17 September 2010

The University of Queensland’s School of Tourism is doing its bit to help ensure developing countries are not left behind as the world economy evolves.

Senior lecturer Dr David Solnet is part of a push to make sure developing nations are learning about the economic evolution from manufacturing to service and the corresponding importance of service research, innovation and education.

Dr Solnet was a keynote speaker at the International Research Symposium in Service Management, aimed at introducing integrated service research in developing countries.

The school also sponsored two students from South Africa and Rwanda to attend the conference in Mauritius in late August.

Dr Solnet said it was important for developing countries to be kept in the loop on the latest issues in service fields such as tourism and hospitality, human resources, the public sector, professional and health areas, marketing, finances and the environment.

“The growth of service management and marketing during the past 20 years has been staggering,” he said.

“It mirrors the continued evolution of world economics from agriculture to manufacturing to services.”

Growth in service-related research and education had principally been recorded in developed regions, such as the US, Australia and parts of Europe.

Sponsoring the two African students would ensure the messages from the conference would be spread among the continent’s future leaders and help build a strong service-based economy.

“Third world and developing countries are often still teaching management and marketing from an outdated ‘goods’ paradigm,” Dr Solnet said.

“Introducing them to service management and marketing research will help open their eyes to a new way of viewing the world through a ‘service-dominant’ lens.

“We hope that this experience will encourage researchers in these countries to engage in the service management conversion.”

The conference will be an annual event which will be hosted in different developing countries.

Media: Dr David Solnet (0411 828 757, davidsolnet@uq.edu.au)