitality experts’ ideas about the most significant factors in event destination selection.
The Tourism Management Event student concluded that such entities used several criteria for selecting destinations such as affordability, safety and accessibility.
Student Wong Wai I presented a case study titled “Exploring the Relationship between Travel Motivation and Revisit Intention of International Tourists (excluding mainland China tourists, Hong Kong and Taiwan tourists) in Macau.
She concluded that international tourists’ age, gender and nationality would not affect their revisit intention. Wong also stressed that international tourists are more interested in local culture, which she consequently suggested the Macao Government Tourist Office further promote.
Another award recipient Lam Chak Kin presented a thesis on “Impact of Heritage Revitalization Project on Community: A Case Study of Tai Po Heritage Hotel”.
Although his research does not include Macau, he expressed his hopes that the region could learn from Hong Kong’s scheme on protecting heritage sites.
The organizer of the summit, Laura Malungu, Regent for thesis/project at IFT, explained to the Times that the one-day event aims to celebrate the success of its students’ hard work.
“It was included in the [curriculum] model that it would have an end celebration, somehow a means to recognize really good work both in terms of the research quality and the way students were able to create a product that had pure recognition,” Malungu Times.
This past semester, 121 undergraduates have completed this research component and 61 have been invited to present and publish in the IFT Tourism Education Student Summit e-Proceedings.
When compared to the first and second editions of the Summit, Malungu noted that students’ researches have been more diversified this year.
“It’s a healthy growth. They’re trying to show differences. You see this diversity that they didn’t show in the first editions,” she added.
The summit also invited experts from the region’s hospitality industry.
Kris Kaminsky, general manager of Four Seasons Hotel Macao commended both the institution and the students’ presentations and recommendations.
“I think they did a great job, some very interesting topics. Some very difficult topics and that’s inspiring for me. They’re willing to take risks,” he said.
Another industry panel member Niek Hammer, general manager of Hotel Okura Macau noted that the students presented interesting conclusions, especially given the topic and time restrictions.
Hammer expressed his hope that the students would continue to grow in the hospitality industry.
“The opportunities here in Macau are almost endless. I hope this people take the opportunity to make this business more successful,” he noted.
Furthermore, Fanny Vong president of IFT announced to the press that as of next year, the summit would be held once every year instead of being held twice annually.