Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Punta Cana Impressions

Each May I take a class of University of South Carolina students down to beautiful Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic to survey visitors leaving the Punta Cana International Airport regarding their satisfaction with the airport and their tourist experience.

On the left is an example of the Punta Cana International Tourist and Aircrew Survey conducted by undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Hospitality, Retail, & Sport Management.
On the right is an example of a study abroad
recruiting poster about the trip. While in the Dominican Republic, students experience authentic culture through excursions to neaby towns and cities, learn about sustainability and ecology at the PUNTACANA Ecological Foundation led by Director Jake Kheel and Logisitics Coordinator Benjamin Hulefeld, immerse themselves in an emerging hospitality and tourism destination--all the while catching some rays and practicing their Spanish.

The Punta Cana is one of the few study abroad experiences offered at a major university that also provides an applied research experience for hospitality and tourism students, thus preparing our students for an increasingly competitive global job market. The goal of this research is to assist the Punta Cana International Airport with quality improvement in such areas as baggage handling and food service. My blog will document this applied research experience, as well as attempt to profile the sights and sites of one of the Caribbean's major new tourism centers.

Below are a few impressionistic photos of where we stay while conducting the survey--the world-class Punta Cana Club & Resort.  Enjoy the follow pictures of the Punta Cana destination, the resort, and shots of the survey process at work!
 Walkway to the Beach

 And New Boats

Well-kept grounds of Punta Cana Club & Resort

                        Canopy of Palms

 Sun Palm

 Casitas in the Palms

Made in the Shade!

Best Caribbean Beaches: Playa Blanca

 Playa Blanca is one of the best beaches at Punta Cana Club & Resort.  I think these beaches are also among the best in the Caribbean.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Freshwater Lagoons at Punta Cana Club & Resort

Entrance to the Resort's Ecological Reserve

Welcome to the Jungle!

Trails Throughout...
...Lead to the Freshwater Lagoons
Some Shallow for Turtles and Such

Others Deeper

And Great for a Swim...

...With the Fishes!
Frog's View

A View Cool Place for a Dip After a Hot Day in Saltwater

Monday, 21 May 2012

Presentation to Punta Cana International Airport Management

When the data from the airport has been collected and analyzed, the results are then presented to airport management.

                                                                   The USC Team Prepares for Presentation
Discussing Strategy
The 2012 Punta Cana Tourist, Aircrew, and Real Estate Report!

Drew Provides Some Traveler Demographic Information and Statistics Prepared by Dana, Tom, and Drew

Tom Explains Importance-Performance Analysis (IPA)
Airport Management Thought Highly of Last Year's Work.  Looking Forward to 2013 Punta Cana International Airport Tourist, Aircrew, & Real Estate Report!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

University of South Carolina Students Gain International Research Experience

                                                                                                                                                                               University of South Carolina students gain applied international experience through the airport survey.  A typical day starts at the Ecological Foundation--Punta Cana's center for sustainability, including coral reef restoration and biodiversity protection.

Then on to the Punta Cana International Airport

The Airport was constructed in the traditional Dominican architectural style

                                                        Our task to to measure costumer satisfaction at the airport--the region's most important economic generator.

 Adam Surveys the Food Court

While Emily and Shannon Survey the Terminal

 And Two Departure Terminals

 Not a Bad Place to Catch a Flight

 Under Traditional Dominican Architecture and Cooled by Giant Fans

Dr. Harrill with a survey team of USC students and students from UNIBE, a local university.  Truly a multinational team!

                                   The Famous Shannon Shuffle

Another Great Survey Team From USC

Tourism is Economic Development in South Carolina and the Dominican Republic