Hospitality and Tourism
College: College of Business
Hospitality and tourism research at WSU influences industry standards and practices, addressing issues in management, marketing, operations, consumer behavior, cross-cultural studies, and finance. Research in this area includes: creating memorable experiences in the industry; innovation in chain restaurants, tribal gaming and its impacts, and IT; impact on employees and consumer confidence; benchmarks of successful restaurants; crisis management in restaurants related to food safety events; wine tourism and training for tasting room employees; the role of networking by geographical wine regions; wine consumer preferences; economic impact of tourism development; sustainable development at UNESCO World Heritage sites; and addressing gaps in senior living options for people in middle income brackets. Recent fundraising efforts secured a $2.5 million gift for the Senior Living Initiative to develop the Granger Cobb Institute for Senior Living, which will provide programs and research opportunities designed to meet a critical challenge for our region as the population ages and demand for skilled senior living operators and workforce increases. The International Journal of Hospitality Management, the top hospitality journal, ranks the WSU School of Hospitality Business Management at No. 7 among the top 25 most productive research institutions in the nation. The School of Hospitality Business Management’s research productivity was recently ranked 4th in the US and 11th worldwide by Shanghai Rankings. Hospitality and tourism is an important area of research, yet one that is not common across business schools. According to figures from the Washington Tourism Alliance, visitor spending has a $21.9 billion annual impact on the state’s economy. The hospitality and tourism industries are important economic drivers in both urban and rural areas. WSU is the only university in the Pacific Northwest to have dedicated research devoted to hospitality and tourism sectors.