Svetlana Stepchenkova, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Tourism, Hospitality & Event Management

  • Ph.D. Purdue University, USA
  • M.S. Purdue University, USA
  • B.S. Moscow State University, Russia

Stepchenkova CV

Contact Info

FLG 186C
P.O. Box 118208
Gainesville, FL 32611-8208
(352) 294-1652 |


Svetlana Stepchenkova, Ph.D., is Associate Professor at the Department of Tourism, Hospitality & Event Management at the University of Florida. Her research interests are destination marketing, branding, and positive image building. She studies tourist behavior and the effectiveness of destination promotion efforts in situations of strained bilateral relations between nations. She is interested in usability of user-generated content for managerial decision-making in destination marketing.

Svetlana conducts research with colleagues from premier universities in Mexico, China, South Korea, and Spain. In the past few years, she was invited to give academic presentations at Virginia Tech, Peking University, Beijing International Studies University, Capital Normal University (Beijing), Eastern China Normal University (Shanghai), and Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.

In 2018-2019, Dr. Stepchenkova received the University of Florida Term Professorship Academic Achievement Award as a recognition of research productivity, specifically, publications, extramural funding, and national and international presentations. She has published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles and has 70 accepted conference submissions. Her works have received more than 5,900 citations.

Svetlana is the academic manager of the collaborative agreement “Capacity Building Partnership to Improve Tourism Education, Research, and Industry Outreach” between the University of Florida and N. I. Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod, Russia. To date, the activities have included curriculum development, course delivery, student mobility programs, faculty training programs, seminars to disseminate best practices, and collaborative research. In 2013 and 2000 she was selected for the HHP College International Educator of the Year Award.

Svetlana serves as an Editorial Board member for Journal of Travel Research, Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, Tourism Management Perspectives, and the open-source Hospitality and Tourism publication. She is a member of the Executive Committee for the International Tourism Studies Association (ITSA) and a board member of its publication International Journal of Tourism Cities. She serves as a member of the 51st and 52nd TTRA Annual Conference Organizing Committees in the role of Academic Program Co-Chair.

Research Interests

  • Effects of media messages and user-generated content on tourism behavior and destination demand
  • Websites and UGC as a marketing tool for Destination Marketing Organizations
  • Cultural issues in tourism research
  • Authenticity orientation attitudes


Graduate level

  • HLP 7939 Professional Development
  • HMG 6589C Applied Multivariate Analysis for Tourism and Hospitality (Statistics 2)
  • HLP 6515 Evaluation Procedures in Health and Human Performance (Statistics 1)
  • HLP 6535 Research Methods
  • LEI 6931 Branding Strategies

Undergraduate Level

  • LEI 4880 Research Methods
  • HFT 4743 Tourism and Hospitality Marketing
  • LEI 3836, LEI 3360 Hospitality Management