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Webster Students Accepted to Present Research at International Tourism Conference

By Dr. Leslie Klieb

Bangkok is one of the world’s largest and most attractive tourist destinations. It is therefore no wonder that faculty and students in the Business Department of the Bangkok campus of Webster University Thailand focused some of their research on Tourism Science.

Tourism ConferenceLast summer, 2018, former MBA graduate student Rituraj Bhuyan presented his research on the influence of management practices on turnover in a five-star hotel at the prestigious 8 th conference on Advances in Hospitality and Tourism Marketing and Management (AHTMM) conference held in Bangkok. The AHTMM is one of the most prestigious international conferences on Tourism.

Rituraj was helped in his research by then faculty member Dr. Judith McIntyre and current faculty member Dr. Leslie Klieb. At the same conference, Dr. Leslie Klieb presented work in collaboration with a DBA student from a French institution on alliances between travel agencies and airlines. He also presented the work of former MBA graduate Isabel Bauer on acceptable price ranges for 4 and 5 star hotels in Thailand, a finance topic. The latter publication in the conference proceedings led to an invitation to contribute an article to the very first inaugural number of the new Open Access Journal of Tourism & Sports Management, where it will be published in the next few weeks.

Now it is the turn of MBA graduate student Sirilak Khetsoongnoen, whose research (also in collaboration with Dr. Leslie Klieb) was accepted for a presentation and inclusion in the proceedings at the next 9 th meeting of that same conference, Advances in Hospitality and Tourism Marketing and Management. This time the conference is held the coming summer of 2019 in Portsmouth, England. As part of her research, Sirilak did a survey among 300 foreign visitors to Bangkok. By analyzing the results of the survey she found the first decisive confirmation that the image of a tourist destination plays an important role in the satisfaction of its visitors. Other researchers had found indications of this unexpected effect, but Sirilak could unequivocally establish this, contradicting standard theories about consumer satisfaction. Both Isabel and Sirilak will be able to apply their research to their tourism related job. Sirilak is among other things a lecturer at universities in Bangkok for tourist guides. She is also one of the three licensed Thai tourist guides who is certified from World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations.