(1) Growth or Authenticity? A Difficult Choice for Rural Tourism
Owners of small business accommodation in rural China face a difficult choice over whether to expand or retain their authenticity, according to the findings of a study by Dr Honggen Xiao of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and his co-researchers. In a recently published study, the researchers aim to settle a long-standing debate over whether business expansion is beneficial or harmful to rural tourism businesses, and conclude that entrepreneurs must make a “trade-off” between “enhancing guest experience and achieving economic goals” because growth brings both advantages and disadvantages.
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(2) How Far Can They Go?
Tourism marketers and hotel managers should take account of the distances people travel and offer them different packages, according to Dr Sangwon Park of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and his co-researchers. In a recently published study, the researchers used information collected from TripAdvisor to evaluate how travel distance affects tourists’ satisfaction with the level of hotel service at the destination. They found what they called an “inverted U-shaped” relationship, which suggests that there is an optimum point at which the distance travelled maximises the perception of service quality, after which it begins to decline.
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(3) Bring them Home!
International migrants abroad offer an invaluable market for destination tourism, according to Dr Sabrina Huang, Dr Kam Hung of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and a co-researcher. In a pioneering study sampling overseas Chinese in North America, the researchers recently showed that as more and more people migrate permanently abroad, they are increasingly turning to tourism as a way to retain social and emotional ties with their homelands. However, the travel behaviour of these “diaspora tourists” is as diverse as the communities they come from. The researchers suggest that understanding the tourism needs of different generations of migrants can help destination marketers to attract as many homecoming migrants as possible.
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(4) A Globetrotting Generation
With globalisation and the rise of digital technology, “keeping up with the Joneses” is becoming harder than ever before. In a recently published study, MSc graduate Ms Lauren Siegel and Dr Dan Wang of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University show that for the Internet-savvy Generation Y, travel experiences shared online have replaced material goods as a form of social currency. New approaches to destination marketing are needed if tourism is to realise its potential in the information age.
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(5) Softly, Softly, Anime Fans are Drawn to Japan
The popularity of anime, Japanese animated television shows and films, is motivating Hong Kong fans to visit Japan in a powerful example of cultural “soft power”, argue Ph.D. graduate Dr Elizabeth Agyeiwaah, Dr Wantanee Suntikul and BSc graduate Ms Carmen Li of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in a recently published research paper. Focusing on the reaction of Generation Y anime fans from Hong Kong to the Japanese government’s promotion of anime content under the “Cool Japan” initiative, the researchers provide ground-breaking evidence of how and why promoting a country’s popular culture abroad can motivate inbound tourism. Their results understandably have profound implications for destination marketers and policy makers in Japan and beyond.
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(6) Food for Thought for the World’s Restauranteurs
Restauranteurs will for the first time have a highly accurate way to measure their financial constraints, thanks to a pioneering index recently developed by Dr Sung Gyun Mun of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and his co-researcher. Although the restaurant industry is a vital driver of economic growth around the globe, restaurant firms are still subject to financial constraints that can pose a severe threat to their survival. Until now, little effort has been made to explore the financial pressure facing firms in the specific context of the restaurant industry. In their ground-breaking new study, the researchers offer restaurant managers a unique tool for measuring and mitigating these constraints, based on the financial and operational characteristics of the restaurants themselves.
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(7) Making China’s Hotels Great
As China and its hotel industry gain prominence on the global stage, more and more foreign investors are turning their attention to this huge and extremely promising market. Chinese hotels are in desperate need of strategies to compete with the high-quality service and facilities offered by Western hotel chains. Thanks to a pioneering study by Dr Markus Schuckert, Professor Rob Law of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and their co-authors, they now have the perfect solution. Based on painstaking analysis of a huge new dataset of TripAdvisor reviews, the researchers show Chinese hotel managers exactly how their hotels are falling short of international standards, and what they can do to close the gap.
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(8) PolyU Tripartite Hospitality Programme Won McCool Breakthrough Award
The Master of Science in Global Hospitality Business (MGH) programme was selected as the McCool Breakthrough Award recipient for 2020 by the International Council of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (I-CHRIE), the world’s largest organisation of hospitality and tourism educators, for its innovative approach of this graduate degree programme. The tripartite programme is jointly offered by the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, École hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) in Switzerland and the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston (UH) in the USA.
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(9) Fragrant Memories in the Making
Hotels that use scent aim to capitalise on its ability to “cue memories and conjure up emotions”, according to Professor Basak Denizci Guillet, Dr Deniz Kucukusta of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and a co-researcher, yet little is known about how guests respond to the diffusion of various scents throughout hotels. The researchers thus explored customers’ responses to scent and how hotels can best make use of it to create positive experiences and build brand loyalty. They found that scent was indeed conducive to guest enjoyment, but only when not overused.
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(10) Renowned hotelier Mr Robert H. Burns honoured with PolyU’s SHTM Lifetime Achievement Award
The School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) is privileged to announce that Mr Robert H. Burns, Founder of Regent International Hotels, is bestowed the prestigious SHTM Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020 and is inducted into the School’s famed Gallery of Honour at the same time.
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