A Review of the 19th International Hospitality and Tourism Research Conference Switzerland

Following trends is important in the hospitality and tourism industry, therefore the 19th International Hospitality and Tourism Research Conference addressed the topics of work-life balance, developments in hospitality research educational curriculum as well as trends in leadership management and feminisation over the two-day period from the 16th to the 17th November 2017. The conference addressed the main theme of “Making a difference in hospitality and tourism practice”, which focused on contributions of managers and leaders to an ever-changing landscape within the hospitality and tourism industry and a tapestry of issues they might need to face in the future.

Over the two days, the conference brought together leading researchers from across Europe, HTMi faculty and HTMi students, to discuss issues facing hospitality and tourism. Contributions were made by participants from over thirty nationalities.

On the first day, five presentations were delivered by invited keynote speakers and guest presenters. Mr Robert McKenna shared with the audience the practices of enhancing and developing research skills employed at the Ulster University. In addition to a discussion of the current academic curriculum several online platforms designed to to stimulate student team/peer work have been introduced.

Next, Ms Hoa Tran one of the ex- Research Centre assistants at the HTMi, invited speaker presented us with the current issues in work-life balance of international employee in Vietnam, Hanoi. Whereas, one of the major highlights of the complete research has obviously been influenced by cultural factor.

Ms Sofia Anisimova, the hospitality entrepreneur, invited guest presenter has introduced manipulation techniques used currently at the organisation she is managing as well shared with her own experience on the matter of the importance of scripts used at the customer services line of the tour operator.

Opening the afternoon session, Mr Bernie Quinn from the Queen Margaret University of Edinburgh, has introduced his work titled “Families, the Feminisation of Labour and Cardamom Farming in Eastern Nepal”, where the potential for rural collectives in Nepal and education as a route forward was explored.

In the latter part of the first day, Ms Celine Ryan, a lecturer of Shannon College of Hotel Management, has shared with her unique view on the effective leadership techniques, providing a comparison of modern leadership role-model with major greek historical figure, Alexander The Great.

The second day of the conference was opened by a workshop from Ms. Pia Stassen, a Talent Development professional, specifically designed for students enrolled on Diploma level (second year/semester).

The remainder of the day was dedicated to HTMi student presentations, exploring aspects of emotional intelligence, cultural difference, leader-follower relationships in the hospitality industry, the role of CSR, experience creation and tourism development, just to mention a few. These papers reflected the ongoing quality and diversity of hospitality, leadership, change management, tourism and educational research, which HTMi sponsors to assist the industry.

Overall, the conference was an inspiring and thought-awakening event and provided many opportunities for discussion and networking among invited guests, HTMi faculty and students. The 20th IHTRCS Conference will take place in April 2018.