Faculty Paper Wins Tourism Economics’ Highest Honor

Robertico Croes2

Robertico Croes, professor and associate dean of administration & finance at Rosen College, received the 2015 Thea Sinclair Award for Journal Article Excellence from Tourism Economics for his 2014 paper titled, “The role of tourism in poverty reduction: an empirical assessment.”

His research assessed how tourism affects absolute poverty beyond its effects on growth using two developing countries, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, as case studies. Croes focused on determining whether tourism spending leads to a decline in the proportion of people below the poverty line. His results revealed that tourism does matter for the poor, mostly for those at the lowest levels of economic development, but does not appear to have systematic effects. In this study, the findings from Nicaragua and Costa Rica demonstrated varying impacts of tourism development, indicating that different policies would be required in each case to maximize positive results.

The winner of this annual award is determined via nominations by members of the Editorial Board. A panel makes the final selection from a shortlist, which are evaluated based on the following criteria: the value of the paper’s contribution to original research; the quality of its argument; the coherence and concision of its presentation; and its contribution to the academic reputation of the journal. Recent winners include Stefan F. Schubert, Álvaro Matias, Carlos M.G. Costa and Miguel Angel Ropero García. The award is named for Professor Thea Sinclair and her work in the field of tourism economics. Prior to her death in 2006, Sinclair was Director of the Tourism and Travel Research Institute (TTRI) in the Business School of the University of Nottingham.

The intersection of tourism and poverty is at the core of Croes’ scholarly pursuits. His research interests include econometrics applications in hospitality, tourism demand analysis/forecasting, tourism economic impact, competitive and sustainable tourism in tourism development analysis, tourism development applied to poverty alleviation and tourism development in small islands and developing countries. He recently co-authored a book on this subject titled, “Poverty Alleviation through Tourism Development,” which offers insight on how tourism can be used to effectively fight poverty. Prior to that, he published “The Small Island Paradox: Tourism Specialization as a Potential Solution,” which explains the growth and prosperity of small island destinations.

Croes received his doctorate from the University of Twente, the Netherlands. His dissertation focused on quantitative modeling of tourism demand, tourism development and government intervention. He has published various articles in the Annals of Tourism Research, Journal of Travel Research, Tourism Economics, International Journal of Tourism Research, Tourism Management and International Journal of Hospitality Management. In addition, he has served on the editorial board of three journals and is the recipient of several awards.

— (Jan. 25, 2016)