Building on Griffith's expertise, partnerships and research performance in tourism

The Griffith Institute for Tourism (GIFT) aims to undertake and disseminate groundbreaking research in tourism to effect academic and external impact. Our research strives to connect to specialist knowledge and expertise to drive innovation in the tourism sector.  Accordingly, our research programs and strategic partnerships are designed to ensure high industry and policy relevance, while producing innovative, quality research. Our research enhances links between businesses, government bodies and other research entities to solve current industry needs, and to maximise sustainability and resilience in the tourism sector.

Our research expertise

Areas of particular importance are managed through our four strategic research programs. These programs encapsulate our research strengths and respond to particular needs of the tourism industry.

Our economic and visitor statistics projects

Economic impact of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games

The Queensland Government and the Office of the Commonwealth Games (OCG) commissioned Griffith University to assess the economic and employment legacy benefits of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018). The project utilises a Tourism Computable General Equilibrium (CGE).

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Tourism Productivity: key drivers and impediments

Dr Andreas Chai takes a fresh look at productivity trends in the tourism sector. These trends reveal that tourism labour productivity growth tends to grow between average to below-average levels. While consistent with international trends, he suggests that more can be done to boost labour productivity by improving the quality of training opportunities and the management of casual workers.

State tourism satellite account

Associate Professor Tien Pham helped develop the State Tourism Satellite Accounts. “The State Tourism Satellite Accounts show the importance of tourism to the economy for each of Australia’s states and territories, presenting key data on consumption, employment and economic activity during 2018–19. They provide an accurate reflection of the tourism industry during a more typical economic environment, before COVID-19 and Australia’s 2019–20 summer bushfires.” (TRA, 2020).

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Our experience design and innovation projects

Eye Tracking Research

Tourism relies on communicating to customers through brochures and/or websites. Our Institute uses eye-tracking technology to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of tourism advertising.Our eye-tracking laboratory conducts research on user design and advertising evaluation. Eye tracking provides a very precise, objective and quantitative measure of what part of a picture or image a person is looking at. It is based on tracking the pupils of the eye using infra-red light.

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Our sustainability and climate change projects

Advancing research in the area of ecotourism, nature conservation, resource efficiency, and climate change.

Monitoring the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is facing significant challenges and innovation is required to monitor environmental change costly effectively.  Working with researchers from Marine Science and the Big Data Lab, our institute is developing new ways for measuring and monitoring experiential and aesthetic value of the Reef. Questions such as ‘how beautiful’ is the Reef and what experiences does it deliver are at the core of this research area.

Researchers: Professor Susanne Becken, Associate Professor Bela Stantic, Professor Rod Connolly

Climate change

Griffith Institute for Tourism is a globally recognised leader in the field of climate change. Our research on climate change, and its interactions with other factors of global change, recognises the business risks associated with a changing climate and policy responses that require a decarbonisation of the tourism sector. Research at GIFT generates unique knowledge on how climate change affects tourism, and also provides policy, (and) business advice, resilience strategies and tools to support change.

Sustainable destinations

Research at Griffith Institute for Tourism tackles various aspects of destination sustainability, including resource efficiency, resilience, cultural integrity, well being of local residents, and policy. Sustainable destinations recognise that substantial planning, design and management is required to ensure that net outcomes from tourism visitation are positive and do not undermine the integrity of local communities and environments.

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Our events projects

Enhancing knowledge and awareness to create sustainable events

Social impact of sporting events

Griffith Institute for Tourism researchers are investigating the ways that sport events – from smaller, localised events to larger-scale major and mega-events – can provide individuals with: enhanced quality of life, improved wellbeing, sustained changes in physical activity, and increased health. The findings of our research can inform event design, event promotion and marketing and policy and funding decisions.

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Our Pacific-focused tourism research

Tackling some of the biggest tourism challenges in the Pacific

GIFT’s research in the Pacific works through a culturally grounded and strengths-based lens, partnering with local stakeholders to maintain local autonomy and agency. With a focus on adaptive capacity, resilient destinations and the need for tourism to provide net benefits for people and places, GIFT researchers are tackling some of the biggest tourism challenges in the Pacific.

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Get in touch

Contact the Griffith Institute for Tourism