Svetlana Stepchenkova, Ph.D.

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 a Professor at the Department of Tourism, Hospitality & Event Management at the University of Florida. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a doctoral degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Dr. Stepchenkova’s research interests are destination marketing, branding, and positive image building. She studies tourist behavior in response to marketing communications and the effectiveness of destination promotion efforts in situations of strained bilateral relations between nations. She is also interested in the usability of user-generated content for managerial decision-making in destination marketing. Her most recent research efforts are directed toward communicating authenticity in the context of tourism and hospitality.

In 2018-2019 Dr. Stepchenkova received the University of Florida Term Professorship Academic Achievement Award in recognition of research productivity, specifically, publications, extramural funding, and national and international presentations. She has published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles, and her works have received more than 8,000 citations. The HHP College recognized her twice with the International Educator of the Year Award.

Dr. Stepchenkova nurtures productive collaborations with colleagues from premier international universities in China, Mexico, South Korea, Russia, Spain, and, most recently, Switzerland. In the past few years, she was invited to give research presentations at Virginia Tech, Peking University, Beijing International Studies University, Capital Normal University (Beijing), Eastern China Normal University (Shanghai), Temple University, Pusan University (South Korea), University of South Carolina, and Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.

Svetlana serves as an Editorial Board member for the Journal of Travel Research, Tourism Management, 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.

Research Interests

·       Marketing communications

·       Destination image, branding, and positive image-building

·       Cultural issues in tourism research

·       Brand authenticity



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