Professor Heather Gibson

Professor Heather Gibson is a faculty member in the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management, at the University of Florida.  Her research interests include sport tourism (specializing in sport events and active sport tourism), leisure and tourism behavior in mid and later life, women as tourists, including her recent project on Girl Friend Travel and the perceived wellbeing associated with all female travel. With her focus on understanding tourist behavior, she has co-authored a number of papers understanding the multidimensional role of perceived risk in travel, most recently for female tourists.  With her background in sport and tourism, Dr. Gibson authored some of the seminal papers in the area of sport tourism and has conducted several studies for the Gainesville Sport Commission.  She was also part of a research team partnered with Tshwane University in South Africa investigating various social impacts of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  One of her current projects combines her interests in sport tourism and gender with a focus on the influence of participation in elite youth sport on families, with a focus on the travel associated with having children involved in high level sport.  She has published over 75 academic journal articles and has more than 25 years of academic research presentations. Dr. Gibson has edited two books: Sport Tourism: Concepts and Theories, a collection of original essays on this type of tourism and co-edited Leisure and Aging: Theory and Practice which has recently been translated into Mandarin for the Chinese market. She teaches classes in leisure and tourism theory, sport tourism and research methods. For the past ten years she has also lead study abroad programs to Australia and Fiji with a focus on sustainability. Professor Gibson is a Fellow of the Academy of Leisure Sciences and the Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars at the University of Florida. In 2014 she was the recipient of the Health and Humans Performance Charles S Williams Service Award at the University of Florida. Dr. Gibson is a Managing Editor of Leisure Studies, an Associate Editor for the Journal of Sport & Tourism, an Editorial Board member for the Journal of Sport Management, the Journal of Policy Research in Leisure, Tourism and Events, and the World Leisure Journal. She is an ad hoc reviewer for countless journals including Annals of Tourism Research and Tourism Management.