Research Seminar Series





Experimental Design Research with Extended Reality in Tourism Marketing

By Dr Ryan Yung 
Lecturer, Digital Innovation and Transformation in Marketing
University of Greenwich

The one hour seminar provided insights into Ryan's research expertise (extended realities), and also insights into using experiments as a method, publishing, and working with industry (in both Australia and UK). Some 'lessons learnt', dos and don'ts, opportunities and challenges, from the past 6 years, as well as looking towards the future intersections of the travel industry, method, and technological innovations. This seminar was aimed towards current and future PhDs or postgraduates, early career academics, and maybe mid-to-late career academics who are thinking of getting into this area or advising their PhD candidates.




Searching for an Oriental paradise? Fast and slow tourist experiences in the desert on the Arabian Peninsula 

By Dr Manuela Gutberlet
Cultural Geographer (RWTH Aachen University, Germany) 
Research Associate, University of Johannesburg, School of Tourism and Hospitality 
Research Associate, Bavarian Center for Tourism in Germany 

The search for authenticity and self-transformation is common in natural and human environments. To counterbalance the increased looseness in contemporary societies, people wish to belong to an ‘imagined community’ while creating a new identity. Desert environments provide a platform for contemplating nature and creating a different identity, linking the ecosystem and humans. Different religions describe the desert as a spiritual space. Referring to these concepts within an Oriental context, my research on the Arabian Peninsula aimed to answer the questions: What are the tourists’ imaginaries and experiences in-situ? What is the role of Cultural Ecosystem Services in the desert? Initially a questionnaire survey (N=235) was conducted which was followed by extensive qualitative field research, applying a social constructivist approach. Moreover, local stakeholders involved in desert tourism in the Sultanate of Oman were interviewed. Results indicate that German-speaking tourists are searching for authenticity and ‘the exotic Other’. Their on-site experiences include the sensory interaction with the place, the people and the animals around them, which leads to emotional responses such as wonder and awe, empathy, immersion, calm or excitement. The high cultural and spiritual value of the desert can justify and enhance a responsible, long-term protection of the dry ecosystem on the Arabian Peninsula.  




Innovative approaches to tourism: Insights from CABI tourism case studies

By Ms Lai Wai Ching
Regional Sales Manager

This presentation highlights the benefits of CABI Tourism Cases, the Bridge Program, and indexing publications in CAB Abstracts, the most comprehensive bibliographic database of its kind. CABI Tourism Cases offers a valuable resource for teaching and research in tourism, providing real-world examples that can be used to analyse and evaluate different strategies in the field. The Bridge Program is an initiative designed to connect people in the tourism industry, offering networking opportunities and knowledge exchange through webinars, workshops, and events. Finally, indexing your publications in CAB Abstracts can help to increase the visibility and accessibility of your research, contributing to the advancement of knowledge in the field. By using these resources, you can gain valuable insights into innovative approaches to tourism, connect with other professionals in the field, and maximize the reach and impact of your research.



From figures and tables to actual policy implications: A case study of how to transform findings to functions

By Chayanon Phucharoen
Assistant Professor and Deputy Dean for Research and Graduate Studies 
Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism 
Prince of Songkla University, Phuket Campus

Amidst uncertainty caused by the global pandemic, climate change and geopolitics, policymakers are encountering the unprecedented challenge of optimizing their policy design. This study discusses the role of research findings from multidisciplinary in assisting tourism policymakers. During the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant outbreak at the global level, Thailand introduced the program of reopening the border to international travellers without quarantine with the aim of reviving the tourism sector. Backstage, the intense dilemma between public health concerns and economic revival was sought out issue by issue through academic findings and research; for instance, how to control high-risk contacts, adjustments of physical evidence in the hospitality industry, and pandemic SERVQUAL. Besides the economic destruction caused by COVID-19, Thailand’s tourism business and policymakers increasingly integrate academic findings into their policy development now.  



Residents' risk perceptions willingness to accept international tourists, and self-protective behaviour during destination reopening amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

By Assistant Professor Dr Pornpisanu Promsivapallop
Dean/Assistant Professor, Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism
Prince of Songkla University, Phuket Campus

This study investigates factors influencing residents’ risk perceptions of COVID-19 pandemic, their willingness to accept international tourists, and self-protective behaviour during destination re-opening during the pandemic. Drawing upon the concept of Protection Motivation Theory, and using a face-to-face quota sampling survey of 521 valid responses from residents in a world class tourist destination in Phuket, the structural equation modelling results prove the PMT model is powerful enough to explain risk perceptions of local residents in accepting international tourists when reopening a destination during the pandemic. Furthermore, this study confirms the negative influence of risk perception on intention to accept international tourists and the positive influence of risk perception on actual self-protective behaviour of residents. In addition, the role of risk perception as the mediator between PMT factors, willingness to accept international tourists, and self-protective behaviours is confirmed in this study. The article concludes by presenting academic and practical discussion and implications based on the findings.




Understanding diversity training: The double-edged sword for diversity management

By Prachi Thakur
Diversity Strategist World Women Tourism and Managing EditorTourism Management Perspectives

Diversity is a critical component in the tourism and hospitality (T&H) industry as it influences our interaction and experience during our travels. From an insider perspective, employees in T&H are continually exposed to different people at tourism destinations, which allows them an enriching experience in their work with added enjoyment and fun. However, diversity also brings its fair share of challenges, including communication barriers and misunderstandings leading to poor customer and employee experience. Diversity training is a tool that can be used to equip individuals with skills to manage these workplace challenges. In this research seminar, we will discuss the essentials of diversity training and its common pitfalls. We will also explore areas of empirical research as this topic is in its nascent stages in tourism and hospitality.



Transformed landscapes, tourist sentiments: The place making narrative of a
luxury heritage hotel in Singapore

By K Thirumaran
Associate Professor and Academic Head 
JCU Singapore Business School, James Cook University, Singapore

The position of heritage hotels in place making narratives is not secure, given the challenges of new local developments and larger international forces. This research examines Singapore’s iconic luxury heritage hotel, Raffles Singapore, against the relatively new hotels, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore and Marina Bay Sands, to identify the nexus between the island city-state’s historical and contemporary position in the changing hospitality landscape, specifically addressing the concept of place making as a dynamic narrative.



Creating impact with your research

By Sarah N.R. Wijesinghe
Founder at brijjd

You've done your research, maybe even published your work! Excellent. It's not easy. But now what? How can you create more visibility for your research, the knowledge you hold, and build an impact in the wider community by making research accessible for all. Why is it important to make research accessible in the first place? Join this workshop and learn more on how to get started with and use brijjd to increase the reach of your research and create an impact. We are on a mission to making research led thinking simple, engaging, and accessible and build scientific literacy worldwide. You should join too and help bridge the gap between research and society. 








Neighborhood impact of guesthouses for foreigners in Osaka’s inner city

By Associate Professor Johannes Kiener
Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Saitama University

This presentation discusses the impact of guesthouses in Osaka’s inner city on the real estate market and local community. It approaches this topic through a case study of a company that ran eight guesthouses in Nishinari Ward—comprising of interviews with the company’s director and 30 residents. The results show that by developing a guesthouse strategy that caters especially to the needs of foreigners, the company succeeded to attract young people to the by elderly residents dominated inner city housing market. Guesthouses became especially an attractive choice for landlords with little private capital. However, the impact on the local community was minimal, because of socio-cultural differences and the limited duration of guesthouse residents’ stay.




Sustainable tourism for host-children: Exploring Cambodian host-children's perception of tourism impacts on their QOL

By Ms Mona Yang
Associate Lecturer, Griffith University, Australia

Globally, one in ten children is engaged in economic activity, and 17% of them are engaged in the service industry. Other than economically activated children, it is estimated that more children are engaged in tourism by begging for money and engaging in voluntourism or slum tourism. While children formally and informally engaged in tourism (so-called host-children) have benefited from tourism, they are also exposed to physical, psychological and moral dangers. Hence, research was conducted to explore how host-children perceive tourism impacts on their quality of life (QOL) by adopting visual research methods to listen to 94 Cambodian host-children’s voices. The research discovered that while host-children perceived both positive and negative tourism impacts across five life domains, all host-children perceived that their QOL has improved and supported tourism development. The research explains the paradox of QOL with unhealthy host-guest relationships and Cambodian social norms about child labour. Recommendations are made to promote host-children’s rights for sustainable and just tourism. 



The future of business events or M.I.C.E. industry in Asia Pacific

By Dr Aaron Tham
Subject Component Lead in Tourism, Leisure and Events
School of Business and Creative Industries, University of the Sunshine Coast

Business events (MICE industry) have been a key sector of the tourism and hospitality landscapes across numerous countries, including the Asia Pacific region. Such events bring in large socio-economic benefits, as delegates tend to be of a high yield nature (large expenditure and extended length of stay). However, the COVID-19 pandemic has wrecked the sector, and these are turbulent times in navigating the 'next/new' normal in business events. In this seminar, the presentation will examine the competitiveness of the Asia Pacific region in terms of business events, how the world of hybrid events is around to stay, and what the future of MICE events look like, including legacy outcomes. 




Tourism in Southeast Asia: The origins and impact of an inter-disciplinary book

By Professor Emeritus Michael Hitchcock
Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship, Goldsmiths University of London

Published in 1993 and based on a conference held in Hull (UK) in 1991, this was the first inter-disciplinary collection on the growing phenomenon of tourism in Southeast Asia. The book offers a critical analysis of the nature of tourism as it has developed in the region. It questions commonly held assumptions about tourism both from a western perspective and from the point of view of policy makers. It explores central issues such as the impact of tourism on the environment, culture and the economy, placing it within an historical and political context in order to assess the implications of current developments. Malaysian universities, in particular, were aware of the growing impact of tourism and the book, and asked the editors to help them develop their tourism curricula and research. In 2000, Routledge decided to re-publish the original volume in full. The presentation reflects on the origins and impact of the book and opens the discussion for future research areas in the region. 



Experience design and management in tourism and events

By Dr Michael O'Regan
Swansea University

As experiential purchases (i.e., the acquisition of an event to live through, such as a concert) make people more happy than material purchases (i.e., the acquisition of tangible objects, such as jewellery) of the same value, experience will occupy an important place for tourism and events, which indicates the possibility of creating new attractive tourism and event products together with consumers. This presentation describes how Experience Design Management can ensure services, people, places, performances or even physical goods can have an added ‘experiential’ element.




Spritual tourism and pilgrimage in the COVID context

By Dr Jaeyeon Choe
Swansea University

Despite the devastating impacts to the tourism industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, spiritual tourism and pilgrimage have risen in popularity around the globe, as individuals seek a means to cope with the pandemic stress, anxiety, isolation and even COVID-19 recovery. The presentation will focus on how spiritual tourism and pilgrimage can be utilised for individuals' well-being enhancement as well as community well-being and destination revitalization. The presentation will explore how these forms of tourism can be developed in a sustainable and inclusive way in the post pandemic context



Women's entrepreneurship in the hospitality and tourism industry

By Assoc Prof Nellie Swart 
University of South Africa

Research often portrays women as weaker entrepreneurs in the hospitality and tourism (H&T) industry. This presentation sheds light on women’s entrepreneurial success in H&T by examining four key themes and related success factors: (1) motivations that lead women to become entrepreneurs, (2) barriers they face, (3) strategies, and (4) governmental policies to support and promote women’s success in entrepreneurship. Our findings suggest that financial and legal support, training, political, social, and cultural backing are among the consistent success factors examined in previous studies. However, authors are silent on how the four key themes can be aligned to support women to succeed in H&T entrepreneurship. The presentation provides scholars with a template for future research that starts from the identifiable success factors. In addition, this work also provides practitioners such as policy makers and industry leaders with a better understanding of how to reduce barriers to women’s entrepreneurship.



How to use TikTok for promoting local tourism and business in Thailand: A personal journey

By Dr Singhanat (Kenny) Nomnian
Research Institute for Languages and Culture of Asia 
Mahidol University, Thailand

TikTok has quickly become the latest viral trend that has taken the world by storm with more than one billion active users worldwide. This presentation highlights my personal journey that has utilized TikTok as a social media marketing tool and communication channel. My TikTok not only aims to promote local tourism and business in Thailand, but also enhances English learning for daily use among Thai people. This talk hopes to inspire those who wish to employ TikTok as an alternative platform for tourism professionals and business entrepreneurs.  



To be or not to be in: Is world heritage registration an effective marketing criterion? Perspectives from Thailand 

By Asst Prof Roberto B. Gozzoli
Mahidol University International College, 
Tourism and Hospitality Management Division, 
Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

Since the start of the World Heritage list in mid-1970s, there has been a rush toward registration of a variety of cultural sites. While those registrations are seen as a boost within each country, nationalistic pride connected to such registration is only one side of the coin. In fact, it has been assumed that being part of the World Heritage list would propel those sites within the international arena, using the UNESCO logo as a marketing tool. The reality in many parts of the world shows that the UNESCO brand is not that important for a tourism increase to those sites, but other elements are on play. Thai World heritage sites are here discussed about such a contradiction, but one site in particular will be considered: The site of Ban Chiang, in Udon Thani province, in the Northeast Thailand, a prehistoric site that was registered in 1992, but it has never been able to develop as tourism attraction.



Don't rush to say YES: Understanding tourist decision-making when facing scams

By Ding Xu, Carter
PhD Candidate, College of Business, Law and Governance, James Cook University

Exploring how tourists respond to and comply with scams sheds light on tourist safety and security. To achieve that, one needs to understand the antecedents to and the psychological processes of tourist decision-making. This presentation will share a quasi-experimental study that replicated tourist scam incidents in an online survey. In this research, prevalent scamming techniques, certain tourist characteristics and experiential factors were examined on whether they can make tourists more likely to be scammed. At this session, the speaker will also dive into the reasons behind tourist decisions, and unveil the decision-making cues, processes and cognitive biases that may occur in an encounter with scams. This presentation may bring some interesting and useful ideas to get away from scams.








Mines where academics can dig for gemstones: A case from a small Chinese Temple

By Dr Tammy Ku Kei Ieng
Lecturer, School of Tourism Management, Institute for Tourism Studies Macao

At the peripheral corner of the iconic attraction in Macau SAR, the Ruins of St Paul are quietly situated at the hill side the NaTcha Temple. NaTcha Temple is often shadowed by its neighbour the facade of St Paul Church except on a few days when the annual NaTcha Festival brings a renao and crowded hive of Taoism music & prayers, Chinese Opera, energetic lion and dragon dances, lively floating parade, other performances and presenting of religious food like suckling pig which is lay out for offering. These forms of tangible and intangible cultural heritage have been explored by researchers of the Institute for Tourism Studies in Macao in an attempt to document and preserve these elements of living culture. Paths about discovery of NaTcha gems will be shared and authors' cooperation with different stakeholders at NaTcha Temple increased authors' knowledge about culture whilst the rewards are not simply scholastic but friendship. This research seminar was based on a research conducted by Dr Ku Kei Ieng (Tammy) and Dr Lianping Ren (Eve), Institute for Tourism Studies Macao.



How do we put resilient tourism into practice?

By Dr Nicole Haeusler
Senior Consultant at Mascontour GmbH, Berlin & Honorary Professorship at University of Sustainable Development Eberswalde, Germany

If the tourism sector wants to give travel a long-term value and future perspectives after COVID-19, we need a new, holistic strategic approach for destinations and companies that goes far beyond the topic of sustainability and introduces a paradigm shift in the tourism sector. This can be achieved if the tourism sector uses a roadmap which critically reflects upon tourism in all its forms, to reorient it, and to use the regeneration phase during and after COVID-19 to develop resilient structures for destinations and tourism companies. Resilient tourism involves thinking holistically and understanding that competitiveness, modernisation, sustainability and risk prevention are all equal important elements for future-oriented protection of livelihoods as well as the greater good. The successful implementation of resilient tourism therefore requires, among other things, close and coordinated cooperation of the relevant stakeholders in tourism at all spatial levels, accompanied by clear, political frameworks, active involvement of guests and residents and continuous impact monitoring.



COVID-19, Wellbeing and Outdoor Tourism

By Assoc Prof Dr Yana Wengel
Hainan University-Arizona State University Joint International Tourism College (Hainan University, China)

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on tourism in terms of systematic travel restrictions. Furthermore, the COVID-19 virus as illness and lockdowns as preventive measures have put peoples’ physical and mental health under strain. Outdoor recreation is linked to positive physical, mental, and social wellbeing through the consumption of ecosystem services. This presentation will focus on a combination of outdoor tourism and ‘healing tourism’ practices to improve mental health in pandemic/post-pandemic times. Additionally, Dr Yana Wengel will also discuss travel motivation, behaviour and visitor experience of tourists in Chinese national parks. Finally, this presentation opens a debate on ‘healing tourism’ as an opportunity to achieve mental solace through travelling in outdoor areas.




Exploring the socio-cultural sustainability of events

By Assoc Prof Judith Mair
UQ Business School, The University of Queensland

Events and festivals have a range of impacts, which can be short term or long term and can be both positive and negative. Event sustainability includes economic, socio-cultural and environmental dimensions, which are often presented as separate, but are in fact overlapping concepts. This presentation will focus on socio-cultural impacts, which are those that affect the daily lives of those living in the host city / town. Often, there is a focus on the short term negatives (inconvenience to residents, noise and disruption to daily routines). However, there can be important short and long term benefits too, including enhanced community identity and pride, the opportunity to share family time together and training and educational benefits. The presentation will consider ways to maximise the positives and minimise the negatives to contribute to enhanced overall sustainability of events.



Sustainable and inclusive wellness tourism for a post COVID-19 recovery strategy in Southeast Asia

By Dr Jaeyeon Choe
Insita Sustainable Business Consulting, Bali, Indonesia

While the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health are substantial, the pandemic raised awareness of the importance of wellness in every aspect of life. As wellness products have been increasingly sought after, tourism authorities and destination marketing organisations seek to improve facilities for wellness tourism, so as to achieve a fast recovery in the post COVID-19 period. Social sustainability should be at the forefront of any ‘new’ wellness tourism development as wellness tourism often creates economic leakage, tourist bubbles and low-paid jobs in developing destinations. During my field work in Bali in 2019, a research participant told me, “Wellness for tourists? ‘Well…mess’ for locals…” Wellness tourism should be developed in a way that empowers local people, reduces inequality, brings livelihoods, and invigorates local cultures. Peripheral areas, outside popular locations, which often include marginalised groups, should be prioritised. Governments, authorities, businesses and international organisations should support community-based, small-scale enterprises in remote areas to build a more sustainable wellness tourism sector.




Tourism in a world of disorder: A return to the Vanua and kinship with nature

By Dr Apisalome Movono
Massey University, New Zealand

Like most SIDS, Fiji’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism, and as elsewhere in the Pacific, this has virtually collapsed. Very few studies have examined the longitudinal changes experienced by indigenous communities in responding to tourism perturbations and volatility. Based on ethnographic experience, this study discusses findings from over a decade of community-based research conducted in Vatuolalai village along the Coral Coast of Fiji. This study seeks to extend our understanding of how indigenous Fijian knowledge, culture, and livelihood systems establish security for community members. The presentation also discusses indigenous Fijian responses to tourism and highlights how such systems increase resilience and sustain communities despite the many challenges faced due to travel volatilities and the Pandemic. Ultimately, this presentation asserts that a return to the status quo (post-pandemic) must be done so in a manner that considers indigenous kinship with nature as a cornerstone for building resilience in a world of increasing uncertainty and disorder.




Empowerment and social change in tourism

By Dr Claudia Dolezal
IMC University of Applied Sciences, Austria

Tourism is increasingly regarded as a driver for social change, an industry that not only transforms economies but also people’s lives. Alternative forms of tourism, such as community-based tourism (CBT), have thereby become established avenues to give power and voice to residents in the hope of a greater articulation of agency in tourism landscapes dominated by powerful actors. This presentation debates issues of marginalisation, disempowerment and social inequalities in two very distinct locations – Bali and London. In Bali, CBT creates hopes for villagers’ self-organisation and autonomy while realities on the ground are characterised by inequalities and foreign influence. In London, where some of those affected by homelessness turn into tour guides, tourism creates not only new livelihoods for marginalised members of society but also the chance for alternative discourses. As residents gain in power and challenge social stigmas, the power of tourism for social change becomes visible. This presentation therefore aims to set out opportunities for empowerment and greater power on residents’ behalf to shape tourism.




The globalization of Thai cuisine: Migration, tourism and gastrodiplomacy

By Asst Prof Dr Sirijit Sunanta
Mahidol University, Thailand

This presentation explores the growing popularity of Thai cuisine in the global arena. It will critically examine the concepts of ethnic cuisine and culinary tourism and their implications on the consumption of Thai food by non-Thai consumers. Processes and actors in the globalization of Thai cuisine will be discussed. These include Thai migrant communities and restaurant entrepreneurship, gastrodiplomacy by the Thai state, and the competition in the food industry. Recent trends in Thai food consumption overseas will be presented.








Effects on multi-dimensional service quality on desserts and sweet snacks consumption

By Ms Karen Lui Koon Ling
Sunway University, Malaysia

Desserts and sweet snacks are gaining its popularity and its projected growth has urged marketers to understand the impact of service quality on consumption behaviour. The Brady and Cronin’s hierarchical and multi-dimensional model of service quality provided the theoretical framework for exploration of the service quality on consumption behaviour. It could be due to changing business setting and consumption behaviour. Ms Karen Lui highlighted that food service operators should focus on creative and presentable products, which allows picture-sharing through various social media and explore possible collaboration with online food ordering.



On the road to publishing success – Sn editor’s view

By Professor Perry Hobson
Sunway University, Malaysia

In this session, Prof Perry Hobson particularly discussed some issues in journal selection and reasons for desk rejection. He also shared about tips on how to deal with reviewers’ comments and getting prepared for the re-submission boomerang. With a wealth of experience in journal editing, Professor Perry also shared some comments from other journal Editors.



“No, I don’t have time for that”: Exploring leisure patterns among urban Indian youth in Kuala Lumpur

By Dr Sally Anne Param
Sunway College, Malaysia

New ways continue to dominate the way individual and societal identities are understood among those who live in the city. Work patterns, education or healthcare can be seen as important variables in studying the lives of urban dwellers. Dr Sally Param, in this presentation, shared about her research on exploring leisure patterns in the lives of a specific urban-dwelling community, even as leisure is said to be a new identity marker in modern society. Adolescents living in Kuala Lumpur, attending either schools of colleges, and of the Indian community, are the largest target group of this research. Using an age cum ethnographic lens, this paper is an exploratory attempt to capture the values and attitudes of these young people’s choices in leisure pursuits. Regional narratives of leisure patterns are usually devoid of data on younger person’s lives. This paper will address that gap and highlight the lives of Malaysian Indian young people, and explore their participation in leisure. The findings will spark interesting conversations as to where the institutions of family and education are heading in our local context.



Virtual book launch – tourism and development in South-East Asia: An introduction by the editors

At this book launch, guests will be able to meet the editors of “Tourism and development in South-East Asia”, Dr Claudia Dolezal (University of Westminster, UK), Associate Professor Dr Alexander Trupp (Sunway University, Malaysia), and Dr Huong T. Bui (Ritsumeikan APU, Japan). This book analyses the role tourism plays for sustainable development in Southeast Asia. It seeks to assess tourism’s impact on residents and localities across the region by critically debating and offering new understandings of its dynamics on the global and local levels.



On the road to publishing success - Meet the editor, Journal of Vacation Marketing (JVM)

By Professor Perry Hobson
Sunway University, Malaysia

This workshop provides an “Editor’s view” about how to avoid some common pitfalls and mistakes when it comes to developing, writing-up, submitting, revising and re-submitting research articles to journal publications. He also explained how the changes observed in the world of publishing.



Tourism, economic development and poverty alleviation: Lessons from South-East Asia

By Dr Mark Hampton
University of Kent, United Kingdom

It was highlighted that South-East Asia has seen incredible growth in international tourism since the 1960s and the sector has been used to drive economic growth. In this guest lecture, Dr Hampton gave an overview from his research in the region over the last 20 or so years. This lecture discussed the relationship between tourism and economic development: the main phases of tourism development in South-East Asia and whether or not tourism-led growth can become more inclusive for host communities and reduce poverty.







VR the world: Investigating the effectiveness of virtual reality for destination marketing through presence, emotion and intention

By Mr Ryan Yung
Griffith University, Australia

Ryan Yung presented on VR’s unprecedented ability to virtually transport the user. This is believed to be VR’s biggest strength. Yet, despite early postulations about VR’s benefits as a destination marketing, substantial theory-based VR research in tourism remains in infancy. This objective of this study is to empirically investigate the effectiveness of VR as a destination marketing tool, theoretically underpinned by the concept of presence and its influence on emotions and intentions. The results suggest that VR could be more effective as a marketing tool and also provide insights into the impact of key presence determinants. Practical implications and avenues for future research are also discussed.




Wild eats: Nutritional evaluation of wild edible vegetables traditionally consumed by the Orang Asli

By Ms Rachel Thomas Tharmabalan
Sunway University, Malaysia

Ms Thomas highlighted that the significance of wild edible plants may be traced back to antiquity and methodical study are the focus of present food movements to restore culinary traditions. She also further added that numerous studies have been done to investigate cultural aspects of wild edible plants. However, not much has been done to study the macro and micronutrients present in these plants. In her presentation, the indigenous people of Malaysia, the Orang Asli, are the crossroads of a double dependency on food. The purpose of this study is to explore the traditional knowledge and nutritional value of wild edible plants. There are 4 wild edible vegetables which were investigated and documented. In depth interviews were conducted as well as nutritional analysis to help ascertain claims and reaffirm the impact it can play. She also suggested that these wild edibles could prevent various chronic disease especially to the urban populations if they start consuming more of these in their daily lives.




Challenges of responsible tourism in small island developing states: The Bahamas experience

By Prof Vikneswaran Nair
University of the Bahamas, The Bahamas

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are found across the globe - in the Pacific, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, South China Sea, and also the Caribbean. Tourism is a major contributor to the gross domestic product (GDP) of most of the SIDS. Nonetheless, SIDS tourism growth and development are held back by high communication, energy and transportation costs, irregular international transport volumes, disproportionately expensive public administration and infrastructure due to their small size, little to no opportunity to create economies of scale, and also the susceptibility to climate change. The Commonwealth of The Bahamas faces similar challenges as this small archipelagic nation move towards a higher yielding responsible tourism destination. Prof Vikneswaran Nair discussed some of the challenges that is being addressed in The Bahamas that can be a benchmark for all other SIDS and also other countries in managing their island resources.



Expect the unexpected: Navigating through the Murphy's law of qualitative data collection

By Dr Gan Joo Ee
Monash University, Malaysia

Murphy’s law says that anything that can go wrong will go wrong! In qualitative data collection, this could mean challenges of various magnitude. Minor problems like delays and the lack of participants are run of the mill. But major obstacles such as walking into a ‘conquered turf’ without a gatekeeper, or worse, discovering that the intended study is unfeasible are daunting to early career researchers. Dr Joo-Ee shared her fieldwork experience and outline strategies to mitigate such problems, in particular, the use of field experiment as a response to on-site constraints.



Gender issues and opportunities in hospitality & tourism

By Dr Catheryn Khoo-Lattimore
Griffith University, Australia

As a ‘highly politically charged concept’ (Bradley, 2007: 1), gender shapes many aspects of our lives (Burr, 1998), including our experiences as tourists (Swain, 1995). Kinnaird et al. (1994) point out that tourism is a phenomenon constructed within a gendered society, namely a space where gendered identities are formed, reproduced and contested. In her research presentation, Dr Lattimore highlighted on various gender issues that exist in contemporary hospitality and tourism, underpinned by past and current understanding of gender roles. The attendees of this seminar left with an understanding of gender issues, and an awareness of current initiatives on gender equality within hospitality and tourism.



Why we need a national living wage for staff in the hospitality?: experience from the UK

By Dr Shobana Nair Partington
Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom

Dr Partington explained that subsequent to the introduction of a National Minimum Wage (NMW) in 1999, low paying sectors such as hospitality appear to have accepted that the NMW is not a temporary political agenda, but something that will be permanently embedded in the UK’s employment legislation. In fact, since 1st April 2016, the government has introduced a mandatory National Living Wage (NLW) for workers aged 25 and above. These changes, although broadly endorsed by all mainstream political parties, have engendered much debate and concern on the part of employers.



On the road to publishing success - Meet the editor, Journal of Vacation Marketing (JVM)

By Professor Perry Hobson
Sunway University, Malaysia

JVM is published by Sage and is recognised as an ‘A’ (Top 20%) journal by the Australian Business Council of Deans. JVM is also indexed by SSCI and is ranked #76 in the General Business category and #21 in the Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism category. JVM is positioned as an applied marketing journal, and Prof Hobson has been the Editor-in-Chief for 20-years. In this presentation, Prof Hobson shared his experiences as an editor where he talked on the “Editor’s View” about how to avoid some of the more common pitfalls and mistakes when it comes to developing, writing-up, submitting, revising and re-submitting your research articles to journals. He also explained how journals work, and discuss how the world of publishing is changing.



Hospitality and tourism education: Reflections from 25 years and six national contexts

By Dr Craig Thompson
THE-ICE(The International Centre of Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality Education), Australia

Dr Craig Thompson presented on changing hospitality and tourism higher education environment, it is timely to understand how the education system has evolved and to address the challenges faced. This seminar synthesised and evaluated experiences of hospitality and tourism education over the past twenty years from the perspectives of 6 nations. These provide valuable insights into education and its management, and provide directions relevant to the future of the education system as well.




Blue communities – an interdisciplinary project aiming at research capacity building in supporting sustainable marine planning

By Dr Tpr Goh Hong Ching
Universiti Malaya, Malaysia

In 2017, the programme proposal titled “Building capacity for integrated planning through sustainable interactions with marine ecosystems for health, wellbeing, food and livelihoods of coastal communities” was shortlisted then awarded by the UKRI under the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). This programme which is led by the Plymouth Marine Laboratory in UK and involves four case studies in Southeast Asia, has since then been named as Blue Communities. Blue Communities has a total of 12 projects with cross-cutting themes for a duration of four years (Oct 2017 –Sept 2021). Blue Communities addresses issues of poverty, hunger and wellbeing of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in meeting five challenges, which are promoting sustainable harvesting, preparing for climate change, promoting good health, identifying opportunities for growth, and the co-development and implementation of marine planning.




Coastal tourism in Vietnam: Lessons from Ha Long Bay

By Dr Mark Hampton
University of Kent, United Kingdom

Ha Long Bay is located in the north of Vietnam with easy access from Hanoi. It is a land and seascape of over 2,000 limestone islands in a wide bay with the growing coastal city of Ha Long to its north. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay attracts over 3 million visitors each year and is an iconic “must see” destination for international visitors. The lecture is based on an international project led by Dr Hampton with colleagues from Vietnam National University, Hanoi and the University of Bradford, UK. The findings have been published in the Journal of Development Studies. The talk introduced tourism in Vietnam from its origins in the French colonial period through to its recent growth and diversification, moving to the case study of Ha Long Bay. The scale and scope of tourism was highlighted before the lecture’s main discussion concerning the key economic impacts. The presentation concluded with key lessons that can be learnt from this case study.






Qualitative research in tourism studies - fieldwork reflections from Southeast Asia and the Pacific Oslands region

By Dr Alexander Trupp
The University of the South Pacific, Fiji

Dr Alexander’s presentation was divided into two parts, where he first shared an overview of the opportunities that qualitative research methods offer to tourism studies by discussing a range of well-established and more recent qualitative tools including interviews, participant observation and netnography. The second part concentrated on his own experience as a tourism researcher in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Island Region where he critically discusses issues and reflections on ethical approvals, positionality and power relations in the field, the importance of openness and flexibility, the role of research assistants and translators, and the need for research dissemination.



Challenges and coping strategies: a case of Korean TV products influencing Muslim travellers

By Dr Teh Pek Yen
Sunway University, Malaysia

The Hallyu (or the Korean Wave) phenomena emerged in the 1990s, and the term was coined by the China Press after the phenomena overwhelmed mainland China. Since the emergence of Hallyu, Korea has re-marked a new era, producing media genres, including movies, dramas, music and Korean cultures as one of their major industries. Dr Yen also highlighted that Malaysia is one of the countries that is heavily influenced by Hallyu because of popular drama series Winter Sonata and Dae Jang Geum. No doubt that Hallyu has brought about a rapid development of the tourism industry in South Korea. The number of Malaysian tourists to South Korea, particularly those of Chinese and Malay ethnicities. Although South Korea is a largely homogenous country with limited Muslim facilities, South Korea is still a top holiday choice amongst Muslim tourists. A qualitative research has been conducted in South Korea to explore Muslim travelling behaviour and the influence of Korean TV products. At this presentation, Dr Yen shared about her findings and qualitative research experiences, particularly focusing on i) the challenges and coping strategies that Muslim travellers practices during their trip in South Korea; ii) qualitative methodology used in tourism.