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Fesenmaier Earns Travel & Tourism Research Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award

June 5th, 2014

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ProfessorDaniel R. Fesenmaier, called “without peer among the currently active researchers in tourism,” has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the international Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA).

Fesenmaier, who is director of the National Laboratory for Tourism and eCommerce, was given the honor at TTRA’s annual conference in June in Kansas City.

Fesenmaier has authored more than 110 refereed research articles in top-tier journals, 120 book chapters and conference proceedings, and edited 10 books, monographs and proceedings. He has served as principal or co-principal investigator for more than 100 funded projects totaling nearly $7 million and continues to lead national research that monitors how technology shapes the ways Americans travel, in addition to involvement with a variety of international initiatives.

“He has been and continues to be one of the leading minds on the applications of information technology to tourism marketing,” wrote nominators TTRA President Richard R. Perdue of Virginia Tech; Pauline Sheldon, professor emeritus of the University of Hawaii; and Mitch Nichols, president and CEO of Nichols Tourism Group. “His work on Internet technologies, the design and evaluation of web-based tourism marketing, and destination marketing strategy is the very best body of work on these critical topics.”

Fesenmaier’s colleagues widely credit him for his strong work ethic and his commitment to using much of the grant money he receives to support the education and research of graduate students, whom he mentors closely.

In their nomination letter, Perdue and colleagues said Fesenmaier has chaired 44 graduate student committees and that many of his students have “gone on to become major contributors to our tourism research,” including seven who have been appointed to the editorial board of the TTRA-published Journal of Travel Research (JTR), the premier journal focusing on travel and tourism behavior, management and development.

“I have a passion for ideas that help in understanding and solving problems, and I enjoy very much in bringing together the greatness of the university with the ingenuity of the professionals in tourism and the challenges facing the industry,” Fesenmaier said. “I have had a number of really great masters and PhD students who have made me look good. I would like to thank each of them for trusting me and including me in their lives. Without a doubt, they are the reason I am here today.”

In addition to his contributions to the academic and business communities in tourism, Fesenmaier has had extensive involvement with TTRA, including serving on the JTR editorial board for the past 20 years, serving as editor for the JTR Foundations in Tourism Research series and currently serving on the organization’s board of directors.

This is Fesenmaier’s second lifetime achievement award in recent months. He also received the International Federation for IT and Travel & Tourism’s Hannes Werthner Tourism and Technology Lifetime Achievement Award.

In addition, Fesenmaier and PhD student Jason L. Stienmetz recently received an Excellent Paper Award at the 2013 TOSOK International Tourism Conference in Seoul, Korea. Their co-authored paper, “Traveling the Network: A Proposal for New Destination Performance Metrics,” will be published in the International Journal of Tourism Sciences.

–Brandon Lausch

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