Highlights from the Tourism Symposium at James Cook University in Singapore
The Tourism Symposium discusses how the industry can provide excellent service and quality experiences.
(From left to right: Assistant Professor Bona Kim, Mr Ooi Peng Ee, Ms Shinn Teo, and Mr Simon Yip)
At the Tourism Symposium — held at James Cook University (JCU) in Singapore on 23 August 2019 — both students and industry experts alike explored what it means to achieve service excellence and how businesses in the tourism and hospitality industry can create quality experiences.
Attendees included academics and students taking the Bachelor of Business (Majoring in Hospitality and Tourism Management), as well as the Master of International Tourism and Hospitality Management at James Cook University in Singapore. A special group of 12 visiting final year students, and their lecturer, from Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University in Germany were also present at the symposium.
The symposium was organised as part of a management project, that plans conferences and events, by LIVE!BLUE!LIVE! — a team made up of students taking the Conference and Events Management subject in this term.
Taking a deep dive into the theme of achieving service excellence and creating quality experiences, one of the main questions put forward in the symposium asked what we think of when we think of service excellence. Is it being able to deliver on promises to customers? Or perhaps it is going the extra mile to make customers feel special?
These questions and more were tackled by a panel of subject matter experts — comprising of Assistant Professor Bona Kim, Hospitality Business Program, Design and Specialised Business Cluster, Singapore Institute of Technology; Mr Ooi Peng Ee, Head of TTG Global Commerce and Development; Ms Shinn Teo, Senior Admissions & Recruitment Officer at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne; and Mr Simon Yip, Vice President Sales, Asia of Silversea Cruises.
Each of the panellists shared their knowledge and experiences in the illuminating presentation and discussion session. This uncovered interesting insights — did you know that dissatisfied customers are 2-10 times more likely to tell others about a negative experience than a positive one? Other interesting insights include the concept of marketing myopia in tourism and hospitality, and how the strategy for preventing and reducing customer dissatisfaction should be managed differently from the strategy for increasing satisfaction levels.
Following the presentation and discussion by the panellists was a Speed Presentation competition, consisting of a series of 3-minute presentations from a number of JCU students and three students from Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University, on the subject “How can tourism and hospitality businesses in the industry provide service excellence?”
(The attendees of the Tourism Symposium)
The competition was similar to our annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition, where participants are tasked with condensing their scientific research project into three minutes, while ensuring that it can be easily understood by a non-specialist audience.
As the symposium neared its end, the audience was treated to a guest presentation by Professor Kashif Hussain, Director of Research for Taylor’s University Malaysia, who arrived via video call for his talk. His presentation shed further light on the subject of tourism and hospitality, providing learning opportunities for those in attendance.
“The Tourism Symposium was meant to create an awareness of Creating Experiences and Service Excellence as vital to the service industry. In particular, the 3-minute Speed Presentation competition really brought out the thinking caps of students in ways where the industry can promote service excellence,” said Dr K. Thirumaran, Head of Academic Group Business, IT & Science for James Cook University in Singapore.
“James Cook University in Singapore has always been at the forefront of bringing industry professionals to engage with students, with different types of forums to discussing and realising industry needs and wants though our graduates.”
Ultimately, the Tourism Symposium was a huge success. Congratulations to the students of LIVE!BLUE!LIVE! team for a job well done on organising the event.
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