Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies

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Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies

Dick Pope Sr. Institute
for Tourism Studies

In 1979, the University of Central Florida established the Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies (DPI), after receiving $25,000 from the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA), Orange Blossom Chapter. The name honors the late Dick Pope Sr., the former owner of Cypress Gardens, one of Florida’s first modern-day attractions, and the first commercial tourist entrepreneur in Florida.

The Institute was established for the purpose of (1) conducting proprietary and public domain research, (2) promulgating information to the public at large about the contributions of the hospitality and tourism industry, especially along economic, sociological, environmental, and quality-of-life dimensions, and (3) carrying out credit and non-credit educational activities.

Since 2005, DPI has secured over $1.4 million in contracts and grants for research purposes. Its extensive client list includes:

  • categorical sampling
  • destination management organizations
  • convention and visitor bureaus
  • hotels
  • hospitals
  • vacation homes
  • restaurants
  • theme parks

DPI has also played a significant role in facilitating over $4 million in non-credit educational programs with international partners. UCF’s Rosen College doctoral students are extraordinarily essential to the Institute’s ability to meet its objectives and its commitments. In addition, contracts and grants funded through DPI have been an invaluable source of external funds to support graduate assistantships for the doctoral students.

Applied Innovative Research

The Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies is the intelligent choice for private and public domain hospitality research, both domestically and abroad. We have conducted research for organizations in countries such as Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and South Korea.


Improving the Quality of Tourism

We are dedicated to increasing the benefits of tourism through research, public awareness and education. We invite you to visit the Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies digital collection to access our portfolio of research, publications, and white paper series. You may access the digital collection via this link: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/dickpopeinstitute/


In 1983, the Institute’s advisory board successfully lobbied the Florida University System’s Board of Regents and created the Hospitality Management undergraduate degree program at UCF. Its successor, is UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management, is among the top five hospitality and tourism colleges in the world with five undergraduate degrees, a master’s degree and a Ph.D. program in hospitality management.

Contact Our Experts

Benefit from access to more than 40 researchers in the hospitality and tourism industry. Our Institute operates under the guidance of Dr. Robertico Croes, Associate Dean, Research & Administration, Director Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies, Interim Chair, Dept of Hospitality Services and Professor; Dr. Abraham Pizam, founding dean of Rosen College and Professor; and Dr. Tadayuki Hara, Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow, along with graduate research assistants. For more information, please contact Dr. Croes.