The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Travel Industry Management co-hosted the 17th annual Asia Pacific Forum (APF) for Graduate Students in Research in Tourism on May 16-18, 2018. The Forum was held in Hawaiʻi on the island of Oʻahu at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center, an ideal location for academics in tourism with the world famous tourist destination, Waikīkī, only minutes away.

With a focus on hospitality and tourism research, participants from Asia Pacific, USA, and the UK were able to take part in two full days of presentations and poster sessions ranging from finance and economics, to sustainable tourism, consumer behavior, destination management and more. The Forum also featured presentations by prominent members of academia and in the hospitality and tourism industry, including the keynote speaker, Dr. Pauline Sheldon, who gave a thought-provoking address and challenged participants to look to the future of tourism, the big picture, and the lasting impact that tourism has on our society – “As the world evolves, how can tourism also evolve to build a stronger future?”

In addition to the academic and research facets of the Forum, there were numerous networking and social events, including a welcome reception at Signature Prime Steak & Seafood Restaurant at the Ala Moana Hotel and an Awards Dinner & Closing Ceremony at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center. At the Awards Dinner, a paper entitled “Are recession strategies really functioning? Probing selection bises in restaurant firms” by Sangwon Jung and Soocheong Jang from Purdue University was awarded “Best Paper”. Attendees enjoyed a hula performance by Ka Pā Hula o Kauanoe o Waʻahila and an ʻukulele rendition by Mika Kane, highlighting the unique and beautiful culture of Hawaiʻi. Attendees also participated in the 40th annual Hawaiʻi Visitor Industry Charity Walk in Waikīkī to raise money for non-profit charities in the state of Hawaiʻi.

The School of Travel Industry Management at UH Mānoa would like to thank everyone who attended, sponsored and contributed to the Forum and give a special thank you to the co-hosts, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Hotel and Tourism Management, and their Dean, Professor Kaye Chon. Dean Chon founded the Asia Pacific Forum (APF) for Graduate Students in Research in Tourism in 2002, recognizing the need for future leaders in hospitality and tourism academia and industry within the Asia and Pacific region to be able to gather and share their research and knowledge with each other. The APF has been successfully held in 16 cities around the world with hundreds of academic and industry leaders and graduate or post-graduate hospitality and tourism students attending and sharing their wisdom.