Dr. Ulrike Gretzel is a Senior Fellow at the Center of Public Relations, University of Southern California and serves as Director of Research at Netnografica, a market research and consumer insights firm. She received her Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has held academic positions at Texas A&M University, the University of Wollongong and the University of Queensland. She has served as an external lecturer at MODUL University Vienna and IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems. She is a fellow of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism.
Her research focuses on technology-mediated communication and persuasion in digital media. Her expertise spans the design and evaluation of intelligent systems, as well as the development and implications of artificial intelligence. Her work in tourism addresses ways in which tourists engage with each other and with tourism organizations through websites, mobile apps and social media, and has analyzed how tourism experiences are represented and marketed online. She studies social media marketing, influencer marketing and the emerging reputation economy. She has also researched smart tourism development, technology adoption and non-adoption in tourism organizations and the quest for digital detox experiences. Dr. Gretzel has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and several books. She is frequently acknowledged as one of the most cited authors in the fields of tourism and persuasion.
Dr. Gretzel’s research has been funded by the US National Science Foundation, the Australian Research Council, the Hong Kong Research Council, the National Research Foundation of Korea, the US National Endowment for the Humanities, the Academy of Marketing, UK, the US National Park Service, Parks Canada, TripAdvisor, the Bush Presidential Library and Museum, and national, regional and local tourism organizations in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Her work has been quoted in major news outlets such as the New York Times and The Australian.
Main areas of scientific interest
1) Understanding Tourism
Experiences: Technology-mediated and technology-free tourism experiences; information search and travel decision-making; commitment to travel; online consumer neo-tribes; digital wellbeing & mindfulness.
2) Exploring Technology
Adoption and Use: Impact of contextual factors on the likelihood of adoption and effectiveness of use of new technologies; innovation in tourism organizations, emergent properties of technologies; user-technology relationships; interorganizational systems; persuasive technology; AI and robotics in tourism; smart tourism; digital marketing.
Sustainability: emergence of sustainability-related issue spaces (e.g. gender & climate change), attitudes toward sustainability; sustainability & social media (incl. overtourism); citizen science; social media activism; food waste; platform-mediated community-based tourism and micro-entrepreneurship.
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