Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Stefanie Benjamin, a USC PhD Student presented at the Race, Ethnicity and Place Conference in Puerto Rico regarding how African American residents place value on heritage sites within Columbia, South Carolina.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Simon Hudson was interviewed this morning on ETV Radio's South Carolina Business Review. He was talking about his new initiative to find entrepreneurs who want to start a tourism business in our state. The interview can be heard at:

Simon was also a guest last week on USC'S student radio show. Here is a picture of Simon with his DJ son Rupert, a student in the international business program at the Moore School of Business. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Have you ever wondered why customer service is the exception rather than the norm? Why is it that some companies like Disney, Four Seasons and Virgin get it right, when so many others fail? A new book about customer service in the tourism and hospitality sector by Simon Hudson answers these questions and more. Given the critical importance of customer service for this sector, it is remarkable that this is the first comprehensive text that deals with this important topic. The book will be useful for both students and practitioners as it explains not only the theory behind the importance of customer service but also acts as a guidebook for those wishing to put this theory into practice. In essence it is the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of customer service. The book is easy to read, very current, and full of references to all the latest research from both academic and practitioner literature. The book called  “Customer Service for Hospitality and Tourism” is co-authored by Dr. Hudson's travel-writer wife Louise, and will be available to purchase through Goodfellow Publishers in the U.K.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Spotlight - Dr. Fang Meng

After completing the research project on Pee Dee’s tourism development, Dr. Fang Meng continued working with the Center’s team on a feasibility study of an international horse park in Aiken, South Carolina in Spring 2012. Dr. Meng presented a research paper based on the Pee Dee’s project findings on the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) conference in June 2012, in which she and co-author Dr. Simon Hudson won the Best Paper Award. She also presented another research paper in Asia Pacific Tourism Association (APTA) conference in Taiwan in the summer. Dr. Meng is planning on an empirical research on Chinese tourist shopping behavior, and working with the Center’s colleagues in exploring the possibility of a research project on promoting South Carolina to attract the Chinese visitors.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

On Tuesday, September 11, 2012, Simon Hudson will be introducing “The Year of the SmartState at Science Café 2012-2013”, a new year-long partnership between the monthly Science Café event and the SmartState Program. Dr. Hudson is this year’s Chair of the Council of Chairs for the SmartState program. On the second Tuesday of each month, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Speakeasy cocktail bar in Five Points, knowledge economy movers and shakers will convene at Science Café for drinks and informal presentations by some of South Carolina's top leaders in medicine, technology and innovation. The first speaker on the 11th is Dr. Igor Roninson, SmartState Endowed Chair in Translational Cancer Therapeutics, South Carolina College of Pharmacy, University of South Carolina.  His topic is “Current Cancer Therapeutics Research at USC” (Childhood Cancer Awareness Month). More info and free registration:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Dr. Fang Meng with Dr. Richard Perdue, the President of TTRA.

Dr. Fang Meng and Dr. Simon Hudson received the Best Paper Award in the 2012 Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) Conference.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Simon Hudson presenting the feasibility study of Aiken International Horse Park to the Aiken Chamber of Commerce and the media.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Simon Hudson and his son Rupert (a student in the Darla Moore School of Business), presenting their paper called "The Use of Social Media to Attract and Engage with Music Tourists" at the Soundtracks Conference in Liverpool, U.K. on July 8th. Simon also presented a paper written with PhD student Stefanie Benjamin called "The Influence of Music Videos on Tourism".

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dr. Hudson presenting at an international events conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland on June 21. While in Ireland, he was interviewed for the local newspaper and the link to the feature is:

Emerald Literati Network Award

In June, Dr. Hudson won an Emerald Literati Network Award for Excellence for his article, which can be retrieved by clicking on the link below:

Friday, May 25, 2012

2012 Best Research Paper Award

Dr. Fang Meng and Dr. Simon Hudson are the winners of the Best Research Paper Award for the 2012 Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) Conference. Their paper "Drive Tourism in Rural Destination Development: Dual Perspectives from Industry Stakeholders and Potential Visitors" is the 2012 award selection bestowed by Sage Publications.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Report on Tourism in The Pee Dee Just Released

The Center has just completed a study that looked at the rural Pee Dee region of South Carolina and its potential to capitalize on the thousands of drive tourists that come through every year on their way to coastal destinations. Interviews and focus groups of tourism industry stakeholders and two consumer surveys were conducted for data collection. Results revealed major constraints to tourism development in the Pee Dee including the lack of a clear brand, poor accessibility, limited cooperation between regions in Pee Dee, lack of cooperation between Pee Dee and the coastal regions, limited infrastructure and tourism product, very poor signage, and limited marketing funds. But opportunities for tourism development in this rural area as a drive tourism destination were also recognized, such as the unique historic and nature-based attractions. Culinary tourism and festivals and events are also likely to attract drive tourists to the Pee Dee, and potential tourists would be interested in natural beauty scenic drives as an alternative way of reaching the coast.

Based on the results, a number of recommendations have been made in the report for growing tourism in the Pee Dee. The full report can be downloaded at:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Association of American Geographers 2012 Annual Conference

PhD Student Stefanie Benjamin will be presenting her paper at the 2012 Association of American Geographers Annual Conference in New York City on February 26.  Benjamin will be presenting with Dr. Derek Alderman of East Carolina University on Being Black in Mayberry: The racial politics of tourism in Mount Airy, North Carolina.  

To find out more about the conference please visit the below link: 

Friday, February 10, 2012

African American Tourism Niche in Low Country

PhD Student, Stefanie Benjamin attended "Raising the Curtain:  African-American Niche of the Tourism Industry"  Conference in Berkley County, South Carolina on Saturday, February 4.  More than 60 people were in attendance in the reconstructed, one room schoolhouse to brainstorm and network on developing the African-American tourism product to promote economic and educational growth to the state.

From this conference Benjamin will be working to help conduct an economic impact study of African-American tourism to the state of South Carolina in addition to other research projects including assisting with grant and funding opportunities for the Gullah Geechee Group Inc.

To find our more about the conference please check out the below press release: