Rachel J.C. Fu, Ph.D., CHE

Chair, Professor
Department of Tourism, Hospitality & Event Management

Director: Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute (EFTI)

  • Ph.D. North Carolina State University, USA
  • M.S. North Carolina State University, USA
  • B.A. National Cheng-Chi University, Taiwan

Rachel JC Fu CV

Contact Info

FLG 242
P.O. Box 118209
Gainesville, FL 32611-8209
(352) 294-1694 | racheljuichifu@ufl.edu




Dr. Rachel J.C. Fu has many years of experience in the tourism and hospitality business. Rachel is the Chair and Professor of the Department of Tourism, Hospitality, and Event Management (THEM) at the University of Florida, where she is also the Director of the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute (EFTI)

Rachel was the founding Director (2010-2018) of the Center for Sustainable Business and Development (CSBD) that provided a mechanism for building an interdisciplinary research program that combines business and sustainability science at the  University of Tennessee in Knoxville (UTK), where she was also a Professor in Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management. Rachel was named as TnHTA Educator of the Year (Stars of the Industry Awards) for her excellence in research and development of workforce for the industry and was honored at 2019 Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Hospitality and Tourism. She was the Chair elect/Chair/Past Chair (2017-2019) of UTK’s Undergraduate Council and was the Chair (2018-2020) of UTK Chancellor’s Commission for Women. She was also an active member and leader in the community. She was a member of the Board of Directors (2018-2020) for Visit Knoxville and a District Chair (2019 & 2020) of the Boy Scouts of America for the East Tennessee Council.

Rachel was promoted to full professor in 2012 and has served as the graduate program director for 5 years (2005-2010) at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville (UTK). She was appointed as a visiting professor at Yale University during 2009-2010.  

In the past decade, through serving as guest editor, associate editor, editorial board member (for 14 leading and well respected international journals), reviewer (for 9 leading international journals), and chair/reviewer (for 4 major international associations), Rachel has provided leadership in academic and professional organizations.

Rachel has published more than 200 papers, including refereed journal articles, refereed conference papers, a magazine article, newsletters, technical reports, and book chapters. Rachel's work has been featured in various media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Condé Nast Traveler, Carnival Cruise Line, NBC, BBC, Bottom Line Personal, CNBC, ABC News, the Philadelphia Inquirer, AARC, KCBSRecommend Magazine, U.S. News and World Report and UF News.  


Letter from the Direcor

It is my great honor to head the first and only endowed Tourism Institute in the nation. The Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute (EFTI), housed within the University of Florida’s Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management Department (THEM),is a hub of innovation and connection. Here, we drive visionary research and uncover new insights that impact businesses and tourism markets around the world.

Our mission is to unite industry leaders in Florida and beyond, advance cutting-edge tourism research, create meaningful engagement and collaboration, and support the education of tomorrow’s pioneers. Our vision is to become the leading voice for tourism - nationally and internationally.


Primary Fields of Interest

  • AI and Data Science in THEM, Business, and Transportation
  • Economic Impact Assessments
  • Forecasting Methods and Applications
  • Hospitality and Tourism Analytics
  • Strategic Management and Marketing in THEM and Business
  • Sustainable Business and Community Development
  • Impacts of Climate Change on Business and Communities
  • Consumer/Visitor Behavior Studies
  • Geographic Information Systems Applications


Other Research Interests

Strategic Management, Sustainability, and Marketing

Strategic Management
Sustainable Business and Development
Marketing for Businesses
Impacts of Climate Change on Business and Services
Consumer Behavior Studies
Geographic Information Systems Applications
Environmental Impact Assessment
Analyses of Tourism, Recreation, and Sports

Statistics and Economics

Forecasting Methods and Applications
AI and Data Science in THEM
Hospitality and Tourism Analytics
Economic Impact Assessments
Input-Output Models and Applications
Statistics for Behavioral Sciences



Practicum (LEI 6944) - Learn More

Professional Paper (LEI 6905) - Learn More

Capstone - Learn More

Tourism and Hospitality Business Perspective - Learn More