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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

Faculty and Staff

Lori Pennington-Gray, Ph.D., M.S.

Title: Endowed Chair and Director
Department: SmartState Center for Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development
College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management
Phone: 803-576-7386
Office: Close-Hipp 627
Resources: SmartState Tourism Center
Lori Pennington-Gray headshot


Ph.D., Michigan State University, Lansing, Mich.
M.S., The Pennsylvania State University, State College, Penn.
B.A., The University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Over the past 21 years, Lori Pennington-Gray has held a variety of positions at the University of Florida, including leading large funded research projects, guiding Ph.D. dissertations and curriculum changes and serving as director of three research centers. With a strong commitment to enhancing the industry and aiding in strategic policy decisions, Pennington-Gray's work converts research into practice. She has experience working with a variety of stakeholders from the public and private sector to non-government and community-based organizations. In the past decade, the majority of her research has focused on tourism crisis management, where much of her work has been featured by top media outlets such as the New York Times

Research interests

  • Tourism crisis management
  • Destination resilience
  • Crisis preparedness
  • Stakeholder networks
  • Visitor assistance programs and incident management
  • Risk perceptions and personal protective behaviors
  • Risk and crisis communication
  • Safety climate and perceptions of safety
  • Destination management and marketing

Honors and awards

Academic awards
  • Inducted into the Academy of Leisure Sciences as a fellow, December 2020.
Paper awards
  • Xu, Y. H., & Pennington-Gray, L. (2017). "Explore the spatial relationship between Airbnb rental and crime." Best student colloquium paper TTRA 2018.
  • Lee, Y., Pennington-Gray, & Kim, J. (2018). "Understanding the effect of tourism clusters on sharing economy performance." Presented at the Stanley Lecture series symposium. Best poster session winner — TRSM.
  • Choe, Y.; Lee, Y., Kim, L. & Pennington-Gray, L. (2018). "Representation of food safety in online reviews." Presented at Enter2018, January 28. Best poster presentation Enter Conference 2018.
  • Omodior, O., Pennington-Gray, L., & Donohoe, H. (2015). "Efficacy of the theory of planned behavior in predicting the intention to engage in tick-borne disease personal protective behavior amongst visitors to an outdoor recreation center." Journal of Park & Recreation Administration, 33(2). Best Paper of the Year for the Journal.
  • Pennington-Gray, L. (1998). "Generational marketing: An examination of attitudes and benefits sought by different generations of Canadian pleasure travelers." Awarded the Luray Caverns Grant by the National Tourism Foundation, National Tour Association, St. Louis, Missouri.
UF honors
  • University of Florida — Term Professorship (2017-2020).
  • University of Florida — International Educator of the Year: Senior Faculty (2013).
  • University of Florida — Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management: Doctoral Dissertation Mentoring Award (2019).
  • University of Florida — Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management: Sabbatical (2013).
  • University of Florida — College of Health and Human Performance: Doctoral Dissertation Mentoring Award (2012).

Research publications

Garrod, B., Saarinen, J., Moreno-Gil, S., Stepchenkova, S., Buhalis, D., Fyall, A; Jamal, T & Pennington-Gray, L. (2020). "Taking a road less travelled." Welcome to Tourism and Hospitality. 20-22.

Barbe, D., & Pennington-Gray, L. (2020). "Social media and crisis communication in tourism and hospitality." Handbook of e-Tourism, 1-27.

Anderson, K. R., Naaman, K., Omodior, E., Karikari, G., Pennington-Gray, L., & Omodior, O. (2020). "Predicting Chikungunya disease personal protective behaviors: Results of a cross-sectional survey of US-Caribbean travelers." Health Promotion Perspectives, 10(1), 43.

Barbe, D*., Neuburger, L*., & Pennington-Gray, L. (2020). "Follow Us on Instagram! Understanding the driving force behind following travel accounts on Instagram." E-review of Tourism Research, 17(4).

Anderson, K. R., Naaman, K., Omodior, E., Karikari, G., Pennington-Gray, L., & Omodior, O. (2020). "Predicting Chikungunya disease personal protective behaviors: Results of a cross-sectional survey of US-Caribbean travelers." Health Promotion, 10(1), 44.

Kim, M., Pennington-Gray, L., & Kim, J. (2020). "Corporate social responsibility as a determinant of long-term orientation." The Service Industries Journal, 40(3-4), 243-267.

Lee, Y.*, Pennington-Gray, L., & Kim, J. (2019). "Does location matter? Exploring the spatial patterns of food safety in a tourism destination." Tourism Management, 71, 18-33.

Xu, Y. H*., Pennington-Gray, L., & Kim, J. (2019). "The sharing economy: A geographically weighted regression approach to examine crime and the shared lodging sector." Journal of travel research, 58(7), 1193-1208.

Liu-Lastres, B.*, Schroeder, A.*, & Pennington-Gray, L. (2019). "Cruise line customers’ responses to risk and crisis communication messages: An application of the risk perception attitude framework." Journal of travel research, 58(5), 849-865.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.