The School for the Visitor Economy is a cross-university school providing the hospitality, tourism and event management industries with qualified professionals.

The school delivers industry-based programs across all qualification levels, from pre-vocational certificates through to PhDs.

With the visitor economy heavily impacted by bushfires and the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the School for the Visitor Economy is delivering courses remotely, and is working closely with industry in efforts to support business continuity, recovery and long-term resilience building.

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The School for the Visitor Economy undertakes and facilitates cross-disciplinary research within the Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities. Our research underpins growth and sustainability in tourism destinations and visitor-economy–related businesses.

Research teams within the school support a vibrant cohort of PhD students. Our work builds on a long history of tourism-related research at Victoria University, which has been ranked highly by national and international agencies for more than 30 years. Key industry links and partnerships allow our researchers to respond nimbly to industry problems and evolving opportunities.

Key current research themes include:

  • tourism and the green economy and planetary health
  • tourism risk and recovery
  • tourism economics
  • tourism marketing
  • wellness tourism
  • events management and evaluation.

We also focus on broader aspects of the visitor economy, to help address sector issues through high-quality research in related areas. Our expertise includes:

  • ecology and natural systems
  • infrastructure and engineering
  • transport
  • culture 
  • sporting events.

Researchers include academic staff, associates and PhD students across Victoria University who are active in undertaking research related to aspects of the visitor economy.

Following is a sample list of current PhD students and topics.

  • Mila Arden - Discourse Analysis of the New Colombo Plan funded Australian Outbound Student Mobility Programs
  • Claudio Calero - Forecasting Australian Regional Tourism Competitiveness
  • Anu George - Is the Implementation of Responsible Tourism Initiatives Achieving Green Growth Objectives: A Case Study in Kerala, India
  • Li He – An Integrated Framework of Tourism Development and Residents’ Quality of Life in Tourism Destinations in Transition in China: A case study of Yangshuo, Guangxi Province
  • Elahe Hoseinifirouzabadi - Understanding drivers for, and barriers to green jobs in the tourism sector: A case study of Rafsanjan, Iran
  • Michael Linley - How sports events shape cities: Development of a comparative framework for assessing the impact of sporting events on the host location
  • Thi Bich Van Luu - Emotional contagion in Tourism Experiences: Scale Development and Testing
  • Pir Owners - The diffusion of a sustainable tourism-green economy strategy in a tourism destination: A case study of Wakatobi Islands, Indonesia
  • Roopa Sreedhar - Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals: a case study of Karnataka, India
  • Anudhi Tillekeratne - Impact of cultural blindness of short-term volunteer tourists in Sri Lankan host communities


Our September 2020 Newsletter.

Read in this edition:

  • Research update: Building the resilience of tourism destinations to disasters
  • Spotlight on a PhD student: Gaelle Joson’s PhD on hot springs in regional Australia
  • Hanging local goes virtual: Chef vs Student
  • The online kitchen: Remote teaching of commercial cookery
  • International student health and wellbeing associated with housing
  • All VU Business School units now in VU Block Model

Find out how we adapted to taking internships online

Successful students

The School for the Visitor Economy builds on VU’s long history of producing highly-qualified tourism and destination management graduates, locally and internationally. The school enables students to pathway seamlessly between vocational education courses at Victoria University Polytechnic and tertiary courses at VU. Students can re-enter education at any point in their career to top-up their skills or to qualify for promotion.

Key industry partnerships inform all courses. Students are provided with work integrated learning opportunities, which ensures our graduates are job-ready.

Hospitality students also have access to Victoria University Polytechnic’s award-winning 150-seat training restaurant where they practise their skills in a live environment, with paying customers.

The Todd Blake Student Award is a prestigious, industry-recognised honour granted annually open to all VU students in Hospitality, Tourism or Event Management programs. Read about Shaneal Williams, our 2019 winner.

Industry & employer partners

Contact us

The School for the Visitor Economy
Victoria University
PO Box 14428
Melbourne, VIC, 8001

Email: [email protected]

Phone: Dr Joanne Pyke: +61 3 9919 2615
Tania Milani: +61 3 9919 4343