25 February 2013

The University of Queensland’s School of Tourism has welcomed Professor Sara Dolnicar, an expert in tourism market segmentation methodology, as a Professor of research and the new Chair of Discovery.

Currently an ARC Queen Elizabeth II Fellow, Professor Dolnicar has an extensive background in tourism and social science research.

“I am excited to join a world-class team of tourism researchers and a university that is committed to perform at the highest level in tourism research and business more generally,” Professor Dolnicar said.

Head of the School of Tourism Associate Professor Stephen Craig-Smith said her appointment was an exciting addition to the tourism team.

“Professor Dolnicar has an excellent track record of successful grant applications and an impressive publication record,” he said.

“I believe she will bring a fresh perspective to the school.”

Professor Dolnicar’s main research interests include market segmentation methodology and measurement in the social sciences.

She has made substantial contributions to the market segmentation literature by proposing a number of methods to improve segmentation studies both conceptually and methodologically, thus addressing critical gaps in the area such as how segmentation should be integrated with other areas of strategic marketing, including positioning and competition.

Her research into measurement in the social sciences focuses primarily on answer formats offered to respondents in survey questions.

With colleague Professor John Rossiter, she discovered a novel binary answer format, the BIT format, which outperforms traditional measures in terms of stability, predictive validity and time required for respondents to complete a survey.

Professor Dolnicar has primarily applied her work to the areas of sustainable tourism, tourism marketing and social marketing, including how to identify, recruit and retain good foster parents.

One of the world’s most cited tourism researchers, Professor Dolnicar has co-authored more than 200 refereed papers. In 2004, she was awarded the Charles R. Goeldner Article of Excellence Award, the most prestigious international award in tourism research.

She has been awarded eight ARC grants since moving to Australia in 2002, including a QEII Fellowship, two Discovery grants, three Linkage grants and two Linkage International grants, and an ALTC Leadership grant.

Professor Dolnicar earned her degrees from Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration and was appointed as an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Tourism and Leisure Studies at the same university.

She later served as Secretary General of the Austrian Society for Applied Research in Tourism, and conducted applied research projects for the Austrian tourism industry.

After moving to Australia, Professor Dolnicar spent 10 years at the University of Wollongong, most recently as Director of the Institute for Innovation in Business and Social Research.

She serves on several editorial boards, including those of the Journal of Travel Research and Annals of Tourism Research.

Media: Claire Shuter, 07 3346 9259 or c.shuter@uq.edu.au