Hospitality Management Curriculum: Integrating Specialized Software

The purpose of this project was to integrate professional M3 accounting and data mining software into hospitality management curriculum.  M3 Accounting Services is a software solution company for the hospitality industry, whose software is currently used  by more than 2,000 hotels. This project was led by Dr. Kelly Semrad. The project was funded by M3 Accounting Services and sponsored by the University of South Florida.

Rainbow River Environmental Study

The overall purpose of this project was two-fold: 1) to determine the  present condition of the aquatic  environment of the Rainbow  Springs Aquatic Preserve, and to  compare the present condition to  that recorded in 1994-1995 (in a  previous similar study conducted  by UF faculty) using identical  methods, and 2) to document  the effects that various levels of  current human activity have on  the Rainbow Springs Aquatic  Preserve. The specific focus was to determine the type, quantity, and location of aquatic recreational use throughout the year. This information was matched with a variety of environmental indicators (e.g., water quality, presence of aquatic plants) to document if any substantial environmental deterioration was associated with the various recreational use activities occurring on the river over the course of the year.  The project was funded by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Southwest Florida Water Management District and was led by Dr. Stephen Holland.

Tourism Demand Assessment in Zambia

The purpose of this project was to conduct a survey of current visitors to Zambia with respect to demand assessment for the greater Kafue National Park (KNP) area, which is the second largest National Park in the world. Currently, tourism has not reached its potential but is a major tool to promote and strengthen sustained economic growth and poverty reduction in the greater KNP area. This study proposed to examine demand based on current visitors that have visited the KNP area and/or those that have visited other national parks. This study provided baseline information needed to position the region relative to other regions in the country. The study also analyzed determinants of demand to aid policy makers and the tourism industry to improve the identification of potential new markets and provide and improve the tourism opportunities that play a key role in a tourists choice in their trip selection. Additionally, it assisted in the development of comprehensive marketing strategies to showcase the greater KNP region. The project was managed through the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Service with funding from U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation and was led by Dr. Brijesh Thapa.

2010 FIFA World Cup: Resident and Visitor Perspectives

Understanding the social legacies of a mega-event necessitates a focus on the residents of a nation. This research had multiple phases with the primary goal of identifying the social legacies (e.g., identity, social capital, and tourism) associated with the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This focus helped to inform local and national level policy to facilitate the nation building goals of South Africa. Data were collected (five host cities) three months prior to the event in mid June 2010, while a follow up was conducted in April 2011. Given the importance of the event for the South African Tourism brand, an additional objective was to evaluate destination and event image perceptions and tourism behaviors of spectators. Data were collected among visitors at all the nine host cities during the World Cup which provided a major source of information about visitor profiles, market segmentation, perceptions and experiences. This project was conducted in partnership between the University of Florida (UF) and Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Pretoria, South Africa.  The project has been largely funded the Office of Research, Innovation and Partnership at TUT along with several host cities. This project was led by Dr. Brijesh Thapa along with Drs. Heather Gibson, Kiki Kaplanidou, and Matthew Walker as part of the UF team, in partnership with Dr. Sue Geldenhuys and Dr. Willie Coetzee from TUT.

The Operations and Economics of the For-Hire Recreational Fishing Fleets of the South Atlantic States and the Atlantic Coast of Florida

The goal of this project was to obtain current information on the demographic, economic, species targeting information, operator attitudes and business characteristics of the offshore recreational charter and headboat fleets of Florida (Atlantic coast), Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. The project described the distribution of charter/head boats by type of boat and location; reported information on the demographics, economics and business characteristics of charter/head boat operations; estimated the economic impacts of these regions’ charter and head boat recreational fishing related expenditures on the Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina economies and reported operators perceptions of problems in their industry and degree of cooperation with relevant agencies. The project was funded by the NOAA Marine Fisheries Initiative program, National Marine Fisheries Service, Washington, DC and was led by Dr. Stephen Holland.