Doctor of Philosophy candidate
How can we maximise the use of information communication technologies in tourism? That’s the interesting topic Muhammad Dhaifan Akbar is investigating for his PhD research.
“I’m looking at the application of information communication technologies (ICT) in tourism, and how this can enhance community participation in tourism development. Currently, most ICT applications in tourism focus on the marketing side.
“I hope my research will extend the view of ICT use in tourism, particularly to support sustainable tourism development. My research could also provide new insights for tourism destination managers and policy makers to help them manage their tourism destinations.”
Dhaifan’s research is supervised by Professor Simon Milne from AUT’s School of Hospitality and Tourism.
A hub for tourism development research
He has a strong interest in tourism, especially tourism development phenomena, says Dhaifan who came to AUT as an international student from Indonesia.
“I worked as a researcher before I enrolled at AUT, and I’m looking forward to furthering my career in the academic field as well as my interest in tourism development through my PhD. AUT has a lot of interest in tourism development research, as indicated by the projects run by AUT’s New Zealand Tourism Research Institute (NZTRI).”
He would strongly recommend AUT’s postgraduate tourism programmes to other students, says Dhaifan whose studies are supported by a scholarship by New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“I think AUT has a lot of expertise in this field, which will be very helpful for a potential researcher who wants to gain more skills and knowledge. The research community here is quite connected, and the level of support I’ve received has been extraordinary.”
Supported to thrive
Doctoral study has its challenges, Dhaifan admits.
“A PhD is a new thing for me, and we all know the image of a doctoral degree being a stressful, complex and overwhelming programme. However, the induction for doctoral students at AUT and the various services available for students made the transition easier for me and built my confidence.”
He appreciates the wide range of support services AUT offers its students.
“I have a lot help for both my academic and non-academic life, in the form of consultations, workshops and the student community.”