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  • This article was downloaded by: [Erciyes University]On: 20 December 2014, At: 05:52Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House,37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

    Journal of Hospitality & Tourism EducationPublication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/uhat20

    Factors Affecting Students' Learning and Satisfaction onTourism and Hospitality Course-Related Field TripsAlan Wong a & Chak-Keung Simon Wong aa School of Hotel & Tourism Management at The Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityPublished online: 24 May 2013.

    To cite this article: Alan Wong & Chak-Keung Simon Wong (2009) Factors Affecting Students' Learning and Satisfactionon Tourism and Hospitality Course-Related Field Trips, Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education, 21:1, 25-35, DOI:10.1080/10963758.2009.10696934

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  • 25Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education

    factors affecting students learning and satisfaction on tourism and Hospitality Course-related field tripsBy Alan Wong and Chak-Keung (Simon) Wong

    introductionTourism and Hospitality course-related field trips are a form of

    educational tourism (Ritchie, 2003). In addition, field trips are a form

    of learning beyond the classroom (Do, 2006). The various benefits of

    educational tourism and field trips have been described by tourism

    academics and educators (Bauer, 2003; Ritchie, 2003; Stainfield, 2000;

    Weiler, & Kalinowsk; 1990); for example, in tourism studies, it is difficult

    to simulate an environmental setting or to experiment in laboratories

    like the physical sciences. Tourism and Hospitality course-related field

    trips can provide students with authentic learning experiences in dif-

    ferent tourism and hospitality settings, and with opportunities to gain

    first-hand experience of hospitality and tourism at work to compli-

    ment the theories that have been learnt in the classroom. However,

    the factors affecting students learning on field trips or educational

    tours are unclear; for example, the impact of the different activities

    on students learning before, during, and after the field trips. Also, the

    different roles of the teacher and the tour guide may have an impact

    on students learning experiences during the field trip. Despite the

    growing need for field trips, as they are required by more and more

    subjects, there has been very limited formal study and systematic

    review from which to develop guidelines for better organized trips,

    or to evaluate the effectiveness of the learning and teaching using

    this method. Xie (2004: 101) argues that, Despite the recent increase

    in research on experiential learning for the field of tourism studies,

    questions remain about which aspects of experiential learning best

    contribute to tourism courses and how students perceive the ef-

    fectiveness of field trips. The objective of this paper is to report the

    results of a project studying the factors affecting students learning

    and satisfaction on Tourism and Hospitality course-related field trips.

    The findings of this paper make a contribution to the literature seeking to

    provide a greater understanding of how to better organize field trips or

    educational tours that enhance students learning and satisfaction.

    literature review

    The roles of the educator/teacher in a field trip

    The educator/teacher plays a very important role in enhancing

    the learning experiences of students on a field trip. He or she has to be

    actively involved in the different phases of organizing the field trip and

    also has to perform different roles and functions. In the pre-departure

    phase, the educator/teacher needs to carry out careful planning and

    preparation; this might include the matching of the subjects syllabus,

    learning objectives, and outcomes with all of the activities on the

    field trip (Port, 1997). Shortly before the trip, it might be valuable to

    invite a guest speaker to brief and to familiarize the students with the

    destination and to remind them of the trips objectives and their re-

    sponsibilities (Ap, 2005). Alternatively, an intensive research workshop

    might be necessary for postgraduate and honors students (Do, 2006).

    During the on-site phase, the educator/teachers role can be viewed as

    a three stages process: preview, coordinate and review (Port, 1997:

    197): he or she needs to brief the students on the agenda for the day,

    to coordinate all of the visits, and to review the theories and the con-

    cepts which relate to the students experiential learning activities. In

    addition, the educator/teacher should encourage students to keep a

    journal or record of their observations and keep students focused on

    their objectives and tasks (Ap, 2005). Finally, in the post-trip phase, the

    educator/teachers key role is as a facilitator, helping students to inte-

    grate and to reinforce their learning experiences. It is also important

    for the educator/teacher to provide feedback to the students on their

    performance, such as their presentations and assignments.

    Tour activities and experiential learning

    The tours activities are the core elements in a course-related

    field trip. In Kolbs (1984) Experiential Learning Cycle, there are four

    stages: 1) Concrete Experience: this is the first stage where experiential

    activities are developed for personal and group challenges; 2) Reflec-

    tive Observation: in this stage, the teacher plays an important role in

    encouraging individual students to reflect, describe, communicate,

    and learn from their experiences; 3) Linking Concepts to Theories: the

    participants not only use their experiences but also try to use theories

    to draw conclusions from past and present experiences; and 4) Experi-

    mentation and Application: finally, students need to apply their new

    learning to previous experiences. Although Kolbs model is controver-

    sial (Greenaway, 2008), it is clear that the first step to enhancing the

    achievement of targeted learning outcomes is to organize meaningful

    learning activities for a field trip.

    Bauer (2003) organized different tourism course-related field

    trips to Vanuatu and Bali. In these field trips, he took students on

    inspections of local hotels and invited local industry speakers, such

    as executive managers of hotels and transport companies, to talk

    to the students. Students also had opportunities to exchange ideas

    with students from local tourism and hospitality training institutions.

    Bauer argued that students not only had the opportunity to enjoy the

    beauty of the local scenes, but were also exposed to the various nega-

    tive impacts of tourism, such as environmental degradation, polluted

    Dr. Alan Wong is a Lecturer and Dr. Chak-Keung (Simon) Wong is Assistant Professor, both in the School of Hotel & Tourism Management at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

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  • 26 Volume 21, Number 1

    beaches, and unsafe marine transport practices. In the case of a visit to

    a custom village on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu, the author stressed

    that, There students came face to face with a group of semi-naked

    locals who performed dances for them and who sold them souvenirs

    clearly an experience that could not be simulated in the classroom

    (Bauer 2003: 210).

    Ap (2006) regularly takes his Tourism Planning students on field

    trips and visits to theme parks as well as different tourist attractions.

    During site visits, he advises his students to take on the role of an

    industry consultant; in this way, they can consider a wide range of

    issues which will enhance their learning. these issues include plan-

    ning and design principles, the guest perspective and experience,

    human resources management issues, maintenance and safety issues,

    and industry trends (Ap 2006: 2). Xie (2004), when taking a group of

    tourism students to the Niagara Falls region, found that field trip ac-

    tivities involving the application of higher level knowledge eventually

    produced positive learning outcomes. In addition, he observed that,

    in order to use a field trip as an effective instrument for experiential

    learning, the teacher has to pay attention to the group dynamics; this

    would also create teamwork opportunities for the participants.

    Tour arrangements, the tour operators, and tour guides

    Robin (2000) reported that the efforts of the tour operators and

    the teachers in organizing visits related to the curriculum of the sub-

    ject/course are important for the learning experiences of students. In

    fact, other arrangements, besides organizing learning activities, are

    also important in a tourism/hospitality course-related field trip. The

    students are also experiencing the tour as visitors or tourists, there-

    fore the success of the field trip has all the same success factors as an

    ordinary tour. Chan and Bauer (2004) identified the different impacts

    that the tour guides and tour arrangements have on tour satisfaction.

    Proper arrangements for accommodation, food, and transportation

    can affect the satisfaction of students (tour members) on any field trip.

    However, entertainment activities should not be neglected on tour-

    ism/hospitality field trips. Even during the days of Thomas Cook, his

    goal for his tours was to make travel pleasurable and appealing by

    combing education and instruction with pleasure, fun, and rest (New-

    meyer, 2008: 7). Do (2004) suggested that the learning atmosphere

    should be relaxed and informal; in this way, the teacher could build a

    rapport with the students. The teacher should also make use of break

    times to interact with students. In addition, Ap (2006) always encour-

    ages students to enjoy the experience and he shared his successful

    experiences of taking field trips by often having a meal with students

    during the trip; this could be fun for the students and allows plenty of

    time for informal discussions. One point to be noted is that free time

    for the students is important during any field trip, as it encourages

    them to learn about the local culture (Porth, 1997).

    Tour guides may have different roles to play in a tour such as

    peacemaker, leader, nanny, salesperson, animator and teacher (Wong

    & Hanefors, 2007). During an educational tour or field trip, a tour guide

    is naturally expected to play the role of teacher, in the sense that he

    or she is a source of information on the locality and can provide inter-

    pretations of the local culture. The effectiveness of the tour guide is an

    important factor in educational tourism, particularly in the ecotourism

    sector (Moscardo, 1996; Ritchie, 2003).

    Pearl River Delta Field TripA total of 19 students enrolled in the Tourism in Hong Kong and Pearl River Delta (PRD) course participated in a three-day field trip to the PRD region in China in March 2008. The key objective of this trip was to enhance students understanding of the different aspects of development in the region. Students were required to complete a group project with three main tasks: (1) discuss the strengths and weak-nesses of the itinerary for the field trip and provide suggestions on how to improve it; (2) design one itinerary for a targeted group which combined Hong Kong, Macau, and the PRD, and provide a rationale for their choice and design; and (3) identify any aspects that both government and the private sector need to improve or take action on, in order to make this happen and to enhance the quality of such products. The design of the route and the coordination of visits were actually very time-consuming and challenging. The PRD Economic Zone comprises nine municipalities of Guangdong Province in Southern China. It was hoped that the field trip could provide students with some actual experience of seeing the tourism infrastructure, facilities, attractions, and products of the region. The triangular round trip started from Hong Kong and finished in Shenzhen. First, we visited a newly opened five-star hotel and a theme park that was attached to it. The students were surprised by the facilities and by the beautiful setting of this hotel, located not too far from Hong Kong (the Interlaken Hotel and the theme park of East Overseas Chinese Town is a re-creation of the Swiss town of Interlaken, www.interlakenocthotel.com). They learned a lot and enjoyed this visit through the briefing given by the hotel general manager and his team, the guided visit around the hotel and the theme park, and the free lunch provided to them. In Guangzhou, we visited a cultural heritage site and went on a short walking tour of the city. The students enjoyed the visit to the local night market and the free time they were given for shopping and eating there. On the way from Guangzhou to a spa resort, we visited a theme park/ farm attraction. We then had a discussion on the coach about this visit: the students thought that the design, service, and management needed to be improved. The spa hotel provided the students with an experience of the rich natural resources of this region. In addition, they enjoyed the guided tour: they had never experienced the different styles of Chinese herbal treatments offered by spas before. The final destination of this trip was a visit to the tourism department of a university in Zhuhai. It was planned as a form of cultural exchange with the tourism students there. The local students gave a short presentation on the tourism infrastructure, facilities, and tourist attractions in their region. They also split up into a number of small groups to guide our students on a walking tour around the campus. The students were from different parts of China and had diverse ethnic back-grounds. It seems that students from both places enjoyed this activity and were able to form friendships with one another. Overall, the three-day field trip stimulated students interest in the subject.

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  • 27Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education

    This review of the literature by academics and educators on Tour-

    ism and Hospitality course-related field trips has highlighted some of

    the possible factors affecting students learning and satisfaction, such

    as the role of the teacher, the tours activities and arrangements, and

    the tour guide. The following research questions were formed for an

    empirical study:

    1. What are the key factors affecting students learning and satis-

    faction on Tourism and Hospitality course-related field trips?

    2. Is the role of the teacher a key factor in the process?

    3. How important are the activities during the field trips in con-

    tributing to students learning and satisfaction?

    4. What other factors influence students learning and satisfac-

    tion?

    In particular, four main research objectives were set:

    1. To understand the satisfaction level of Hospitality and Tourism

    students in relation to field trips.

    2. To discover any underlying factors affecting the satisfaction of

    Hospitality and Tourism students in relation to field trips.

    3. To discover any significant differences among the demographic

    variables in relation to the derived underlying factors.

    4. To make recommendations to Tourism and Hospitality educa-

    tors and administrators on how to make students learning on

    field trips more effective.

    MethodologyBoth qualitative and quantitative methodologies were used in

    this study. Focus group interviews were carried out with students who

    had taken part in different course-related field trips. In addition, per-

    sonal observation was employed by one of the researchers on three

    of the field trips in order to assess the different factors that may affect

    students learning and satisfaction. Assignments completed by the

    students which related to the field trips were also used for reference.

    The subjects of this study were Hospitality and Tourism students

    studying Hotel and Tourism Management at a university in Hong

    Kong. They came from two main groups, namely bachelors degree

    and higher diploma students, and they were all taking courses that

    had field trip elements in five subject areas. The field trips covered sev-

    eral locations, including Macau, Guangzhou, Korea, Shanghai, and the

    Pearl River Delta in China.

    The survey instrument

    A survey instrument with 20 Likert scale statements was de-

    veloped to gauge students attitudes; this was based on a literature

    review and the previous experience of the researcher in organizing

    field trips and in teaching and tour-guiding. All of the statements

    concentrated on gaining the students perception and evaluation of

    the use of field trips in their learning. At the end, a final statement was

    developed that asked for the students overall satisfaction with the

    particular field trip, so as to test for any significant relationship be-

    tween the dependent variable and the derived factors.

    The survey consisted of two major sections. Section I included

    20 statements asking for the students post-field trip perception

    and evaluation using a Likert scale ranging from 1 = Strongly

    Disagree to 7 = Strongly Agree. Section II asked about the demo-

    graphic variables of the students: gender, age group, whether they

    were studying for a higher diploma or a bachelors degree, their

    prior experiences of participating in field trips, and the destination

    of the field trip.

    All the questionnaires were given to the students within two

    weeks of them arriving back in Hong Kong following the field trips,

    to ensure that the survey reflected their recent memories. The data

    collected were then analyzed by mean score, factor analysis, and

    multiple regression analysis in order to fulfill the research objec-

    tives of this study.

    Korea Field TripA total of 76 students enrolled in the Convention Venue Management and Exhibition Management course participated in a four-day field trip to Korea in October 2007. The main objective of this study trip was to provide opportunities for students to observe different aspects of real convention centers, such as site selection, design, management, surrounding support facilities, and local marketing mix. It is hoped that relating such first-hand experience to what students have learnt during classroom teaching can help them to gain further understand-ing of convention venue management. The first stop of the field trip was ICC Jeju, which is located on Jeju Island. It is a resort convention center with professional facilities surrounded by beautiful natural scenery. The transport links are not very convenient since there is no direct flight from Hong Kong to Jeju Island. It took us almost a whole day to first fly to Seoul and then to get another flight to Jeju. However, the long journey did not reduce the students interest and they carefully observed the facilities at the International Centre Jeju (ICC Jeju), listening to the managers introduction, taking notes, and asking questions during the visit. The second visit was to the Convention and Exhibition Centre (COEX), which is located at the CBD area of Seoul. COEX is one of the best convention centers in Korea, with COEX Mall (Asias largest underground shopping mall), restaurants, and entertainment facilities nearby. COEX is different from ICC Jeju as a resort con-vention center in being at the center of a business area and being surrounded by many international companies. The good choice of those two contrasting convention centers as making up the field trip destination provided students with a better picture of different kinds of con-vention and exhibition centers, in terms of operation, financial issues, design, marketing, and management. Apart from the venues, the field trip also provided students with opportunities for sight-seeing and for enjoying the local cuisine and culture. Overall, the students were satisfied with the Korea field trip, and the learning outcomes met the learning objectives. In the follow-up lectures and tutorials, plenty of the students could cite real examples from the field trip to answer questions and to illustrate the theories presented in the classroom. More importantly, the field trip motivated students to have a higher level of interest in this subject, which is good for their future learning.

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  • 28 Volume 21, Number 1

    All of the statements related to the different activities of run-

    ning the tour and the different roles of the teacher and tour guide

    throughout the different stages of a field trip. In addition, open-ended

    questions were added to provide more elaboration of students learn-

    ing experiences on the field trip.

    Participants

    Students participated in five different field trips: (1) Hong Kong

    to Macau, China; (2) Hong Kong to Guangzhou, China; (3) Hong Kong

    to Korea; (4) Hong Kong to Shanghai, China; and (5) Hong Kong to the

    Pearl River Delta (PRD), China. The Macau field trip was organized for

    Year One students taking an Introduction to Hospitality and Tourism

    course and the Guangzhou field trip was organized for Year Two stu-

    dents studying Front Office Management or Hotel Operation; in both

    cases, all students were required to participate in the visits and both

    trips lasted for two days and one night. Seven academic staff members

    accompanied the students for the Macau trip and four academic staff

    members went along to the Guangzhou trip. The Korea field trip was

    organized for Year Two and Three students taking Event Management

    or Convention and Exhibition Management and the Shanghai field

    trip was organized for Year Two students taking the China Hotel and

    Tourism course; both trips lasted five days and had two academic staff

    accompanying the students. Finally, the PRD field trip was organized

    for Year One students specializing in tourism in Hong Kong and the

    PRD region; students were strongly encouraged to take part in this

    field trip, but it was not compulsory, and the subject teacher was the

    only academic staff member who went on the trip. While the Macau,

    Guangzhou, Korea, and Shanghai field trips were subsidized by the

    department, the PRD field trip was completely self-financed. One of

    Table 1

    Evaluation of students Perception of learning Post-field trip

    Ranking Statements Mean Score Standard Deviation

    1 The field trip enhanced my relationship with my classmates. 5.37** 1.022 I was satisfied with the accommodation provided on this field trip. 5.13 1.103 I was satisfied with the free time provided on the field trip. 5.13 1.23

    4 The visit(s) to the hotel, convention centre, restaurant, tourist attractions, etc., was/were useful for my learning. 4.74 1.08

    5 I was satisfied with the transportation (ferry, bus, air, etc.) provided on this field trip. 4.66 1.366 My teacher was helpful to my learning on this field trip. 4.62 1.057 I clearly understood the objectives of this field trip. 4.60 1.118 I could relate this field trip to the learning objectives of this subject. 4.57 1.049 I was satisfied with the tour leader/local tour guide. 4.56 1.2210 This field trip was useful for my assignment/project in this subject. 4.55 1.1311 The field trip enhanced my relationship with my teacher(s). 4.54 1.09

    12 The tour commentary (on the coach, at the attraction, at the hotel, etc.) was useful for my learning. 4.52 1.18

    13 This field trip enhanced my learning in this subject. 4.45 1.1714 The sightseeing on this field trip enhanced my learning in this subject. 4.44 1.2515 The briefing before the field trip was useful for my learning in this subject. 4.42 1.0716 The debriefing after the field trip was useful for my learning in this subject. 4.23 1.10

    17 The entertainment activities (singing, games on the coach, performances at the attrac-tions, etc.) during the field trip enhanced my interest in learning this subject. 4.21 1.30

    18 The opportunity to make contact with the local people/culture enhanced my interest in this subject. 4.05 1.15

    19 I was satisfied with the food provided on this field trip. 4.03* 1.57

    Dependent StatementOverall, I was satisfied with this field trip. 4.96 1.00

    Dependent StatementLikert Scale: 1-7; 1 = Strongly Disagree, 7 = Strongly Agree.** Statement with highest mean: The field trip enhanced my relationship with my classmates.* Statement with lowest mean: I was satisfied with the food provided on this field trip.

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  • 29Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education

    Table 2.

    factor analysis with Varimax rotation and reliability tests of students Perception of learning Post-field trip (N=304)

    Statements FactorLoadingFactor Name(factor mean)

    EigenValue

    % ofVariance

    CumulativeVariance

    Cronbachs Alpha

    I could relate this field trip to the learning objectives of this subject 0.80

    Factor 1 -Learning-Orientated Activities(4.48)

    4.86 25.56 25.56 0.913

    This field trip enhanced my learning in this subject. 0.76

    I understood the objectives of this field trip clearly. 0.75

    The briefing before the field trip was useful for my learning in this subject. 0.72

    The debriefing after the field trip was useful for my learning in this subject. 0.69

    The visit(s) to the hotel, convention centre, restaurant, tourist attractions, etc., was/were useful for my learning.

    0.67

    The field trip was useful for my assignment/project in this subject. 0.53

    The field trip enhanced my relations with my teacher(s). 0.52

    My teacher was helpful to my learning on this field trip. 0.51

    The opportunity to make contact with the local people/culture enhanced my interest in this subject.

    0.47

    The tour commentary (on the coach, at the attractions, at the hotel, etc.) was useful for my learning.

    0.76Factor 2 -Tour Guided Activities and Entertainment(4.43)

    3.23 16.99 42.55 0.821

    The entertainment activities (singing, games on coach, performances at the attractions, etc.) during the field trip enhanced my interest in learning this subject.

    0.73

    I was satisfied with the tour leader/local tour guide. 0.68

    The sightseeing on this field trip enhanced my learning in this subject. 0.63

    The field trip enhanced my relationship with my classmates. 0.75

    Factor 3 -Students Expectation and Relationship with Classmates(5.20)

    2.53 13.30 55.85 0.667

    I was satisfied with the free time provided on the field trip. 0.67

    I was satisfied with the accommodation provided on the field trip.

    0.56

    Remarks: A 7-point Likert scale was used to rate the indicators, ranging from 1 = Strongly Disagree to 7 = Strongly Agree.The statement I was satisfied with the transportation (ferry, bus, air, etc.) provided on this field trip was deleted, after an internal reliability test (al-pha value increased from 0.818 to 0.821 after deletion), from Factor Two.Originally, the statement I was satisfied with the food provided on this field trip was loaded alone in Factor Four, with an eigenvalue of 1.04 and a mean value of 4.03. However, it was single-loaded and was finally not considered as a derived factor in this analysis.

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  • 30 Volume 21, Number 1

    the researchers for this study participated in the Guangzhou and Ma-

    cau field trips as a general academic staff member and an observer.

    He was also the subject lecturer and organizer of the PRD field trip;

    he has organized many study field trips before and is an experienced

    tour guide. Consequently, more examples will be drawn from the

    PRD group to provide explanations of the factors that affect students

    learning and satisfaction in relation to course-related field trips. In

    addition, further details of some of these trips are set out in text

    boxes as background information to provide a better understand-

    ing of the research results.

    Data treatment

    Frequency analysis was used to explore the distribution of the

    students profiles. Means and standard deviations of the students

    post-tour evaluations of the field trips were calculated. Factor analysis

    was performed to explore the underlying dimensions of the instru-

    ment. Multiple regression analysis was applied to determine the key

    factors relating to the overall satisfaction of the students with the field

    trips. ANOVA tests were carried out to find the demographic differ-

    ences in the derived factors.

    results

    Profile of the respondents

    A total of 304 valid responses was collected and used for data

    analysis. Seventy nine percent of the students were female and 21%

    were male. As the students joined the university at similar ages, 55.6%

    were aged 19 or under, 35.5% were 20-21, and only 8.9% were 22 or

    above. A total of 57.8% were studying for a higher diploma and 41.7%

    for a bachelors degree. A total of 63.2% of the students had either no

    prior experience of field trips or had only been on one such trip, 23.1%

    had been on two trips before, and 15.8% had been on three or more

    before. Among this student group, 68.8% traveled to Macau, 6.3% to

    Shanghai, 5.6% to the PRD, and 3.3% to Korea; the main reason for this

    uneven distribution of field trip destination was that the nature of the

    subjects taken by the students led to different field trip venues in their

    courses.

    Overall student, post-tour evaluation of the field trips

    Among the 19 statements in the survey (statement 20 being the

    dependent variable), the statement This field trip enhanced my re-

    lationships with my classmates scored highest, with a mean value of

    5.37, whereas the statement I was satisfied with the food provided on

    this field trip scored the lowest, with a mean value of 4.03. Although it

    spcored the lowest mean, it was higher than 3.5 (7 point Likert scale),

    so technically the students expressed satisfaction when responding

    to all the statements about the field trip in this survey. The dependent

    variable statement Overall, I was satisfied with this field trip scored

    a mean value of 4.96, which echoed the results from the other 19

    statements.

    Overall, the students were satisfied with the field trips. The mean

    evaluation score for the five field trips was 4.96 out of 7 (Table 1). They

    were very satisfied with the accommodation provided on these trips

    Table 3

    Multiple regression on the overall satisfaction with the field trip with the derived factors

    Independent Variable Beta Significance RankingFactor Three: Students Expectation and Relationship with Classmates 0.513 0.000** 1Factor One: Learning-Orientated Activities 0.490 0.000** 2Factor Two: Tour Guided Activities and Entertainment 0.095 0.057 3

    Dependent Variable: Overall, I was satisfied with this field trip.remarks:R = 0.814.R Square = 0.662 or 66.2%.** denotes p < 0.001

    Macau Field TripA total of 179 students enrolled in the Introduction and Principles of Tourism course participated in a two-day field trip to Macau in October 2007. The main objective of this field trip was to familiarize students with different aspects of the hospitality and tourism industry through studying a specific travel destination. Macau was selected because it is quite near Hong Kong, and because of the ease of managing a large group of students in a small area. Also, its recent rapid development as an entertainment and gaming centre in Asia, as well as the exis-tence of World Heritage sites, provide good studying opportunities for students. A half-day city tour and a hotel visit were arranged for the students. The students were also provided with maps to get around and with which to collect data for their projects. Prior to the field trip, the students were required to form themselves into small groups to study an interesting aspect of the hospitality and tourism industry in Macau. After the trip, they had to present their findings to the class, as well as submit a full written report on the whole study. Overall, the students enjoyed the free time they were given to work on their own projects.

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  • 31Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education

    (second highest mean score of 5.15), and felt that the trips provided

    them with an excellent opportunity to build better relationships with

    their classmates (highest mean score of 5.37). However, they were

    relatively dissatisfied with the food provided on the trips (lowest mean

    score of 4.03) and also did not feel that they had been given good

    opportunities to make contact with the local people (second lowest

    mean score).

    Data analysis

    Factors affecting students learning and satisfaction on Tourism

    and Hospitality course-related field trips

    Factor analysis was employed in order to discover any underly-

    ing dimension among these 19 statements. Before conducting the

    factor analysis, several statistical measurements were conducted to

    verify whether factor analysis could be conducted with this popula-

    tion sample. All of the statistical tools supported the use of factor

    analysis. The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure of Sampling Adequacy

    was 0.92, which is > 0.5, and in Bartletts Test of Sphericity, the

    chi-square was 2,938.154, which is larger than 1,000, and the sig-

    nificance level was 0.000, which is lower than 0.05. The Exploratory

    Factor Analysis method, using principal components analysis with

    varimax rotation, was used. In selecting the factors, there are three

    conditions: the eigenvalue is larger than 1.0, the factor loading of

    each statement is > 0.5, and the internal reliability test (Cronbachs

    Alpha) is > 0.5.

    Originally, four factors were derived with a cumulative variance of

    62.95%. However, Factor Four consisted of only one single statement:

    I was satisfied with the food provided on this field trip. The authors

    decided to delete this factor from the study in view of its weak rep-

    Table 4

    demographic differences on derived factors

    Factor One Factor Two Factor ThreeDemographic Profile Category Learning-Orientated

    ActivitiesTour Guided Activities and Entertainment

    Students Expectation and Relationship with Classmates

    GenderMale t=1.18 t=1.753 t=0.037

    Female No Significant Differences

    Age

    19 or under F=2.13 F=2.49* F=1.94

    20-21 Under 19 (4.55) > 20-21 (4.35)Under 19 (4.54) > 20-21 (4.28) No significant difference

    22 or above

    Educational Level

    Bachelors degree t=1.039 t=2.206* t=0.988

    Higher diploma No significant difference Bachelors degree (4.54) > higher diploma (4.28) No significant difference

    Number of prior experi-ences of participating in field trips

    One or none F=0.214 F=0.661 F=1.185

    Two

    Three or more No Significant Differences

    Destination of the field trip

    Macau F=12.18* F=6.83* F=4.34

    GuangzhouKoreaShanghaiPRD

    Macau (4.44) > Guang-zhou (4.14);PRD (5.61) > Shanghai (4.66)

    PRD (5.31) > Guangzhou (3.96), Macau (4.44), Shanghai (4.09) and Ko-rea (4.73) > Guangzhou (3.96)

    No significant difference

    Remarks:denotes p < 0.05.Figures in parentheses represent mean values.

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  • 32 Volume 21, Number 1

    resentation by a single statement. In addition, the statement, I was

    satisfied with the transportation (ferry, bus, air, etc.) provided on this

    field trip, was deleted after the internal reliability test from Factor Two.

    Following the deletion of the unreliable statements, 17 statements

    remained in the factor analysis process.

    Finally, three factors were retained: Factor One, named as

    Learning-Orientated Activities, with a factor mean = 4.48 covering 10

    statements; Factor Two, Tour-guided Activities and Entertainment,

    with a factor mean = 4.43 covering four statements; and Factor Three,

    Students Expectation and Relationship with Classmates, with a factor

    mean = 5.20 covering three statements.

    Multiple regressionHaving identified the three factor loadings, we performed the

    multiple regression analysis to investigate the extent to which the

    independent variables (the three field trip learning factors) exerted a

    significant influence on the dependent variable (overall field trip satis-

    faction). Table 3 reports the results of the regression analysis:

    A Multiple Regression Formula was formed: Y (Dependent vari-

    able) = 0.513 (Factor 3) + 0.49

    Factor Three, Students Expectation and Relationship with Class-

    mates (0.513), was found to have exerted the greatest impact on the

    students overall satisfaction with the field trip (dependent variable),

    following by Factor One, Learning-Orientated Activities (0.49). Howev-

    er, Factor Two was found to have no significant relationship to overall

    satisfaction.

    Demographic differences among derived factors

    No significant differences were found relating to the gender

    and the number of prior experiences of participating in field trips

    among the three derived factors. However, in terms of age group,

    students aged 19 or under scored higher (mean = 4.55) than stu-

    dents aged 20-21 (mean = 4.35) in Factor One, Learning-Orientated

    Activities. The same applied to Factor Two, Tour Guided Activities

    and Entertainment: those aged 19 and under (mean = 4.54) scored

    higher than those aged 20-21 (mean = 4.28). Students studying for

    a bachelors degree scored higher (mean = 4.54) than those study-

    ing for a higher diploma (mean = 4.28) in Factor Two, Tour Guided

    Activities and Entertainment. In terms of the destination of the

    field trip, no significance differences were found in any of the three

    factors. However, for Factor One, ANOVA revealed that, in terms of

    the destination, Macau (mean = 4.44) received a higher satisfac-

    tion than Guangzhou (mean = 4.14), and the PRD (mean = 5.61)

    received a higher satisfaction level than Shanghai (mean = 4.66). In

    terms of Factor Two, Tour Guided Activities and Entertainment, the

    PRD (mean = 5.31) scored higher than Guangzhou (mean = 3.96),

    Macau (mean = 4.44), and Shanghai (mean = 4.09), while Korea

    (mean = 4.73) scored higher than Guangzhou (mean = 3.96).

    discussion and implications

    The learning and satisfaction of Hospitality and Tourism stu-dents on course-related field trips and the factors affecting learning and satisfaction

    As shown in the previous section, the results indicate that stu-

    dents on these field trips were satisfied (Table 1). From this study, three

    key factors have been identified that affect the learning and satisfac-

    tion of Hospitality and Tourism students on course-related field trips.

    These factors are: (1) Learning-Orientated Activities, (2) Tour Guided

    Activities and Entertainment, and (3) Students Expectation and

    Relationship with Classmates (Table 2). Multiple regression analysis

    revealed that Factors Three and One (independent variables) were sig-

    nificant in affecting students overall satisfaction (dependent variable).

    However, Factor Two was found to have no significant relationship to

    overall satisfaction (Table 3).

    Factor Three, Students Expectation, and Relationship with Class-

    mates. This factor consists of three statements which described the

    students perception of their satisfaction with the accommodation

    and the free time provided on the field trip and the level of their rela-

    tionships with their classmates. Although previous studies indicated

    that field trips would create team work amongst the participants (Xie,

    2004), and that free time for students is important in any field trip

    (Porth, 1997), it was surprising that the results showed that this fac-

    tor had the greatest impact on students overall satisfaction (Table 3).

    Perhaps, from an educator/teachers perspective, his or her role should

    be the most important factor; however, from the students perspective,

    although they recognized that the educator/teacher and the activities

    helped them to learn, what they enjoyed and appreciated the most

    from their learning experiences on these field trips were the oppor-

    tunities to get to know their fellow classmates better and to spend

    some free time together. Certainly, the tour arrangements, such as

    the accommodation and the food, had an important impact on

    their perceived satisfaction, just as with any ordinary tourists. Table

    1 indicates that better relationships with classmates, the accom-

    modation, and free time were the top three items in the students

    evaluations of these field trips; in contrast, the food item with the

    lowest in their evaluations.

    It should be noted that all of the field trips in this study required

    students to do some kind of group work/assignment; naturally, this

    would generate team dynamics among the students. From the ob-

    servations of the researcher, the Macau field trip involved a good

    opportunity for students to learn better in their free time. The students

    were given a full day of free time to look around the city and to col-

    lect information for their group projects. In the planning process, it

    was initially proposed to visit Shenzhen (a cross-border city). However

    when the safety issues regarding the free time for the group proj-

    ect were discussed, all the teachers agreed that Macau was a better

    choice. Organizers of future Hospitality and Tourism course-related

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  • 33Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education

    field trips should be mindful of the safety issues and the importance of

    the Students Expectation and Relationship with Classmates factor in

    the planning process.

    Factor One, Learning-Orientated Activities. This factor consisted

    of 10 statements relating to a wide range of aspects covering the

    different roles of the educator/teacher, such as enabling students to

    relate learning objectives to the field trip as well as to the subject, and

    providing useful briefings or help before, during, and after the field

    trip. In addition, it consisted of visiting activities to hotels, convention

    centers, restaurants, and tourist attractions, and the opportunities pro-

    vided to students to help them to understand, and to make contact

    with, the local people.

    To enhance the readers understanding of this factor, some actual

    examples/comments from students might be helpful:

    1. On a visit to a newly opened hotel and theme park in the Pearl

    River Delta, one group commented that, Interlaken OCT Hotel

    adds values to the trip. Thanks to the teachers social network,

    the hotel manager treated us as superior guests. It was a great

    opportunity to tour the luxury hotel and to have an enjoyable

    buffet lunch. The Interlaken town area was brilliant. By tour-

    ing around the town area and the golf area in a golf cart with

    a hotel guide, a clear picture was given of the whole towns

    facilities. This illustrates that the teacher tried every means

    possible to provide learning experiences for the students and

    that they were satisfied with this experience and appreciated

    the teachers efforts.

    2. In the field trip visiting and staying at the airport hotel in

    Guangzhou, one group of students expressed the view that

    they had gained knowledge of the different facilities provided

    to different customers in a hotel and a better understanding

    of the daily operations of the hotel as a result of a talk. Most

    importantly, they felt that they had learnt the skills of setting a

    table and making up a bed through the staffs demonstrations,

    which was the most memorable and interesting part.

    3. One group commented on the debriefing session after the field

    trip, Our subject lecturer prepared some photos that he had

    taken in the hotel we had stayed in and shared these with us

    after the trip. He showed us photos which demonstrated the

    carelessness of the housekeeper when he was cleaning the

    room, like the dust on the top of the TV, the water on the mir-

    ror, and the bath tub. This shows how the students appreciated

    the efforts of the teacher and the importance of reflecting on

    the visit and its learning activities with the students.

    It should be noted that this factor was the second factor that ex-

    erted an impact on the students overall satisfaction (Table 3). Previous

    studies on Hospitality and Tourism course-related field trips, regarding

    the important roles of the educator/teacher and the tour activities that

    provide experiential learning, were mostly from the teachers perspec-

    tive (Ap, 2005; Bauer, 2003; Do, 2006; Port, 1997); the present study is

    more from the students perspective.

    Factor Two, Tour Guided Activities and Entertainment. This factor

    consisted of four statements relating to the services provided during

    the field trip by the tour guide and the tour leader, as well as to the

    arrangements for sightseeing and the entertainment activities. It was

    found that this factor had no significant relationship to the overall sat-

    isfaction with these field trips.

    Again, to give readers a better understanding of this factor, actual

    examples/comments from students might be helpful:

    1. One of the groups that participated in the PRD field trip com-

    mented that, The tour guide did not brief us on our arrival at

    the tourist attractions. For example, she did not provide us with

    basic information about, and suggestions regarding, the fea-

    tures of ChuanLord Manor farm. As a result of this, we missed

    all of the shows and the most valuable parts of ChuanLord

    Manor farm. It appeared to us that the tour leader did nothing

    throughout the trip. At our first encounter, she did not intro-

    duce herself. During the trip, she seemed to lack patience when

    waiting for latecomers. On excursions, she simply walked away

    instead of accompanying the group. In addition, she did not

    perform the duties of her job, such as checking us into hotels,

    making head-counts when we returned to the coach, making

    recommendations on the use of free time, reminding us to

    check that we had our passports when leaving the hotel, etc.

    Overall, she did not integrate herself into our group. This is a

    perfect illustration of how students learning and satisfaction

    were affected by the unprofessional behavior of the tour guide

    and tour leader on this field trip.

    2. On the field trip, there was no outdoor sightseeing activity on

    the itinerary. On that day, we just got onto the coach, went to

    the hotel we were visiting, and stayed in the hotel overnight.

    No sightseeing to any attractions or visits to other hotels in

    Guangzhou was provided. At least we should have had an op-

    portunity for some sightseeing to the famous attractions in

    Guangzhou, so that we could have learnt about the culture of

    Guangzhou and been able to broaden our horizons. Again, this

    is another example of how students were concerned about the

    arrangement of tour activities on their trip.

    The literature indicates that tour guides and tour leaders usually

    have different important roles to play in ensuring tour satisfaction

    (Chan & Bauer, 2004; Robin, 2000; Wong, 2001; Wong & Hanefors,

    2007). It indicates that, in order to enhance students learning and

    satisfaction, there is considerable room for improvement, in terms of

    the co-ordination between the tour operator, the educator/teacher,

    the tour leader, and the tour guide, when organizing this type of field

    trip in the future. The educator/teacher needs to communicate with

    the tour operator, making it clear that the trip is an educational tour or

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  • 34 Volume 21, Number 1

    a Hospitality and Tourism course-related field trip. The tour operator

    should assign a tour leader and a local guide with professional skills

    and detailed local knowledge, as students might have more questions

    and be more demanding on the tours commentary and arrange-

    ments, as they represent the future hospitality/tourism workforce.

    In addition, it is important to arrange sightseeing or enter-

    tainment activities during field trips. As the previous literature has

    indicated, learning should be fun and provided in a relaxed atmo-

    sphere, especially in educational travel and tourism (Ap, 2006; Do,

    2004; Newmeyer, 2008; Xie, 2004). The educator/teacher may place

    too much emphasis on the learning activities during the field trip,

    as the participants are students, and may forget that these students

    could experience and learn during the tour as an ordinary tourist or

    visitor. Clearly there are limitations, in terms of resources and finances,

    relating to the organization of these field trips. It can be difficult to

    get the approval of course administrators to provide sightseeing or

    entertainment activities: Today, in a climate of increasing financial

    pressure on universities many departments are asking students to pay

    some or all the costs of the excursions (Carr, 2003: 209). The educator/

    teacher may need to work out the right formula for the field trip with

    the course administrators, the students, and the tour operators. In ad-

    dition, future research needs to address how educators can overcome

    this barrier to organizing field trips that provide excellent opportuni-

    ties to enhance student learning.

    Demographic differences among the factors affecting the

    learning and satisfaction of Hospitality and Tourism students on

    course-related field trips

    As indicated in Table 4, among the five demographic profiles,

    the students gender and their prior experiences of participating in

    field trips showed no significant differences among the three differ-

    ent derived factors. However, there were some significant differences,

    in certain factors, in relation to the age and the educational level of

    the students and the destination of the field trip. Although the results

    seem to indicate that the younger age group (aged 19 and under)

    were more satisfied than the next oldest age group (20-21), in terms

    of both Learning-Orientated Activities (Factor One) and Activities and

    Entertainment (Factor Two), the reason for this is not clear, as the age gap

    between these two groups is small; therefore, caution is required in mak-

    ing any generalizations. In addition, in relation to educational level, the

    results seem to indicate that, in terms of Tour Guided Activities and Enter-

    tainment (Factor Two), the bachelors degree students were more satisfied

    than the higher diploma students; again the reason for this is not clear

    and it is difficult to make any generalizations. It is possible that these dif-

    ferences relate to the different characteristics of the field trips, as all of the

    different field trips in this study had different learning objectives, learning

    outcomes, itineraries, durations, and group sizes.

    In addition, as indicated by the results, the students who partici-

    pated in the PRD group seemed to be different to the other groups.

    This group had a much higher satisfaction level than the other groups

    in terms of Learning-Orientated Activities (Factor One) and Tour

    Guided Activities and Entertainment (Factor Two). Besides, in another

    study of these five groups, using pair t-tests of pre and post trips com-

    parison, the PRD group has more post trip ratings higher than pre-trip

    ratings, as compare to other groups; in other words, the Pearl River

    Delta trip exceeded students expectations (see Wong & Wong, 2008).

    Perhaps the key reason for this is that the educator/teacher on this

    trip had a better understanding or awareness of the different factors

    affecting students learning and satisfaction; the organizer of this trip

    was one of the researchers for this paper and he did this whilst under-

    taking this research.

    Conclusions, limitations, and implications for future research

    In summary, the findings of this study contribute to further un-

    derstanding and knowledge of how to organize better field trips or

    educational tours that enhance students learning and satisfaction. In

    particular, this study has identified three key factors affecting students

    learning and satisfaction on Tourism and Hospitality course-related

    field trips that have some implications for educators/teachers when

    organizing future field trips. Both the Students Expectation and Re-

    lationship with Classmates (Factor Three) and Learning-Orientated

    Activities (Factor One) were found to have a significant impact on

    overall satisfaction. From the educator/teachers perspective, he or she

    needs to understand these factors in order to provide good learning

    experiences for his or her students. In this study, Tour Guided Activi-

    ties and Entertainment (Factor Two) was found to have no significant

    relationship to overall satisfaction. However, this does not mean that

    the educator/teacher does not need to pay attention to this factor; on

    the contrary, it is important for him or her to effectively co-ordinate

    the different stakeholders (tour operators, tour leaders, tour guides,

    course administrators, and students) when organizing field trips, as it

    is important to see things more from the students perspective.

    There were several limitations to this study which deserve atten-

    tion. The survey covered participants studying Hospitality and Tourism

    courses in a single university; in future studies, more students from

    different academic institutes should be included to ensure a better

    sample. Another limitation is that the uniqueness of each field trip

    made it difficult to draw comparisons; for example, the accommoda-

    tion, the food, and the itineraries were all different. Nevertheless, one

    of the researchers participated in some of these field trips, enabling

    him to observe and to understand the underlying reasons for the dif-

    ferences. Also, each field trip came from a different subject area and

    consequently there was some variety in terms of the learning objec-

    tives of each course. However, this was taken into consideration during

    the instrument development process, and all of the statements in the

    survey were designed to ask for a more general impression rather than

    to ask specific questions relating to different field trips.

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  • 35Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education

    For future research, the development of the statements derived

    from the three factors (Learning-Orientated Activities, Tour Activities

    and Entertainment, and Students Expectation and Relationship with

    Classmates) may reveal further, more specific areas that are worthy of

    investigation. Field trips in different areas of study may produce differ-

    ent results, and focusing on field trips in similar subjects could lead to

    more generalized findings. Since the results of this survey uncovered

    the importance of learning-orientated activities, further investigations

    of how teachers can develop such activities to help students learning

    might be worth conducting in future research. Last, but not least, fur-

    ther research on barriers in organizing course-related field trips, such

    as financial constraints, might be helpful for educators/teachers using

    field trip as a tool to enhance students learning and satisfaction.

    referencesAp, J. (2005). Active Learning in the Work Place. Activate, 7. Retrieved 5 May

    2008 from http://edc.polyu.edu.hk/Activate/7.pdf.

    Bauer, T. G. (2003). Field Research Projects in Tertiary Tourism Education: Lessons from Vanuatu, Bali and Thailand. Managing Educational Tourism, Sydney: Channel View Publications.

    Carr, N. (2003). University and College Students Tourism. Managing Educational Tourism, Sydney: Channel View Publications.

    Chan, A., & Baum, T. (2004). The Impact of Tour Guide Performance on Tourist Satisfaction: A Study of Outbound Tours in Hong Kong. Proceedings of Tourism: State of the Art II Conference, Glasgow.

    Cushner, K (2004). Beyond Tourism: A Practical Guide to Meaningful Educational Travel. Toronto: Scarecrow Education.

    Do, K. (2006). Experiential Education: Beyond the Classroom. Evaluations and Assessment Conference: Enhancing Student Learning (30 November 1 December), Perth, Western Australia: Curtin University of Technology.

    Greenaway, R. (2008). Experiential Learning Articles and Critiques of David Kolbs theory. Retrieved 16 March 2008 from http://reviewing.co.uk/research/experiential.learning.htm.

    Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

    Moscardo, G. (1996). Mindful visitors: Heritage and tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 23(2), 376-397

    Newmeyer, T. S. (2008). Moral Renovation and Intellectual Exaltation: Thomas Cooks Tourism as Practical Education. Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change, 6(1), 1-15.

    Porth, S.J. (1997). Management Education Goes International: A Model for Designing and Teaching a Study Tour Course. Journal of Management Education, 21(2), 190-199.

    Ritchie, B. W., Carr, N., & Cooper, C. (2003). Managing Educational Tourism, Sydney: Channel View Publications.

    Robin, B. (2000), Revolution in Free Tourism. Times Educational Supplement, 22 September.

    Stainfield, J. (2000). Fields of Dreams. The Times Higher Education Supplement, 27 October.

    Weiler, B., & Kalinowski, K. (1990). Participants of Educational Travel: A Canadian Case Study. The Journal of Tourism Studies, 1(2), 43-50.

    Wong, A (2001). Satisfaction with Local Tour Guides in Hong Kong. Pacific Tourism Review, 5(1/2), 59-67.

    Wong, A., & Hanefors, M. (2007). Tourist Guides: from Cross-Cultural Understanding to Animation. The 5th APac-CHRIE and the 13th Asia Pacific Tourism Association Joint Conference Beijing, China, May.

    Wong, A., & Wong, S. (2008). The Impacts of Educational Tours on the Learning Experience of Hospitality and Tourism Students. In Conference Proceeding, 6th Asia Pacific (APacCHRIE) Conference, 21 - 24 May, 2008, Perth, Western Australia.

    Xie, P. (2004). Tourism Field Trip: Students View of Experiential Learning. Tourism Review International, 8(2), 101-111.

    AcknowledgmentsThe authors knowledge that funding for this project was provided by a grant from the Teaching and Learning Committee, the Hong Kong Polytechnic Uni-versity. Project Code: 2005-08/LTG/SS2/SHTM

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