So Young Park
Since as a child, travelling has always been my passion. I still remember the first day I flew to a small island in the southern part of Korea. After the plane landed, I kept wishing that I could fly every day to everywhere I went. The enthusiasm upon embarkment has dwindled with frequent flying, but I still find myself planning trips every few months. Though I have been interested in travel and tourism my whole life, my keen academic interest for tourism developed when I was an intern at UNWTO in 2011. During my internship, I realized that there exists great discrepancy in communication methods and decision making factors among different cultures. Hence, I focused my studies on analyzing the impact of cultural disparity on the economic decisions in the tourism industry whilst I did M.S. degree in economics at Korea University. However, as I delve further into the field of tourism, the role of big data in analyzing and forecasting the tourism demand became my focus. Currently in the first year of PhD, I am working with my advisor Dr. Bing Pan in the research that develops a theoretical foundation and provides an empirical evidence for the role of direct flight in explaining the tourism inflow and outflow. I plan to finish with a dual degree or at least a minor in Social Data Analytics (SoDA) and am taking various data processing classes to meet the standard.
Before I started my PhD in the field of tourism, I did my B.S. and M.S. degree in economics at Korea University. International trade, my focus in masters, is closely related to tourism as tourism in some sense is a movement of people and services across borders. Beside academics, I have some experience in the industry. In 2011, I served as a liaison for the Secretary General of UNWTO at the General Assembly and was offered an internship at the UNWTO HQ by the Secretary General himself. I also worked part-time as an external consultant at Blackpeak. I practiced research regarding due diligence cases which required high logical processing skill. My strong background in economics, statistics and mathematics have served and would serve as a firm rudiment for my future studies and researches in the field.