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Travel and Tourism Research Group 

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. 

The Travel and Tourism Research Group (TTRG) provides innovative solutions for tourism marketing, planning, and management and contributes to interdisciplinary advances in tourism knowledge. 

The TTRG houses an eclectic team of faculty, students, and associates interested in: 

  • 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 

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.  


Faculty and Affiliates 

We are continuously recruiting talented graduate students in joining us in studying this fascinating phenomenon of travel and tourism to benefit this industry, our society, and the planet at large. Please contact one of the following faculty members if you are interested in pursuing a research career.   

Carter Hunt, Ph.D. 
Email: cahunt@psu.edu  
Website: http://sites.psu.edu/carterahunt/  

Bing Pan, Ph.D. 
Email: bingpan@psu.edu  
Website: http://sites.psu.edu/bingpan  

Ashley Schroeder, Ph.D. 
Email: als1167@psu.edu  
Website: https://sites.psu.edu/aschroeder/  

Kristin Thomas, Ph.D. 
Email: klt16@psu.edu  
Website: https://hhd.psu.edu/contact/kristin-thomas  

 

Current Graduate Students 

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