Dr. Sonya Graci
Associate Professor, Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
2015 Research Mentor
Tourism in the South Pacific island country of Fiji isn’t just about beaches, all-inclusive hotels, and swim-up bars; the industry also has to deal with waste and sewage management, funding for sustainability initiatives, and tourism planning and development.
As a frequent traveler and Associate Professor in the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Dr. Sonya Graci is more aware than most of the impacts – both positive and potentially negative – tourism can have on a local community. How can the tourism industry shrink its negative impacts on the environment while growing its potential community benefits?
Dr. Graci is currently working with communities in Fiji – the hotel industry, indigenous community members, expats, and the government – to develop a sustainability strategy and work together for positive change.
Closer to home, Dr. Graci is also working with an indigenous community in Ontario to increase tourism in a way that is culturally appropriate and economically viable.
“I believe communities should have a say in how tourism is developed and managed and what role they wish to play. I am very interested in working with communities on their sustainability challenges and especially interested in increasing the sustainable livelihoods of indigenous peoples.”
This research profile originally appeared in Think, Act, Connect: Ted Rogers School of Management Research Report 2015. To read the full report, visit Research at the Ted Rogers School of Management.