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 2019 is “Events Tourism.” 
    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.

    The focus of this year’s research is on the entertainment and/or activities that travelers do.

  • Many destinations hold events in order to attract visitors. They range from festivals, to exhibitions, to competitions –all on a wide variety of topics from business to food, music, dance, sports, computer games, etc.  You can find an event somewhere in the world on almost any subject you can think of.  A growing trend today is that people want to have experiences.  Many people prefer to purchase an experience rather than a physical object, and this is especially true of younger people. At the same time, many travelers want to have a personalized experience. But many events are a designed for large groups.

One research company, Euromonitor International, recently published a paper about three key trends affecting the travel industry in 2019:

“The Joy of Missing Out #JOMO

Counter to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), the Joy of Missing Out (JOMO) is an emerging trend as consumers are resisting the “always-on” mentality. Desire to unplug is spurred by a need for authenticity, privacy and the enjoyment of face-to-face, live experiences. …

Plastic Waste

High-profile events have greatly increased awareness amongst consumers of plastic’s negative attributes. …

Access economy taking flight

The access economy, where goods and services are traded on the basis of access rather than ownership, is booming… .”

Consider how these three trends might affect how events are offered in your community. (You can read more about Euromonitor International’s research at their website,

Other things to consider:

  • What tourism-related events have been introduced into your community or region?
  • How have the events in your area changed in the past 10 years?
  • Are the events sustainable?
  • Can the event be personalized?
  • What impact does the event have on your local economy? On the environment?
  • What are the business opportunities related to the event(s)?
  • What, if any, are the issues or problems related to the event?

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 all involved in some way with supporting events.

  • Previous Research Topics
    The topic for 2018 was “Innovation in Tourism.” 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.