Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Travel and Tourism Industry Center
In the spring of 2004, the University of South Carolina launched the most comprehensive
and inclusive travel and tourism industry research and outreach center in the United
States as a joint effort of the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management
and the Moore School of Business.
Funded in part through a generous grant from the prestigious Sloan Foundation, headquartered
in New York, the center adopted the official name: The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Travel & Tourism Industry Center at the University of South Carolina.
An award-winning researcher, Dr. Xiang (Robert) Li has conducted extensive research
related to destination tourism marketing, tourist behavior, event management and tourism
planning, with special emphasis on destination perception, customer loyalty and Internet
marketing. Before coming to the United States, Dr. Li worked in the city tourism bureau
of Nanjing, China, for five years.
To accomplish its mission, the center has identified several strategic focuses:
Locate connections among the diverse segments of the travel and tourism industry to
establish a common ground for understanding and collaboration
Conduct research and analyze effective practices that industry can adopt through inter-disciplinary
and cross-institutional teams of faculty
Tap into the experiences and best practices of other industries by utilizing the Sloan
Industry Centers network, which represents more than 25 areas of commerce and manufacturing
Partner with travel and tourism companies in setting research agendas, and deliver
impartial, practical information, and analysis to the industry
Exchange ideas and information across industries and institutions through such vehicles
as “think tanks” and summit conferences
Provide educational resources and opportunities for the travel and tourism industry
Become a source of outstanding workforce talent for the industry through work-study,
internship and permanent employment opportunities
Encourage workforce development and advancement at all levels
Utilize strategic alliances with universities around the world to address global challenges
Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.