Students from Griffith Business School will work with a group of students from China and Taiwan later this month to develop plans for a possible new Gold Coast tourism attraction that will appeal to the Asian market.

The project, part of the Asia Business Challenge, will involve 14 students from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) in Beijing and the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan, as well as 15 students from Griffith.

This year’s event follows two challenges held in China in 2015 when Griffith students collaborated with counterparts from both of these universities.

The 2016 Asia Business Challenge, to be held at Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus on July 18-22, will focus on tourism, entrepreneurship and marketing.

“Students from these universities will again work in combined, intercultural teams to come up with creative business ideas and models that focus on the idea of creating a tourism enterprise which better caters for the needs of international tourists from Asia,” said Michael Berry, the Asia Business Challenge organiser.

“We feel this project will be of particular interest to students, particularly as the Gold Coast gears up for an expected influx in Commonwealth Games visitors over the next two years.

New tourism attraction

“The students’ proposal can focus onthe design and development of a new tourism attraction, or the modification of an existing tourism attraction on the Gold Coast.

“We are hoping to capitalise upon the knowledge, preferences and feedback of the Asian students as they work with our Griffith students to analyse the existing tourism market of the Gold Coast and consider this from an international Asian perspective.

“Throughout the program the students will visit a range of tourist attractions on the Coast and document their experiences, sharing these across the project group. They will also be provided with a range of presentations on the tourism industry from industry speakers and academics.

“Finally they will need to work together to develop and present their refined ideas back to an industry representative and seek feedback and insights into the viability of their ideas.

“The final winners are determined by the students themselves by popular vote. However, the focus is not so much on winning, but rather each team’s ability to develop a wide range of creative, innovative and viable business ideas.

“A strong focus of the program is on developing the student’s business confidence and employability skills, providing them with a network of people to potentially build business relationships.

Real-life training

“The visiting students are typically MBA students, while the Griffith students are typically undergraduates drawn from across the areas of marketing, entrepreneurship and tourism.”

Last year, 32 students from the Griffith Business School visited China using funding gained from the New Colombo Mobility Program, an Australian Government initiative that helps to promote Australia’s international connections with Asia through the sponsorship of university student travel and internships.

“Although this semester’s program is not for direct academic credit, it does provide a practical hands-on opportunity for students to practice and utilise their existing knowledge and business skills in a real-life setting,” said Mr Berry.

“The Asia Business Challenge provides an opportunity for the students to network and form friendships with like-minded entrepreneurial students from business schools in Asia.

“The program will assist in developing our students’ knowledge of business practices and values in Asia and develop their ability to comprehensively work in intercultural teams with business students from Asia.

“It also gives them insight into entrepreneurial processes and creative business skills, including their ability to gather, communicate and present information to different audiences and the ability to rapidly develop, refine and problem solve in intercultural teams where no fixed solution exists.”