School of Hospitality and Tourism

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Research in the AUT School of Hospitality and Tourism not only informs the global academic community, they also focus on developing practical research outcomes. Their research is targeted at improving the tourism industry and the people that depend on its success.

The School also works closely with the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute to develop funding to support research initiatives and to provide graduate students with opportunities in research activities.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 180
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    Automation of the Fast-Food Industry: Gen Z Perspectives of Self-Service Kiosks Versus Employee Service
    (School of Hospitality & Tourism, Auckland University of Technology, 2019-12-03) Yang, Qi; Goodsir, Warren; Poulston, Jill
    With the development of technology, self-service kiosks (kiosks) are increasingly being adopted by service providers such as hotels, restaurants, airports and banks [1, 2]. However, with the increasing search for more efficiency, calculability and control by replacing people with non-human technology, service quality and a sense of hospitality can be adversely impacted [3]. Nevertheless, many seem willing to use kiosks in fast-food restaurants [4], suggesting that these provide considerable value for some segments of the hospitality industry. Consequently, this study [5] explores young people’s customer experiences of and views on using kiosks in McDonald’s restaurants. The study was carried out in Auckland, New Zealand, where interviews were conducted with 16 young people (18 to 24 years old; Gen Z)1 originating from seven countries (2 Indian, 3 Chinese, 2 Korean, 2 Vietnamese, 1 Filipino, 1 Moroccan and 5 New Zealanders). The findings suggest that kiosks provide improved customer satisfaction but can also result in reduced perceptions of hospitableness. The respondents felt that kiosks improved efficiency by eliminating the need to queue to place an order and provided more relaxed time for making their menu selections. Therefore, although using a kiosk did not necessarily speed up the service process, it allowed time for contemplation of choices and less time waiting to be served. The kiosks also provided clear food categories with pictures, simple English language instructions, and generally simple ordering and payment processes. Compared with the amount of information provided at the service counter, the kiosks provided more detailed and clearer information about menus, ingredients, discounts and promotions. Furthermore, when using kiosks, respondents felt a sense of empowerment and control over their ordering process. Kiosks provided the ability to customise meals, discuss menu choices and change orders without feeling as if they were annoying an employee or holding up other customers. This sense of empowerment and control provided relief from the pressure to place quick orders at the service counter or delay other customers. Many respondents were afraid of annoying employees or becoming an annoying customer in public. They cared about the perception of counter staff, while at the same time, they also cared about their personal image in public. The fast-paced restaurant environment and the need to be decisive with their menu selection added to the pressure and stress when purchasing takeaways. Additionally, those who spoke English as a second language faced increased stress while trying to select the right words and communicate with employees in front of others. These pressures increased their fear of public humiliation. Many respondents indicated there was no pressure when using kiosks as the kiosks offered more time and a judgment-free environment for customers. The number of kiosks available and the freedom from employee and other customer expectations had a significant impact on them by releasing them from any pressure to make a quick decision. Reduced pressure also brought enough time for discussion of food choices among friends. Using the self-order kiosk provided respondents with a judgment-free environment away from other customers and busy employees. The time-space provided by kiosks also provided respondents with a sense of safety and privacy in situations where, for example, they were upset or not confident speaking in English. Their emotions (e.g. happy, sad), skills (e.g. level of English language), appearance (e.g. lack of makeup) and eating habits (e.g. food allergy) were kept confidential in comparison to ordering in public at the counter. However, the findings also suggested that the appeal of kiosks is somewhat determined by the lack of useful and caring alternatives. This may suggest that the issue is not whether kiosks are able to do a better job than humans, but rather whether humans (service employees) are sufficiently resourced (e.g. capability and capacity) to provide both efficient and caring interactions. The original research on which this article is based is available here Note; The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘Generation Z’ as the generation of people born in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Corresponding author; Qi Yang can be contacted at: References; (1) Considine, E.; Cormican, K. Self-Service Technology Adoption: An Analysis of Customer to Technology Interactions. Procedia Computer Science 2016, 100 (Suppl. C), 103–109.; (2) Wei, W.; Torres, E.; Hua, N. Improving Consumer Commitment through the Integration of Self-Service Technologies: A Transcendent Consumer Experience Perspective. International Journal of Hospitality Management 2016, 59 (Suppl. C), 105–115.; (3) Ritzer, G. The McDonaldization of Society, 6th ed.; Sage/Pine Forge: Los Angeles, CA, 2011.; (4) Herne, S.; Adams, J.; Atkinson, D.; Dash, P.; Jessel, J. Technology, Learning Communities and Young People: The Future Something Project. International Journal of Art & Design Education 2013, 32 (1), 68–82.; (5) Yang, Q. Young People’s Perspectives on Self-service Technology and Hospitality: A Mcdonald’s Case Study; Master’s Thesis, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand, 2018. (accessed Nov 25, 2019).
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    Mobilizing Relational Ontology: Meeting the Pluriversal Challenge in Tourism Studies
    (Informa UK Limited, 2023-11-14) Pernecky, Tomas
    Philosophical and theoretical research on tourism is ever more pertinent in an age of increased uncertainty, manifold vulnerabilities, and determination to promote justice, fairness, and equality. The pluriversal challenge facing tourism and tourism studies, that is, the necessity for polycentric, inclusive, and equitably participatory being, doing, and knowing, suggests that these transitional times require an ontology that can assist with understanding the entangled complexities of being and becoming vis-à-vis tourism. Relational ontology is thus presented as a crucial lens for comprehending the ethical, environmental, political, social, cultural, and spiritual potentialities that emerge uniquely through tourism as relationalities. This paper argues that relational ontology not only accommodates but also discloses pluriversality and the ontological multiple, and that it can facilitate not universal but relational understandings, which can coexist, enrich, and promote human flourishing through tourism.
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    Phenomenology of Leisure Travel following Death of a Loved One
    (Taylor and Francis Group, 2023-12-01) Ramanayake, Uditha; McIntosh, Alison Jane; Cockburn-Wootten, Cheryl
    This paper advances knowledge around the intersection of death, loss, and leisure travel. Our phenomenological study revealed the lived experiences of seven senior travelers who had traveled internationally following the death of a loved one(s). We employed the ‘MeBox’ method to help uncover new layers of meaning that are not always easy to put into words. The findings of our study provide new insights into notions of leisure by identifying overseas leisure travel within a liminal space in which feelings of loss and acceptance, and the creation of new perspectives, are experienced following the death of a loved one(s). Our findings challenge the destructive nature of human loss following death of a loved one(s). Instead, the experience of international travel appeared to influence the social, material, and existential life of senior travelers after the death of a loved one(s), transforming leisure into a personally meaningful experience for them.
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    Above and Beyond: A Grounded Theory of Aotearoa/New Zealand High School Teachers’ Perspectives on International Study Tours
    (Springer, 2023-05-19) O'Donnell, Donna; Orams, Mark; Schanzel, Heike
    This paper addresses the dearth of research into the roles high school teachers play in organising and leading international study tours offered by high schools in New Zealand (prior to the COVID-19 pandemic). The aim of this paper is to provide insights into the motivations and experiences of teachers involved in these tours. A grounded theory approach was used, and qualitative data were collected via face-to-face interviews with eight teachers forming the basis of the development of a theory which proposes that both navigating and negotiating learning experiences are key aspects of the teacher’s role. Data revealed that the expectations and challenges placed upon the teachers had implications for their personal and professional lives. The tension between teachers’ perceived obligations for the safety of the students and the adolescent’s desire for freedom to explore whilst travelling proved difficult to resolve and teachers questioned the sacrifices they personally needed to make.
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    “A labour of love”: Active Lifestyle Entrepreneurship (Occupational Devotion) During a Time of COVID-19
    (Frontiers Media SA, 2021-04-22) Wright, Richard Keith; Wiersma, Cindy; Ajiee, Richard Opara
    The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis management strategies adopted by world leaders across the globe in 2020 impacted the work-life balance of billions of people. Entire populations were forced to stay at home and maintain a safe distance from family members, friends, colleagues, and customers. Occupational devotion is defined as a feeling of strong, positive attachment to a form of self-enhancing employment, where achievement and fulfillment are high, and the core activity has such intense appeal that the line between this work and leisure is virtually erased. Although it is not a new concept, this area of the serious leisure perspective has been largely overlooked by scholars observing the world of sport events and entrepreneurship. Using Creative Analytical Practice (CAP), a post-qualitative methodology, we present the personal narrative of a New Zealand-based active lifestyle entrepreneur who, as a result of a nationwide COVID19 lockdown, was forced to re-assess his long-established occupational devotion. Our co-constructed story offers an emotive insight into the personal cost and consequences of finding yourself living in a lockdown.
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