RESEARCH THAT MATTERS
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FT continues to reinforce its position as one of the top centres in Asia for research into tourism and hospitality. The Institute is committed to world-leading research with industry-changing impact.

The Institute endeavours to undertake high-quality research that advances knowledge in the tourism and hospitality industries, and influences their practices. This research produces results that are of interest to academics and students, and that are relevant to the community.

IFT has long recognised the importance research has for tourism and hospitality. The Institute brings together scholars from around the world to do innovative work on the matters of most concern to these industries. This is evident from the growing body of research by academic staff of the Institute that has been published in top academic journals.

We are committed to keeping our research original, rigorous and significant. Our academics have the freedom to decide what topics to study, and whether to study them theoretically or empirically. The Institute strives to provide an environment that sustains research, continuously enhancing its library resources, acquiring more specialised equipment and upgrading its information systems.

The scope of today’s research questions and the resources needed to answer them demand that researchers collaborate across boundaries. IFT is a firm believer in international engagement at every level of research relevant to tourism and hospitality – engagement ranging from collaboration between individual academics to multidimensional agreements among institutions. Each research partnership we establish aspires to excellence, and aims to have the maximum impact around the world.

AMONG THE SUBJECTS OF OUR RESEARCH PUBLISHED IN 2015/16 WERE:

– Destination branding and marketing
– Hotel guest loyalty
– Budget hospitality
– Accessible tourism
– Casino impact perception
– Retail and cross-border shopping
– Cultural and creative industries
– Green events
– Entrepreneurship


THE FUTURE TAKES SHAPE

Our policy research and industry development arm, the IFT Tourism Research Centre (ITRC), passes on the knowledge acquired about tourism and hospitality in Macao and around the globe. The Centre is a prominent endeavour to bridge the gap between academia and the outside world.

The ITRC is a public policy think-tank, serving as consultant to various departments of the Macao SAR Government and working with an extensive network of research partners abroad.

The Centre is committed to doing high-quality research, theoretical and practical, employing best practices. It undertakes policy studies, which are either commissioned or undertaken of its own accord, and does monitoring and evaluation studies. It also gives support to academic research. The Centre regularly holds seminars, workshops and conferences to share the findings of its latest research with people in industry and government.

The ITRC compiles several indicators, including the Macao Tourism Satisfaction Index, which is drawn up and published quarterly. The Centre also releases quarterly the findings of the Macao Visitor Profile Survey, which gives managers in tourism industry valuable insights into the market.

One of the ITRC’s most recent endeavours is the Macao Human Resource Monitoring Survey. The survey is a long-term project to gauge the attitudes, opinions and job satisfaction of workers in the tourism, hospitality and gaming industries.

MACAO TOURIST SATISFACTION INDEX

(index scale from 0 to 100, annually)

OUR RESEARCH SHOWS THAT, AMONG WORKERS IN MACAO:

3.69
AVERAGE JOB SATISFACTION RATING IN 2015

Average job satisfaction, as rated by employees on a scale of 1 to 5, was higher among those not working shifts


2.72
AVERAGE JOB STRESS RATING IN 2015

Average job stress, as rated by employees on a scale of 1 to 5, has been falling since 2013, when it was 2.78 points


3.25
AVERAGE NUMBER OF YEARS SPENT IN A JOB

The probability of an employee leaving increases steeply after 39 months in a particular job

Source: ITRC Macao Human Resource Monitoring Survey

UNTAPPED INFORMATION


Leonardo ‘Don’ Dioko
Director of the IFT Tourism Research Centre


“There are still a lot of research areas to be covered in tourism,” says Professor Dr. Leonardo Dioko. He says this gives IFT academics the chance to do research that can have a positive impact.

Dr. Dioko, known to many as Don, has been involved in a number of public policy research projects that the Macao SAR Government has commissioned IFT to undertake since 2007. These projects cover a variety of aspects of tourism, including the limits to the numbers of tourists that Macao can cope with, and the sustainability of tourism.

He holds a PhD degree in Business Organisation and Management from the ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon, in Portugal. Dr. Dioko teaches courses on tourism, and hospitality marketing and management. His research interests include destination branding and tourism marketing, and travel behaviour and psychology; he is also interested in the impacts of rapid tourism growth and in tourism sustainability.

Dr. Dioko believes there are many opportunities for IFT to contribute to research on tourism and hospitality. “We are beginning to see some areas of research excellence,” he says.

SPIRIT OF SHARING

IFT is an important venue for international conferences attended by specialists in tourism and hospitality. Such events make IFT more conspicuous in the academic world, are a showcase for the latest achievements of our faculty and research staff, and promote exchanges among experts from all over the globe.

Top academics, leaders of industry and other authorities on tourism gathered in October 2015 on IFT’s new campus on Taipa for the “Tourism 20:20” International Symposium. The event reviewed the development of tourism over the past 20 years and looked at the challenges the industry faces over the next 20 years.

Some 120 people from more than 10 countries and regions attended the Symposium. They included the guest of honour, World Tourism Organization Secretary-General Dr. Taleb Rifai; Pacific Asia Travel Association Chief Executive Mr. Mario Hardy; and Asia Pacific Tourism Association Chairman Dr. Yeong-Hyeon Hwang.

The Symposium was another of the events held to mark the 20th anniversary of IFT. It was organised by the IFT Tourism Research Centre.

IFT held the 3rd International Conference on Events (ICE2015) in September 2015. The theme of the conference was “Making Waves in Macao”. About 70 delegates from 14 countries and regions took part in the 3-day event. They examined a variety of modern aspects of research into festivals and other events.

ICE2015 was one of a series of events held to mark the 20th anniversary of IFT. The conference had never before been held outside the United Kingdom.

The conference was mainly academic, but a panel of executives in the tourism industry contributed, including the head of a Macao integrated resort operator, MGM China Holdings Ltd Chief Executive Grant Bowie.

ICE2015 was co-organised by IFT and Bournemouth University in England.

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COUNTRIES OR REGIONS

Research papers by IFT academics were featured in 2015/16 at numerous international conferences held in different parts of the world