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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

Faculty and Staff

David A. Cárdenas, Ph.D., M.S.

Title: Associate Dean of Academics and Associate Professor
Research Associate, Richardson Family SmartState Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development
Department: School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management
College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management
Phone: 803-777-5120
Fax: 803-777-6427

Carolina Coliseum, Room 1011 B

David Cárdenas, associate dean of academics and associate professor, College of HRSM


B.S., North Carolina State University, 1995
M.S., North Carolina State University, 2001
Ph.D., North Carolina State University, 2005

David A. Cárdenas serves as the associate dean of academics for the college and is also a research associate in the Richardson Family SmartState Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development and associate professor at the University of South Carolina in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. Cárdenas received his Ph.D. in recreation, tourism and parks management from North Carolina State University and prior to joining the faculty at the University of South Carolina, he was a faculty member at the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

Cárdenas has been a visiting professor in Shandong University in China, Inter-Continental University of the Caribbean in Curacao and mostly recently in Aruba with the University of Aruba. He has lead several service learning study abroad trips to Ecuador, S.A. His research interests are in sustainable development, resident attitudes and tourism education. He has extensive experience working on community-based tourism planning projects in the United States and Ecuador, specifically working to engage and involve local residents in the sustainable tourism development process. His research has been published in the top-tier tourism and recreation journals such as the Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Tourism Analysis, Journal of Destinations Marketing, and Journal of Leisure Research, and Journal of Sport Management and presented his work at several regional, national and international conferences. In 2012 and 2008, he received “Teacher of the Year” in his academic unit and in 2010 was inducted into Phi Beta Delta International Scholars Honor Society. 

Cárdenas was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador, and speaks English and Spanish. 


  • Sustainable development
  • Resident attitudes
  • Tourism education


  • HRTM 280–Foundations of Tourism
  • HRTM 481–Analytical Techniques in Tourism and Hospitality
  • HRTM 482–Sustainable Tourism Planning
  • HRTM 590T–Advance Sustainable Tourism Planning
  • HRTM 895–Ph.D Graduate Seminar in Hospitality Management

Recent peer-reviewed publications

Cárdenas, D. A., Byrd, E. T., and Duffy, L. (under review). "An exploratory study of stakeholder understanding of sustainable tourism development." Tourism and Hospitality Research.

Sun, P., Cárdenas, D. A., and Harrill, R. (under review). "Chinese customers’ evaluation of online travel website quality: A decision-tree analysis." SubmittedJournal of Hospitality Marketing and Management.

Cárdenas, D. A., Meng, F., Hudson, S., Thal, K. (under review). "Resident attitudes to future tourism development: It’s a question of trust”. Submitted – Tourism Analysis.

Peterson, R., Cárdenas, D. A., and Harrill, R. (2014). "Tourism as a catalyst for economic development in Latin America: Setting an agenda for policy and research" – Research Note. Tourism Analysis 19(1). 117-122.

Byrd, E. T., Beedle, J. J., and Cárdenas, D. A. (2014). "Repeat visitation and visitor spending at events: Hogs and muscle cars." Event Management.

Hudson, S., Meng, F., and Cárdenas. D. A. (2014). "Gauging potential demand for new events. A case study with a multi-stage, mix method approach." International Journal of Event and Festival Management 5(2). 180-193.

Kline, C., Greenwood, J., Swanson, J., and Cárdenas, D. (2014). "Paddler market segments: Expanding experience use history segmentation." Journal of Destination Marketing and Management 2(2014) 228-240.

Beedle, J., Kline, C., Cárdenas, D. A.,  Byrd, E., and Schneider, P. (2013). "An exploration of gendered system theory on women-owned businesses in emerging tourism destinations: Future directions." Journal of Tourism and Culture ChangeDOI:10.1080/14766825.2013.808644

Duffy, L. N., Mowatt, R. A., Chancellor, H. C., and Cárdenas, D. A. (2013). "Machismo-Marianismo and the involvement of women in a community-based tourism project in Ecuador, South America." Tourism Analysis 17(6). 791-803.

Kline, C., Cárdenas, D. A., Duffy, L., and Swanson, J. R.  (2012). "Funding sustainable paddle trail development: Paddlers perspectives, willingness to pay and management implications." Journal of Sustainable Tourism 20(2), 215-234.

Recent funded grants and contracts

  • Hudson, S., Meng, F., Cardenas, D., and So, K. (2014). Beaufort, N.C. Development Evaluation Proposal: Analysis of Front Street Village Development Plan. Jetcraft Avionics ($9,425 - Funded).
  • Hudson, S. and Cárdenas , D. A. (2014). South Carolina great outdoors: Tourism and customer service training. S.C. Great Outdoors. ($2,484 – Funded).
  • Hudson, S., Cárdenas, D. A., and Meng, F. (2014). Study to access the potential demand for tourism on the lower Santee Cooper. Santee Cooper, Hilton Head Island Bluffton Chamber of Commerce ($70,180 – Funded).
  • Hudson, S., Cárdenas, D. A., and Meng, F. (2013). Measuring Travel Effects on Education. United States Travel Association, ($54,955 – Funded).
  • Hudson, S., Cárdenas, D. A., and Meng, F. (2013). Increasing Tourism in 10 Economically Distressed Counties: Pee Dee Branding Project ($89,982 – Funded).
  • Hudson, S. Meng, F., Cárdenas. D. A., and Rawle Associates (2013). Bluffton, South Carolina brand assessment and development project 2013 ($93,100 - Funded).

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.