April 29, 2024

As a valuable part of the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA), your participation in the upcoming elections for our Officer and Board of Directors is crucial. Your vote ensures that our Board reflects the dynamic nature of our membership and addresses the evolving needs of our industry and organization.

Voting Eligibility: Only current TTRA members in good standing are eligible to vote. Please verify your membership status and obtain your member number as needed to participate in the voting process.

Your involvement is key to shaping the future direction of TTRA and ensuring we continue to lead with innovative solutions in travel and tourism research.

We have a diverse and talented slate of candidates ready to serve you. They represent a broad spectrum of backgrounds in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, and professional experience, ensuring a well-rounded board.

The elected Second Vice President will progress through roles, serving as First Vice President, President, and then Chair over the next four years.

Xiang - Robert Li

Dr. Xiang (Robert) Li
Professor, School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Temple University

NETTRA Chapter

Dr. Xiang (Robert) Li is a professor and Arthur F. McGonigle Senior Fellow of the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Temple University. He is also Director of Temple’s U.S.-Asia Center for Tourism and Hospitality Research. An expert in destination branding and tourist behavior, Robert has authored over 240 scientific publications, including nearly 80 papers and editorials published in top-tier tourism, business, leisure, and hospitality journals.

He has conducted extensive research in various tourism-related areas and has been awarded approximately $2.5 million in research funding. He has worked with numerous prestigious organizations, government agencies, and corporations, including the World Travel & Tourism Council, the U.S. Department of Commerce/ National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO), Destination Canada, the U.S. Travel Association, and National Tour Association, as well as destination marketing organizations and companies— many of which are TTRA industry members. His research has been featured by numerous American and international media outlets such as the New York Times, Time, The Economist, and Forbes.

Robert has been a dedicated TTRA member, a frequent presenter, panelist, reviewer for various TTRA conferences and events, a longtime JTR editorial board member, and twice JTR best paper winner. He currently serves on the TTRA Board of Directors, continuing his steadfast commitment to advancing the travel and tourism research community.

Elected Board members will serve from July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2027, contributing their expertise to guide TTRA forward.

Chelsea Benitez

Chelsea Benitez
Director of Consumer Research
Brand USA

GWTTRA Chapter

As a devoted member of the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) since 2013, I have had the opportunity to closely observe and contribute to the substantial impacts TTRA makes within the tourism industry. In 2021, I was honored to join the International Board of Directors, where I led the marketing committee. My focus has been enhancing our social media presence and amplifying the visibility of TTRA’s varied initiatives and flagship conferences.

As the Director of Consumer Research at Brand USA, I actively engage with other TTRA members to further our shared objectives. This collaboration reinforces my commitment to the mission of TTRA. I am passionately dedicated to the success of TTRA and am enthusiastic about the possibility of continuing to serve and promote our mission through my re-election to the board.

Chris Christmas

Chris Christmas
Director of Destination Partnerships


GWTTRA Chapter

I am excited to announce my candidacy for the TTRA Board of Directors. Having grown increasingly connected with TTRA over the years, I am eager to contribute to our organization’s ongoing success and impact. What draws me most to TTRA is its dynamic nature—its international scope, strong regional presence, and its integration of academic leadership.

As the current Director of Destination Partnerships at Key Data, where I work closely with over 300 Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs), I have a firsthand view of how TTRA’s partnerships and initiatives significantly influence the industry. My role has provided me with extensive insights into the global tourism market, especially as Key Data expands internationally. This experience positions me to bring fresh perspectives to TTRA’s future projects, including our upcoming event in Galway in 2025.

My active involvement in the Marketing Outlook Forum and Annual conferences and participation in chapter events across NETTRA, CenStates, GWTRA, and SETTRA have deepened my understanding of our industry’s diverse regions and needs. I have enjoyed presenting on behalf of my company, participating in panels, and contributing to academic projects such as the inaugural TTRA Think Tank and the NCSU DMO Data Toolkit Project.

Beyond professional contributions, I am a passionate traveler, having visited 48 U.S. states and 12 countries, often accompanied by my husky, Niko. These travels have enriched my understanding of the unique challenges and objectives of different destinations, reinforcing the importance of our work in shaping memorable and impactful travel experiences.

I am committed to leveraging my extensive network and knowledge within the TTRA community—connecting DMO practitioners, vendors, and academics—to foster collaboration and innovation. Thank you for considering my candidacy for the TTRA Board of Directors. I look forward to the opportunity to contribute further to our industry’s growth and success.

Jennifer Chun

Jennifer Chun
Director of Tourism Research
State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism

Hawaii Chapter

I am honored to announce my candidacy to continue serving on the TTRA Board of Directors for the term beginning July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2027. Having served since the current term and participated actively in one BOD meeting so far, I am eager to sustain my involvement and support for the Board’s Guiding Principles and TTRA’s Shared Values.

As a member of the Practitioner committee for the 2024 Annual Conference, I have successfully secured a keynote speaker and will be moderating a panel. My efforts include setting up engaging Destination Tables at MOF and Annual Conferences, an initiative I’ve proudly led alongside my Hawai‘i colleagues and, most recently, on my own.

My long-standing commitment to TTRA is further reflected in my continuous membership and active participation in the Hawai‘i Chapter since 1996. During this time, I have organized numerous chapter events and consistently advocated for TTRA membership, emphasizing the benefits of active involvement in our association.

My professional journey spans roles as a client and a vendor, allowing me to understand and integrate diverse perspectives within our industry. My leadership roles in other significant tourism organizations, like Skål International and the Pacific Asia Travel Association, enhance my contribution to TTRA with extensive experience and connections, especially in the Asia Pacific region.

I am committed to leveraging my unique insights and experiences to further enrich TTRA’s mission and impact. Thank you for considering my continued participation on the TTRA Board of Directors.

Nancy McGehee

Dr. Nancy McGehee
R.B. Pamplin Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Virginia Tech

SETTRA Chapter

I have been a member of TTRA since 1991. I previously served on the Board of Directors from 2002-2005. I have received the Travel and Tourism Research Association President’s Award, which is given at the president’s discretion, recognizing individual efforts on behalf of the Travel and Tourism Research Association (2005). I received the Travel and Tourism Research Association Keeling Dissertation Award in 2002, and previous to that, the Travel and Tourism Research Association Boeing Student Research Award for my master’s thesis in 1992. Along with Kathleen Andereck, I co-chaired the poster session for TTRA in 2005 and 2006. I served as the co-creator and co-chair of the Qualitative Research Methods Workshop beginning in 2013 through 2021. I am currently the Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Travel Research (JTR), the flagship journal of TTRA.

Only current TTRA members in good standing are eligible to vote. Please verify your membership status and obtain your member number to participate in the voting process. To cast your vote, please follow the link below.

Questions? Contact us

About TTRA

The Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) is a global non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the travel and tourism industry through impactful research, education, and collaboration. Comprised of a diverse community of professionals, academics, and industry leaders, TTRA provides a platform for networking, knowledge sharing, and fostering innovation. With a commitment to driving sustainable growth and excellence in travel and tourism, TTRA continually strives to advance insights and best practices, shaping the industry’s future. TTRA members collaborate to advance the strategic use of research to provide leading-edge travel and tourism solutions that create a positive impact on people, places, and society. For more information, visit www.ttra.com

Read more news >>