Dr Pi-Hsuan Monica Chien is a senior lecturer from the University of Queensland School of Business, which is located in Brisbane (Australia), a key sister city of Kobe. She is an expert on consumer behaviour, and her research focuses on destination marketing, tourist behaviour, mega-event planning, and sport fan behaviour and sport management. She has multidisciplinary training in marketing, psychology and tourism, and has an extensive background in hospitality. She has received awards for her research and teaching, and has published extensively in high quality international journals in the fields of marketing, tourism and sport.
As part of the HUMAP Research Fellowship, I worked closely with Professor Akira Saito from Kobe University Graduate School of Law, and Professor Jun Nagatomo from Kwansei Gakuin University School of International Studies on interdisciplinary projects related to the impacts of inbound tourism development, overtourism, and mega-events (i.e., the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games). The aim of the research was to understand the long-term effects of mega-event development and tourism induced disruptions on residents’ wellbeing, quality of life, community coherence, environment, and residents’ pro-tourism behaviour.
Below is a summary of activities that were accomplished during the HUMAP Research Fellowship:
1. Reviewing government reports, industry publications, media reports, and archival data to understand the current state and future outlook of inbound tourism development in Japan.
2. Undertaking an observation study at major tourism destinations in the Kansai Region to understand the prevalence and extent of tourism induced disruptions.
3. Conducting interviews and discussions with key stakeholders, scholars and industry experts to identify legal, ethical and social issues associated with inbound tourism development.
4. Implementing a survey investigating residents’ perceptions and attitudes towards tourism development at a regional destination in Hyogo.
5. Conducting three online experiments to examine residents’ responses to tourist-resident conflicts in the Kansai region.
6. Drafting a manuscript for journal publication, focusing on the social impacts of mega-event hosting on host- and non-host residents.
7. Meeting with other scholars to develop potential interdisciplinary research projects.
In addition to research activities, I delivered an intensive course on Strategic Business Consulting at Kobe University and was invited to present seminars on my research findings to a broad range of audience, including scholars, students and industry practitioners in Tokyo, Osaka, and Wakayama. These included:
• November 26: Delivered a research seminar at Wakayama University Faculty of Tourism
• December 11: Provided a public lecture at Rikkyo University College of Psychology
• December 12-17: Delivered a course titled “Strategic International Business Consulting A (SIBC A)” at Kobe University Graduate School of Law as part of its Global Masters Program (GMAP) in Law.
• December 20: Delivered a research seminar at Osaka Wedding, Hotel, and Tourism College.
As a keen traveller and passionate with Japanese history and culture, I have taken the opportunity to explore regional destinations in Hyogo, including the world renowned Kinosaki Onsen and baseball mecca of Koshien. I also had the great pleasure of attending Kobe Luminarie – a light festival to commemorate the Great Hanshin earthquake – and was deeply moved by the community spirit. A visit to these important tourism destinations, facilities and events provided hands-on experiences for my research on tourism and event impacts, allowed a better understanding of the meanings and values attached to these activities, and fostered a greater appreciation of the local culture. I was amazed by the friendliness of the local people and advancement of tourism infrastructure, including multilingual signage, comprehensive tourist information, as well as efficient and easy-to-navigate public transportations. I will incorporate some of these experiences and materials collected during the field trip into my teaching and future research programs. I will aim to actively promote tourism in Hyogo and create positive publicity for the Prefecture through my personal as well as University of Queensland’s social media.
Outcomes and Future Plans
In summary, the HUMAP Research Fellowship provided an excellent opportunity to make vital progress on my current projects of tourism induced disruptions and mega-event impacts, while facilitating knowledge transfer and meaningful cultural exchange. The Fellowship further offered an avenue for establishing interdisciplinary collaborations on research and education with scholars from universities in Hyogo. Importantly, the Fellowship facilitated site visit, fieldwork/data collection, and exchange with interested stakeholders, which provided crucial, first-hand information to inform the design of future research projects. Subsequently, findings from the studies undertaken during the HUMAP Research Fellowship will be submitted to high quality, international tourism and marketing journals (e.g., Annals of Tourism Research, Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing).
Professor Akira Saito (Kobe University) and I aim to apply for the 2020 Australia-Japan Foundation Grant, while Professor Noboru Matsushima (Kobe University) and I will apply for industry grants to support our future research program (e.g., the Toyota Foundation 2021 Research Grant Program). We will also work together on developing a tourism curriculum for students enrolled in Kobe University Graduate School of Business Administration. I will continue to work with Professor Jun Nagatomo (Kwansei Gakuin University) to further expand our experimental studies on the impact of tourist-resident conflict. Last but not least, I will continue to assist regional cities in Hyogo with their resident consultation projects.
I would love to be involved in the HUMAP research program again, if possible!