Thought Leadership

Faculty at the Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality are thought leaders in hospitality, tourism and events. The unique composition of the faculty combines many disciplines and specialties, which is necessary to cover the scope of our industries. With backgrounds in business, geography, economics and social science, the faculty produces research and thought leadership that support teaching and industry engagement. 

Sustainability and inclusion

sustainability and inclusion

Dr. Christoper Gaffney and Dr. Bruno Eeckels are developing a  Global Overtourism Index. The Global Overtourism Index (GOT Index) measures tourism dynamics and pressures around the world. This digital repository of quantitative and qualitative indicators will exist as an accessible, legible, and public-facing platform that will help measure and evaluate the complexities and escalating impacts of global tourism. In addition to compiling and interpreting key tourism indicators, GOT Index Case Studies will explore tourism dynamics as they emerge in critical sites. These studies, data, and analytics will be publicly accessible, contributing to global knowledge about the emerging dynamics and impacts of the tourism industrial complex. The GOT Index will have immediate applications in industry, be of interest to policy makers and stakeholders looking to develop sustainable tourism models, and will serve as a font of information for journalists and academics.


Dr. Jukka Laitamaki’s research focuses on sustainable tourism development and the sustainable management of cultural heritage sites. He and his students investigated sustainable tourism practices in Cuba in the study Sustainable Tourism Development Frameworks and Best Practices: Implications for the Cuban Tourism Industry. His work on cultural heritage addresses UNESCO World Heritage Sites of historic city centers in Old Havana, Camaguey, Trinidad, and Cienfuegos: Sustainable Tourism in Cuban UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Focus on Historic City Centers

Dr. Jing Yang’s funded research addresses tourism development and marketing strategies for state-run tourism organizations and hospitality business owners. In addition, she has examined the impacts of corporate social performance in hospitality and manufacturing firms. The research investigated major differences in the environment, corporate governance, and diversity-related performance between hospitality and non-hospitality firms and explored the correlations of corporate social performance and financial performance.

Dr. Lynn Minnaert’s research expertise concerns social tourism for low-income groups, its delivery models and impacts of learning and behavior change. She has also researched the social impacts of the Olympic Games on low-income local communities, and the role of the Olympics in supporting employment and job training for local unemployed people. In addition, she produces the annual US Family Travel Survey, which focuses on increasing participation in tourism by families with young children.

Professor Sharr Prohaska is recognized for her dedication and expertise in cultural heritage tourism planning and development, historic preservation, community tourism development, dark tourism, tourism impacts , developing  creative tourism projects within NYC and Native American tourism research projects.    She is currently an Advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, an Advisor Emeritus to the Architectural Heritage Center in Portland, Oregon and a member of the Native People Forum at NYU.    


Dr. Christopher Gaffney researches at the intersection of sports mega-events and urbanization. His work has dealt with issues of stadium architecture and fan cultures, popular mobilizations against mega-events, gentrification, smart city technology, environmental sustainability, transportation networks, security, public policy, and the global dynamics of sports mega-events. Gaffney´s current work examines the impacts of planning for and hosting the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. In addition to his work on sports-mega events, Gaffney was the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Latin American Geography from 2014-2018, leading JLAG’s award-winning transformation. 

mega events - racing

Marketing and branding

Dr. Vanja Bogicevic researches hospitality and tourism consumer behavior and services marketing.  Her recent research projects explored the role of design, service technologies, and virtual reality in marketing. Her work has been featured in 13 peer-reviewed journal publications, including in the Tourism Management, the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, and the Journal of Business Research, as well as the press releases in Hotel News Now, Forbes, Skift, and Travel+Leisure.

Dr. Jing Yang and her student have recently researched hotel brand portfolios and brand management. She has examined brand love spillover from hotel brands to corporate companies and the process of employees internalizing hotel brands. Their research highlights the use of social identity and social exchange approaches to improve employee brand-building behaviors.

Professor Recep Karaburun’s research interests include cultural differences in service quality, social connectedness in social media, how hotels use social media in customer engagements, the impact of nationalism in consumer ethnocentrism and the impact of culture in International Marketing and hotel distribution strategies in international markets.  He has examined the  impact of culture on hotel ratings, and is working with leading industry  partners such as Expedia to evaluate the impact  of chain affiliation  on guest satisfaction. He is recognized as an industry expert in helping travel companies start and develop a growth strategy and business. He has served on numerous industry panels and has delivered presentations across a number of business functions - sales leadership, marketing, hotel and other supplier negotiations, team building, leadership, and travel operations.

Finance, economics and strategy

Dr. Jing Yang has conducted research into hospitality acquirers and her work has been featured in International Journal of Hospitality Management and Tourism Economics.  Her research interests are short and long term financial impacts of merger and acquisition on hospitality acquiring and acquired firms such as post-merger stock performance of acquiring hospitality firms and long-term abnormal returns to hospitality acquirers

Dr. Eeckels researches the complex relationship between tourism and economic growth, the importance of tourism for a national economy, as well as the impact of oil prices  and democracy on the relationship between tourism and economic growth. He also investigates tourism forecasting models which use macroeconomics dimensions, and non-parametric forecasting models such as the singular spectrum analysis approach.

Dr. Graf’s research focuses on strategic management, finance and real estate in the hospitality industry. His work on stock market reactions to entry mode choices , market structure and demand-side substitutability and lodging properties valuation appeared in hospitality and real estate journals.

Professor Sean Hennessey has extensively researched a wide variety of topics on hotel investment, asset management and development. He has authored articles on hotel ownership joint venture structures in Hotel Investments and Hotel Asset Management.  He has been a frequent speaker for groups such as the Hotel Association of New York City and been quoted as an expert by publications such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.