Online Lecturing Series #askExpert2: Covid-19: Revival of Tourism and Hospitality Industry

Since the covid-19 outbreak, which have been declared as a pandemic by WHO, we cannot ignore its inevitable impacts in any industries and sectors worldwide. Hospitality industries are among those have been feeling the hardest hit. We are aware of this impact and as a form of our real knowledge contribution, we decided to invite Assoc. Prof. Dr.Vinay Chamoli, from Maharaja Agrasen University, India, to provide us as global researchers with rich insights and analysis in Research Synergy Foundation webinars by the theme: Covid-19: Revival of Tourism and Hospitality Industry. The webinars was held on Wednesday, 8 July 2020 using Zoom as a platform

This event has more than 160 participants that has been registered from 11 countries around the world, such as Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Nepal, Morocco, Myanmar, Nigeria, Canada, Afghanistan. In the opening session, webinars started by a brief introduction regarding Research Synergy Foundation as a global research ecosystem by Mrs Santi Rachmawati. The event then continued with a presentation session from the speaker Assoc. Prof. Dr.Vinay Chamoli which was moderated by Mrs. Ani Wahyu.

Dr. Vinay started his lecture by presenting an overview about tourism and hospitality industry in every regions. In terms of international tourism spending, China remains the world largest spender, followed by the United States. With a variety of reasons for travel, airplane is still the most widely used transportation by tourists. In 2019, tourism industry –mainly from a leisure industry- has contributed a lot to the total GDP worldwide. It reached 4,715 billion U.S. dollars in 2019 from global leisure tourism spending. The first position of the world’s major connection hub for international flights is Dubai International Airport, with over 86.3 million international passengers uplifted in 2019. While in terms of revenue, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Continental Holdings are in the top position.

As for some of the impact of Covid-19 on this industry, Dr. Vinay explained in his several analysis. The first major impact of Covid-19 on tourism and hospitality industry was job and visitor loss. Covid-19 may not be the 1st infectious disease that the world faces, but this virus has forced hospitality industries to reimagine how they run their business. Almost all international travels are banned. Many countries and regions have imposed quarantines, so as the workers and visitors who are the core of the industry. Airlines sector, global hotel market, as well as restaurants are suffering a huge loss, and thus revenue decreasing cannot be avoided. Some hotels have even turned into quarantine places. This happens in some Asian countries, like India and Indonesia. People will fear to travel within such condition, so psychological problems with travelers will persist afterwards.

However, the Covid-19  does not mean to be a ‘case judge’ who decided that this industry seems unable to survive and there will be no choice at all.  The industry still has a chance to be able to survive by applying a Global Protocol for the New Normal as a ‘Safe Travels’ standard conducted by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). It includes:

  1. Operational and staff preparedness:

All tourism and hospitality industries must plan to start the operation based on Global Protocol standard. They must know and adopt WHO standard of cleanliness, food concerns, room services, and etc for the employees and tourists safety.

  • Ensuring a safe experience

Enhance sanitation based on WHO standard and discipline in practicing physical distancing. For example in the restaurant, regulations such as a menu and bills are transferred to the visitor’s phone to avoid physical contact.

  • Rebuilding Trust and Confidence

Building customer trust with applying ‘perform and inform’ that it is safe to travel with them and use their facilities.

  • Implementing Enabling Policies

New policies has to be implemented as a recovery efforts for various losses, like adding a new job and enhance promotion.

  • Clinically Clean is the New Level

We must be accustomed to applying an improved standard of our clean habits.

Before ending his presentation, Dr. Vinay displayed a video advertisement of one of U.S. Airlines which contains a message, ‘We are ready for you when you’re ready to fly’. He also quoted Paulo Coelho, ’The ship is safest when it is port, but that’s not what ships were built for’. The slogan seemed meaningful to strengthen each other and build readiness to go back to a normal condition together.

In this lecture, there was an interactive discussion with the participants, here we summarize some interesting questions along with the answers:

  1. Abderrahim Naim (Sultan Moulay Simane University, Morocco)

Q: How can tourist structure be able to revive their economy? And with what strategy?

A: Tourism sector still can run, as government has opened several potential sectors, but they have to ensure they must follow the guidelines to ensure safe travel, all employees must be trained well-enough how to maintain safety health standard

  • Eva (Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia)

Q: Are there any difference for tourism industry at urban and rural area (particularly community based industry), related to the effort to revitalized the industry?

A: We can call that rural areas are the unexplored areas. Due to the psychological effects as the impact of covid-19, there will be a possibility for some peoples –especially urban people- will love to go to safe and less crowded places like rural areas. So, rural areas will be developed and it will help to increase the economic potential for the residents. People can still survive their own industry in urban and rural areas by applying the new normal and health protocol standards.

  • Prof. Revelina (Philippines)

Q: How government, academicians, and citizens help awaken the tourism industry?

A: By moving to organize any online classes or webinars, government, academicians and citizens still can make a meaningful impact. Like me, I still keep in touch with my students, one of them is the chef and his hotel is shut down. But he can still survive with his job, by managing community kitchen, host a party in their home, and as a chef he can go to customer’s house and served a good food for them. I always say that ‘human is not the strongest, it is dinosaurs, but it cannot survive, and human is the smartest, so they can manage to survive and keep supporting each other’.

  • Retno Budi Wahyuni (Indonesia)

Q: What is the most important part to be the 1st priority of recovery caused by covid19?

A: Being creative in any areas, people should protect their interest, planning any activities in any areas with a new standard, get rid a negative side of this pandemic, growing a self-belief that we can pass this condition together.

How insightful the discussion was, and many more questions to ask from the participants. The webinars has closed successfully and we look forward to your participation in RSF next events.

Fostering Data Analysis in Educational Research Using SPSS Software

Data collection, processing, and analysis represents an essential part of the research. It is not uncommon for researchers, educators, and even journals editors to find a statistical problem in a stage of the research process. Poor data analysis and lack of supporting evidence can be one of those important causes for global journal editors rejects a submitted manuscript. We can simply assumed that “bad data practice will lead to bad research”. In order to assist educators and researchers in improving the quality of research data analysis skills, we conducted a webinars by the theme Fostering Data Analysis in Educational Research Using SPSS Software. We invited Engr. Dr. Muhammad Mujtaba Asad, the Head of Educational Technology & TVET Research Sukkur IBA University as a trainer to deliver his knowledge and experience regarding SPSS Software and its application in a research. The webinar has more than 125 participants that has been registered from 10 countries around the world.

In the first session, webinars started by a brief introduction regarding Research Synergy Foundation as a global research ecosystem by Mrs Santi Rachmawati. The event then continued with an introduction of Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) from the trainer Engr. Dr. Muhammad Mujtaba Asad which was moderated by Mrs. Ani Wahyu.

Dr. Asad presented a complete overview of the Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) as an application to analyze scientific data related with the social science. Basically, all versions of this software can be used for managing and analyzing all sorts of data. He emphasized that the main thing that must be considered by qualitative or quantitative researchers is what method is used in a research. Choosing a research method will depend on: research questions, philosophy of research, researcher preferences and skills.

Either Qualitative or Quantitative researchers may favor focused on research data. Data is not a systematic or irregular part, so a researcher have to manage it properly and analyze it effectively. For students, research questions may be influence on supervisor’s beliefs, but at least, we have to consider several questions regarding unit of analysis, whether theory or data will come first, or it is cross-sectional or longitudinal.

Dr. Asad then gave an explanation about a key description about quantitative and qualitative approach. Quantitative approach attempts to explain existing phenomena by collecting and analyzing numerical data, using statistical methods. Quantitative researchers will worry about sample, statistical test, result and suitable methods. While qualitative researchers will worry about data coding, capturing a situation in a realistic manner, describe context detail, also whether the approach is flexible and able to change. Qualitative researchers also often have issues regarding respondents and ethical issue of the research process. In conducting a survey, researchers have to make sure that the interview is manageable and not overlapping.

In his presentation, Dr. Asad showed how descriptive statistical analysis can be analyzed using SPSS.

For descriptive analysis, SPSS is able to:

  • Create histograms
  • Frequency Distribution of Data
  • Calculate the Mean Scor
  • Calculate the Median and Mode
  • Standard Deviation (SD)
  • Scattered Graphs Plot
  • Pie & Bar Charts

Dr. Asad then explained about what is parametric and non-parametric statistical analysis.  He also demonstrated an exercise on how to run hypothesis testing like F test, T test, Annova, and coding variables using SPSS.

After the online training session was over, the webinars moved to the Q & A session. Here are we gathered some interesting questions from the participants.

  1. Dimas

Q: Is SPSS Similar to Winstep?

A: SPSS more advanced,detailed and extensive output, while winstep have more limited option

  • Christopher

Q: How to get a standard sample size?

A: I will recommend the morgan table of sample size based on your population.

  • Arik Susanti

Q: Is it ok to conduct blended/mix method in the research?

A: It is not always necessary to conduct a mix-method approach in a research. You can consult with a supervisor to find an authentic result of your research and depend on what your research needs.

  • Tuti Rahmi

Q: How about the questionnaire shared online or by social media which can be filled by anyone who is eligible? Can it be generalized? What kind of sampling techniques is it?

A: There is no issue you can share an online questionnaires or telephonic interviews, conducting panel discussion via online platforms due to current situation. You must target your respondents with a specific skill and particular respondents, and better to not make it as an open source. It is okay for qualitative research, based on your nature of your study that you are targeting either random or convenience sampling.

  • Desi Rahmawati

Q: What is the difference the use of Spearman and Pearson Product Moment?

A: It can be used for the linearity of data, we can find out the association between 2 variables, whether it is negative or positive. Pearson parametric, spearman non parametric

  • Hajra Ameer?

Q: Will the validity of questionnaire compromise after modification?

A: Modification is not about modifying the major part of that particular research, you are just going to align with your particular context. If it is not relevant, delete it, integrate other questionnaire and replace them (with a good reference), ensure and construct validity. You can also run validity practice to minimize an error.

How insightful the discussion was, and many more questions to ask from the participants. The webinars has closed successfully and we look forward to your participation in RSF next events.

Finally, we concluded this webinar successfully. We are glad to hold this webinar and we hope that it can help all researchers analyze their research data. So, we are waiting for you to take part in RSF Webinar Series.

Publication Opportunities in Scopus and WOS Indexed Journals: Advice and Recommendations from the Editors

For some researchers, publishing scientific articles in high-quality journals have been quite challenging. Publication of a scientific article becomes a stage that must be passed by researchers considering that this is a form of validation of the research done. By publishing an article, researchers are making their knowledge contribution available to a community of scholars and society. There are various reasons why an article is accepted or rejected, and sometimes this makes researchers feel a little bit frustrated with the research they are working on. In fact, the rejection and any kind of challenge when publishing scientific articles in high-impact journals are part of the process. All of the process will become beneficial to improve a research experience.

Facing the challenges of publication, all we need is to keep learning to improve in each process. Writing a research can be considered as an art, it involves skill to express complex ideas in a concise way, communicate with readers, benefit civil society, and contribute to a better life. Thus, we organized a Webinar that might be helpful for researchers to learn and understand a proper research publication from the point of view of journal editors by the theme: “Publication Opportunities in Scopus and WOS Indexed Journals: Advice and Recommendations from the Editors”. The webinar was organized by Research Synergy Foundation (RSF), Research Synergy Institute (RSI) in collaboration with Sarawak Research Society (SRS), Emerald Publishing (East Asia), Ikatan Dosen Republik Indonesia (IDRI), and Pampanga Research Educators Organization (PREO) Phillippines. Presented as trainers are the journal editors from Scopus and WOS Indexed Journal: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mumtaz Ali Memon from NUST Business School Pakistan, Assoc.Prof. Dr. Evan Lau from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Iris Lui from Ming Chuan University, Taiwan, and Mdm. Rozita Gee from Emerald Publishing.

There are more than 1.135 scholars from more than 30 countries across the globe registered to the Webinar. The event is not just a simple Webinar, it is also an opportunity for participants to submit their articles in the high-reputable journals edited by the trainers.

The first session of the webinar was opened with an explanation of Emerald Publishing by Mdm. Rozita Gee. Emerald Publishing was founded in 1967 with only 1 journal published. In this year, Emerald has more than 300 journals with any reputable indexed and 3000 books. Emerald opened its branch in Asia on 1983, located in Singapore, and then in Kuala Lumpur on 1995. Emerald now has 8 regional offices worldwide. All journals in Emerald have been indexed by well-known indexation institution such as DORA, Scopus, Web of Science, ProQuest, EBSCO, and etc. Some Emerald journals currently open its special issued for certain themes.

In the subsequent sessions continued with an explanation of the special issue in each journals and its submission deadline. One of the journals that have a special issue is Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology that later be presented by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Iris Lui. The journal is opening a special issue with a theme: Challenges and Prospect of AIoT Application in Hospitality and Tourism Marketing. The journal wishes to expand the knowledge regarding an application of IoT in the hospitality and tourism fields, like the using of Disney Magic Band and West-Western Alexa Deployment.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mumtaz Ali Memon explained the special issue of Electronic Journal of Applied Statistical Analysis by the theme “digitalization and its impact on contemporary marketing strategies and practices”. The topics include digital marketing, cross cultures comparative studies, multi group analysis, marketing analytics, and etc. The journal will prioritize the advanced methodological papers or the research using PLS Path Modelling as a statistical analysis software.

The next journal is International Journal of Business and Society. This session was explained by Assoc.Prof. Dr. Evan Lau as a Journal Editor. International Journal of Business and Society is published by University Malaysia Sarawak and it has been indexed by Scopus from 2009. The journal publish 3 times a year with the main topics are high-quality papers using multidisciplinary approaches with a strong emphasis on business, economics and finance. The theme of special issue of the journal is: the coronavirus pandemic: economic impact, challenges, opportunities, and recovery paths for emerging countries.

The 2nd session of the webinar was 2nd Topic Advice for submission to the special issues and expectation from the guest editors that presented by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mumtaz Ali Memon and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Iris Lui. The session began with the emphasis from Dr. Iris that as an editor she did not expect a paper like a compile of information from textbook. To start writing a proper scientific article, researchers should consider:  study from recent literature on subject matter, solicit ideas from the practitioners and observation of the real world, read recent papers of each journals and author guideline to know how the manuscript should be prepared.

From the perspective of Dr. Mumtaz, as an editor he expects the submitted articles that are:

  1. Relevance: it means the paper suits the theme and topics of the journal
  2. Quality and Contribution: it is okay not always using PLS, but make sure it contributes a new knowledge.
  3. Complete: complete all parts of the research sections, like implication and discussion of findings which are often incomplete in a research.
  4. Balance: put the same efforts between analysis and other sections, such as theoretical, findings, or background.
  5. Efforts: make your manuscript worthwhile and do not use outdated references.

The 3rd webinar session is Reasons for Manuscript Acceptance, Revision (Major & Minor) and Rejection that was presented by Assoc.Prof. Dr. Evan Lau. In this sessions, the participants learned about crafting an excellent research paper. Researchers should consider what a journal looking for and what should be inside the research. Here are some consideration in crafting a research paper:

  • Solid, interesting and attractive intro (the research should attract the editors in the first reading)
  • Unique dataset
  • Good presentation and discussion of results
  • Solid set of empirical robustness tests
  • Importance of abstract and conclusion
  • Contribution and what is new
  • Localized issue with international appeal

Dr. Evan also showed common issues why the papers are being rejected.

  • Lack of motivation (too outdated reference, not sufficient contribution)
  • Out of scope (easy to reject)
  • Fundamental flaws
  • Topic is dated
  • Key sections are missing
  • Unreadable
  • Unethical practices

He also showed what common major and minor corrections. For major correction, generally caused by several factors: lack of justification of contribution, poor storyline (needs to improve the storyline), lack of theoretical support, underdeveloped hypotheses, key information is missing, key references are missing. For minor corrections caused by linguistic issues, not following submission guidelines, and less recent literature. To improve minor correction, researchers needs a proofreading and improve citations.

The topic of the next session was Editorial Decision to Accept and Reject a Manuscript that presented by Dr. Iris. She showed a chart of decision process and important dates so that Authors can understand the journal publication process and see how the editors work together to accept or reject manuscripts (you can see the chart in the webinar recording).

Mdm. Rozita also shared tips for writing more effectively. All Emerald journals does a double blind review, so make sure to craft a high-quality research and find a suitable journal.

She highlight five important things:

  1. Structure your journal submission
  2. Writing a literature
  3. Writing simply
  4. Proofreading
  5. Writing collaboratively with your peers

Dr. Evan also advised 3 golden rule:

  1. Read and explore the literature
  2. Do not write a murder mystery – adopt KISS method
  3. Do not rush your article for publication – select the right journal

The last advice was given by Dr. Mumtaz

  1. Attend all comments
  2. Prepare response sheet and highlight revisions/changes
  3. Be polite, honest, and appreciative

When a reviewer give a comment, Authors must understand that the reviewers also given a lot of time and efforts to suggest your manuscript. So, we need to appreciate each other, even author can ask their peers to make sure that the social writing in response to a reviewer comments is a good-enough.

The last topic was presented by Dr. Iris regarding 3 criteria to determine a manuscript publishability. It includes more attention to originality of the research, findings, and rigors.

The webinar was closed by concluding remarks from the moderator. After the webinar, make sure as researchers we do not rush to publish our manuscripts, make it worthwhile, also put a learning-mindset when we revise a manuscript. So we hope there should be no particular difficulty if Authors can match the high quality manuscript and high-reputable journal.

Virtual Conference Guide: Online Platforms You Can Use

As institutions begin to navigate their activities online or distance learning, so many stakeholders also going through this learning environment shift. Most students, professors, lecturers and researchers are forced to use technology as they do their studying, teaching and research works. They must know how to speed up the adoption of technology-enabled learning in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Despite this transition, researchers still have the responsibility to increase their capacity and disseminate their knowledge to a large audience. But there’s hope for them to perform their responsibility in society by engaging virtual events.

In this post, we recommend platforms aim to help those who might consider working from home to do virtual conferences:

1. Google Hangouts

It allows you to message contacts, start free video or video calls with one or more person. The application is integrated with other Google’s G-Suite tools. It can also be used across all devices.

2. Zoom

The platform is one of the leading video enterprise solutions. It allows you to host product training, webinars, video conferencing, meeting, and more. Zoom has also collaborated with many apps, like Outlook, Slack and Egnyte.

3. GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting is another online meeting software. You can also launch or join a meeting from your smartphone. It can feature collaborative team messaging, video transcriptions and customizable team settings. The company also has, GoToWebinar which have hosted 2.7 million webinars a year.

4. Skype for Business

Skype for Business is a communication tools that gives you instant messaging (IM), audio and video calls, online meetings, availability (presence) information, and sharing capabilities all from one. The platform is enterprise instant messaging software developed by Microsoft.