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College of Natural Resources

Think and Do The Extraordinary Support the College
Think and Do The Extraordinary Support the College

Whitney Knollenberg

Asst Professor

Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

Biltmore Hall (Robertson Wing) NA

919-515-5852

Education

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, Ph.D. 2015

  • Hospitality and Tourism Management

East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, M.S. 2011

  • Sustainable Tourism

Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, B.S. 2009

  • Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Resources

Current Research Interests

Dr. Knollenberg’s research focuses on the role of leadership in the planning, policies, and partnerships that facilitate sustainable tourism development. Her work explores these relationships in a variety of contexts including rural tourism, agritourism, food tourism and volunteer tourism. She conceptualizes tourism as a sustainable development strategy for communities and seeks to engage multiple stakeholder groups in her research in order to fully understand the impacts of tourism. This approach allows her to examine power dynamics within the sustainable tourism development process and their interaction with leadership, planning, policy, and partnerships.

Selected Publications

Boley, B.B., Jordan, E.J., Kline, C., and Knollenberg, W. (2017). Social return and intent to travel. Tourism Management, 64, 119 – 128.

Jordan, E. J., Boley, B.B., Knollenberg, W., and Kline, C. (2017). Predictors of intention to travel to Cuba across three time horizons: An application of the theory of planned behavior. Journal of Travel Research, DOI: 10.1177/0047287517721370.

Knollenberg, W., Smith, S. A., & De Soto, A. (2016). Virginia Tech’s Sustainability Institute: Preparing students for careers in sustainability. Sustainability: The Journal of Record9(4), 171-177.

McGehee, N.G., Knollenberg, W., and Komorowski, A. (2015). The central role of leadership in rural tourism development: A theoretical framework and case studies. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 23(8-9), 1277-1297.

McGehee, N.G., Kline, C., and Knollenberg, W. (2014). Social movements and tourism-related local action. Annals of Tourism Research, 48, 140 – 155.

Knollenberg, W., McGehee, N., Boley, B. and Clemmons, D. (2014). Motivation-based transformative learning and potential volunteer tourists: Facilitating more sustainable outcomes. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 22(6), 922- 941.

Selected Presentations

Knollenberg, W. and Barbieri, C. (2017). The (Re)Creation of Craft Distilling Culture in North Carolina: Implications for Tourism Product Development. Critical Tourism Studies Conference, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, June 2017.

Knollenberg, W. and Barbieri, C. (2017). The Emergence of Craft Distilling: The role of community capitals. Travel and Tourism Research Association Annual Conference, Quebec City, Canada, June 2017.

Knollenberg, W. and McGehee, N.G. (2016). Evaluating the Relationships that Facilitate Political Influence: Perspectives from advocates and tourism industry members. Critical Tourism Studies North America Conference, Huntsville, Ontario, August 2016.

Knollenberg, W., McGehee, N.G., Perdue, R.R., and Andereck, K. (2016). What Makes a Political Leader? Identifying the attributes of tourism industry advocates. Travel and Tourism Research Association Annual Conference, Vail, CO, June 2016.

Knollenberg, W. and McGehee, N.G. (2016). Lesson Learned in the Use of Mixed Methods to Gain Multiple Perspective in Tourism Leadership Research. Travel and Tourism Research Association Qualitative Research Methods Workshop, Vail, CO, June 2016.

Knollenberg, W. and McGehee, N.G. (2015). An Introduction to a Model of Political Leadership in the Context of Tourism Advocates. Travel and Tourism Research Association Annual Conference, Portland, OR, June 2015.

Kline, C. and Knollenberg, W. (2015). Spiraling Up: Framing rural tourism development within community capitals. Travel and Tourism Research Association Annual Conference (Qualitative Research Special Track), Portland, OR, June 2015.

Knollenberg, W. and McGehee, N.G. (2015). Exploring Tourism Advocates’ Relationship with

Tourism Industry Members through a Political Model of Leadership. Southeast Travel and

Tourism Research Association Annual Conference, Charlotte, NC, March 2015.

Knollenberg, W., and McGehee, N.G. (2014). Leadership at the nexus: Exploring the connection between partnerships, power, policy, and planning in tourism leadership. Building Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Education Network Think Tank XIV, Ljubljana, Slovenia, June 2014.

McGehee, N.G., Knollenberg, W., Boley, B.B., and Perdue, R.R. (2014). The Role of Social Capital in Destination Strategic Planning. Travel and Tourism Research Association Annual Conference, Brugge, Belgium, June 2014.

Perdue, R.R., Knollenberg, W., and McGehee, N.G. (2014). Changing Patterns of Tourism Taxation in the USA. Travel and Tourism Research Association Annual Conference, Brugge, Belgium, June 2014.

Selected Grants/Projects

Identifying Community Capitals for a Sustainable Tourism Workforce on Ocracoke Island. North Carolina Sea Grant. May 2016 – March 2017. $6,956. (Principal Investigator)

Strengthening local food systems through children: The role of agritourism in agricultural literacy and purchasing behaviors of local foods. National Institute of Food and Agriculture – Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (NIFA-AFRI). September 2017 – August 2021; $499,536. (Co-PI with PI Carla Barbieri and Co-PI Kathryn Stevenson).

Employers’ and Managers’ Perception of Drilled Oil Risks for Coastal North Carolina’s Tourism-Impacted Businesses and Organizations. North Carolina Sea Grant. 2010. $5,000 (Co-PI with PI Dr. Huili Hao).

Honors and Awards

2015 Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award.

2014 Travel and Tourism Research Association Annual Conference Best Illustrated Paper Award.

CV

View CV