Alumni Main Headline

IFT graduate presents paper at major tourism conference in Hong Kong

IFT graduate Cindy Xiao (pictured, left) at the 3rd Global Tourism and Hospitality Conference in Hong Kong
中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

IFT graduate Cindy Xiao presented in June at the 3rd Global Tourism and Hospitality Conference in Hong Kong a research paper on the impacts of travel insurance on travel decision making. The paper was written in partnership with IFT scholars Mr. Billy Im and Dr. Cindia Lam.

The 3rd Global Tourism and Hospitality Conference was organised by the School of Hotel and Tourism Management of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Using as its title “Innovation · Research · Education”, the conference aimed to serve as a networking platform for educators, students and industry practitioners to exchange insights related to global tourism and hospitality innovations, trends, opportunities and challenges.

Work on her undergraduate thesis fuelled Cindy’s general interest in academic research. After graduating, she joined a research project with Mr. Im and Dr. Lam regarding travel insurance purchase: the 2 Institute scholars provided her with continuous assistance throughout the project. Their academic paper was presented by Cindy at the 3rd Global Tourism and Hospitality Conference. She received a conference grant from IFT to attend the event.

The paper was selected for presentation at the conference from among more than 200 submissions received by the organisers. The research sought to study how people in various job categories perceived the need to purchase travel insurance. It involved qualitative interviews, a focus group and a quantitative survey.

The results showed that professionals in higher status job categories were more likely to display a need to acquire travel insurance. The availability of travel insurance also seemed to have an impact on travel decisions regarding high-risk situations and activities of people in different job categories, the researchers concluded.

Cindy graduated from the Bachelor Degree in Hotel Management Programme in 2016. She was a participant in the second edition of the Institute’s Tourism Education Student Summit, held in June 2016.

The IFT Tourism Education Student Summit, known as TEd Summit, is held at the end of each semester. It recognises outstanding research completed by students for their undergraduate theses, and presents in public some of the best examples.

Cindy was a recipient of a Best Paper Scholarship at the June 2016 TEd Summit. Her undergraduate thesis focused on what impact intangible services provided by 5-star casino hotels in Macao had on satisfaction levels of those hotels’ Mainland Chinese guests.

Cindy was part of the first batch of IFT students required to complete an individual thesis project to graduate. The requirement was enacted in academic year 2015/16, making IFT the first higher education institution in Macao requiring all students enrolled on a daytime bachelor of science degree programme to produce an individual thesis.