Degrees offered in English Main Headline

TEd Summit offers window on research by IFTM students

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

Research by bachelor’s degree students from IFTM was once again under the spotlight, as the Institute hosted its annual Tourism Education Student Summit (TEd Summit) on 26 May at the MGM Macau resort. One of this year’s novelties was the in-person event being simultaneously streamed online, meaning it could reach a global audience.

Since academic year 2015/2016, the research thesis/project has been mandatory for Bachelor of Science candidates enrolled on English-language programmes at IFTM. The thesis requirement for undergraduate study helps equip students with the knowledge and skills to identify problems, to monitor trends, and to make informed decisions.

Alex Wu Qitao, a Year 4 student in the English-language stream of the Tourism Event Management Bachelor’s Degree Programme, was one of the undergraduates making a presentation at the 2021 TEd Summit. It was based on the research findings of his graduation thesis, completed during academic year 2020/2021. The work was titled “COVID-19-induced negative emotions and their impacts on personal values and travel behaviours: A threat appraisal perspective”.

“We learn how to do research in a really academic way,” Alex says of the thesis requirement. That includes becoming competent in collecting and analysing data, and presenting the related findings, he adds. “These are all useful techniques” for use in the future, he notes.

IFTM’s day-long TEd Summit sees the best Year 4 students present the findings of their respective research thesis/project. During the event, students discuss their work with panels of business executives, government officials and a selection of industry leaders. The summit – introduced in 2016 – also enables business executives to learn about the next generation of qualified industry professionals.

A total of 44 outstanding papers produced by bachelor’s degree students was selected for presentation at the 2021 TEd Summit. Eight submissions received Best Paper awards, including the one produced by Alex.

Expanded scope

This year’s TEd Summit was the first to invite participation from outstanding students from other higher education institutions in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. During her welcoming speech, IFTM President Dr. Fanny Vong Chuk Kwan highlighted that the 2021 TEd Summit offered an opportunity for Greater Bay Area students to discuss the latest development trends in tourism and hospitality in Macao and the wider region.

Lin Shiling, who attends the School of Tourism Management at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangdong Province, was among the non-IFTM students delivering a presentation at TEd Summit. She did so via videoconference, with her research covering the field of museum tourism.

“As I plan to further my academic studies, I think joining this kind of summit is helpful,” she says. “Scholars and leaders from the industry provided me with practical comments on how I can further address the issues raised in my paper.”

Lin, a student from the Mainland, says she “learned a lot” from participating in TEd Summit. Despite only attending the event via videoconference, the overall experience was still worthwhile, she says.

Student Wei Jie, who also attends Sun Yat-sen University’s School of Tourism Management, delivered at TEd Summit an in-person presentation on a piece of research he produced regarding wildlife tourism. He praises IFTM’s preparations and overall arrangements for the summit event.

“I would recommend other students from my university to join TEd Summit, for actually it is not that easy to have access to a stage where we can present our own academic work,” he says. “I have learned a lot through this summit.”

Ren Jianchao, another participant at TEd Summit who also attends the School of Tourism Management at Sun Yat-sen University, says she was impressed by the quality of the research produced by the IFTM students. “I found that IFTM students are quite practical in their research work,” she states. “Their pieces of research raised a question and found an answer for it.” At TEd Summit, Jianchao presented the findings of her research on “Understanding the Relationship between Successful Aging and Serious Leisure of the Senior Sojourners”.

Educational value

IFTM Hotel Management finalist Claire Wang Yingqi was among the students from the Institute delivering a presentation at the event. Her work was titled “Measuring film industry: A study on assessment framework of film industry performance and impact.”

She says the research helped her gain a deeper understanding of the film industry. “I did research on film associations and the methods of evaluating the quality of the industry,” she explains.

Claire says it was challenging to produce her own piece of research. “Time management is important: we need to plan our progress carefully,” she points out.

This year’s TEd Summit featured 2 keynote speeches. An industry keynote was delivered by the Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), Ms. Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes. She discussed with the audience some of the strategies being considered by the tourism industry to overcome the global crisis impacting the sector, and linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The academic keynote speaker was IFTM Assistant Professor Dr. Yang Jingjing. She talked about how governments, the industry, and education providers can collaborate on tourism and hospitality.

Also delivering a presentation at the latest TEd Summit was IFTM student Tatiana Alexa Ferreras Olfindo, enrolled on the Hotel Management programme. Her paper focused on the leisure activities pursued by migrant workers in Macao, and received a Best Paper certificate.

“My research covered migrant workers from different backgrounds,” she says. “I interviewed people ranging from domestic helpers to airline pilots, and who came from different parts of the world, including either the United States, the Philippines or Italy.”

Tatiana says she found that leisure activities were a way for many migrant workers to relieve stress. In addition, these types of activities also contributed to their social integration, she found.

The educational nature of the TEd Summit series has received international praise. The summit claimed a prestigious PATA Gold Award for Human Capital Development in the latest edition of the PATA Gold Awards, held in September last year.

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) said at the time the TEd Summit showcased the best student research, and proved IFTM had made good on its promise to nurture professional talent. The TEd Summit was also commended for its role in connecting future industry leaders and current key industry stakeholders.

For more information:

Yang Jingjing
Regent for Thesis/Project
Macao Institute for Tourism Studies

Karina Iu
Thesis Project Administration
Macao Institute for Tourism Studies
Tel: (853) 8598-1474