MA Tourism Management Graduate Research Projects

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    Sustainable elements of the backpacker experience
    (2014-07-15) Knowles, Heather
    The aim of this paper is to explore how environmental practices contribute to the backpacker experience at hostels. Discovery of what environmental practices positively or negatively affect the backpacker experience will help when developing sustainable management strategies for hostels. There is a variety of material and academic studies regarding “green” tourism practices, however, to date, little research has been completed regarding the backpacker experience and environmental practices of hostels. The material presented in this literature review represents the backpacking experience on an international scale as well as important characteristics of sustainable tourism trends. This applied research project used a mixed method approach including the use of quantitative and qualitative research measurements. The quantitative research helped to identify the positive and negative elements of the backpacker experience at hostels. Data collection for the qualitative research was completed through a semi-structured telephone interview with a sample size of four experts in sustainable practices and hostels. A key element for the data collection was the conceptual framework of the European Customer Satisfaction Model (ECSI) model. This model indicated how sustainable elements can influence the backpacker experience depending on the designated technical or functional purpose of the sustainable practice. The outcomes of the research including the finding that functional elements have a larger influence on the backpacker experience are presented in an adapted ECSI model. Additionally, the data produced a list of the critical success factors required for the implementation of sustainable practices at hostel location.
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    The role of women in travel services in British Columbia
    (2014-03-18) Westcott, Morgan
    According to a CTHRC online article, in less than twenty years “the potential labour shortage in tourism could reach a staggering 348,000 full-year jobs” (Canadian Tourism Human Resources Council, 2008a, ¶ 1). Women represent the majority of this labour force, and yet the issue of attracting, training, and retaining women as workers with unique needs has not been discussed either provincially or nationally. Despite the preponderance of women working in this part of the tourism industry, no study has sought to understand ways to increase, or enhance, the participation of women in travel services. This study attempts to fill a knowledge gap in this area by quantitatively and qualitatively examining the role of women travel services in British Columbia. As a result of a survey with over 250 working British Columbian female travel services professionals, and 26 leaders of both genders in the provincial industry, several key themes were identified and recommendations made relating to achieving a vision of British Columbia’s travel services is a progressive, inclusive, and flexible career choice. These include having women play an active and strategic role in their travel services careers, providing increased compensation and compensory measures (such as flex time and child care), creating opportunities for women to transition to positions of influence, and implementing provincial programs relating to mentorship.