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Travel and tourism is widely recognized as being one of the largest and fastest growing economic sectors in the world. It contributes to 10% of global GDP and supports one in ten jobs (World Travel & Tourism Council, 2018). Travel also benefits personal growth and well-being through interacting with diverse cultures and landscapes.

The number of communities investing in tourism to generate local economic activity, create job opportunities for their residents, and generate tax revenue to support essential public services for residents and visitors alike is on the rise globally. As a result, responsibly managed travel and tourism has become a key driver of socio-economic progress in communities large and small.

Travel and Tourism Research Group (TTRG)
The Travel and Tourism Research Group (TTRG) provides innovative solutions for tourism marketing, planning, and management and contributes to interdisciplinary advances in tourism knowledge.
Current Interests of TTRG Faculty and Associates icon-olus-circle
  • Documenting the cultural, economic, and social impacts of tourism on communities and environments in developed and developing countries. 
  • Understanding current and potential markets for a destination through market research; assessing the effectiveness of promotional activities and materials. 
  • Using innovative methods such as big data to understand tourists, markets, and impacts in order to better market a destination and manage the tourism system; 
  • Developing strategic plans for sustainable tourism products, services, and communities. 
  • Working towards the creation of policy that will improve recreation and tourism planning regionally, nationally, and globally. 
Current Group Thematic Research Areas icon-olus-circle

In the Travel and Tourism Research Group, we are using innovative methods- ranging from ethnography to tourism big data- to study the well-being, community, and societal issues in the tourism system and within a cross-cultural context. The TTRG’s current thematic research areas are:

  • Destination marketing and management
  • Consumer behavior and visitor experience in travel and tourism
  • Educational value of travel and tourism
  • Sustainability issues, societal, economic, and environmental impacts of tourism, protected areas, and biodiversity conservation
  •  Tourism big data
Current Graduate Students icon-olus-circle

Lucy Harbor  
Email: lch24@psu.edu  
Website: https://hhd.psu.edu/rptm/lucy-harbor  

Rui Li 
Email: rul187@psu.edu  
Website: https://hhd.psu.edu/rptm/rui-li  

Ryan Naylor  
Email: rsn16@psu.edu  
Website: https://hhd.psu.edu/rptm/graduate/current-graduate-student-listing  

So Young Park 
Email:  sup97@psu.edu  
Website: https://hhd.psu.edu/rptm/so-young-park 

Appointment Type
Accepting Graduate Students?
Associate Professor
Summary Statement

My research interests focus on biodiversity conservation, sustainable community development, and nature-based tourism. I explore these themes through the lenses of environmental anthropology, the anthropology of tourism, and conservation psychology.

Department
  • Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management - RPTM
Associate Professor of Commercial Recreation and Tourism
Summary Statement

I am interested in investigating the marketing, the economics, and the benefits of the travel and tourism phenomenon with data analytics.

Department
  • Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management - RPTM
Assistant Professor
Summary Statement

I strive to develop research-driven solutions to crises that address reduction, readiness, response, and recovery issues in local, national, and global tourism communities.

Department
  • Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management - RPTM
Assistant Teaching Professor in Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management
Department
  • Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management - RPTM