News Articles

Griffith University News Article

Hospitality Students take Virtual Trips to Hotels


The national project, entitled, “Enhancing student employability skills through virtual field trips in the hospitality industry” has been successful in the most recent funding round of the Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT).

The project is led by Dr Anoop Patiar from Griffith’s Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management.  The project team include Associate Professor Pierre Benckendorff and Dr Richard Robinson from The University of Queensland, Dr Emily Ma, Russell Cox and Dr Sandie Kensbock from Griffith University, Professor Hugh Wilkins from Edith Cowan University and Dr Scott Richardson from Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School.  The project will be supported by Project Manager, Lainie Groundwater from Griffith University.

The purpose of this project is to develop, implement, evaluate and promote Virtual Field Trips (VFTs) as an effective tool for developing graduate employability skills in hospitality.

Specifically, the aims of the project are to:

  • Identify and test emerging technologies that provide a more authentic and interactive VFT environment for developing Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs) and global employability skills;
  • Design and test authentic learning pedagogies and assessment tasks based on a more diverse range of VFTs in international hospitality settings;
  • Identify and document solutions to the challenges associated with embedding VFTs into hospitality management curricula;
  • Evaluate the contribution of VFT pedagogies to student satisfaction, threshold learning TLOs and global employability skills for the hospitality industry; and
  • Encourage the adoption of VFTs by promoting authentic learning pedagogies, guidelines and strategies by universities and vocational educational institutions offering hospitality programs.

The project will span a two year period from August 2015 to August 2017.  The project funding received from the OLT was $273,000.



Transforming Assessment Webinar

Scheduled March/April 2017

Conferences and Other Presentations

  • The VFT project was presented at the project partner institutions to the business school as well as the university as a whole:
    • The University of Queensland Tourism and Hospitality Cluster Retreat, VFT Presentation, Brisbane, November 2015;
    • VFT project details included when presenting the Simulations Project (Associate Professor Pierre Benckendorff), ASCILITE Conference, Perth, November 2015;
    • The University of Queensland Tourism and Hospitality Cluster Retreat, VFT Presentation, Brisbane, November 2015;
    • Celebrating Teaching Week: Griffith – Designing Disruption: Emerging Technologies in Higher Education. Presentation at Griffith, Gold Coast Campus. October 2016; and
    • Celebration of Teaching, The University of Queensland, October 2016.


  • Soft launch of the VFT tool at Griffith University, Nathan Campus. The members of the reference panel, key development personnel Griffith Learning Futures, and team members were invited to attend in person or via WebEx and their comments and feedback were taken into account to further improve on the VFT features and functionality, September 2016.


  • Presentation for “Transforming Assessment Webinar Series April 2017”, e-Assessment SIG, ASCILITE: Shaping the Future of Tertiary Education, April 2017. See link below for provides details of the webinar presentation and YouTube recording of the presentation.


  • The VFT tool was presented at the following national and international tourism and hospitality conferences – attending academics and researchers having potential interest in the same. In this way, the VFT tool gains significant exposure and enhances its future adaption in specific courses/units of study in attendees institutions.
    • The Council for Australasian Tourism and Hospitality Education, February 2016 (CAUTHE1), Sydney;
    • Office for Learning and Teaching Conference (Poster presentation), April, 2016, Melbourne;
    • Joint Universities Symposium (Griffith University, University of Queensland, Southern Cross University, & Bond University), hosted by Griffith University, June 2016, Gold Coast;
    • International Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management Conference, 19-22 July 2016, The University of Surrey, UK.;
    • The Council for Australasian Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE), February 2017, Dunedin, New Zealand.
    • Asia Pacific Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (APacCHRIE2) May/June 2017, Bali, Indonesia.
    • EURO Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (EuroCHIRE3) October 2017, Nairobi, Kenya;
    • THE-ICE4 11th IPoE Forum (Workshop), November 2017, Melbourne; and
    • Griffith Institute for Tourism (GIFT5) and the Griffith Tourism Confucius Institute (TCI), “Third East-West Dialogue on Tourism and the Chinese Dream Conference”, November 2017, Gold Coast.


  • The VFT tool has also been exhibited at a number of national and international tourism and hospitality institutions (i.e., pubic and private, focusing either on higher or vocational education). In these institutions, senior executives, and more specifically hospitality academics and researchers, were invited to attend the presentations. This allowed for the introduction of the VFT tool to academics involved in teaching courses/units that could benefit from incorporating VFTs into their curriculum. For example;
    • Demonstrated VFTs tools to higher education agents in Ho Chi Min City and Hanoi, promoting Griffith University Study Programs, January 2016;
    • London Geller College of Hospitality and Tourism, University of West London, UK, February 2016;
    • International College of Management (Tourism and Hospitality Management), Sydney, November 2016;
    • Specialist Centre for Foods, Tourism, Hospitality and Events, William Angliss Institute, Melbourne, October 2017;
    • School of Business (Tourism and Hospitality Management), London South Bank University, UK, October 2017;
    • Oxford School Hospitality and Management, Oxford Brooks University, Oxford, UK, October 2017.
    • Institute of Hotel Management (part of National council for hotel management and catering technology*), Mumbai, Jan. 2018;
    • AISSMS College of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, Pune, Feb. 2018; and
    • Maharashtra State Institute of Hotel Management and Catering, Pune, Feb. 2018.

    *NCHMCT is governed by the department of tourism, India and is responsible for regulating 66 higher education institutions offering hotel management education in India. The director of in Mumbai institute kindly circulated the VFTs project details including links and navigation instructions, and project leader, Associate Professor Anoop Patiar’s contact details to all 66 NCHMCT member institutes.