Lecturer in profile – Dr Sam Spector (PhD), Graduate Diploma Programme Leader

Qualifications: BSc Business Administration (USA); MA Sport Management (Canada); PhD Tourism (Otago); Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Centre for Sustainability (Otago)

Sam has been pivotal in the development of QRC’s new Graduate Diploma in Tourism and Hospitality Management, a programme designed to bring professionals from other industries into leadership roles in New Zealand’s ballooning tourism industry.

Lecturing on several papers, Sam also supervises student research projects and internship progress.

Sam’s extensive education background includes a PhD from the Department of Tourism at the University of Otago and Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Otago Centre for Sustainability. With four published journal articles and three more nearing completion, his specific interest in tourism comes from his research in sustainability/resilience of the industry, transport-related issues, the ski industry and tourism in outer space.

What role does the Graduate Diploma programme play in the tourism industry’s future?

“There is a lot of discussion in the industry about high-turnover and low-skilled employees. QRC’s GD programme provides an answer to those issues by raising the capacity of the students to management level.

The GD students are mature and have both prior degrees and relevant experience. The programme allows them to convert those skills and apply them in the tourism/hospitality industry.

The students learn to conduct in-depth research and to clearly and professionally communicate their ideas, providing them with the capabilities to analyse and respond to a wide range of issues faced by businesses.

The GD is comprised of an internationally diverse group of students, and their cultural knowledge is hugely useful for businesses.

Having spent more than six months with the first intake, I can confidently say that these incredibly motivated, intelligent, and experienced students have so much to offer the tourism community and constitute a perfect method for developing the industry.”