Seminar Series

The Department of Tourism, Recreation & Sport Management and the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute are proud to host academic and industry leaders, who provide their thoughts and insights on the major trends impacting the tourism industry. We reach out to a wide audience, whether it is fellow University of Florida alumni or key decision makers in the industry. Below are just a few of the speakers and the discussions they have had with EFTI.


Brian Mills, phd

Tourist Tax Elasticity in Florida: Spatial Effects of County-Level Room Tax Rate Variation (Pictures)


Gary Daniels

“What’s Next?” Trends and Potential Research Topics
November 16, 2018 (

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.


Jamie Murphy, phD

The Quest to Research & Reduce Food Waste in Events, Hospitality, and Tourism
October 26, 2018 (

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.


Fuad Mehraliyev

Expert Power of Social Media Platforms
October 12, 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.


Thomas Hill

Tourist Season: Data, Models and Travel Demand
October 5, 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.