Undertaking a PhD program in tourism at Griffith University has given me a great opportunity to develop as a person and a scholar.  Pursuing a PhD is not just about getting a degree but also about building a network.  For these reasons, it has been a wonderful experience to attend the international conference: Managing Growth for sustainable Tourism Development:  Indigenous, Authentic and Halal Tourism in Senggigi Lombok, Indonesia, 2 – 4 October 2017  and to present my paper: Indonesian Hajj Satisfaction Dimensions.

This is the third conference I have attended during my candidature and as a third year PhD student it was a great opportunity to obtain constructive feedback before submitting my thesis.  I found I was able to get feedback from Indonesian scholars who understood my research and additionally I was able to make contacts that will be important for research collaboration in the future.

The conference was well organised and very successful.  I fully enjoyed the three days and the many interesting seminars and discussions on topics related to “Managing Growth for Sustainable Tourism Development”.  Attending a conference such as this is a catalyst for my future career as an academic.  I had a chance to listen to the Deputy to the Minister of Tourism as he discussed current issues and what needs to improve in Indonesia;  being from Indonesia this was an extremely important session.

I also had the opportunity to learn from other scholars by attending their presentations.  I would therefore like to take this opportunity to encourage all PhD students to attend a conference in your area of study and talk to people about your research so you know that you are on the right track and be confident in your research.  You will meet experts in your field, exchange ideas with them and at the same time, learn from them.

Sulistyo Utomo, Doctoral candidate, Griffith University