Research Focus:The impacts of tourism on communities.
Tourism is a primary force of growth for many economies that provide significant income, attract investments, and creates jobs. However, it also has a wide range of impacts that may be overlooked for the sake of prioritizing profit. That’s why Maksim Godovykh and a team of researchers from the Rosen College of Hospitality Management are exploring the positive and negative impact of tourism development from a human-focused perspective. The team is coming up with recommendations for governments, destination management organizations, and other tourist destination stakeholders to improve the quality of life, health, and well-being of local communities in different types of tourist destinations.
Unfortunately, the impacts of tourism are typically measured in terms of the effects it may have on resources and income while neglecting to consider how it may affect those who live in tourism-heavy areas. “The positive economic impacts of tourism are often outweighed by the negative social, cultural, environmental, and psychological outcomes for local communities, and I think that it is important to shift the emphasis of tourism statistics from the numbers of visitors and revenues to improving the quality of life, health, and well-being of local people,” Godovykh says.
The project was supported by the UCF Seed Funding program and initial results demonstrated that tourism development negatively influences residents’ health and well-being in the short term but may have the potential to provide positive long-term impacts on residents’ physical health and well-being. These findings were recently published in three premium academic journals and have been disseminated during several international conferences and industry meetings. “This project has the potential to improve the quality of life of residents worldwide, as well as transform existing tourism and economic statistical indicators and prepare countries for sustainable tourism growth after the COVID-19 pandemic,” Godovykh says.
In addition, Godovykh has completed several studies in the US, Spain, Central America, and Central European countries, and is planning to expand the scope of his research by collecting and analyzing data from all countries in the world. He credits UCF with teaching him that teamwork and multidisciplinary collaboration are key elements of successful research and is currently making every effort to collaborate with UCF colleges, industry partners, government agencies, and numerous researchers from around the globe.
Godovykh's hard work and dedication to helping residents cope with the effects of tourism to ensure their well-being has not gone unrecognized. In 2022, he was inducted into the Order of Pegasus for his incredible scholarship and impactful contributions to tourism research, which is one of the highest honors a student can receive at UCF. The award was well earned as he continues his altruistic efforts to help those around him.
After graduating with his PhD in Hospitality Management, Godovykh is continuing his research as a postdoctoral scholar. He aspires to establish and run an international multidisciplinary center for tourism impact research that will provide expertise to evaluate and maximize the quality of life, health, and well-being of residents living in tourist destinations around the world.
- 2022 Order of Pegasus inductee
- Conducted research in the US, Spain, Central American, and Central European countries
- UCF Seed Funding ER1 Award recipient
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