GIRLFRIEND GETAWAYS & THE FUTURE OF THE SOLO WOMAN TRAVELER- visit Tampa Bay Marketing summit      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Here at EFTI, we are working with the state of Florida in a number of different ways to push tourism and development progress. One of our EFTI Faculty Members,  Dr. Heather Gibson  spoke at Visit Tampa Bay’s 4th Annual Marketing Summit on behalf of the institute and gave a presentation on “Girlfriend Getaways” and really hammered on the importance. Dr. Gibson then gave the group some ideas on how to market to the niche segment.  A “Girlfriend Getaway” is defined as an, “all female leisure-travel consisting of female friends, relatives, colleagues, members of sport teams, or other female acquaintances” according to Dr. Gibson. This niche market of the industry that seemed to draw a lot of discussion once the presentation was finished, but Dr. Gibson stressed the importance of the woman traveler in the future as we can see a gradual shift into solo travel, especially among women. But what many debate is whether or not an individual, in this case women travelers are safe when traveling internationally alone. To strip the presentation down to its core, Dr. Gibson was talking about her discoveries through her research and her ideas on what the next steps are toward application of marketing for these specialized groups.     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     At the end of it all, this means that there is still a growing popularity for these “Girlfriend Getaways” and they are becoming more and more present across the industry. Gibson explains that there is a generational gap between the two groups because different opportunities were available for each generation. But this part of the market has become a major asset to the overall growth and development of tourism as a whole because it is an untouched piece of the market. The discussion ultimately ended with a further explanation of the importance of “Girlfriend Getaways” and their part in the overall economic development of the state of Florida.     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Dr. Heather Gibson discussing marketing strategy of “Girlfriend Getaways” and their role in the tourism industry within the Tampa Bay Area.

GIRLFRIEND GETAWAYS AND THE FUTURE OF THE SOLO WOMAN TRAVELER

Here at EFTI, we are working with the state of Florida in a number of different ways to push tourism and development progress. One of our EFTI Faculty Members, Dr. Heather Gibson spoke at Visit Tampa Bay’s 4th Annual Marketing Summit on behalf of the institute and gave a presentation on “Girlfriend Getaways” and really hammered on the importance. Dr. Gibson then gave the group some ideas on how to market to the niche segment.

       EFTI STUDENTS RECOGNIZED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR ACHIEVEMENT!   EFTI is very happy to announce that two of our PhD candidates,  Hongping Zhang  and  Yuhua Xu  were recognized within the University of Florida International Center (UFIC) with a Certification of Outstanding Merit. Both Hongping and Yuhua were recognized for their work for the College of Health an Human Performance, specifically within the department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism.     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Background:    Hongping Zhang  is a Doctoral student in the department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism where she holds various positions ranging from a study abroad assistant and researcher for the  TRSM UF Down Under Program  to a Teaching Assistant within the department where she teaches undergraduate courses in tourism and hospitality. Zhang’s current research interest is Educational Tourism which is fueled from her involvement of the study abroad programs as well as teaching courses while on campus. After asking what motivates her throughout her research process, she responded with:  “I love this department - being able to do what I enjoy and getting paid for it is all you can truly ask for. The Faculty and Staff are my biggest supporters as they provide me the tools and real-world experience so I can put what I have learned to the test. I am so thankful for the opportunities I have had through this group and I am happy to represent EFTI and  RPT!”      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      (Melody) Yuhua Xu  is a third year PhD student and research assistant for the Department of Tourism, Recreation, and Sports Management with research interests in Destination Resilience and Tourism Marketing. Her research is seeking responsive solutions for destinations and communities in face of various disturbance and changes. Last year one of Xu’s empirical studies won “Best Graduate Research Award” from the Travel and Tourism Research Association which helped narrow down her research interests to the empirical world. Aside from her work, Xu also assists in the settlement of incoming international visiting scholars to the RPT/TRSM department. As for her motivations, she said:   “Initially driven by curiosity, I came to academia. I am always willing to explore cutting edge problems in tourism, and provide global travelers with safer and reliable destinations.”   Awards:   The award ceremony was hosted by the University of Florida International Center where the dean of the program handed out the certification of Outstanding Merit. This nomination process is quite extensive but was a surprise to the students once finally being congratulated and acknowledged. The UFIC says,   “One of the highest priority goals for UF is to expand its international outlook and impact in education, research and service.  UF’s leadership has placed a special emphasis on internationalization because it is a direct outgrowth of UF’s mission and reflects the importance of globalization in the world today.  Our international students are a key element as we pursue these goals.  While international students adjust to a different language, educational system and cultural environment, they also share with the UF community their language, educational system and culture“ (pulled from  http://bit.ly/UFIC1819 ).  EFTI is very excited to have some of our students recognized for their diligence and work for the department, community, as well as the state of Florida.    #GoGators

EFTI STUDENTS RECOGNIZED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR ACHIEVEMENT!

EFTI is very happy to announce that two of our PhD candidates, Hongping Zhang and Yuhua Xu were recognized within the University of Florida International Center (UFIC) with a Certification of Outstanding Merit. Both Hongping and Yuhua we’re recognized for their work for the College of Health an Human Performance, specifically within the department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism.

       SUMMER 2018, ADVENTURES IN THE TROPICS, GATOREYE DRONE LIDAR - DR. ANGELICA ALMEYDA ZAMBRANO   By Zach Marshall     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Dr. Angelica Almeyda Zambrano  is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Tourism, Recreation & Sport Management where she co-directs the  Spatial Ecology and Conservation Lab . Dr. Almeyda Zambrano and her collaborator, and husband, Dr. Eben Broadbent along with their two field assistants (pictured to the side) did extensive field research across a variety of ecosystems during the summer. Locations included the Atlantic forest in Brazil, cloud forests in the Andes, the lowland Amazon, and Northern dry forests in Peru, tropical rain forests in Costa Rica, and ancient Mayan archaeological sites in Chiapas, Mexico.   Drs. Almeyda Zambrano (applications and flight ops) and Broadbent (pilot and flight ops) - flew   the GatorEye Unmanned Flying Laboratory (GE-UFL), a new custom-built sensor suite which includes LiDAR, Hyperspectral, and visual sensors, on a hexacopter drone platform. The data collected allows for high resolution 3D models of vegetation, buildings, and terrain. Analysis of this data is providing new insights into vegetation architecture across different forest types, forest ages, reforestation approaches, and land uses. Results have important implications for better understanding carbon sequestration, and for habitat preference and availability for fauna under climate change, as well as advancing fundamental understandings of Mayan agriculture and land use. For example, while in Peru, in collaboration with  Dr. Bette Loiselle , Professor in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, and her student Diego Garcia, they collaborated on research working to understand how bird diversity relates to forest structure, composition, and bioclimatic variables along an elevational gradient wthin a natural protected area. Dr. Almeyda Zambrano also returned to her alma mater in Peru, the Universidad Nacional La Agraria La Molina, where they lead a workshop on use of advanced drone sensor technology for environmental monitoring and sustainability.     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Dr. Almeyda Zambrano’s research focuses on sustainable tourism and socio-economic aspects of human-environment interactions. The data gathered for the projects above will enable her to be better positioned for upcoming grants and studies further understanding sustainability in new high-resolution 3D landscapes, expanding from her ongoing work linking humans to landscapes using satellite imagery. As for the future related to the GatorEye, Drs. Almeyda Zambrano and Broadbent are using the rapidly expanding datasets to better understand our worlds biomass and species diversity. This application will help us gain a peak into the future of our planet, while also helping us learn what we can do to increase the sustainability and well-being of society and the natural environment on which it depends.

SUMMER 2018, ADVENTURES IN THE TROPICS, GATOREYE DRONE LIDAR - DR. ANGELICA ALMEYDA ZAMBRANO

Dr. Angelica Almeyda-Zambrano, Assistant Professor in the Tourism, Recreation & Sport Management department and her husband Dr. Eben Broadbent along with their two field assistants (pictured to the side) this past summer did some extensive research across a variety of ecosystems: ranging from the Amazon in Peru, tropical rain forests in Costa Rica, and ancient Mayan archaeological sites in Mexico while utilizing new drone technology and the Light Detection and Ranging sensing method (LIDAR) for land surveying and 3D modeling and mapping of the various terrains.

       BENEFITS OF ECOTOURISM FROM PROFESSOR EMERITUS, DR. STEPHEN HOLLAND    Professor Emeritus Stephen Holland  was invited to do a presentation  on the 'Benefits of Ecotourism' at the Citrus County (Florida) forum on Economic Development hosted by the Economic Development Authority for Citrus County, November 15, 2018. His talk generated a discussion about the need to create a training program for local hospitality front-line workers (e.g., waitresses, hotel front-desk clerks) to educate them about local nature-based attractions to be able to encourage tourists to enjoy the local parks and waterways. Also noted was the importance of natural areas and parks in sustaining perceptions of a high quality of life in the region as a factor in attracting new companies and workers, as well as tourists.     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Front-line hospitality workers that are well-versed in an area’s attractions and culture are incredibly important for the overall identification and branding of a location. In this case, Dr. Holland touched on the importance of preserving and showcasing our Florida Ecosystems. Showcasing the natural beauty while attracting business and economic enhancements to the area is a strategy currently being implemented throughout Citrus County.  Our EFTI Faculty, Staff, and Students are all over the globe working to preserve, protect, and showcase the beautiful ecosystems.

BENEFITS OF ECOTOURISM FROM PROFESSOR EMERITUS, DR. STEPHEN HOLLAND

Professor Emeritus Stephen Holland was invited to do a presentation  on the 'Benefits of Ecotourism' at the Citrus County, Florida forum on Economic Development hosted by the Economic Development Authority for Citrus County, November 15, 2018. His talk generated a discussion about the need to create a training program for local hospitality front-line workers (e.g., waitresses, hotel front-desk clerks) ​to educate them about local nature-based attractions to able to ​encourage tourists to enjoy the local parks and waterways. Also, the importance of natural areas and parks to sustain perceptions of high quality of life in the region as a factor in attracting new companies and workers to the area was noted.

       DISNEY PARKS AND RESORTS DIGITAL - WHAT’S NEXT?   With 20 years’ experience at Disney, Gary Daniels (Vice President of Digital Experience) leads teams that create end-to-end, digital-plus-physical experiences for Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products globally. Gary also serves as a member of the Walt Disney World Resort steering committee, leading digital efforts across Marketing, Sales, and Guest Experience. In this seminar, Gary discussed recent trends and how Disney Parks & Resorts is evaluating their strategy for the future.  Daniels’ presentation gave our EFTI Faculty and Students a peak into the behind-the-scenes work done by Gary and his Disney Parks & Resorts Digital team. With the ever-changing scope of technology, communication, and customer experience, Disney has long been a trendsetter and industry leader.  In addition to discussing Disney’s implementation of the digital world, Gary shines light on trends in the industry such as:     Data Analysis : A structural transformation in managing business and providing personalized guest service.     Smart Technology : The ability of computer programs to provide services and information to consumers through technology such as voice-controlled personal assistants.     Augmented & Virtual Reality : Will revolutionize industries and enterprises increasing productivity, efficiency, and safety expanding beyond visual immersion to include all human senses.       

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     One of the largest projects Gary had the opportunity to work on is the Disney “MagicBand,” a wearable all-in-one device that enables guests to quickly and effortlessly access their hotel room, enter the theme parks, make payments and more during their visit to Walt Disney World Resort. This project has grown immensely and is one of the most effective ways Disney simplifies and enables easy access to its experiences.  Being able to leverage technology for a range of purposes is what Gary and his team are trying to achieve every day. For years, Disney has provided its guests with a seamless and familiar experience, and emerging technologies will continue to make a big mark on the Disney brand – making the vacation experience easier and more enjoyable!

DISNEY PARKS AND RESORTS DIGITAL - WHAT’S NEXT?

With 20 years’ experience at Disney, Gary Daniels (Vice President of Digital Experience) leads teams that create end-to-end, digital-plus-physical experiences for Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products globally. Gary also serves as a member of the Walt Disney World Resort steering committee, leading digital efforts across Marketing, Sales, and Guest Experience. In this seminar, Gary discussed recent trends and how Disney Parks & Resorts is evaluating their strategy for the future.

       TRSM STUDY ABROAD PROGRAMS - SUMMER 2019   This upcoming summer, undergraduate students in the TRSM program degrees and specializations will have the option to study abroad in  Italy, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji.  Through coursework and site visits, students will become more familiar about global issues affecting the Mediterranean Hospitality, Tourism, Event and Sport Industry, and the Campania region in particular.     For more information, reach out to  Dr. Greg Dunn !     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     TRSM also offers three other programs during the summer semester. Students have the opportunity to study in destinations such as  Fiji, Australia, and New Zealand  where the focus is on the sustainable environment and ecotourism.   For more information about these programs, please reach out to  Dr. Heather Gibson  or check out the website  HERE !!!

UF IN SORRENTO - STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM COMING SUMMER ‘19

This upcoming summer, Undergraduate students in the TRSM program degrees and specializations will have the option to study abroad in Italy, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji. Through coursework and site visits, students will become more familiar about global issues affecting the Mediterranean in general and the Campanian region in particular.

       FOOD WASTE AND YOU - TOURISM’S IMPACT ON THE DEVELOPING WORLD   On Friday, October 26th, Dr. Jamie Murphy Adjunct Professor and Research Fellow for the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Western Australia. Dr. Murphy has been focusing his research in the past couple of years on the importance of sustainable practices in the Tourism industry, doing research across the globe and learning what techniques are working and which techniques are falling short.     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Dr. Murphy has given invited/keynote presentations on six continents and taught tourism/hospitality at Essec, Florida State University and the Lausanne Hotel School and taught marketing at the University of Western Australia. Prof Murphy’s diverse industry background includes European Marketing Manager for PowerBar and Greg Lemond Bicycles, Lead Academic for the Google Online Marketing Challenge, dozens of New York Times and Wall Street Journal stories, restaurateur and F&B manager in Yellowstone National Park.   In his presentation, “The Quest to Research and Reduce Food Waste in Events, Hospitality, and Tourism” we brought up the topics many don’t think about when planning events or booking a stay in a different destination. Food Waste has become one of the most prominent issues across the globe as our facilities are not capable of processing, sorting, and reusing of this disposed material. Through the use of various recycling efforts, composting, and public policy, slow changes will come to the sustainability part of the Tourism industry, but we each need to do our part!     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     This brown bag seminar reviews Professor Murphy's sustainability passion, food waste in hospitality, events and tourism. The United Nations’ 12th of 17 Sustainable Development Goals, responsible consumption and production, has led the UN, the United States and Australia, among others, to target halving their food waste--about $2.6 trillion a year globally in economic, social and environmental costs--by 2030. Hospitality, events and tourism have a major role in reaching these ambitious goals, particularly as the United Nations designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Personally and professionally, discover how industry and academia can tackle four food waste priority areas for a better future--policy support, business improvements, market development and behavior change--to research and reduce food waste in events, hospitality and tourism.

FOOD WASTE AND YOU - TOURISM’S IMPACT ON THE DEVELOPING WORLD

On Friday, October 26th, Dr. Jamie Murphy Adjunct Professor and Research Fellow for the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Western Australia. Dr. Murphy has been focusing his research in the past couple of years on the importance of sustainable practices in the Tourism industry, doing research across the globe and learning what techniques are working and which techniques are falling short.

       FROM GATOR GROWL TO THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER, UF ALUM ALICE NORSWORTHY CONNECTS AUDIENCES WITH MAGICAL EXPERIENCES   Alice Norsworthy, the chair for the EFTI Advisory Board and Chief Marketing Officer for Universal Parks and Resorts was featured in a University of Florida Foundation article which showed how our Gators “Go Greater.” With over 10 years with Universal Parks and Resorts, Norsworthy is an innovator in the tourism industry and is constantly putting together some of the most comprehensive and detailed marketing strategies of this era.     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     “With a flick of the wand and those bewitching words, young wizards at Hogwarts School make objects fly in the air. But if you thought the levitating magic of Harry Potter only happened in books and movies, think again.  Since Universal Orlando launched the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2010, attendance at its twin theme parks has soared to record-breaking heights.  And leading the marketing wizards who entice all those visitors is creative powerhouse Alice Norsworthy (BFA Art ’81).  As executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Universal Parks & Resorts, this proud Gator alum wins accolades for her team-centered leadership style and her uncanny ability to tap into the dreams and desires of potential guests.  “The strength and beauty of Alice’s leadership is her ability to figure out the essence of what makes J.K Rowling’s universe so compelling and to translate that, in marketing campaigns, so people respond, “I have to be part of that!’” says Bill Davis, president and chief operating officer of Universal Orlando.  Davis also commends Norsworthy for creating strong emotional connections between audiences and the resort’s other offerings.  “Her skill at communicating all our experiences here at Universal Orlando, from our attractions to restaurants, is phenomenal,” says Davis. “She is the marketer who’s been key to our success” (Retrieved from  http://bit.ly/UFAdvancement  - Barbara Drake)

FROM GATOR GROWL TO THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER, UF ALUM ALICE NORSWORTHY CONNECTS AUDIENCES WITH MAGICAL EXPERIENCES

Alice Norsworthy, the chair for the EFTI Advisory Board and Chief Marketing Officer for Universal Parks and Resorts was featured in a University of Florida Foundation article which showed how our Gators “Go Greater.” With over 10 years with Universal Parks and Resorts, Norsworthy is an innovator in the tourism industry and is constantly putting together some of the most comprehensive and detailed marketing strategies of this era.

       WHY TO CONSIDER TRAVELING SOLO - AND HOW TO GET STARTED   One of our very own TRSM faculty -  Dr. Heather Gibson  was featured in the UF News Update on October 22, 2018. Dr. Gibson in the Fall 2017 semester took part as an adviser for the Semester at Sea program where she lead students on a 100 day cruise around the world visiting 10 countries and 4 continents. This program helped lead to her research on the individual traveler as well as her research on the individual woman traveler.  “Embracing the unknowns of solo travel, however, can have long-lasting benefits for women, Gibson says. She should know: A sociologist in UF’s College of Health and Human Performance, Gibson pioneered the study of women travelers and authored a seminal paper about solo travel in 1998. Many of the challenges women faced twenty years ago — from safety concerns to the objections of family and friends — still remain.  “I see a lot of the same issues today,” she said. “I’ll ask my students how many will travel by themselves, and only a few will.”  She encourages women to do their planning, reassure their loved ones, and venture out” (Retrieved from http://news.ufl.edu/articles/2018/10/why-to-consider-traveling-solo--and-how-to-get-started.php - Allisson Clark).  Dr. Gibson has put together some tips and tricks to planning your next solo adventure abroad, click  HERE  for the full article!

WHY TO CONSIDER TRAVELING SOLO - AND HOW TO GET STARTED

One of our very own TRSM faculty - Dr. Heather Gibson was featured in the UF News Update on October 22, 2018. Dr. Gibson in the Fall 2017 semester took part as an adviser for the Semester at Sea program where she lead students on a 100 day cruise around the world visiting 10 countries and 4 continents. This program helped lead to her research on the individual traveler as well as her research on the individual woman traveler.

       EFTI’s “Insights” Seminar Series – Fuad Mehraliyev on Expert Power of Social Media Platforms   October 12th, 2018     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Fuad Mehraliyev is a visiting scholar from Azerbaijan, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Social Cultural Service from Baku State University in 2008. After his graduation from Umeå University in 2012, he returned to his home country and worked as a Lecturer for four years at Western University. In August 2016, Fuad was granted a fellowship from Hong Kong Research Grants Council for his PhD study at the School of Hotel & Tourism Management (SHTM) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and is expected to graduate in August 2019. His research interests are information communication technologies, social media power, and experimental design in tourism studies.  In his presentation titled, ‘Expert Power of Social Media Platforms: Examining the Effects of Experience and Specialization’ Fuad explained his research using social power theory to examine psychological effects of experience and specialization on tourists’ perceptions towards platform’s expertise and task-fit.   Some of the key takeaways of the discussion establish that both experience and specialization work as attributes of the platform’s expert power and lead to perceived expertise. Interaction effect between the two attributes suggests that new platforms should consider specialization strategies, whereas experienced platforms can benefit from diversification.

EFTI’S “INSIGHTS” SEMINAR SERIES – FUAD MEHRALIYEV ON EXPERT POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS

Fuad Mehraliyev is a visiting scholar from Azerbaijan, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Social Cultural Service from Baku State University in 2008. After his graduation from Umeå University in 2012, he returned to his home country and worked as a Lecturer for four years at Western University. His research interests are information communication technologies, social media power, and experimental design in tourism studies.

       THOMAS HILL DISCUSSES TOURISM DATA MODELS - THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION   October 5th, 2018     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Thomas Hill, State Modeling Manager for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) spoke on Friday, October 5th to EFTI Faculty, Staff, and students about the importance of Tourism and Travel in Florida. Hill holds both his Undergraduate and Master’s degree in Urban Planning from Florida State University, and is currently working on updating the Florida Statewide Passenger and Freight Model which is in charge of monitoring the planning of freight routes and processes across the state of Florida.  After discussing the Freight Model, Hill then delved a bit deeper, explaining that Hotels, Amusement Parks, Restaurants or even Bars are a major piece to Florida’s transportation routes. Hill then described that I-75, I-95, and I-4 are crucial to Florida’s economic development for these reasons. A lot of ideas and questions were brought up about the future for FDOT, and after hearing from Doctoral Student, Danielle Barbe she mentioned,   “As my research focuses on crisis communication, I thought the hurricane evacuation information was very interesting and important. Especially mentioning that they [FDOT] are developing an app that will allow them to not only communicate to those evacuating but also help them track the times that people evacuate, routes they take, etc.”  Communication is key to the overall success of any of the processes at the Florida Department of Transportation. Hill took us into an explanation of the accuracy and reality of social media – in other words, FDOT has decided that social media is not proper for measuring and forecasting travel outcomes in the state of Florida.  During the Q & A, EFTI Faculty, Staff, and Students asked Hill a variety of questions. One of the questions addressed the future of Florida’s Transportation system, mentioning the developments of Brightline rails, and though no steps have been made in this direction just yet, there seems to be a shift toward the shared economy (e.g., Uber, Lyft) and there is no telling what is to come next.

Thomas Hill discusses Tourism Data Models –The Florida Department of Transportation

Thomas Hill, State Modeling Manager for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) spoke on Friday, October 5th to EFTI Faculty, Staff, and students about the importance of Tourism and Travel in Florida. Hill holds both his Undergraduate and Master’s degree in Urban Planning from Florida State University, and is currently working on updating the Florida Statewide Passenger and Freight Model which is in charge of monitoring the planning of freight routes and processes across the state of Florida.

       Canadian students travel to UF, Disney to complete Disney International Academic Exchange Program   July 10, 2018     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     From June 28th to July 9th, 17 students from various Canadian universities spent the week in Gainesville before traveling down to Orlando to complete the Disney International Program. These students are all prart of the Disney International Academic Exchange Program at UF. This program consists taking UF online courses at the beginning of the summer and then traveling to Florida to complete the Disney International Program for six months. The students spend over a week in Gainesville for an Orientation Week in which they stay in on-campus dorms and are shown what it is like to be a UF student.   During their time here in Gainesville, they took trips to Lake Wauberg and Ichetucknee Springs to experience the weather and nature that north Florida has to offer. They received presentations about professionalism from Alison Noonan from the UF Career Resource Center and about sports marketing and collegiate athletics from James Slagle from the University Athletic Association. They received tours and participated in professional interactions with Laura Shiver from AC Hotels Downtown Gainesville, Kate Eames and the rest of the staff from The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, Jerica Manzi from The Amelia Island Club, and Matt Borocz from TPC Sawgrass.  Now in Orlando, the students will spend the next six months working for Disney in various roles from such as merchandise, attractions, and food and beverage. They will come back to Gainesville for homecoming weekend and then will begin two more courses in the Fall while working.  More information about the program:  ufdex.org

Canadian students travel to UF, Disney to complete Disney International Academic Exchange Program

From June 28th to July 9th, 17 students from various Canadian universities spent the week in Gainesville before traveling down to Orlando to complete the Disney International Program. These students are all prart of the Disney International Academic Exchange Program at UF.

       EFTI to co-host Future of Tourism conference in Petra, Jordan   June 19, 2018     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      THIS CONFERENCE HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL AUGUST 2019.   The Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute will be co-hosting a conference titled “Future of Tourism in the Golden Triangle, Jordan: Destination Competitiveness, Connectivity, and Sustainability” from August 8-9, 2018 with the University of Jordan and the Petra Development and Tourism Regional Authority. Located in Petra, Jordan, this conference will discuss strategies, best practices, and future of tourism in the golden triangle region as well as in Jordan among various stakeholders from the country as well as international tourism specialists.  “As aptly themed – Future of Tourism in the Golden Triangle, Jordan, the two-day conference is a celebration of past accomplishments along with a targeted vision towards the future. The conference provides a forum to exchange ideas, discuss best practices, engage in expert dialogues, and identify a roadmap for the future with a priority on tourism destination competitiveness and sustainability.”  This conference will feature a series of experienced speakers such as the chairman from the UN World Tourism Organization, the EVP of Guest Experience and Product Development at Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd, the former Secretary-General from the UN World Tourism Organization and many more. Some of the sessions will be moderated by EFTI’s Drs. Brijesh Thapa and Lori Pennington-Gray. One of EFTI’s newest Advisory Board members, Chris Thompson- CEO of Brand USA, will also be a panelist on one of the sessions covering destination competitiveness.  “The future of tourism in [Jordan] presents new prospects to further leverage and cultivate demand in existing, regional, and emerging international markets, as global tourism and mobility has demonstrated significant growth. While future growth is predicted, tourism will be dependent on several aspects such as, transportation accessibility and connectivity, investment in hard and soft infrastructure, regulatory reforms, new product development, integrated marketing, and safety of visitors.”

EFTI to co-host Future of Tourism conference in Petra, Jordan

The Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute will be co-hosting a conference titled “Future of Tourism in the Golden Triangle, Jordan: Destination Competitiveness, Connectivity, and Sustainability” from August 8-9, 2018 with the University of Jordan and the Petra Development and Tourism Regional Authority.

       EFTI presents at Alachua County Hospitality Council   June 6, 2018     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     On June 6th, 2018, Dr. Craig Schmitt spoke in front of the Alachua County Hospitality Council at their monthly meeting held at Backstreet Blues Chop House & Oyster Bar.  “The Alachua County Hospitality Council is a non-profit organization that was formed as a way for dedicated professionals in the Hospitality and Tourism industries to exchange ideas, promote events in our area and network; to provide unique and memorable experiences to those who visit or reside in Alachua County. The Council Members includes individuals from restaurants, hotels, attractions, event coordinators and allied businesses.” (Retrieved from http://www.hospitalitycouncil.com/about/)  Dr. Schmitt spoke about the research that the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute has been producing and how it might be helpful to local tourism & hospitality professionals. With three diverse research groups, EFTI is able to provide precise research on a large amount of topics in the tourism industry spanning from technology to sustainability.  EFTI has partnered with industry leaders to provide insightful research in the form of faculty interactions, class projects, and graduate student sponsorship.  “EFTI faculty and staff recognize how critical it is to collaborate with industry, to not only stay current with trends and challenges, but also to identify opportunities to provide research driven insights that could help with industry decision-making.” Dr. Schmitt said. “We are, and will always remain, incredibly grateful to our industry partners!”

EFTI presents at Alachua County Hospitality Council

On June 6th, 2018, Dr. Craig Schmitt spoke in front of the Alachua County Hospitality Council at their monthly meeting held at Backstreet Blues Chop House & Oyster Bar.

       Chris Thompson awarded the first-ever National Tourism Leadership Award   May 9, 2018     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Chris Thompson, CEO of Brand USA and one of EFTI’s newest board members, received the first-ever National Tourism Leadership Award presented by Skal International- USA.  This award was created to annually recognize major contributions by an individual who has grown tourism to and within the United States. On hand for the award presentation were Susanna Saari, Skal International president from Turku, Finland, and Daniela Otero, Skal International CEO, from Torremolinos, Spain.  "It's an honor to have my peers recognize me in this way," Thompson said. "The members of the North American Skal club have supported me and guided me in so many ways throughout my career, and to be the first recipient of the National Tourism Leadership Award is humbling."  Thompson has led the expansion of Brand USA in its role as the as the force behind the marketing of the United States as a premiere travel destinations in the global marketplace.  "I am proud of the work we are doing at Brand USA to promote the United States as a premier travel destination," Thompson added. "The USA remains as aspirational as ever.”  To learn more, please see this article:  https://www.travelpulse.com/news/destinations/brand-usa-s-chris-thompson-receives-leadership-award.html

Chris Thompson awarded the first-ever National Tourism Leadership Award

Chris Thompson, CEO of Brand USA and one of EFTI’s newest board members, received the first-ever National Tourism Leadership Award presented by Skal International- USA.

       Dr. Pennington-Gray featured in Newsweek Japan   May 7, 2018     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Dr. Lori Pennington-Gray recently wrote an article featured in Newsweek Japan about how to safely travel abroad in the age of terror. Dr. Pennington-Gray highlighted the work that the Tourism Crisis Management Initiative has been conducting to help the tourist to be responsible and engage in safe tourism practices and to help the industry to be prepared for terrorism attacks.  In this article, Dr. Pennington-Gray talked about how safety is the cornerstone of an attractive destination. In this technological age, tourist are research more and more about their potential destination, and according to Dr. Pennington-Gray, the industry has been forced to be more responsive than ever.  Another point that Dr. Pennington-Gray addressed was how destinations react to terrorism. In time of crisis, tourist require direct information from the governing bodies of destinations. Dr. Pennington-Gray explained that during the Boston Marathon bombing, the Police Department Commissioner started using social media within 10 minutes to explain to people what was happening to avoid miscommunication. According to Dr. Pennington-Gray’s research, more communication will lead to greater response to actions when crises occur.  Dr. Pennington-Gray closed out the article by providing several tips for tourists to take responsibility for their own safety. The tips include:    Monitoring the threat level of the destination where you are going to travel ( https://www.riskmaps.aon.co.uk )    Follow the destination’s social media accounts prior to travel and check posts during travel    Use FireChat- an app where users can communication on their smartphones within a 200-foot radius without internet or cellular connection    Check-in on Facebook’s Safety Check to notify friends and family that you are safe

Dr. Pennington-Gray featured in Newsweek Japan

Dr. Pennington-Gray highlighted the work that the Tourism Crisis Management Initiative has been conducting to help the tourist to be responsible and engage in safe tourism practices and to help the industry to be prepared for terrorism attacks.

       Drs. Kim and Thapa travel to Maryland for NERR Symposium   April 26, 2018     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     From April 8th to April 10th, 2018, Dr. Jin-Won Kim, Dr. Brijesh Thapa, and graduate student Eunjung Yang traveled to Annapolis, Maryland to participate in the 2018 National Environment and Recreation Research Symposium (NERR).  In the first session, “Resource Management,” they presented a study titled “Exploring the Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Visitor Flows in a National Park With a GPS-Based Mobile Application.” Dr. Brijesh Thapa acted as a facilitator in this session between the study they conducted and a series of other research presentations. In this study, they explore the spatio-temporal patterns of visitor flows at Seoraksan National Park in South Korea. GIS mapping in combination with spatial data analysis were employed to explore the spatial and temporal patterns of visitor flows within the park.  The next study presented was the “Measuring the Impact of Green Space Access on Public Health: A Case Study of Florida.” This study measured the level of green space access for each county; analyzed the relationship between level of green space access and level of public health; and explored spatially varying relationships between level of green space access and level of public health across the state of Florida.  The final study presented at the conference was titled “ Measuring the Recreation Equity of Beach Access for People with Ambulatory Difficulty in Duval County, Florida.” The purpose of this study was to measure the beach access and equity for people with ambulatory difficulty in Duval County, Florida.

Drs. Kim and Thapa travel to Maryland for NERR Symposium

Dr. Jin-Won Kim, Dr. Brijesh Thapa, and graduate student Eunjung Yang traveled to Annapolis, Maryland to participate in the 2018 National Environment and Recreation Research Symposium (NERR).