I recently completed my PhD as an ECU tourism economics research student, where i did so on the topic of "An Econometric Analysis of Australian Domestic Tourism Demand". The research investigated the primary factors that influence domestic tourism demand in Australia, as well as exploring travel characteristics in each main Australian State/Territory.
Since graduating with a master degree in 2005, I wanted to become a researcher. With my curiosity and passion for applied economics and econometrics, I was determined to complete a PhD.
Looking back, I do not think I could have achieved my goal without the support of my school and supervisor. The school and the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC) jointly financed my PhD project for more than 3 years.
The School of Accounting, Finance and Economics (SAFE) also provided financial support for two conference trips to both New Zealand (2007) and Cairns (2009), where I presented research papers.
In September 2009, I was awarded "Best PhD Student Paper Commendation" in the 18th IMACS World Congress MODSIM09, Cairns, Australia. During my PhD candidature, I published five conference papers and one journal article.
The most rewarding part of doing a research degree is that I had the chance to network with new and senior researchers, as well as develop some great friends. This networking is crucial for growing as a researcher and for career development.
My doctoral study was a challenging yet rewarding experience; one which came about as a result of a lot of hard work, motivation and determination. Like most PhD students, I encountered a lot of challenges during my PhD candidature, such as procrastination, writing block, critics and so on. But interestingly, every time I faced problems, I was able to find solutions with the support of my supervisor and my fellow research students.
I am now a full time economics lecturer with SAFE, and am actively working on tourism economics and applied econometrics focussed research projects.
I would like to thank my supervisor, Professor David Allen, and writing consultant, Dr Greg Maguire, who guided me throughout writing my thesis and publications.