Research Candidates' Projects

Read about some of the topics our Research candidates are currently exploring.


The Potentials, Challenges and Strategies for Developing Oman as an Event Tourism Destination

Although the importance and role of event tourism for destination competitiveness is well documented in the tourism literature, there has been relatively little published research into events and destination marketing. Furthermore, little attention has been paid to the intersection of event tourism and destination marketing. Additionally, the Middle East region has been neglected within the event tourism field. Due to the uniqueness of Middle East, this study will both expand and enrich the literature. Hence, the aim of this research is to explore the role of event tourism in the promotion of tourism destinations with special reference to Oman. Using a mixed-methods research design, the research findings are expected to fill the gap in events and tourism destinations and contribute a residents’ perspective in the existing event studies. The findings will also yield practical implications for tourism destinations managers and marketers to enable them to understand how to use events effectively as a marketing tool to strengthen the overall competitiveness of their respected destinations.

Contact Amal Al Alawi:

Supervisors: A/P Charles Arcodia & Dr Anna Kralj


Implementation of Para-Elite Sports Policies

The research focuses on the Paralympic movement, specifically about national policies of para-elite sports. The main objective of the study is to investigate NGBs and their processes of policy implementation regarding para-elite sports, offering a method of implementation analysis. As its main contribution, the research will provide an analysis of practical issues that affect the implementation of policies for para-elite athletes.

Contact Carlos Eugenio Zardini Filho:

Supervisors: Prof Graham Cuskelly & Prof Simone Fullagar


A Dedicaton-Constraint Based Model of Innovation Resistance in the Context of Peer to Peer (P2P) Accommodation

With respect to studies on innovation adoption-related behaviour, much emphasis has been on the positive outcomes of the adoption process, while limited studies have sought understandings of consumers who do not adopt or adopt behind the mass majority (dubbed as ‘laggards’). This phenomenon is termed as ‘pro-innovation bias’. Therefore, this thesis aims to overcome this bias by providing a more comprehensive understanding of innovation resistance in the context of Airbnb based on theories of innovation adoption, innovation resistance and dual-process.

Contact Dan (Dannie) Huang:

Supervisors: A/P Alexandra Coghlan & Dr Xin (Cathy) Jin


Charity Sponsorship in the Mass Participation Sport Event Context

Event sponsors need to promote their brand in an authentic manner because charity sport event (CSE) participants may be skeptical of the sponsor if they believe the organisation is supporting the event solely for commercial purposes. Semi-structured interviews (N=17) were conducted with event participants to explore how this key stakeholder perceives the contribution of the sponsor in the event experience. Five themes were uncovered:raising CSE awareness, cultivating a fundraising network, engaging authentically, celebrating constituents, and providing operational support.Building on the findings of this research, CSE managers and sponsors should work to share the story behind their partnership while integrating event participants in the development of the sponsorship program.

Contact David Fechner:

Supervisors: A/P Kevin FiloDr Sacha Reid & Dr Robyn Cameron


Tracking Social Media Weibo to Understand Chinese Tourists' Travel Patterns in Australia

Social media posts can be harnessed to analyse where people travel and potentially what activities they perform within destinations. Research to exploit this large volume of publicly available data is gaining momentum, and potentially more important than ever, especially as global tourist mobility has come under increased scrutiny due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. My research uses Chinese social media Weibo to model the travel flow of Chinese visitors in Australia and assess the travel patterns with sentiment analysis.

Contact Jinyan Chen (Emily):

Supervisors: Prof Susanne Becken & Prof Bela Stantic


Experience Value Creation in Heritage Destinations

This study aims to investigate the dimensions, antecedents, and consequences of tourist experience value at heritage destination from a co-creation perspective. A sequential mixed method consisting of qualitative and quantitative phases is adopted. This research finds that: 1) the co-created experience value scale is multi-dimensional with 7 dimensions; 2) tourists co-create experience value with the heritage destination; and 3) tourist experience value positively affects tourist well-being and destination identity. This study reveals the importance of tourists’ role in the value co-creation process during the consumption experience.

Contact Hongbing (Thomas) Zhu:

Supervisors: Dr Xin (Cathy) Jin, A/P Alexandra Coghlan & Prof Noel Scott


Cross-Cultural Consumer Perceptions and Behavioural Intentions towards Adventure Tourism

Adventure tourism is increasingly popular not only with traditional Western markets, but also with emerging non-Western markets. Besides a lack of conformity and consumer-centricity in existing adventure tourism research, there is a strong Western bias which limits universal validity and application. This study explores and conceptualises youth consumer perceptions and behavioural intentions towards adventure tourism from a cross-cultural perspective. In the context of six commercial adventure tourism activities, Chinese youth consumers’ perceptions and intentions are compared to the Australian and German youth market. Findings will advance theory and ready the industry to successfully cater for existing and emerging high-value markets.

Contact Ingo Janowski:

Supervisors: Dr Sarah Gardiner & Dr Anna Kwek


Understanding the Tourism Adaptation System and its Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change Risks

Climate change adaptation is increasingly important for destinations around the world. This is the case in particular for the tourism sector on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) due to the economic importance of tourism and the islands’ high vulnerability to climate change impacts. Currently, there is a lack of understanding how the tourism sector is adapting and how its adaptation actions and development activities impact surrounding communities and environments. However, this knowledge is crucial in order to avoid diverting risks from one component of the system to another and to creating new risks. This study proposes that when tourism is integrated with the local community, any climate change responses are more likely to be effective if a joint approach is taken which considers the wider system. In order to investigate this proposition, this study applies social-ecological systems thinking to find out how the tourism sector of South Pacific SIDS can adapt to climate change risks while contributing to sustainability of the system.

Contact Johanna Loehr:

Supervisors: Prof Susanne Becken, Prof Brendan Mackey & Dr Johanna Nalau


The impacts of coastal tourism development on local community: what makes public participation in the governance of tourism work?

It is tragic to witness local communities becoming victims of the so-called “development” on their own land. This research focuses on the lack of public participation in the governance of tourism development process in the coastal region of Cambodia. Three inquiries are examined: (1) the generic sustainability of tourism development, (2) the current state of public participation in the process of tourism development, and (3) the degree of public participation from different levels of government. The study uses multiple case-study designs with qualitative method guided by constructivism paradigm to explore inductively into phenomena under study.

Contact Kakda Khun:

Supervisors: Prof Susanne Becken & Dr Robert Hales


Assessing Real Economic Impact of Tourism

This research aims to establish the total economic contribution of tourism in emerging economies, using an economy-wide modally technique – Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) modelling. Interestingly, the CGE models can capture the direct, indirect and induced economic effects of a change in tourist expenditure. Tourism Satellite Account's (TSA) are developed, to be used as a database for CGE modelling along with the Input-Output tables. The model will be used in simulating the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and impacts of exogenous shocks (such as terrorism events) on tourism.

Contact Kanchana Wickramasinghe:

Supervisors: Dr Athula Naranpanawa & Dr Shyama Ratnasiri


Sport Tourism Development: Functional level collaboration between National Tourism Organizations (NTOs) and National Sport Organizations (NSOs)

Sport tourism is a lucrative commercial segment of tourism industry and targeted by many destinations. The functional collaboration between sport and tourism organizations facilitates the successful hosting of sporting events, strengthens the process of sport tourism, and escalates sport tourism development. Using qualitative research design, I am investigating how functional collaboration between national tourism organizations (NTOs) and national sport organizations (NSOs) including football, cricket, hockey and Boli-Khela (wrestling) could develop sport tourism in the context of Bangladesh. This study will provide a framework on how sport and tourism agencies work collaboratively for the national as well as individual organizational interests.

Contact Md Ruhul Amin Mollah:

Supervisors: Prof Graham Cuskelly & Dr Brad Hill


Emotional Intelligence (EI), Cultural Intelligence (CQ), and Conflict Management in the Hotel Industry

Emotions play an important role in conflicts and have implications on individuals such as in stress, frustration, burn out and can reflect negatively on the organization in terms of less productivity. Emotionally intelligent individuals can regulate emotions in interpersonal relationships in organizations. Individuals with higher levels of EI are more able to engage in collaborative conflict resolution. Conversely, individuals with lower level of EI ware more likely to engage in greater use of the conflict resolutions strategies of forcefulness and avoidance. Over a decade, studies in EI have shown that EI can be a positive predictor for employees’ emotional skill, job performance, and customer emotions. Furthermore, people who have cultural intelligence will adapt and understand to work with different culture and background. Host workers will have good interaction with expatriates and vice versa because both of them have cross-culture knowledge. If they do not have enough knowledge of cross-culture, conflicts will occur.

Contact Michael Aswin Winardi:

Supervisors: A/P Catherine Prentice & Prof Scott Weaven


Are Host-Children Exploited or not?: Exploring Tourism Impacts on the Quality of Life of Host-Children in Developing Countries Through a Cultural Lens

Host-children, who are engaging in the tourism industry, have been neglected in tourism academia, although host-children are exposed to physical and mental risks and their access to education is precarious. Given the vulnerability of host-children, tourism is often considered as exploiting host-children. Hence, this research aims at exploring the impacts of tourism on the quality of life of host-children in developing countries by listening to host-children’s own voices and understanding it from their cultural lens. To listen to the voices of host-children, data are obtained using visual methods from Cambodian children engaging in voluntourism and children on the street.

Contact Mona Ji Hyun Yang:

Supervisors: Dr Catherine Khoo-Lattimore & Dr Elaine Yang


Renewable Energy Uptake in Tourist Accommodation

The adoption of renewable energy technology (RET) in the hotel sector is low, despite the technology's potential to reduce its carbon emissions. This research aims to enhance an understanding of the hotel energy system with a focus on drivers and barriers to RET adoption in the sector. A system dynamic simulation was applied to examine the dynamics and feedback mechanisms that influence system behaviour over time. The simulation was developed using the structural analysis method, causal loop diagramming with stakeholders in conjunction with theories of innovation diffusions. The results demonstrate that (1) Government policies including $3,000 renewable energy subsidy and small-scare renewable credit training scheme do not promote higher technology adoption because the net present value of renewable is already lower than those from the grid distribution; (2) technology performance is the leverage for RET adoption; and (3) the hotel sector can lead the transformation by adoption RET, rather than responding to a potential shift (which may be slow) in tourist perceptions.

Contact Nina Dhirasasna:

Supervisors: Prof Susanne Becken & Dr Oz Sahin (Griffith Engineering)


The Integrated Rural Tourism Towards Sustainable Development in Bali

Rural tourism has emerged as a result of increasing tourists’ demand to experience rural authenticity. It also becomes scholarly attention since it is believed to benefit local socio-economic regeneration and promote sustainability. However, rural areas are vulnerable to tourism exposure and there might be some obstacles in practice. This study aims at investigating how rural tourism should be implemented, with a case study in Bali, Indonesia. The study will explore the challenges, and analyse the strategies in order to develop tourism as well as maintaining rural sustainability. This will contribute to effectively prepare and establish rural destination management strategy.

Contact Putu Devi Rosalina:

Supervisors: Dr Ying Wang & A/P Karine Dupre


Business Clustering as a Destination Branding Tool for Regional Small Tourism Businesses

My research helps small tourism businesses in regional destinations work together for enhanced destination branding. Regional destinations often face challenges due to their locality and can struggle attracting sustained tourism into the future. Previous research advocates for the use of business clusters to overcome these issues and help regional destinations achieve collaborative branding, but prior to my research, it was not known how a cluster could be initiated in a region where one doesn’t already exist. My research presents a framework on cluster formation, ensuring all tourism businesses have a guideline on working together for sustained visitation into the future.

Contact Rachel Perkins:

Supervisors: A/P Catheryn Khoo-Lattimore & Prof Charles Arcodia


The Future is Now: Investigating Virtual Reality’s Effectiveness as a Tourism Marketing Tool through Presence and Emotion

The association between virtual reality and evoking more intense emotional responses has been a growing area of research in the field of cyberpsychology. This project bridges the inter-disciplinary gap by investigating the VR-emotion association in tourism marketing research where it remains in infancy. We do so through an experiment comparing VR, pictures, and videos of a cruise ship – differentiating the immersive media via the concept of presence, and investigating it’s influence on the resulting positive emotional response to the stimuli. Findings confirm the effectiveness of VR; theoretically highlighting the importance of engagement. The results provide important insights for the future of VR for tourism, particularly in a post-COVID world.

Contact Ryan Yung:

Supervisors: A/P Catherine Khoo-Lattimore & Dr Leigh Ellen Potter


Understanding and conceptualising authenticity in dining experiences using online reviews

The quest for authenticity and authentic experiences has been evidenced in modern society, either as a quest for product purchases, leisure experiences, or true self. In the dining context specifically, delivering authentic experiences in restaurants has moved beyond the core product itself (the food), and increasingly demands the producer-organisation to project its own true qualities to co-construct the experiences. This research project aims to establish the multi-dimensionality of authenticity, which encompasses Authenticity of the OtherAuthenticity of the Producer, and Authenticity of the Self. A three-phase mixed-methods design was adopted utilising a dataset of 1,048,575 online reviews from Zomato Australia, which was subsequently sampled and analysed using an integrated learning approach. A multi-dimensional framework was proposed, tested and confirmed, supporting authenticity is a multi-dimensional concept. In addition to the theoretical advancement, the outcomes of this project contribute to the applications of advanced analytic techniques in tourism and hospitality, as well as offer useful insights for restaurateurs and managers in service-based organisations to identify and segment their consumers based on their assessments and expectations of authenticity, and to understand interactions of restaurant attributes in constructing authentic dining experiences.

Contact Truc Le:

Supervisors: Prof Charles Arcodia, Dr Anna Kralj &  Dr Margarida Abreu Novais


Understanding Transformative Tourism Experiences in a Cross-Cultural Setting

Tourism experiences enable people to rejuvenate themselves when succumbing to the wear and tear of daily life. In some cases, tourism experiences are transformative, as it enables people to (re)consider what really matters in their lives. While research in this area has seen some momentous growth recently, future research is fragmented due to differences in conceptual or methodological underpinnings. My research aims to develop and test a holistic framework from a cross-cultural lens that forms a base for further research in this area. The findings will assist in theory development and inform experience providers on ways to facilitate transformative experiences.

Contact Wei Yii (Mark) Teoh:

Supervisors: Dr Anna Kwek & Dr Ying Wang


Stakeholder conflicts, salience and engagement in the planning and management of contested heritage- A case study of Dongguan Street in Dalian, China

The galloping urbanization in China, coupled with its special political and social environment, have made its contested heritage attract a dramatically increased interest. Due to the different views and visions on heritage, also the unequal rights and power in heritage development process, conflicts among various stakeholders arise, making heritage development a field of contestation. Stakeholder engagement is thus believed to be essential in heritage governance. In order to gain insights and guidelines to assist effective engagement of stakeholders to resolve heritage contestation, a case study of contested heritage in Dalian, China is selected. Dalian is a particular Chinese city, occupied successively by the British, Japanese and Russian Empires for half a century. However, with its rapid urbanization, the built heritage is being endangered, and the colonial legacy without designated status becomes contested. Dongguan Street, an abandoned relic neighborhood in Dalian that was scheduled for redevelopment, but is now decided for some level of preservation, offers an excellent example of contested urban heritage, and one moreover that implicates its possible role in the city’s rapidly developing tourism industry. Through the investigation of stakeholders’ conflicts and their interrelationships, this study is directed at developing a framework that interconnects multiple stakeholders in a mutually beneficial system. It will also provide decision makers the information they need to better govern contested heritage.

Contact Yang (Subrina) Liu:

Supervisors: A/P Karine Dupre & Dr Xin Jin


From second home to tourism enclave community:  A multiscale heterogeneous spatial analysis

Due to the globalization of mobility, peer to peer(P2P) sharing platforms make it possible for everyone to participate in the tourism accommodation supply chain. Many existing studies have investigated the socio-economic impact of P2P rental at regional and local scales. However, the impacts of these P2P accommodations are not limited to locals as they are embedded in broader transnational networks. The purpose of this project is to understand the process and characteristics of transnational rental networks. The enclave characteristics of these P2P rental will be identified, including tourism leakages, power structure (distribution of capabilities and patterns of interaction) and the social segregation of communities.

Contact Yi Yang:

Supervisors: A/P Michelle Whitford & A/P Leonie Lockstone-Binney

Projects from our graduates

Rawan Nimri - Consumer behaviour in the green hotels context

Arghavan (Hana) Hadinejad - Touristic Intelligence: Developing a model on measuring Touristic Intelligence

Mun Yee Lai - Destination food images: The case of Australia and its China Tourism Market

Ambrozio Queirez Neto - Investigating destination competitiveness through customer value in scuba diving

Sera Vada - Is international tourism only a hedonic pursuit that is substitutable for domestic travel?

Christopher Warren - Pro-environmental practice and behaviour whilst staying at holiday accommodation

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