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Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute

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EFTI provides a series of strategic services through research, consultancy, education and training targeted to assist the tourism and hospitality industries. The Institute is committed to excellence on a wide range of interdisciplinary tourism issues that are local, national and international in scope. The Institute draws on an array of outstanding resources:

  • Faculty and research associates with strong academic credentials and in-depth knowledge and expertise in the social and behavioral sciences and business practices.
  • Nationally and internationally recognized faculty and research associates with publications in the leading academic journals in recreation, parks, ecotourism, event management, sport, tourism, and hospitality industries.
  • Strong interdisciplinary research partnerships and affiliations with research associates within and external to the University of Florida.
The Institute primarily focuses on the following Program Areas:
  1. Tourism Marketing
  2. Sport Tourism and Event Management
  3. Ecotourism and Heritage Tourism
  4. Coastal, Marine and Water-Based Tourism
  5. Tourism Crisis Management
  6. Hospitality Management


EFTI research projects are responsive and provide innovative solutions to the needs of destinations and industry partners from various sectors of the recreation, parks, sport, tourism, and hospitality industries. The overall objective is to successfully transform intellectual knowledge into usable and sustainable strategies to further enhance priority goals within an organization and/or business. Institute faculty and affiliates have a wide variety of expertise in both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and data analysis techniques. Research projects are designed and implemented based on the needs and collaboration of the respective organization and/or business.
The Institute has worked with destinations, public organizations, and private businesses in numerous research projects such as: Profile and Economic Impacts of Visitors; Comparison of Event Sport Tourists; Hurricane and Evacuation Decisions of Tourists; Public Beach Access; Destination Audits; Advertising Conversion; Waterways Master Plan; Information Needs and Communication Behaviors; and Monitoring and Managing Visitor Use.


EFTI can provide assistance and strategic directions to the public and private sectors on a variety of topics related to hospitality management, special events, tourism planning, marketing, and development. The Institute has worked with numerous organizations and businesses and provided myriad services such as: Needs Assessments, Destination Visioning, Development of Marketing Plans, Customer Service Quality and Evaluation, Stakeholder Collaboration, Specialized Data Collection and Research Methods targeted to Specific Objectives, and Emergency Preparedness in Tourism Crisis Management.

Education and Training

EFTI can facilitate a series of seminars and workshops based on the needs and collaboration of the respective organization and/or business. The objective of education and training programs is to build and enhance current capacity with respect to employee capabilities and professional development. The Institute has provided numerous services such as: Training in Tourism Crisis ManagementSport as a Sustainable Tourism Development StrategyEcotourism Development and Management; Research Design and Survey Methodologies; Importance-Performance Priority Goal Setting; Strategic Planning and Management; and Customer Service Management.
Currently, new online certification courses with respect to Tourism Crisis Management for three major sectors: LodgingAttractions, and Destination Management Organizations are offered by the Tourism Crisis Management Institute. Additional certification courses are in development. These certificates focus on crisis reduction, readiness, response and recovery efforts from natural and human-induced disasters that affect tourism destinations or businesses. The on-line certificate programs are administered in partnership with UF Division of Continuing Education.


EFTI has educational and applied resources for public, private and non-profit sectors in the tourism and hospitality industry. The Institute has developed a Tourism Resource Section that comprises of a variety of resources and web links that includes reports and publications ( Institute and external), academic journalsorganizations and associations, and a calendar of industry-related conferences & events on the homepage. In addition, a separate section on Florida Tourism is also available.




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