Galaxy Macau last month hosted the inaugural “Mastering Cotai” event which saw Masters students from the University of Macau present their research to over 100 gaming industry executives.
Leading Macau gaming industry executives were granted a sneak peek into gaming’s next generation in December at a special presentation by students of the University of Macau Faculty of Business Administration’s Master’s Program in Integrated Resort Management.
Hosted at Galaxy’s Oasis Restaurant and Bar, “Mastering Cotai” saw five recent Masters students present their thesis to over 100 local industry leaders including Associate Professor in Hospitality and Gaming Management Desmond Lam, Dean of the Faculty Professor Jacky So, Vice President of Organization and Training at Galaxy Mr Noel Lyons and Director of International Premium and Mass Market Development Mr Raymond Yap.
According to co-organizer Professor Glenn McCartney, Associate Professor in Hospitality and Gaming Management, the aim of the event was to bridge the gap between the academic study of integrated resorts and the practical application of those studies.
“Much of what the students are discussing in class, through ongoing projects and the final thesis, are on issues directly related to the development of the Cotai Strip and with application to other Asian locations with integrated resort development,” he explained of the concept. “Notable people from the gaming and hospitality industry will on occasion speak to the Masters students so I actually asked them if it were possible to assess student projects and give feedback.
“There always has been that issue of keeping subject matter and research topics relevant to the industry needs. I am from the hospitality and tourism industry myself and engage frequently on industry research so have seen this need to bridge this gap and bring academic research and industry closer, as essentially we work on the same challenges and problems. So the idea was an extension of this by bringing the students out to the industry to present. The format had to naturally change from an academic presentation to an industry one.”
“The aim of the event was to bridge the gap between the academic study of integrated resorts and the practical application of those studies.”
Emceed by Inside Asian Gaming CEO Andrew W Scott, also a student in the Master’s Program, the five presentations were as follows:
An examination of the pull and push factors influencing hotel selection by Chinese outbound travellers – By Zoey Ge Zhu Ying
Segmentation for the entertainment industry options of greatest appeal for mainland Chinese tourists in the development of Macau’s integrated resorts on the Cotai Strip – By Raymond Si Tou Chi Fai
The impact of movie icons on contributing to brand loyalty at Macau’s integrated resorts – By Karen Cheong Su Man
The influence of fine dining experience on patrons’ satisfaction and behavioural intentions – By Aurélie Simone Carré.
The impact of internal service quality on employee retention in Macau gaming industry – By Lucia Fong Wai Chio.
“We had around 100 senior executives from across the gaming concessions in attendance for the three-hour duration and the event exceeded our expectations,” McCartney said. “The feedback was very supportive of further events in the future. Importantly too, the students were able to outreach to the industry on issues of getting future access to data and industry got to see some empirical data and evidence of gaming and non-gaming issues on Cotai.
“The research not only looks at justifying a data collection method or the data itself and results, but provides implications to the industry and areas of possible focus or direction.”
Professor McCartney said that courses such as the University of Macau’s Master’s Program in Integrated Resort Management, which was first introduced in 2011, will play a vital role in the evolution of the Macau gaming industry in the future.
“It’s not only students from the MSc in International Integrated Resort Management doing related research on integrated resort development or tourism destination issues, but several MBA students also focus their final thesis on gaming and non-gaming development issues,” he said. “So there is certainly a constant stream of highly relevant research output which can be shared with industry, making the idea of future ‘Mastering Cotai’ events highly likely.”