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Hudson on board as CoEE chair in tourism

South Carolina’s biggest industry received a major boost today when one of the world’s top tourism experts officially arrived at the University of South Carolina, recruited through the state’s Centers of Economic Excellence (CoEE) Program.

Dr. Simon Hudson has been recruited to help South Carolina capture a greater share of the tourism market. He has been appointed as the CoEE Endowed Chair in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. He will lead the Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development, which is housed in USC’s College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management and affiliated with Coastal Carolina University.

The Tourism and Economic Development Center, one of 46 university-based research centers created by the CoEE Program, will focus on tourism as a driver of economic development in South Carolina. The work of this Center, Hudson believes, will help improve the state’s economy and create jobs.

“One of the goals of the Center is to become a one-stop resource of relevant information and intelligence to all tourism industry stakeholders by providing cost-effective research,” he says.

“Tourism is now the number one industry in South Carolina, responsible for more than $17 billion dollars in spending and employing more than 200,000 people—approximately 10 percent of South Carolina’s workforce. However, to me, the tourism industry in South Carolina is not fulfilling its potential,” Hudson continues. “South Carolina has an amazing tourism product—incredible beaches, over 300 golf courses, beautiful lakes, rich cultural tourism, and of course terrific hospitality. By leading cutting-edge tourism and hospitality research that is relevant and directly applicable to the tourism industry in South Carolina, we can ultimately improve the state’s competitiveness as a tourism destination, thus securing sustainable employment in the tourism sector.”

Hudson comes to South Carolina from the University of Calgary in Canada. He has held academic positions at two universities in England, and has worked as a visiting professor in the U.S., Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia. Prior to working in academia, Dr. Hudson spent several years working in the tourism industry in Europe.

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