The Tourism Research Cluster at Waikato Management School

Waikato has been well ranked for its tourism research, and prior to the re-organisation of the Management School its tourism department was ranked 24th globally for tourism and hospitality research in the QS World University Rankings 2017. It continues to contribute to the Management School's accreditation as part of the School of Management and Marketing in 2020.

The Waikato UNWTO Monitoring Centre (2017)

The Waikato UNWTO Monitoring Research Unit was formed in 2017 and joins our China-New Zealand Tourism Research Unit as one of the two tourism research units in the School. The BUU China-New Zealand Tourism Research Unit was built upon almost two decades of work to become a formal research unit reporting to the Waikato Institute of Business Research. Its current work includes monitoring the world-famous Terracotta Warriors Museum in China.

We are proud to be associated with the tourism industry in the Waikato region, as well as having close links with tourism stakeholders in New Zealand and China.

The above photograph shows the original research team and includes Charlie Panakera, Li Linrui,  Mary Anne Ramos Tumanan and Chris Ryan.



There are two components to the UNWTO INSTO Research Programme. First there is a core of expertise represented by the full-time teaching staff and second there are research associates and student teams. Professor Chris Ryan provides overall guidance while the research associates and students provide the specifics of data capture and initial analysis.

We are, in 2020, also supported by Natarshia Hutchinson as our webpage support person.

Associate Professor Asad Mohsin

A senior member of the tourism research cluster at Waikato Management School, and Chair of the Department of Marketing, which includes Tourism and Hospitality Management. His research interests relate to the hospitality industry and the nexus between academia and the tourism industries. He has published his research widely and in 2016 was an invited speaker at conferences in the United Kingdom and Portugal. Among his initiatives is the founding of a series of conferences in New Zealand on halal tourism.

Chris Ryan

Chris is Professor of Tourism and Director of the China-New Zealand Tourism Research Unit at Waikato Management School. He has undertaken work for the UNWTO in China, where he wrote reports that helped pave the way for Xishuangbanna Autonomous Prefecture and Changhsu City, Jiangsu Province to enter the UNWTO programme. His experience as a researcher had led to the publication of some 200 refereed research articles. He is leading the Waikato INSTO research programme.

Yingsha Zhang

Yingsha joined the staff in January 2018, and brings a number of important analytical skills to the group including use of GIS systems. She completed her doctoral studies at the University of South Carolina (Columbia, USA) having completed her first degree at South China Normal University in Guangzhou and her second at Anhui Normal University not too far from the famous Huangshan. She is certified in the use of AutoCad and Python, and has a specific research interest in theme parks. 

Research Associates

Dr. Fariba Mostafa

Fariba completed her undergraduate degree in geography at Isfahan University, one of Iran’s leading universities, and subsequently became a high school teacher, initially in Iran and then in Malaysia. In 2012 she commenced a Master’s degree in environmental sciences at Putra Malaysia University in Selangor, specialising in environmental planning and management, but with her dissertation relating to the use of Facebook in environmental education. She then came to New Zealand and completed her doctorate at the University of Waikato by further research into the role of social media in environmental education and awareness.

During her doctoral studies Fariba also worked in administration at the University before holding
her current teaching post at the University of Waikato Management School. In 2019 she advised
students undertaking assignments relating to the School’s UNWTO programme at Raglan
with reference to links between tourism and seasonality in waste management, examining
to what extent summer season tourism added to the problems of waste management in the town.

Dr. Dung Nguyen Thi Ngoc

Dung gained her BA in Business Administration in 2010 in a joint programme conducted between the universities of Thai Nguyen University’ of Economics and Business Administration in Vietnam and the University of Rizal Systems at the Binangonan Campus in the Philippines. Having gained awards for outstanding work she went on to complete her MBA, which was awarded by Cardiff Metropolitan University at the East Asia Institute of Management in Singapore. She subsequently arrived in  New Zealand., and in 2019 she gained her doctoral degree in Tourism Development at the University of Waikato. Her doctoral research examined community-based tourism development in traditional tea production areas in Thai Nguyen province, Vietnam. Her preference is for mixed methods research, meaning that she has acquired expertise in software packages such as SPSS and NVivo.  She has been helping the Ragaln INSTO programme since 2019.

During her doctoral studies she aided the university in its Vietnam initiatives and often
served as a translator and in a support role. In 2019, like Fariba, she advised students
undertaking assignments relating to the School’s UNWTO programme at Raglan with
reference to links between tourism and seasonality in waste management.