The Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute had a great presence on the Travel and Tourism Research Association Annual International Conference which happened in Melbourne between June 25 and June 27, 2019. EFTI was a Bronze level sponsor and was represented by nine researchers.  


One of the biggest and most recognized associations in the travel and tourism field, TTRA counts with chapters all over the world. The association strives for the highest standards in research, analysis and marketing in the field of travel and tourism, focusing on providing insights and best practices.  Following very similar standards, EFTI counted with great ambassadors in the conference, being them two professors (Dr. Stevtlana Stepchenkova and Dr. Andrei Kirilenko), five current doctoral students (Danielle Barbe, David Ma, Larissa Neuburger, Yu Niu, and Yu-Hua Xu), and two recent PhD graduates (Ashley Schroeder and Hany Kim) who carried EFTI’s message along as speakers and attendees.  


Also very exciting, Yu-Hua (Melody) Xu won the prize of Best Academic Paper. Her paper is titled “Spacial Effects of Crime on Peer to Peer Lodging Performance”. The paper is actually a second phase of an ongoing study, for which she was awarded the Best Graduate Colloquium Paper in 2017 at TTRA 48th Annual International Conference in Quebec City. The study is conducted by Melody together with Dr. Lori Pennington-Gray and Dr. Jin-Won Kim, both EFTI professors. The focus of the study is analyzing the relationship and influences between crime rates in shared lodging (Airbnb and rental homes, peer to peer) and diverse levels of the destination (from the destination as larger scale to the accommodation itself in smaller scale), and how this influences the performance of these accommodations on the market.  


Our researchers could network and learn trends and insights from other highly skilled tourism research professionals, and are coming back to the United States after a valuable networking experience full of great ideas, excited for more research, and looking forward to new collaborations! 

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