Factors Affecting Students' Learning and Satisfaction on Tourism and Hospitality Course-Related Field Trips
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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.
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.
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.
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
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-
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.
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.
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
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.
29Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education
factor analysis with Varimax rotation and reliability tests of students Perception of learning Post-field trip (N=304)
Statements FactorLoadingFactor Name(factor mean)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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-
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
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
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
Three or more No Significant Differences
Destination of the field trip
Macau F=12.18* F=6.83* F=4.34
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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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