“After 3 and a half years, I am allowed to add “Dr.” in front of my name. These are the proud words by Dr. Jens Thraenhart on his Facebook last week.
His Facebook post explained, “Tonight, with 12 hours time difference to Hong Kong, I successfully defended my doctorate thesis virtually in front of my committee and fellow doctorate students of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.”
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University is currently the top-ranked Hospitality and Tourism degree program globally. “Thank you, Dean Chon, Professor Schuckert, Professor Morrison, and Professor Lee for all the support during this journey, which was certainly challenging, yet very rewarding. I also would like to thank all the members of the Experience Mekong Collection that agreed to to be interviewed in May of 2021, and my former colleague Ton at the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office and Gerrit at Destination Mekong.”
This is the research Dr. Thaenhart completed. It earned him his doctorate degree.
Problem Statement: Increase resilience for a sustainable and inclusive regional tourism collaboration framework in the Greater Mekong Subregion post the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Research Objective was to investigate the potential of networks of small and micro social enterprises in the Mekong Subregion to increase the resilience of the individual businesses on the one hand, and the overall destination to drive sustainability and inclusive growth on the other hand, with the goal to sustain regional tourism integration post-COVID-19.
The Research Question: How can the establishment of networks of businesses increase the resilience of a cross-border tourism destination, during and post COVID-19.
Congratulations to the German-Canadian Dr. Thraenhart had been posted from all over the world, including from leaders and members of the World Tourism Network. Dr. Thraenhart was awarded on the sideline of WTM London in November 2021 when he was named a tourism hero.