Heather Gibson, University of Florida, FL, USA

Heather Gibson, University of Florida, FL, USA

I am a Professor with almost 30 years of experience researching and teaching in the field and I’m also a Fellow of the International Academy for Tourism Studies. My focus has been on understanding tourist behavior and part of my work has been understanding the perception of risk since the mid-1990s. Using sociology, social psychology, anthropology, and more I am able to provide in-depth insights on trends and patterns. Using my social science training I can often be on the cutting edge of new ideas in research and scholarship. I also have a global outlook and experience not only in research but also in education abroad contexts with a focus on sustainability and issues such as globalization, colonialism, inequality, and social justice.

Right now I see my role in terms of analyzing the present with a view to reshaping the future. I am interested in how we can recreate tourism to be more resilient and more sustainable and thereby enhance the wellbeing and quality of life of both hosts and guests.

Some of my research projects were conducted during some of our prior “crises” 9/11, 2008 economic recession, and one of my former students did one of the first surveys of CVBs in Florida about crisis management the year of 1998 (tornados, floods, hurricane, forest fires). Also my background and research in understanding the multidimensional nature perceived risk in tourism would be of use currently.