GTTP Research Competition & Award


  • Why A Competition?
    Each year the GTTP holds a competition for the best school research project. Research topics are selected by GTTP Country Directors. Working in teams, the students develop their research skills, analytical skills, and communications skills, all of which are essential for a successful career in Travel & Tourism.
  • How The Competition Works.
    Each member country selects a winning team for the GTTP Research Award in their country. The winning school sends two students and their teacher to an international conference at Sophia Antipolis near Nice, France. At this meeting the winning teams present their research findings and meet students and teachers from all GTTP-member countries. They also will have the opportunity to meet the GTTP Global Partner Advisory Board members.These competitions require students to research a tourism-related topic by first using library materials and the Internet. This phase is then followed by the students interviewing people who have information relevant to the topic. The third phase is analyzing the information gathered and creating a written report or “case study,” which includes a teacher’s guide. The case study can be used by students and teachers everywhere. The fourth phase is the development of a presentation, based on their case study, that each team will deliver to an audience composed of the other winning teams and their teachers.
  • History Of The Competition
    An endowment established in honor of Aldo Papone, former president of American Express Travel Related Services Company, helps fund the competition. Mr. Papone was a strong believer in tourism education and student creativity. When he retired, a fund was established in his name to support excellence and innovation in tourism education. The GTTP’s share of the fund is used to support the research competition.
  • The topic for 2018 is “Innovation in Tourism.” 

    What exactly is “innovation” in tourism?

    Innovation is when members of this huge industry adopt new ideas; introduce improved ways of doing things; use new technology to do new things; offer new products; create new ways of organizing what they do, and that includes creating new kinds of jobs.

    As GTTP students already know, GTTP stresses the importance of looking at what the industry does through the eyes of the customer. After all, it is the customer who makes the industry possible.

    All of you have seen this list before, which lists the eight things travelers do before, during, and after they go on a trip. They are:

    — Obtain Information.
    — Select a destination.
    — Make Reservations.
    — Use Transport.
    — Use accommodations.
    — Eat food.
    — Participate in entertainment and/or activities.
    — Share the experience.

    The list is also a way of summarizing what this giant industry does to make a living: it makes travel-related information available; offers destinations to choose from; provides a way to make reservations; offers transportation choices; accommodation choices; food choices, entertainment and activities. The tourist comes back home with a lot of experiences to share.

    We suggest that you review the list of topics of what tourists do before, during and after they take a trip. Then think about the community or region you live in. Then pick one of the topics to research. Each one of them contains a cluster of innovative practices that the industry is either developing or learning how to manage…or you think they should develop.

    For example, customer tastes are changing. This is requiring the industry to respond with innovative ideas for vacations. Changing technology is leading to the creation of small innovative companies that are then bought by bigger companies that want to use their innovations. Companies that provide accommodation are responding to competition from new companies that offer different kinds of accommodation.

    • What tourism-related innovations have been introduced into your community or region?
    • How has the way travelers find out about your area changed in the past 10 years?
    • Has the way they make reservations at some hotels, restaurants and attractions changed?
    • Are there more choices in transportation and accommodation now?
    • Are there more ways of enjoying and sampling the food choices of your community?
    • Are there new activities for visitors available now that cater to the changing tastes of tourists?
    • Maybe you may not find as much innovation as you thought you would find. What do customers tell you when you interview them? What are the implications for your community?
    • What innovation is needed? What do you recommend?

    Before You Begin Your Research

    Be sure to read the article on How to Write a Good Case Study in the Guidelines for the Research Award.

    Initial Information Sources WTTC (The World Travel and Tourism Council) is probably the single largest source of reports on the economic and social impact of the industry. It publishes 24 regional reports, 184 country reports as well as a global report. It also publishes important reports on major issues that affect the industry and organizes conferences. and TravelMole.TV publish 15 enewsletters and broadcast videos to over 450,000 travel & tourism industry professionals and subscribers as well as 30 million consumers in 132 countries. Skift means “shift” or “transformation” in the three Nordic languages. This online publication’s mission is to be “the daily homepage of the global travel industry.” It offers news, research and opinion, specialist newsletters, and organizes industry-related conferences. Go the GTTP website and see what our Global Partners are doing; they are actively innovating in the ways they do business.

Previous Research Topics
The topic for 2017 was “Bleisure” Travel. This is a category of travel that describes travelers who are able to able to take business trips and add a day or two for leisure activities before returning home. The topic for 2016 was ”Heritage Tourism”; in 2015 it was “Sustainable Adventure Tourism,” and in 2014 it was “Technology and Sustainability.”


Before You Begin Your Research

Be sure to read the article on How to Write a good Case Study in the Guidelines for the Research Award.


NOTE TO STUDENTS: Do not borrow images from the Internet unless the website states clearly that you may use the images. Taking images without permission is called “copyright infringement” and can result in expensive financial penalties. GTTP will remove images from case studies if it believes there may be a copyright problem.