Presenter Bios

Whitney Knollenberg is a Ph.D. candidate in the Hospitality and Tourism Management Department at Virginia Tech. Her research interests include political leadership in tourism, tourism planning, and the role of policy, power, and partnerships in tourism development.

Professor Nancy Gard McGehee is Head of the HTM Department, Virginia Tech. She has worked in the areas of rural tourism/volunteer tourism for two decades in such varied locations as Australia, Mexico, and Haiti. She is the 2014 recipient of Virginia Tech’s Alumni Award for Excellence in International Research.

Richard R. Perdue is the R.B. Pamplin Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management in the Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business; from 2005 to 2014 he served as the Head of the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management. He is a an elected fellow and former president of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism. He is also former president of the Travel and Tourism Research Association. He has served as Editor of the Journal of Travel Research since 2002.

Kathleen Andereck is the Director of Curricular Initiative in the College of Public Service and Community Solutions, and the Director of the School of Community Resources and Development at Arizona State University where she holds the rank of Professor. The School offers four bachelor degrees, three master degrees, a Ph.D., and several certificates, minors and concentrations. Dr. Andereck’s research focuses on the tourism and recreation experience from the perspective of both visitors and residents particularly as it applies to sustainable community development. Some of her specific areas of interest include tourism and quality of life, residents’ attitudes toward tourism, volunteer tourism, and tourist behavior in recreation settings. Dr. Andereck has conducted recreation and tourism research work with a diversity of organizations and agencies at the federal, state and local levels.

Abstract

This study explored the characteristics of tourism advocates who serve as the vital link between policymakers and tourism industry members. These individuals seek to gain political influence for the industry, yet there is only a limited understanding of what influences their participation in leadership and how they create relationships with industry members. Through the use of in-depth interviews and secondary data analysis this study focused on understanding what attributes are common among the advocates who help gain political influence for the tourism industry in Virginia, USA. The findings offer information that may be useful in cultivating future advocates for the industry.

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What Makes a Political Leader? Identifying the attributes of tourism industry advocates

This study explored the characteristics of tourism advocates who serve as the vital link between policymakers and tourism industry members. These individuals seek to gain political influence for the industry, yet there is only a limited understanding of what influences their participation in leadership and how they create relationships with industry members. Through the use of in-depth interviews and secondary data analysis this study focused on understanding what attributes are common among the advocates who help gain political influence for the tourism industry in Virginia, USA. The findings offer information that may be useful in cultivating future advocates for the industry.