Student and staff news

TOUR Victoria Newsletter

The Tourism Management Group produces a newsletter 2-3 times a years with current and past news of students, staff and stakeholders.

The latest edition TOUR Victoria April 2019 is available as an e-newsletter. 

Past editions of the newsletter are available on the Tourism Newsletter pages.

BCom TOUR Major inaugural orientation event

As part of the university’s orientation week, the Tourism Management Group hosted a welcome event for our new students. This provided students with the opportunity to get to know their classmates and the tourism group in an informal setting before the lecture routine begins.

In addition, current tourism students Fraser Tait, Laura Kuepper and Diana Kham designed and delivered ‘kickstart sessions’ about topics that students often struggle with when starting their university career – the university system, workload and time management, and getting connected and involved were highly popular with students.

A recent BTM graduate, Ryan Wilmshurst (Marketing Coordinator at WREDA) talked to new students about how to develop a career in tourism, while Mondher Sahli provided the opportunity to learn more about Victoria’s international exchange program ‘Victoria Abroad’.

Feedback from our newest members of the tourism family was positive, with one student saying ‘It was the best orientation I've been to! Great to meet the staff and the environment was really inviting. Everyone was so friendly and the food was amazing!’, and another highlighted that ‘the interactive sessions were a great way to learn something new or get some advice’.

Introduction of the new BCom Major in Tourism Management

From 2019 onwards, our Bachelor of Tourism Management (BTM) will be closed to new enrolments to be replaced with a Tourism Management Major within the Bachelor of Commerce. We are very excited about this change, as it allows our students to align their qualifications better with what the tourism industry is looking for, adding a broad-based commerce knowledge alongside our specialist and redesigned tourism courses.

After extensive consultation with the Tourism Management Advisory Group, current and past students, VUWSA, Victoria Careers and Employment, Student Learning, Toihuarewa and other stakeholders, we are proud to now introduce our new programme. This builds on the success of the BTM and will include more opportunities for hands on engagement with the industry, a stronger focus on sustainability, ethics and indigenous knowledge, and will have a wider choice of 300-level electives. Moving to a major within the BCom will also allow our students far greater flexibility in their degree, as it allows for a second major and will make it much easier to combine tourism management with a range of other subject areas.

In the first year, students will now take ‘Introduction to Tourism’ and ‘Tourism Trends’, providing them with a solid understanding of the tourism industry before focusing on the management of tourists (‘Tourist Behaviour’), tourist destinations (‘Tourist Destination Management’) and tourism businesses and organisations (‘Tourism Organisations’) in their second year. The third and final year will then include the choice of either the ‘Tourism Practicum’ or a ‘Tourism Live Project’ in direct consultation with industry stakeholders, complemented by a range of electives that allow for the development of specialist skills and career paths.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the programme director for the BCom Tourism Management major, Dr Ina Reichenberger, if you have any questions about the new BCom Tourism Management major

Critical apprehension, investigation and ethics are the focus of a new postgraduate degree

We have redesigned the Bachelor of Tourism Management (HONS) / Master of Tourism Management degree to reflect changes in knowledge, demand, tertiary trends, consultation with industry and students.

Focus is given to graduate employability, broadening knowledge, research skills and understanding the complexity of a real tourism business through the necessary higher order critical thinking and problem solving skills in tourism management with academic knowledge.  A new emphasis is placed on morality and ethics through the consideration of trades offs of rights and responsibilities.

The new programme replaces TOUR 410 Dissertation to become a 30pt course mirroring similar courses on the BCom (Hons) thus bringing synergy of learning for Commerce and Tourism within the School of Management. The introduction of a generic research methods course integrates with other business programmes.

New papers, such as TOUR 404 Advanced Tourism Management recognise concepts, philosophies and practices to the business of tourism through recognition of what tourism should and how it is managed. TOUR417 Managing Destination Performance is designed to provide students with advanced insight into international business using appropriate measurement tools addressing economic significance and social and environmental impacts.

In order to create a real authentic learning environment, several papers focus on the business of tourism in collaboration with stakeholders. TOUR 416 Sustainable Tourism Study Tour is a field trip across  New Zealand exploring the issues, problems and management whereas TOUR405 Tourism Futures Project uses a problem-based learning approach to examine critical contemporary issues shaping the future. TOUR416 Tourism Internship involves completing an agreed project negotiated for a tourism organisation, whether public, business or voluntary sectors.

For further details  explore the new MTM web pages or contact Associate Professor Ian Yeoman

Zealandia Summer Scholarship Project

Undergraduate tourism student, Christopher Joyce, was awarded Summer Research Scholarship and joined a research project, “Understanding sanctuary visitors’ motivations, experiences and behavioural intention”.

Nature-based attractions are under growing pressure to present a wholesome nature-based experience whilst maintaining the quality of the natural environment being consumed by visitors. As the demand for wildlife resources in a protected area is increasing, understanding visitors’ relationship to these resources is paramount in maintaining effective management of wildlife and visitor behaviour. Using the case of eco-sanctuary, Zealandia, the research aimed to segment sanctuary visitors by their travel motivations and involvement and further investigate the effects of visitor motivation and involvement on perceived value of the sanctuary experience and behavioural intention.

Christopher conducted on-site surveys at Zealandia over summer and participated in a series of data analysis. Based on the findings, he developed recommendations for the short-, medium- and long-term strategies of visitor management. The project was successfully completed and the report was well received by Zealandia.

The project was co-sponsored by Zealandia, and the Christopher’s research was supervised by Dr Eerang Park in the School of Management.

Winning a PhD Bursary: CAUTHE 2017

Hongxia Qi had the opportunity to attend the Council for Australasian University Tourism and Hospitality Education annual conference (CAUTHE2017) in February 2017 and present as a PhD bursary award winner. Hongxia presented a paper titled A Cross-cultural Auto-ethnography of the Event Volunteering Experience with supervisors Professor Karen Smith and Associate Professor Ian Yeoman.

The paper was developed based upon a pilot study of her PhD thesis and it explores her volunteer experiences in New Zealand using auto-ethnography, opening the discussion about cross-cultural volunteering experience at international events. The bursary valued at NZ$1,500, included the full conference and workshop fees as well as travel expenses for the conference at the University of Otago. Hongxia said “Attending CAUTHE2017 was wonderful chance to broaden my horizon, network with other scholars, as well as gain invaluable comments from experienced academics to further my research. Winning the bursary is special to me and brings me much confidence”.