How do tourism and hospitality students find the path to research?

Ksenia Kirillova, Wai Ching Au

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study is to understand how the undergraduate students of tourism and hospitality find their way to research. This is done by focusing on their thesis experience. We observe that the existing literature disproportionally focuses on research experience of STEM undergraduate students in spite of the fact that research skills are becoming very important for advanced careers in management, including tourism and hospitality. By applying the touchpoint theory, we set up three focus groups with both thesis and non-thesis undergraduate students (N = 21). We have developed a four-quadrant framework consisting of nine touchpoints, some of which are leakage points (e.g., research methods course content) acting as negative influences on students’ willingness to conduct research, while others act as injection points (e.g., conversations with professors), or positive influencers. This study offers practical suggestions for university educators on how to design meaningful research experiences for undergraduate students in tourism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-307
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Teaching in Travel and Tourism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • dissertation
  • perceived benefits
  • self-efficacy
  • touchpoint
  • tourism thesis
  • Undergraduate research experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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