IFT and BU co-edited a special issue on IJEFM

Ubaldino Couto, Lecturer in Events at the Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT) and Julie Whitfield, Senior Lecturer in Conference & Events Management from Bournemouth University, U.K. (BU) edited a Special Issue on Emerging Issues in Festivals and Events in the Asia Pacific the International Journal of Event and Festival Management (IJEFM). This is another fruitful collaboration following Making Waves in Macao: The 3rd International Conference on Events in which IFT and BU co-organised on 9 September 2015. The special issue is available for download from Emerald.



ITRC-IFT and Leeds Metropolitan University (UK) begin joint study on impacts of cultural festivals

ITRC-IFT has embarked on a joint research project with the International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality (ICRETH) at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK.

Titled The impact of cultural festivals on attaining community and societal objectives in highly touristified urban destinations – a Macau case study, the project aims to further understand the potential of festivals and events in achieving social goals especially in the context of high tourist visitation destinations such as Macau. The proposed research will contribute two major aspects to the study of events and its impact on tourism and community issues in Macau. First, the study creates a tool to assess the extent of attitudinal changes among Macau residents and visitors that result after attending a cultural event. Second, the study sheds light on how this change takes place and the underlying reasons. The project has strong academic and policy implications as it underscores the importance of protecting the intangible heritage of Macau. Besides, the research also informs policymakers the opportunities of meeting social goals that are brought forth by festivals and events.

ICRETH is one of the leading and most recognised research institutes in event management. Dr. Emma Wood is Reader in festival and events marketing. She has extensive experience in marketing and impacts of events. She is currently the Chair of the Event Marketing SIG in the Academy of Marketing. Dr. Wood will be working with Mr. Ubaldino Couto, Lecturer in Events, IFT, who will lead this joint research undertaking with ICRETH on behalf of ITRC. Enquiries can be directed to dino@ift.edu.mo.  

International Conferences

The 5th International Conference on Destionation Branding and Marketing (DBM-V)

The DBM-V will take place during 3 to 5 December 2014 at Macao S.A.R., China, which will be hosted by the Institute for Tourism Studies, Macao (IFT), which founded the DBM Series of Conference together with its close partners in 2005. The DBM Conference Series features the participation of many of the leading scholars and practitioners of this budding field and we can expect this again and more for DBM-V. For more information, please see attached call for papers and in the conference page: http://www.ift.edu.mo/dbm-v.

DBM-V is co-organized with the University of South Carolina, College of Hospitality Retail and Sport Management, the Welsh Centre for Tourism Research and the University of Surrey.


The 7th International COnference on Services Management (ICSM-7)

 The ICSM-7 will take place between 10 and 12 December 2014 at Macao S.A.R., China, and will be hosted by the Institute for Tourism Studies, Macao (IFT). ICSM features the participation of many scholars and practitioners in the services management and marketing field and this year’s theme, “Managing and Delivering Services in the Asian Century,” is particularly pertinent because it will be the first time that ICSM will be held in the East Asia region. For more information, please see attached call for papers and the conference page: http://www.ift.edu.mo/icsm-7.

ICSM-7 is co-organized by IFT with the Oxford School of Hospitality Management (Oxford Brookes University), the Institute for International Management and Technology (IIMT), India, and Virginia Tech Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Visiting scholars

IFT provides research grants, exchange, and residence opportunity for overseas scholars to conduct research in Macao, under its Residential Research Grants (RRG) Program. Visiting or RRG Scholars collaborate with IFT researchers on topics relevant to Macao tourism, gaming industry, event management, heritage, cultural and hotel management, among others. Below are a selection of the RRG's previous beneficiaries and briefs about their joint research activities with IFT.

Dr Edmund Wu, Sun Yat-sen University, China

RRG Scholar in residence at IFT June-August 2013


Dr. Wu was in residence from June until August 2013. The research which he undertook with ITRC colleagues Ms. Joey Sou and Ms. Wendy Tang was entitled "Independent Component Analysis - Seasonal Auto Regressive Integrated Moving Average (ICA-SARIMA) Models for Tourist Arrival Forecasting in Macao". During his residence Dr. Wu had held two seminars related to his research at IFT namely the "Models for Tourist Arrival Forecasting in Macao" and the “Time Series and Multivariate Regression Modeling Techniques for Tourism Demanding Forecasting”. Dr. Wu is Lecturer in Information Systems and Business Statistics at the School of Tourism Management at Sun Yat-sen University, China, and holds a Phd in Financial Statistics and MPhil in Mathematics and Data Mining from the University of Hong Kong. He was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow at the SHTM, Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Dr Moon Fai Chan

National University of Singapore

RRG Scholar in residence at IFT November-December 2013


Dr. Moon Fai Chan was in residence from November to December 2013 and worked together with IFT's Dr. Anthony Wong on a project entitled  “Examining institutional students’ attitudes towards, perceived benefits, and supports of casino gaming development in Macao and Singapore”. During his residence, Dr. Chan delivered a guest lecture on Quantitative Analysis to IFT students as well as a public seminar about the implications of his research. Dr. Moon Fai CHAN is Associate Professor from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine of the National University of Singapore. A dedicated educator with nearly 13 years of experience in statistics and research methods, much of his work focused on statistical modeling, health education and organizational management.

Visitor profiles & segments dashboard (MTSI)

Updated 4 January 2015


Place of residence of the interviewed visitors, Q3 2009 - Q4 2014


Length of stay, Q3 2009 - Q4 2014


Primary purpose for visiting Macao, Q3 2009 - Q4 2014


Place of staying during the trip, Q4 2009 - Q4 2014


Source of information most influential in your decision to visit Macao, Q3 2009 - Q4 2014


Average gambling bet amount (MOP), 2009-2014

Average gambling bet amount (MOP), 2009-2014.jpg


Have you gambled during the trip?,  Q4 2009 - Q4 2014 

Successful franchising partnerships: Finding ways to empower Macao SMEs


An international research collaboration between ITRC and Oxford Brookes University, UK.

This project was a two-year study on identifying the prospects and challenges of building successful franchising partnerships in Macao, with the aim of empowering small to medium scale business and entrepreneurs to diversify and innovate. The research had two components. The first dealt with identifying important partner selection criteria from the franchisee perspective and develop an understanding of the cross cultural complexities of partner selection. In addition, it seeks to determine how these criteria influence the coordination and control of the franchise relationship before the establishment of the partnership. The research was conducted within the Macao service sectors including hotels, restaurants and retailing.

The second stage of the project identified and evaluated factors which stimulate or hinder relationship quality in an international franchise partnership. The project investigated the most commonly referred dimensions of relationship quality, namely; i) trust, ii) commitment, iii) satisfaction and iv) conflict. The outcome of the study provided useful insights into different antecedent and dimensions of relationship quality in international franchise partnerships and the project provided crucial recommendations to existing franchises in Macao and in Mainland China, local Chambers of Commerce, and to government policy makers on the facilitation of international business relationships.

Seminars and workshops

Publications and presentations

  • Brookes, M., Altinay, L. and Yeung, R. M. W. (2012), ‘Franchisee Perspectives on Relationship Development: Preliminary Findings from a Macau Study’, Proceedings of 21st CHME Annual International Research Conference, May 9-10, Birmingham, UK. (Received Best Developmental Paper award.)

Abstract. This developmental paper presents preliminary findings from a research study that examines the development of franchisor and franchisee relationships from the franchisees’ perspective. The study was conducted in Macau, a Special Economic Area within China that is witnessing a growth in franchising. The study identifies the importance of both competence and attitudinal related antecedents of trust to franchisee/franchisor relationship development.  Furthermore, it identifies that communication mediates the relationship between the competence and attitudinal antecedents of trust and its different components; benevolence, honesty and competence.


  • Yeung, R. M. W., Brookes, M. and Altinay, L. (2013). Trend of franchising hospitality and retail services in Macau, Proceedings of the 11th Asia-Pacific CHRIE Conference 2013 - Facing the Challenges, Grasping the Opportunities - Winning in the hospitality industry in uncertain times, 21-24 May, Macau. 

Abstract. The underlying purpose of this study is to explore how national culture affects purchasing a franchise brand and the criteria of choosing a potential franchisor from the perspective of franchisees.  It adopts a qualitative interpretive research approach.  Twenty seven in-depth interviews with franchisees across different sectors and countries in Macau were carried out.  This study reveals ‘guanxi’ as an important element of a pre-purchase decision and negotiation as a significant part in the franchise purchase decision within the specific situation in Macau. These two special characteristics related to an emerging market and the Chinese national culture. ‘Guanxi’ plays an important role to create “a need” or “an interest” of pursuing an entrepreneurial activity.  Perception of franchisor support and degree of flexibility as well as long term growth plan help to shorten the negotiation process. This study offers insights and implications for international franchises operating in an emerging market and among Chinese community.


  • Yeung, R. M. W., Altinay, L. and Brookes, M. (2013). Franchising in emerging markets: franchise purchase process, Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Conference 2013 – Marketing Relevance, July 8-11, Cardiff, UK. 

Abstract. From the perspective of franchisees, this study examines the characteristics of each purchase decision making process and the criteria of choosing a potential franchisor.  In-depth interviews with 27 franchisees were conducted in Macau. The interview was tape-recorded and transcribed. A content analysis was performed to summarize data into codes. A number of codes and themes were emerged from analysis. A franchise purchase model was developed to depict the characteristic of each stage. Two key stages, namely pre-process stage and negotiation were emerged from the study in particular true for emerging markets. Brand, product and cost when they are related to market potential are the main criteria of selecting a franchise partner. Implication for franchisors and franchisees are discussed.


Abstract. This study explores the hospitality franchise purchase decision-making process undertaken by franchisees in Macau as an emerging tourism destination, and the role of national culture on purchasing a franchise brand and selecting a potential franchisor. Semi-structured in-depth interviews with 18 franchisees in Macau, who purchased international and domestic hospitality franchise brands, were conducted to understand the feelings, attitudes and motivation of franchisees towards purchasing a hospitality franchise. The study reveals that national culture can play an important role in franchisees’ decision-making process. Personal networks of friends and family (guanxi) are very influential in introducing and steering aspiring entrepreneurs towards franchising as an option to realize their ambitions, although there may be some limitations to franchisees with this approach. Guanxi, was also found to be particularly relevant during negotiations and franchisees’ post-purchase reviews. International franchisors should understand the importance of guanxi at different stages of franchisees’ decision-making process. Franchisees should realize how a reliance on guanxi might negatively impact on their efforts to undertake sufficient research to thoroughly evaluate the franchisor offer prior to contract signature.International franchisors should understand the importance of guanxi at different stages of franchisees’ decision-making process. Franchisees should realize how a reliance on guanxi might negatively impact on their efforts to undertake sufficient research to thoroughly evaluate the franchisor offer prior to contract signature.

The GREENER venue

Bournemouth University.jpg

An international research collaboration between ITRC-IFT and the Center for Events and Sports Research, School of Tourism, Bournemouth University, UK.

This joint research developed an environmental management framework for events and conference venues. Given the growing and immense complexity as well as size of meeting venues--especially those operated by the biggest gaming resort complexes now located in Macao--their impact on the environment has become tremendous. The findings of this study helps change management and operational views of such venues and how they can be more sustainable in the future.


Meetings, conventions and all forms of business tourism have become a potent force in shaping not only the economics of destinations but also the environment. There is a renewed and growing call for owners, managers and operators of conventions, exhibitions, and conference venues and facilities to adhere to principles of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Failure to do so may lead consumers, association members and event attendees to consider and engage in active advocacy for their organizations and associations to select “greener venues.”

The research developed a novel environmental management framework--The GREENER VENUE--for venue operators and managers in the MICE industry and their clients. Dr. Julie Whitfield, Senior Lecturer in Events Management at the School of Tourism in Bournemouth University collaborated in this joint effort with Dr. Leonardo (Don) Dioko of ITRC.

As of September 2010, the project has already collected significant data from UK venues and efforts to collect comparative data for Macao, Hong Kong and Mainland China are underway. A knowledge Transfer seminar was recently conducted by Drs. Whitfield and Dioko in IFT’s Taipa Campus attended by more than 20 executives and captains of the MICE industry in Macao. During her recent visit to Macao in connection with this joint research, Dr. Whitfield also delivered a lecture to IFT’s senior students majoring in hotel and events management on “Organizing Green Conferences.”

project updates

Publications and presentations


  • Whitfield, J., & Dioko, L. A. N. (2013). Does Accreditation indicate a greener venue? . In L. Lyck & R. Davidson (Eds.), Sustainable Business Tourism: Why? How? To What Extent? Strategy and Implementation with Focus on Experiences from Practice, Education and Research. A Selection of Papers Presented at ATLAS Business Tourism Special Interest Group Meetings (Vol. 2). Arnhem: Association for Tourism and Leisure Education (ATLAS).


  • Whitfield, J., Dioko, L. A. N., & Webber, D. E. (2013). Scoring environmental credentials: a review of UK conference and meetings venues using the GREENER VENUE framework. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 1-20. doi: 10.1080/09669582.2013.809090


  • Whitfield, J., & Dioko, L. A. N. (2012). Measuring and Examining the Relevance of Discretionary Corporate Social Responsibility in Tourism: Some Preliminary Evidence from the U.K. Conference Sector. Journal of Travel Research, 51(3), 289-302. doi: 10.1177/0047287511418369


  • Whitfield, J., & Dioko, L. A. N. (2011). Discretionary corporate social responsibility: introducing the GREENER VENUE. International Journal of Event and Festival Management, 2(2), 170-183. doi: 10.1108/17582951111136586


  • Whitfield, J. E., & Dioko, L. (2011). Measuring discretionary CSR within the UK conference sector. Paper presented at the The 9th AEME Conference: Securing the Future, 13-14 July 2011, Telford Campus, Wolverhampton University, England.


  • Whitfield, J. E., & Dioko, L. (2010). Measuring discretionary corporate social responsibility within the UK conference sector. Paper presented at the International Conference on Global Sustainable Tourism, 15-19 November 2010, Nelspruit (Mbombela) South Africa.