Equitable and Sustainable Tourism Research Area
How can family farms generate and sustain revenues to remain in the practice of farming, maintain their farmlands, and attract the younger generation of farmers?
How will climate change impact tourist attractions and tourism-dependent communities?
To what extent can tourism micro-entrepreneurship support dignified livelihoods and environmental conservation?
To what degree can big data tourism analytics be used to measure shifts in tourism demand resulting from significant natural/manmade events that occur at destinations?
Globally, tourism export revenues exceeded $1 Trillion in 2010 (UNWTO, 2011). Nationally, tourism is a multi-billion dollar business. Tourism demand in 2010 brought over $22 Billion to North Carolina and continues to be the State’s largest service industry.
Whether the attraction is rooted in culture, recreation, nature, heritage, or sports, tourism can be a major driver of community development and quality of life. Tourism can fuel entrepreneurial innovation, generate jobs, build community pride, and foster a sense of place - particularly in rural communities. However, for tourism to fulfill its potential, research grounded in equitable and sustainable principles is needed.
Faculty and students researching issues related to Equitable and Sustainable Tourism that engages community stakeholders, government agencies, industry, and entrepreneurs to develop knowledge that advances science and create actionable solutions. Our research—conducted at international, national, and regional scales—fosters positive tourism development that conserves natural resources, promotes socio-cultural integrity, and stimulates endogenous economic development. The knowledge we generate in collaboration with key stakeholders is not only disseminated to the academic community but shared through a vibrant Extension and outreach program.
Why does it matter?
Our scholarship has real-world impacts! We develop innovative web-to-cell software that supports market-based economic development and environmental conservation projects and scholarship. We coordinate an international network of scholars to address the educational needs of big data analytics for tourism graduate students and professionals. We preserve family farms and their heritage by examining innovative ways to diversify their economic portfolio, especially through agritourism. We foster vibrant and resilient socio-ecological communities by bridging diverse organizations, networking individuals, and promoting sustainability through outreach and education.
Learn more about Equitable and Sustainable Tourism Research:
Graduate Faculty Engaged in Research in this Area: