Our Tourism researchers have established international reputations in several areas, including tourism policy and planning and visitor research.

UQ Business School is the only university in Australia to be certified by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The UNWTO promotes responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

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Tourism Discipline academics

Sustainable Tourism

Low harm hedonism

Our highly awarded ARC Laureate Fellowship project helps tourism businesses to operate in more environmentally sustainable ways

Explore the Low Harm Hedonism Initiative


Micromobility (electric scooters, bikes, rickshaws etc) provides benefits as well as challenges for the tourism industry, planning authorities and communities. 

Learn more about our micromobility research

Carbon offsetting behaviour

Identifying air travellers' carbon offsetting preferences and behaviour, and how this changes over time. What motivational drivers can be used to better communicate to consumers and encourage carbon offsetting? This research will help the aviation industry and carbon offset companies to increase consumer adoption levels, and ultimately help to reduce emissions.

Events and society

How to ensure events have positive outcomes for the communities and societies that host them, including increased levels of social capital and social cohesion. Encouraging more socially-focused behaviour by event organisers will improve the liveability of communities that host events.

Sustainable event behaviour

We are exploring sustainable behaviour related to events, including greening of event operations, and using events to promote sustainable behaviour among attendees. Identifying the facilitators and overcoming the barriers to encouraging sustainable behaviour at events will create change by making the events industry more environmentally sustainable.

Sustainable tourist behaviour

In experimental studies we are testing the effectiveness of infrastructural changes and communication messages on tourists' behaviour with environmental implications, such as water use in hotel rooms in litres and electricity use in kWh. Using successful approaches will create significant change by making the tourism industry more environmentally sustainable.

The restorative benefits of vacations and short breaks

Using a range of physiological, cognitive and self-report measures, we are investigating the restorative effects of short breaks, vacations and corporate retreats. The findings will contribute to both individual well-being and the sustainability of the tourism industry.

Tourism Marketing

Hybrid tourist behaviour

We are world-leading in the improvement of market segmentation methodology which is fundamental to understanding tourist behaviour. Recently we identified the existence of a large segment of hybrid tourists who display extreme variability in vacation patterns and are less predictable than traditional segments, thus challenging the future of tourist market segmentation.

The impact of crises on tourist behaviour

Using innovative methodological techniques such as eye-tracking and psycho- physiological measurement tools we are seeking to understand the impact that crises such as terrorism and natural disasters have on tourist behaviour. Our research will assist destinations that are subject to both ongoing and one-off events to recover their brand image and encourage visitation.

Tourism risk man​agement

These studies help to understand how tourism organisations and tourists perceive and behave toward risks such as crises, natural disasters and safety issues. They also try to understand the psychological factors that influence risk perceptions and behaviour. This assists tourism businesses and destinations to better prepare and manage risks, and also helps government and industry to develop more effective communications to improve tourist safety.

What makes travel meaningful?

For many people, vacations and travel contribute to quality of life, and provide a source of life satisfaction. In this research we are exploring the processes through which people make meaning of their vacation experiences. The findings will help policy-makers and marketers understand tourism’s contribution to individual well-being.

Tourism and Information Technologies

Technology adoption an​d use

Quantitativ​e and qualitative research addressing barriers, facilitators and patterns of technology adoption both at the individual and organizational levels complemented by studies on use behaviours allows us to understand and anticipate impacts of existing and emerging technologies on tourism experiences and the tourism industry.

Visitor Studies

The Anzac story and national identity

This research explores the role of the Anzac story, interpreted at museums and heritage sites, in helping new and established Australians to develop their sense of national identity. It will enable sites to provide powerful and effective experiences, encouraging visitors to reflect on what it means to be Australian in a multicultural society.

ANZAC Museum and Heritage Experiences

This study aimed to identify the aspects of interpretive experiences at museums and heritage sites that facilitate identity-building and best meet the needs of visitors in today’s multicultural society. The research was conducted at the Australian War Memorial (Canberra) and ANZAC commemorative site (Gallipoli).

Zoo and aquarium visitor behaviour

We are testing the effectiveness of various interventions designed to improve the impact of a zoo or aquarium visit on the adoption of conservation behaviour.  As over 700 million people visit zoos and aquariums each year, small improvements can have a large effect on the well-being of the planet.

Translating​ Zoo Visitors' Behaviour

This project extends and improves the effectiveness of zoo conservation education initiatives by developing post-visit web-based learning experiences.  It also aimed to enable zoos to play a greater role in developing an environmentally literate society, motivate collective action for wildlife conservation and measure achievement of mission objectives.

Interpretive Signage Homepage

This website, designed in 2006, provides staff of tourist attractions with the knowledge and skills to develop, evaluate and improve their interpretive facilities. While each section is designed to stand alone, we recommend that you work through them in the order they are presented. The text is supported by exercises that reinforce the concepts discussed - we suggest you take time to complete these as they will clarify the content and help you develop skills in sign design and evaluation.

Tourism Workforce Development

Tourism workers and employers

With both conceptual and empirical studies we investigate the tourism worker, including organisational practices, occupational issues and demographic factors.  We highlight the importance, yet neglect, of tourism workforce research and seek theoretical and applied solutions affecting change to trenchant employment issues.

Foodie tourism behaviour

Food tourism is a rapidly growing and studied phenomena yet the travel behaviours of foodies is little understood. By developing customised authenticity and involvement scales and finely tuned segmentation instruments, our work will inform changes in the way destinations develop, package and market their food assets.