Thompson Rivers University

Undergraduate Student Research: Q & A with Tingting Li

July 16, 2012

Bachelor of Tourism Management student Tingting Li is researching tour operators' perceptions of how effectively the Canadian Tourism Commission's new program is attracting Chinese visitors.

Tingting Li is a Bachelor of Tourism Management student, majoring in Entrepreneurship. In its second Q & A in a series on undergraduate student researchers, the Newsroom asked Tingting about doing research at TRU.

TRU: Your project is titled, “Analyzing the Effectiveness of the CTC’s Signature Experience Collection: Perspectives of Canadian ADS Tour Operators”. Boil it down for us.

TL: The aim of this project is to analyze the effectiveness of the Canadian Tourism Commission’s Signature Experiences Collection (SEC) program on the rising Chinese market, from tour operators’ perspectives. I conducted a survey for these tour operators online asking their current business status, their perspectives on Chinese visitors’ travel behaviour, and what they think about the SEC program.

TRU: What attracted you to the research?

TL: I did not know about the UREAP program until my instructor from the TMGT 4020 Graduation Seminar (Dr. John Hull) asked me if I would like to work with him and another instructor from New Zealand on the project analyzing the Approved Destination Status (ADS) tour operators. Then he told me that I could apply for a scholarship if I did something independently. Additionally, I can use the final report for the UREAP registered as a course and get credits for it.

Read more Q & A’s:

Rolena DeBruyn, Ecology and Environmental Biology
Ashley Morrison, Animal Biology
Steven Holm, Finance and Economics
Paige Hegadoren, Physics
Tamara Bandet, Microbiology
Timothy Crowe, Microbiology
James Pomfret, Animal Biology
Sara Burchnall, Economics and Accounting
Katie DeGroot, Ecology and Environmental Biology

TRU: How did you use your Undergraduate Research Experience Award Program (UREAP) grant?

TL: Most of the grant was spent on research. In order to encourage people to do the survey, we gave them incentives. And my supervisor and I will go to Shanghai for an international conference on social science, so most of the grant was spent on the conference, including registration fees and travel expenses to Shanghai.

TRU: Are you are doing research this summer? Where?

TL: Currently, I have done a draft for the final report. But we still need to edit it at least two times. This research was started this summer and because I was conducting an online survey, I am staying in Kamloops to collect the data.

TRU: Will this lead to a presentation or publishing opportunity?

TL: My supervisor and I have applied for the Shanghai International Conference on Social Science in August and it has been approved. After our presentation, we will edit the report again and try to publish it in a journal such as the Journal of Asia-Pacific Tourism Research.

TRU: What do you love about research? What don’t you like about it?

TL: I love digging into a phenomenon and find problems behind it. I like the process of gathering information from various literatures and putting them together. One thing I do not like about research is ethics approval. This process requires authority from the school, the tourism association and other related people.

TRU: Who in your field do you admire and why?

TL: I have to admit I have little knowledge about professors in the tourism field. However, I do admire my supervisor, Dr. Hull. He is a very organized man, very smart and efficient. And he helped me a lot during the research.

TRU: What impact do you hope your research will have?

TL: I hope my results can help the Canadian Tourism Commission identify the problems that lie behind the new SEC program, and hope the Canadian tourism industry can develop better marketing strategies to attract more Chinese visitors to Canada.

Read more from our Q & A series on undergraduate student researchers.

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