Who We Are and What We Do:

The Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute (formerly known as the Center for Tourism Research and Development) was created in 1992 to serve tourism destinations and industries through research in Florida.  Since its establishment, EFTI has been committed to excellence, and has evolved to become a major institute for tourism research in Florida and beyond.  The Institute facilitates interdisciplinary research projects focusing on a wide range of travel, tourism and hospitality opportunities, and is housed within the Department of Tourism, Recreation & Sport Management at the University of Florida.

Mission Statement:

EFTI is committed to building a bridge between the tourism industry, organizations, destinations, and higher education through excellence in interdisciplinary research that provides strategic information focused on a wide array of travel, tourism and hospitality opportunities.


EFTI is recognized as a global leader responsive to the needs of industry partners and the academic process.  EFTI uses interdisciplinary research teams engaged in research to solve tourism problems and expand the knowledge base for the industry and the academic world.  Through a commitment to research excellence and passion for knowledge, Institute personnel and affiliates lead the nation in transforming intellectual knowledge into useable, sustainable strategies to enhance international, national, state and local tourism organizations, companies, agencies and destinations.


•     Research
•     Education and Training
•     Consultancy

Goals for Services:

1.     Research tourism-related impacts that include economic, environmental and    
       cultural issues.
2.     Develop opportunities for tourism research in the private, public and non-profit
3.     Help formulate public- and private-sector policies that will lead to improvement in
       tourism planning and development.
4.     Provide training for the private, public and non-profit sectors via workshops and
       certification programs.
5.     Facilitate collaboration as well as communicate tourism research findings to
       industry partners, elected officials and community organizations.

The Institute is committed to excellence on a wide range of interdisciplinary tourism issues that are local, national and international in scope. The Institute draws on an array of outstanding resources:

• Faculty and research associates with strong academic credentials and in-depth  
 knowledge and expertise in the social and behavioral sciences and business

• Nationally and internationally recognized faculty and research associates with
 publications in the leading academic journals in recreation, parks, ecotourism, event
 management, sport, tourism, and hospitality industries.

•Strong interdisciplinary research partnerships and affiliations with research associates
 within and external to the University of Florida.

The Institute primarily focuses on the following program areas:

1.Tourism Marketing

2.Sport Tourism and Event Management

3.Ecotourism and Heritage Tourism

4.Coastal, Marine and Water-based Tourism

5.Tourism Crisis Management

6.Hospitality Management