Bachelor of Science in Tourism Business Management students from the Macao Institute for Tourism Studies worked on an industrial project to help MBox, a company that specialises in smart retail technologies, to develop concepts for packaged food souvenirs. With the guidance of the course leader, Dr. Fernando Lourenço, students initially evaluated the overall location of the 185 MBox smart vending machines located across Macao to determine the best channels for selling souvenirs.
The students then conducted 70 interviews with tourists to learn about their opinions and intentions for purchasing packaged food souvenirs from smart vending machines. The research yielded several important findings, but in essence, the majority of the respondents regarded packaged food souvenirs as a meaningful and popular gift for family and friends. Because of the convenience, more than half of them would consider purchasing items from a smart vending machine. Based on the research findings, students created a diverse range of packaged food souvenir ideas for MBox. This project imparts the value of research in the development process to the students since ideas must be created strategically and tailored to a specific market. At IFTM, education is both theoretical and practical in order to make learning relevant and interesting while also contributing to Macao's small businesses.