The ttra Annual International Conference is the premier event in which the global community of practitioners and educators engaged in research, information management, and marketing in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries comes together to network and share best practices. Members in ttra represent a variety of segments from the greater international travel and tourism community, including educators, practitioners, research providers/consultants and users of research.
Practitioner Sessions | Sessions des praticiens [clear filter]
Wednesday, June 21


Challenges and Opportunities Researching with Indigenous Populations | Défis et opportunités dans la recherche avec les peuples autochtones

Andrew Peters, Ph.D. (aborigine), Swinburne University of Technology, Australia: 
This paper examines the role of The Coranderrk Festival, a music festival held at the site of the Coranderrk Aboriginal Reserve near Healesville in Victoria, Australia in exemplifying postcolonial progress in Australia. Within the contemporary cultural setting, this is achieved through three key characteristics of Indigenous culture – place, people, and music. This paper examines how attendees, organizers, and performers came together to symbolize a construction of contemporary cultural identity that embodies traditional Indigenous knowledge within a mainstream framework of musical performance.

Andrew Orawiec, Researcher with the Government of Nunavut: The summer of 2016 saw the Crystal Serenity become the largest passenger vessel to transit the Northwest Passage. This voyage marks a shift for cruise tourism development in Nunavut, opening the possibility of similar additional large-scale cruise vessels visiting in the future. The research conducted here examines the Crystal Serenity's voyage through the lens of sustainability as outlined by Nunavut's Tunngasaiji tourism strategy, with comparisons made to the expedition-style cruise ships that normally ply Canada's Arctic waters. Community interviews, passenger surveys, and a greenhouse gas inventory are complementary pieces to assess the Crystal Serenity's relative sustainability performance - helping to chart the course for Arctic cruise tourism development moving forward.

Daniel Nāho‘opi‘i, Executive Vice President, SMS Research & Marketing Services, Inc.: To the kanaka maoli (Native Hawaiians) tourism is a double edged sword. Most Native Hawaiians recognize that tourism brings economic benefit. However, compared to the general resident population, Native Hawaiians are less likely to feel that the net benefits of tourism outweigh the negative impacts. What are the various impacts of tourism on the Native Hawaiian community and can we identify changing attitudes towards tourism? Has tourism in Hawai‘i transitioned from a mass tourism to a sustainable tourism that does not disrupt the transfer of indigenous knowledge? Have the leaders of the tourism industry worked collaboratively with Native Hawaiians resulting in equitable benefits for communities, and positive efforts to strengthening kanaka voices in tourism development?

avatar for Lydia Zorn

Lydia Zorn

Partner, Insignia Marketing Research
Lydia Zorn is a founding partner with Insignia and leads its strategic planning and qualitative practice. She is an expert strategist, business advisor, qualitative and quantitative interpreter, with over 25 years’ experience in tourism research and strategic planning. As a tourism... Read More →

avatar for Daniel Nāho‘opi‘i

Daniel Nāho‘opi‘i

Executive Vice President, SMS Research & Marketing Services, Inc.
Daniel Nāho‘opi‘i brings two decades of extensive experience in marketing research and evaluation to his responsibilities for the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. He oversees the production, organization, and interpretation of data related to Hawai‘i’s visitor industry, and he... Read More →
avatar for Andrew Orawiec

Andrew Orawiec

Research Analyst, Tourism and Cultural Industries Division, Government of Nunavut
Andrew Orawiec is a recent graduate of the second cohort of the University of Toronto’s Master of Science in Sustainability Management program. His research interests include sustainable tourism for development, with particular emphasis on marine and coastal tourism. In 2017, Andrew... Read More →
avatar for Andrew Peters, Ph.D.

Andrew Peters, Ph.D.

Lecturer, Swinburne University of Technology
Andrew Peters, Ph.D., is a Wurundjeri/Yorta Yorta man and Lecturer in both Indigenous Studies and Tourism at Swinburne University, Melbourne. He recently earned his Ph.D. with a dissertation that looked at contemporary impacts on indigenous identity, including education, sports, and... Read More →

Wednesday June 21, 2017 13:45 - 15:00


Conversation Starters: Trends in Travel Research for the Next Five Years | Sujets à discuter: tendances de la recherche en tourisme pour les cinq prochaines années

In this session, four young professionals will present their thoughts on research trends that could affect the travel and tourism industry in the next five years. The presenters will each have five minutes to introduce their research trend, discuss its importance, and outline potential challenges and opportunities related to their research trend.

The presenters will then lead audience members in small group conversations to share ideas on how to address these trends. The session will conclude with the presenters providing “take away” ideas from their small group conversations.

This session has been designed to generate networking opportunities and conversation among participants. The presenters will be required to utilize a presentation which emphasizes the rapid introduction of ideas using mostly pictures rather than text. This style will result in a lively session with plenty of the time for audience members to talk and share ideas.

ttra 2017 Conversation Starters Topics

Harnessing Narcissism to Gain a Competitive Advantage: The Role of Local Tourism Experiences

Presented by: B. Bynum Boley, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Natural Resources Recreation and Tourism, University of Georgia

Three demand-side narcissistic forces are converging at once to raise the importance of marketing a destination’s unique natural and cultural resources. These include a growing emphasis from tourists to appear sustainable while on vacation, their desire for unique locally-based experiences, and the ability for tourists to leverage these manicured “sustainable experiences” into social status through posting them on social media.  This talk will focus on the importance of understanding these three trends and how destination marketers can utilize research to harness these trends in order to create a more competitive tourism destination. 


Integrating Research into Tourism Crisis Management

Presented by: Ashley Schroeder, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Hawaii at Manoa; Managing Director, Tourism Crisis Management Initiative

In recent times, there has been a documented increase in crises around the globe. The frequency, strength, and intensity of crises has amplified, often causing dramatic environmental, social, and economic consequences which affect destinations.  Tourism is considered to be one of the most vulnerable industries in the world, as a wide variety of natural and man-made crises have had significant effects on the tourism industry. At the same time, attention to safety, security, and crisis management has dramatically heightened. As a result of this trend, there has been increasing pressure on destinations and tourism organizations to effectively manage their business and safeguard both their visitors and their images. Accordingly, there is a significant need to prioritize crisis management initiatives in the tourism industry. This discussion will focus on how research can contribute to a better understanding of factors which promote successful reduction, readiness, response, and recovery. In addition, the role of research in providing responsive and innovative solutions to destination managers and industry partners will be discussed. Examples of how destination managers and industry partners have integrated research into their tourism crisis management initiatives will also be presented.


Intersectionality in Tourism Marketing: Appealing to Consumer Identities

Presented by: Kate Thompson, Research Manager, Destination DC

As our organizations think about marketing strategies, we consider the different parts of our visitor base, and market accordingly. At conferences like these, we think about how these groups are defined, what their interests are, their travel tendencies, and the best ways to access them. We feature these groups in all types of ads, provide specific content in guides and online, and constantly watch for changes in their behavior. However, we often forget about how these identities intersect with others. An LGBTQ Millennial with children may travel more like the average family than other members of the LGBTQ community or Millennials. This presentation will focus on the research behind these concepts and ways to market to these groups while highlighting the diversity of people and opportunities in our destinations.


Utilizing New Methodologies and Predictive Metrics for Tracking Global Travel 

Presented by: Andria Godfrey, Director of Accounts, ADARA

The amount of data available for tracking and evaluating travel is increasing at an astronomical rate, providing the industry with new metrics for keeping the pulse on travel trends as well as employing the use of new predictive measures. Primarily in the International space, we are now able to track travel behavior in real time to an extent that was not previously possible. Where we as an industry used to mostly look backward to what has occurred, we now are able to see travel behavior today as well as utilize predictive data to gain insight as to what's ahead.  Keeping a constant pulse on new metrics allows us as an industry to better understand how global events are impacting the industry.

avatar for Lauren Hasen-Flaschen

Lauren Hasen-Flaschen

Director of Research, Visit Philiadehlpia
Lauren Hansen-Flaschen is Director of Research at VISIT PHILADELPHIA. She drives the organization’s quantitative and qualitative research to guide and evaluate marketing campaigns and new initiatives. Lauren currently serves on U.S. Travel Association’s research task force and... Read More →
avatar for Whitney Knollenberg, Ph.D.

Whitney Knollenberg, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, North Carolina State University
Whitney Knollenberg's, Ph.D., research focuses on the role of leadership in the forces that shape tourism development, including planning, power, policy, and partnerships. Recently she has examined political leaders in tourism and tourism advocates and their efforts to gain political... Read More →

avatar for Andria Godfrey

Andria Godfrey

Director of Accounts, ADARA
Andria Godfrey recently joined the Adara team as Director of Accounts. With a strong background in DMO marketing and research, Andria works with Adara’s DMO clients to gather and integrate real-time analytics into their marketing and advertising efforts that ultimately yield stronger... Read More →
avatar for Ashley Schroeder, Ph.D.

Ashley Schroeder, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Managing Director, Tourism Crisis Management Initiative
Ashley Schroeder, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the School of Travel Industry Management at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, as well as the Managing Director of the Tourism Crisis Management Initiative at the University of Florida. Her research focuses on proactive tourism... Read More →
avatar for B. Bynum Boley, Ph.D.

B. Bynum Boley, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Natural Resources Recreation and Tourism, University of Georgia
B. Bynum Boley, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Natural Resources Recreation and Tourism within the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia. His research focuses on sustainable tourism development and how the unique natural and cultural resources... Read More →
avatar for Kate Thompson

Kate Thompson

Research Manager, Destination DC
Kate Thompson is the Research Manager at Destination DC (DDC), the DMO for Washington, DC. She has been with DDC for four years, managing the hospitality industry data and research studies and distilling that data to strategically impact organization-wide strategies. She has presented... Read More →

avatar for ADARA (DIAMOND)



Wednesday June 21, 2017 13:45 - 15:00
De Tourny


Estimating Visitor Volumes | Estimer le volume de visiteurs
avatar for Berkeley Young

Berkeley Young

President, Young Strategies, Inc.

avatar for Dave Bratton

Dave Bratton

Owner, Destination Analysts, Inc.
David Bratton is Destination Analysts’ founder and has worked with destinations around the world. He holds a B.S. in economics from Iowa State University and an M.A. in economics from the University of Arizona. Bratton served as an economist for the US Department of Commerce in... Read More →
avatar for Andrea Huisden

Andrea Huisden

Research Analyst, SMARInsights
Andrea Huisden joined SMARI as a fledgling analyst in 1998, a few years after graduating from Notre Dame. She left to see the world, start a family, and earn an MBA from the University of Florida. She’s been back at SMARI since 2012. A creative problem solver with a unique perspective... Read More →
avatar for Donna Larsen

Donna Larsen

Partner, DataPath Systems
Donna Larsen has worked in travel and tourism research and strategic planning for over 30 years. During that time, she has consulted with major hotel chains, airlines, destinations, and government organizations. Donna’s primary focus is on research methodology, sampling, and data... Read More →
avatar for Christopher Pike

Christopher Pike

Director of Impact Studies, Tourism Economics
Christopher Pike is the Director of Impact Studies within Oxford Economics’ Tourism Economics Division and is responsible for measuring the economic impact of tourism activity. Chris works on projects that range from local, like the impact of individual events, to universal, including... Read More →
avatar for Cheryl Schutz

Cheryl Schutz

Vice President, Client Intelligence & Account Services, D.K.Shifflet
avatar for Dmitry Shkolnik

Dmitry Shkolnik

Data Scientist, Destination Canada
Dmitry Shkolnik works as data scientist with Destination Canada, Canada’s national tourism marketing organization. His work focuses on research and development efforts to advance understanding of tourist behavior and activity in support of Canada’s tourism industry.

avatar for Travel Nevada

Travel Nevada


Wednesday June 21, 2017 15:30 - 16:45
Thursday, June 22


Multicultural Traveler Research: The Why, How, and Insights Gained | Recherche sur le voyageur multiculturel: pourquoi, comment et nouvelles compréhensions

In today’s divisive climate, it is an especially important for U.S. tourism marketing groups to convey a message of welcome to people of all cultures.  But how can a DMO do this effectively? Saying it is one thing; being convincing—and authentic—is another.

Despite a growing amount of general consumer research on different domestic cultural populations, there is a lack of shared research on U.S. travelers of specific ethnic and cultural groups.  Conducting custom studies on cultural traveler groups can be particularly challenging because of the difficulty in attaining adequate sample size, lack of research expertise in that cultural group, and cost. Session speakers Lauren Hansen-Flaschen from VISIT PHILADELPHIA and Michael Rodenburgh from Ipsos want you to know that it is doable—and well worth it.

Working with Ipsos, VISIT PHILADELPHIA recently completed two such studies to better understand the African-American traveler and the Latino traveler from the Northeastern United States.  A major reason for these studies was to determine whether connecting and attracting these markets is effective through the general market campaign, or if VISIT PHILADELPHIA should create more tailored marketing and messaging to reach these audiences.

Based on these very recent studies, this presentation covers:

  • Reasons why tourism organizations should work hard to understand specific cultural segments
  • Suggestions on how to do the research, specific methodology and approach to analysis
  • How drivers of visitation can be similar and/or different by cultural group, and
  • Marketing strategies gained from the research insights

avatar for Lauren Hasen-Flaschen

Lauren Hasen-Flaschen

Director of Research, Visit Philiadehlpia
Lauren Hansen-Flaschen is Director of Research at VISIT PHILADELPHIA. She drives the organization’s quantitative and qualitative research to guide and evaluate marketing campaigns and new initiatives. Lauren currently serves on U.S. Travel Association’s research task force and... Read More →
avatar for Michael Rodenburgh

Michael Rodenburgh

Executive VP, IPSOS
Michael Rodenburgh is Executive Vice President for Ipsos in Western Canada. In his role, he leads a team of 30 people focused on marketing, loyalty, and advertising research. Michael has been in the marketing research industry for over 20 years and has held senior executive positions... Read More →

Thursday June 22, 2017 10:15 - 11:30


Using Data to Gain a Competitive Advantage from Natural and Cultural Heritage | Le recours aux données pour tirer un avantage compétitif du patrimoine naturel et culturel

Ed Jager, Director of Visitor Experiences, Parks Canada

Visitation at Canada's National Parks and National Historic Sites began to decline shortly after the year 2000. The Agency realized that it needed to focus on meeting the expectations of visitors to reverse this trend. And we knew that understanding our visitors was key to understanding their needs. This presentation will illustrate how Parks Canada has taken huge steps forward using the Explorer Quotient to understand visitor types, integrating visitor data collection into its point of sale system and generating detailed visitor information on its parks and sites across the country. This work has been key to the reversal of the previously negative visitation trend over the past five years.  Helping Parks Canada better understand visitors, better meet their needs and encourage them to visit has contributed to Parks Canada locations welcoming more visitors than ever before in 2016-17. The presentation will also highlight the early successes of initiatives to engage Canadians in experiencing their national parks and historic sites in 2017 with free admission.

Mike Robinson, Ph.D., Professor of Cultural Heritage and Director, Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, UK

Mike Robinson will discuss how ethnographic research remains fundamental in understanding the ways in which tourists engage with various aspects of cultural heritage under two observable and non-mutually exclusive conditions. First, at a time when the very concept of cultural heritage is being re-evaluated and re-semanticised, and second, when the consumption of heritage is increasingly a trans-cultural encounter. He will draw upon recent work and projects relating to the ways in which World Heritage Sites attempt to communicate to their audiences, how ethnographic work is changing attitudes to museum curation/interpretation, and how ethnographies are revealing ‘new’ heritages within super-diverse communities.

Jeff Dalley, Ph.D., Technical Advisor,  New Zealand Department of Conservation

New Zealand’s tourism sector relies heavily on the iconic landscapes of New Zealand’s National Parks to drive international visitation. Within these parks, New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (DOC) provides ‘Great Walks’, a portfolio of flagship hiking products marketed extensively to international visitors. Comprehensive on-going research of ‘Great Walk’ customers has revealed the attribute that they seek above all else is experiencing natural soundscapes and tranquility. However, rapid growth in demand for mechanized access into these same National Parks - especially the use of aircraft and powerboats - has the potential to compromise the quality of natural soundscapes and ground-based visitors’ tranquil experiences.

To address this soundscape management challenge, DOC is undertaking ground-breaking research to develop ‘tranquillity mapping’ for National Parks. Unlike existing approaches to soundscape management, DOC’s Tranquillity Mapping Tool uses both subjective and objective parameters to determine the tranquillity ‘rating’ of a place. Tranquillity mapping will enable DOC to manage the allocation of soundscapes across time and space to deliver desired levels of tranquility in Park settings. It will also enable DOC to add to the competitive advantage of New Zealand’s National Parks by allowing promises to be made to visitors about the quality and location of tranquil experiences.

avatar for Donna Larsen

Donna Larsen

Partner, DataPath Systems
Donna Larsen has worked in travel and tourism research and strategic planning for over 30 years. During that time, she has consulted with major hotel chains, airlines, destinations, and government organizations. Donna’s primary focus is on research methodology, sampling, and data... Read More →

avatar for Ed Jager

Ed Jager

Director of Visitor Experience, Parks Canada
Ed Jager is the Director of Visitor Experience for Parks Canada.  He holds a Masters in International Affairs from Carleton University and a B.A. in Economics and Anthropology from the University of Alberta.  Ed has almost 20 years experience in park management and the tourism sector... Read More →
avatar for Mike Robinson, Ph.D.

Mike Robinson, Ph.D.

Director, Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage
Mike Robinson, Ph.D., is the Director of the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, a major inter-disciplinary research and graduate institute. He is a long-standing member of the UNESCO/UNITWIN Network on Tourism, Culture, and Development. Dr. Robinson has served... Read More →
avatar for Jeff Dalley, Ph.D.

Jeff Dalley, Ph.D.

Technical Advisor, New Zealand Department of Conservation
Jeff Dalley, Ph.D., is a tourism practitioner and researcher. He has been involved in the hospitality and tourism sectors for over 30 years in a variety of roles in both business and academia. Jeff has established and operated a diverse range of tourism businesses, including restaurants... Read More →

Thursday June 22, 2017 10:15 - 11:30
De Tourny


Tourism Funding in the Spotlight | Le financement de tourisme sous les projecteurs

As we all know, tourism funding has been front page news in North America, more specifically the US since late last year and the role of the DMO researcher has been taken places where it hasn't been in recent memory or ever.

In this interactive session, we will share insights on what’s happening, what is working and what else there is left to do.  The aim will be to share learnings in a frank and honest way – so honest that we will be invoking the ‘Chatham House Rule’. The aim will be to equip DMOs and those who support them with practical outcomes to support their wider organization.

avatar for Carolyn Childs

Carolyn Childs

CEO, MyTravelResearch.com
Carolyn Childs founded MyTravelResearch.com with Bronwyn White to help travel organizations achieve their goals by making insight accessible and usable. Her career spans 30 years and over 35 countries, on every inhabited continent, and includes time with Travel Research Centre, IATA... Read More →

avatar for Vicki Allen

Vicki Allen

Senior Manager, Visit Florida
Vicki Allen is head of Research at VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation, which she joined in 1999. As the leader of VISIT FLORIDA Research efforts, she oversees all primary and secondary research on visitors to the state of Florida and is a featured... Read More →
avatar for Nate Gieryn

Nate Gieryn

Tourism Research Manager, Texas Tourism
Nate Gieryn is the Tourism Research Manager for the Texas Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism division and has been serving as part of that agency since 2005. Nate directs the Texas Tourism research program, which reports the latest Texas travel trends, travel... Read More →
avatar for James F. Petrick, Ph.D.

James F. Petrick, Ph.D.

Professor, Research Fellow & Graduate Program Chair, Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University
James (Jim) Petrick, Ph.D., is a Full Professor, Research Fellow, and the Chair of Graduate Studies in the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University. His research has been concentrated on understanding tourists’ purchase behaviors, to assist in... Read More →

Thursday June 22, 2017 14:30 - 15:45