Tourism Research Lab: Current Initiatives

1. International Service and Educational Mobilities

Looks at study abroad programs and service tourism, and what kinds of effects they have on students and travelers. One question it asks is: when students and travelers return to their home countries, are they more culturally and environmentally conscious and motivated to help out in their own communities?

Current Projects

  • Embedded education abroad tool kit
  • Education abroad and the making of global citizens
  • Facilitation of RPTM study abroad courses in Australia and New Zealand

2. Tourism Planning, Disparities, and Human Development

Examines how tourism can be a tool for community development and improve quality of life for people locally, nationally, and internationally.

Current Projects

  • Social and cultural impacts of tourism development on residents of the Yasawas, Fiji
  • Capacity building and guide training for cultural tourism in Lushoto, Tanzania
  • Pilot study for comparison of wildlife value orientations, quality of life, and perceived self-determination between community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) and non-CBNRM villages in Namibia.
  • Tourism representations in slavery heritage sites
  • Tourism representations and adaptation to global climate change

3. Tourism Marketing and Management

Analyzes marketing and management techniques of various organizations. Several of these projects are in The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Current Projects

  • Assessment of the Alleghenies Web site
  • A conversion study of inquirers for the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • A visitor study in the Alleghenies
  • Visitor study of a destination park in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania with Playworld Systems, Inc.
  • National study of constraints to cruising
  • Decision making behavior of cruise tourists
  • Environmental factors and their influence on satisfaction within a health spa setting
  • The effect of media on individuals’ decision to visit South Korea

4. Representing and Consuming Cultures and Identities

Investigates tourism impacts on culture and identity on host communities.

Current Projects

  • Tourism and change in gender roles among the Amis, Taiwan
  • An ethnographic study of Bri-Bri tour guides in Costa Rica
  • Impact of tourism on intergenerational relationships: the case of the Masaai families in Ngorogoro,Tanzania

5. Leisure Travel and Well-being

Explores how travel can impact quality of life and emotional, physical, and psychological well-being.

Current Projects

  • Determining the role of leisure travel in the neurological and physiological wellbeing of older adults