South Carolina’s biggest industry received a major boost 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 Program.
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.
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, Hudson spent several years working in the tourism industry in Europe.
Hudson has written five books. His latest – co-written with travel writer Louise Hudson – is called Golf Tourism. It details international best practices in marketing, management, operations and development, including a case study on South Carolina. Hudson notes that golf tourism represents a vast and growing travel market, valued at about $20 billion worldwide.
Hudson’s other books focus on the international ski industry, sports and adventure tourism, and tourism marketing. Additionally, he has published countless journal articles and is an internationally recognized public speaker on topics such as tourism marketing, film tourism, consumer trends, sport and adventure tourism, and reaching baby boomers.
Hudson says that although moving from the Canadian Rockies to South Carolina is a dramatic change, he is excited about the new challenge and opportunity.
Hudson notes that the state’s CoEE Program shows South Carolina’s commitment to innovation and was a major factor in his decision to move his work to the Palmetto State.