Two UM studies receive international tourism awards

Jacey Choe, recipient of the Young Scientist Award

Jacey Choe, an assistant professor from the Department of Integrated Resort and Tourism Management, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Macau (UM), received the Young Scientist Award at the Ninth International Conference on Tourism (ICOT), for her paper titled ‘Food Neophobia and Tourists’. Yeongbae Choe, another assistant professor from the same department, received the Young Scholar Award (first place) at the 2019 Pan Asia International Tourism Conference (PAITOC 2019), for his paper titled ‘Designing AI for Destination Marketing: A Case Study of Northern Indiana’.

Jacey Choe’s paper, which earned her the Young Scientist Award, explores whether tourists have different levels of food neophobia based on their socio-demographics. Food neophobia means the reluctance to eat and/or the avoidance of new food. The paper examines the impact of food neophobia on tourists’ food consumption value and behavioural intention in the food tourism. A better understanding of food neophobia through this paper can help tourism marketers gain a competitive advantage.

Yeongbae Choe’s paper, which earned him the Young Scholar Award (first place), describes the development of a basic framework for a destination marketing system in Northern Indiana, United States. In this study, search interests, devices used, and other forms of website usage statistics derived from online clickstream data are merged with visitors’ demographic and tripographic information obtained from a pop-up survey, in order to develop a core analytic model of market structure as defined by three types of groups, namely local residents, no interest group, and visitor group.Statistics show that the process and data used in this study provides a ‘proof of concept’ for developing more personalised marketing systems which can substantially improve the competitiveness of destination marketing organisations. Yeongbae Choe received the Young Scholar Award for the originality of the research idea, theoretical/managerial implications, sound research methodology, and research potential.

Held in Portugal, the ICOT 2019 attracted many tourism experts, scholars, policy makers, consultants, government officials, and postgraduate students. The PAITOC 2019 was organised by the Tourism Sciences Society of South Korea and was held at Hannam University in South Korea. Established in 1972, the society was the first and by far the largest research organisation in South Korea that focuses on hospitality, tourism, and leisure.

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