Recreation tourism management

| March 12, 2018

 

RTM 470 Group Assignment Instructions


1. THE BRIEF (Scope of Work):

In keeping with SDSUs commitment to sustainability, your tourism consulting business (3 – 6 team members) has been contracted to design a sustainable tour targeting SDSU students. The tour is to have the central theme of sustainability and principles of sustainable tourism should be reflected at every stage, in each component, and in every management decision made about the tour’s destination, design, and inclusions.

The experience should be a) personally meaningful for students, b) fun, c) an opportunity for students to learn about sustainability, local cultures, and environments, d) safe, and e) financially viable. At least one of your team should lead the students on the trip. This means that the cost of travel (including accommodation & food) for this team member as well as that team member’s pay for each day they are on the trip (you can determine an appropriate pay rate) should be built into the over all cost and passed on to your customers. In addition, the trip should yield at least 15% profit to your business.

These are the only criteria imposed. The remaining components of the tour including (but not limited to) duration, group size, destination(s), activities, and cost are to be determined by your group based on market research. The decisions you make in designing your tour should be based on and linked to the results of market research and the need to reflect the principles of sustainable tourism at every stage.

2. DELIVERABLES:

The deliverables for this assignment consist of two written reports, a presentation in front of the class, and a peer assessment of each member’s contribution to each written report. Your individual grade will be influenced by the peer review of your team members. Reports must be fully referenced using the APA style of referencing. If you don’t know what this is, find out – and APA referencing guide is available on Blackboard and can be very easily googled. Failure to provide adequate referencing will severely impact your grade.

· The first report is the Market Research Report. This involves conducting primary (collecting and analyzing your own data) and secondary market research (reporting on existing research). Based on your review of existing research, and an analysis of the primary data you collect, the report will recommend a destination country/region, group size, trip timing, types of activities to be included, cost etc. This report should not contain specific details of the tour itself or a destination profile – this comes in the final report.

· The second and Final Report provides a profile of the selected destination and details the itinerary of a fully costed tour based on ‘The Brief’ (see section 1. Above) and the recommendations of the market research report.

· The Group Presentation takes the form of your team ‘pitching’ your tour to the class highlighting elements that your market research showed to be important (e.g. Cost? Adventure? Comfort?), explaining how sustainability is a key theme of the tour, and how the tour is costed according to the guidelines in The Brief (see section 1.).

2.1 Team Contract

Once you have formed your group you will work together to construct a ‘Team Contract’. This will help your team set goals, expectations, and policies and procedures. It will also establish consequences for members who do not meet the expectations you set for yourselves. Your team will need to work together to answer the questions in the table below, this will form the team contract. The contract should be signed by all team members and submitted in hard copy. A template is available on Blackboard and I will supply you with a hard copy in class.

GOALS: What are our team goals for this project?

What do we want to accomplish? What skills do we want to develop or refine?

EXPECTATIONS: What do we expect of one another in regard to attendance at meetings, participation, frequency of communication, the quality of work, etc.?
POLICIES & PROCEDURES: What rules can we agree on to help us meet our goals and expectations?
CONSEQUENCES: How will we address non-performance in regard to these goals, expectations, policies and procedures?

2.2 Peer Review Process & Group Project Grading

When you submit each written report (one hard copy per group) you will each be provided with a form that will ask you to provide feedback on group dynamics and to grade the performance of each member of your team. Your feedback and peer review will be confidential. You will be asked to rate your peers according to the following six statements on a scale of 1 to 4 (1=strongly disagree; 2=disagree; 3=agree; 4=strongly agree).

I. Attended group meetings regularly and arrived on time.

II. Contributed meaningfully to group discussions.

III. Completed allocated tasks on time.

IV. Prepared work in a quality manner.

V. Demonstrated a cooperative and supportive attitude.

VI. Contributed significantly to the success of the project.

Each team member’s peer review will be totaled and divided by the number of team members to give a score out of 24. This score will determine what proportion of the total grade for each report team members will receive. A peer review score of 22-24 means you will receive 100% of the report grade; 20-21 will receive 95%; 18-19 will receive 90%; 16-17 will receive 85%; 14-15 will receive 80%; 12-13 will receive 75%; 10-11 will receive 70%, 8-9 will receive 60%, and below 5 will receive 50% of the total grade for the report.

For example if your team achieves a report grade of 99 out of 110 for the final report and your peers rate your individual contribution at a 3 out of 4 for all six statements, this would give you a peer review total of 18. This means you would receive 90% of the total grade of 99, resulting in an individual grade of 89.1 out of 110.

2.3 Market Research Report

Market research seeks to establish the scope and nature of the market (the number of people who use or are likely to use the product or service and their characteristics) and consumer requirements and attitudes (the particular requirements or tastes of users or potential users of the product or service)”. (Veal, 2006: 10)

Firstly, in class your group will identify the things you need to know (the particular requirements or tastes) about the market (SDSU students like you) to design a successful product. These ‘information needs’ will form the basis of a questionnaire survey that will be completed using the Blackboard platform. You will be provided with a basic analysis of the data through blackboard.

The data from the survey will tell you about the market’s requirements and tastes in terms of numbers and proportions. You will be given time in class to attempt to discover the details behind the numbers by developing and conducting semi-structured qualitative interviews (at least 2 per group member) with members of the class.

Your group should coordinate the questions you will ask in your interviews by developing an ‘interview schedule’ which is a list of questions or topics to cover in each interview. Record and then transcribe your interviews – you can use the voice memo app on your smart phone. Read carefully through your transcriptions, what are the key points being made by the research participants? After you have transcribed and analyzed your interviews, come together with your group with your transcriptions and discuss what were the common themes? What were the things that differed greatly depending on who you were talking to? What did you learn from your interviews that provide further insight into the requirements and tastes of the market?

Use the results of the questionnaire survey and the interviews to select a suitable destination country noting why the destination represents a good ‘fit’ for the results of your market research without going into a full destination profile. Your report should follow some of the conventions of ‘standard report format’. A suggested structure for the report is provided below.

I. Title Page

II. Table of Contents

III. Executive Summary

An executive summary is exactly what its name suggests – a summary for executives. Generally executives will not have the time or inclination to read the entire report. They want to be able to glean all the significant details in two minutes by reading the executive summary including actionable detail of key findings and recommendations. This should not exceed one page and should convey all the findings and conclusions that would be important to key executive decision makers. The use of bullet points is acceptable. The language needs to be extremely concise.

IV. Introduction & Background

This section should provide a clear and concise introduction and background to the report including:

· Introducing ‘The Brief’ or the scope of work. You introductory paragraph(s) should clearly articulate the aim and objectives of the report i.e. to review topics relevant to the development of a sustainable tour for SDSU students and to understand the particular requirements or tastes of potential users of the product. (2 paragraphs to a page)

· Conduct a “literature review” of the existing research on key topics related to the study. This involves secondary research (using other people’s research rather than collecting new data yourself) that you have sourced and deemed of a suitable quality (from a reputable source), summarized and synthesized. The following topics should be addressed (1-2 pages per topic).

· sustainability (define), the state of the sustainable tourism market and any emerging trends;

· the nature of the market i.e. ‘Generation Y’ American college students and how their characteristics might influence the design and marketing of a sustainable tour;

· the growing market for experiential learning and study abroad/international experience as a part of a university education;

· the growth of voluntourism of the growing criticism of many forms of voluntourism

A broad range of journal articles and newspaper/magazine articles and industry reports should all be accessed and correctly referenced in text and in a separate reference section at the end of your report.

How to Conduct a Literature Review

For each topic you are conducting a literature review on, begin by finding at least three and preferably five or more suitable pieces of literature to include. Before you include a piece of literature in your review be sure it is: highly relevant to the topic, objective and unbiased, accurate, well written, from a reliable source, and recent (or at least still relevant). Once you have sourced your literature, and before your begin writing your literature review, summarize each study’s main findings. Then, look across the summaries and think about the following questions:

· What key themes have emerged?

· What do the studies disagree and agree on?

· Is there any consensus in the literature?

· Are there any gaps in it?

· How does the information on this topic relate to the larger assignment?

Your answers to these questions should guide your write up of the review of the literature.

V. Methods

This section should include a correctly referenced discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of quantitative and qualitative methodology (citing more than one source and correctly referencing them both in text and in the reference section at the end of the report), provide a rationale of why both were used in this case. Methods should provide a detailed, complete and accurate account of the primary (no need to detail secondary research) research methods used (both quantitative and qualitative) including:

· What types of questions were asked

· What sampling techniques were used (details are important)

· How many people were sampled

· Limitations and biases of the sample

· How was data analyzed

VI. Findings & Discussion

This section should include

a. Tabulated or graphic summaries of quantitative data collection (i.e. the results of each question in a table or graph) accompanied by a brief (1-2 sentences) description of each table/graph. Be sure that your graphs:

· are readable (e.g. can the reader discern between different bars or pie pieces);

· are clearly labeled (can labels be read/easily linked to bars/pie pieces);

· have an appropriate title; and,

· include the sample size.

b. A summary of the qualitative results i.e. an explanation of the key themes to emerge during interviews. Remember that these are NOT statistically significant (so there is no point listing how many people or what % of people said what) but add understanding to the quantitative data. This section should:

· tell the reader about the main themes as they relate to the research question, rather than reporting everything that interviewees said;

· tell the reader what level of consensus there was – did all the different types of people you spoke to agree, or did views differ by group?, state that ‘most people said …’ or ‘few people felt …’ rather that giving the number or percentage of people who said a particular thing; and,

· use brief quotes from interviews where these illustrate a particular point really well.

c. An explanation of the significance of both your quantitative and qualitative results and what they are telling you abut the type of tour you should design.

VII. Recommendations

Very briefly 1 – 2 sentences, and in order of priority (most important first), make recommendations about: duration, group size, timing, destination country, possible types of activities, cost etc that reflect your findings and discussion. Bullet points are preferred.

VIII. References – APA format

IX. Appendices (if required). Appendices are additional pieces of information that you want to include but that would break up the flow of the report. You can refer to these in the report as, for example, Appendix 1 and place this after the reference list. There is no need to have appendices, only if you feel they are completely necessary.

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