“A guest never forgets the host who had treated him kindly.”
Welcome to the “Wonderful World of Tourism” according to David L. Edgell, Sr., PhD, a recognized leader in the global field of tourism. Please note that this web site is a composite personal representation of the responsibilities and capabilities that Dr. Edgell has experienced over a long and distinguished career in the tourism industry. His spheres of influence and leadership in tourism over the past thirty-five years include such areas as educator, entrepreneur (consultant), marketing executive, government administrator, researcher, author, and speaker. He is steeped in activities in tourism as, for example, policy, planning, marketing, sustainability, cultural/heritage, research, international programs, and economic development. He consistently works on structuring new academic programs, researching key tourism issues, advising tourism enterprises and governments, creating exciting community programs as well as authoring significant tourism publications, and speaking at important tourism conferences.
EDUCATOR: Dr. Edgell is a full time (nine months) tenured professor of tourism in the Department of Hospitality Management at East Carolina University. His responsibilities include teaching, research, service, and community outreach. Presently he teaches two tourism courses: “Dimensions of Tourism” and “Travel and Tourism Management.” He is also associated with East Carolina University’s Center for Sustainable Tourism as a research scholar and plans to teach graduate courses in Sustainable Tourism Policy once the new Master of Science Degree in Sustainable Tourism is approved. Earlier in his tourism career in Washington, D. C., Dr. Edgell taught evening graduate courses in Business and Tourism as an Adjunct Professor of Business at The George Washington University. He began his full time teaching career in tourism in 2003 at East Carolina University. In addition, during the summer, he periodically teaches a graduate tourism policy course at the University of the Balearic Islands (Spain) and a special tourism policy course in the University of Hawaii’s Executive Development Institute for Tourism.
ENTREPRENEUR: Dr. Edgell works in several different consultative capacities with Global Tourism Solutions, Inc., a small company headed by his wife. As a part time entrepreneurial consultant to the company he provides advice and solutions to a broad range of tourism interests and issues.
MARKETING EXECUTIVE: Dr. Edgell is the marketing consultant executive with The Toney Watkins Company in the policy, planning, development, and marketing of a new destination and convention resort. Dr. Edgell has broad experiences in the marketing area having served as the Vice President for Strategic Marketing for a major travel, tourism, and hospitality marketing firm and simultaneously as Executive Director for Tourism for a leading target marketing firm. He has also taught courses and trained personnel in tourism marketing.
GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATOR: Dr. Edgell has held numerous governmental executive/administrative positions. At one point in his career he was the Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Travel and Tourism for the U.S. Department of Commerce (U.S. equivalent of a minister of tourism). He was also the first Commissioner of Tourism for the U.S. Virgin Islands (where tourism represents seventy per cent of the economy). In both of these capacities he managed a headquarters office in the U.S. as well as several international offices.
RESEARCHER: Dr. Edgell has conducted local, national, and global tourism research to respond to the growing challenges and changing needs of tourism organizations and professionals. He has been dedicated to conducting quality multidisciplinary research focusing on issues relevant to tourism policy and planning, tourism development, sustainable tourism, and tourism management. Dr. Edgell has conducted research in subject areas including the social, cultural, and leisure aspects of tourism; travel decision-making processes; marketing and promotion of tourism destinations; tourism information; and community tourism development. In this regard, Dr. Edgell has focused on developing strategies to attract tourists while maintaining the long-term economic and environmental viability and integrity of a particular destination or region. His holistic approach to community economic development through tourism is a good case in point. He suggests that through collective promotion (coopetition), coordination and marketing of a variety of attractions, the local communities will have the opportunity to increase economic development, realize increased revenues, create new jobs, benefit from a diverse economy, add new products, generate additional income, spawn new businesses and contribute to the overall economic integration while enriching the public and private sector partnerships and improving the quality of life of the local citizenry.
AUTHOR: Dr. Edgell has authored eight books on tourism as well as over one hundred monographs, articles, and research studies. His recent book (2008) titled Tourism Policy and Planning is used in graduate and undergraduate courses and by the business community throughout the world. One of his more popular books includes Managing Sustainable Tourism (2006), a precursor of the world’s interest in “green tourism” and “climate change and tourism”. In 2002 he wrote Best Practices Guidebook for International Tourism Development for Rural Communities, a short book with practical guidelines for rural tourism development. In 1995 he wrote the classic book Coopetition: Global Tourism Beyond the Millennium which introduced the new word “Coopetition” now recorded in the new word dictionary and used extensively throughout the tourism industry.Presently he is writing the book The Worldly Travelers that reviews the impact that certain travelers of the past had in changing the world in which we live.
SPEAKER: Dr. Edgell speaks frequently on tourism topics at meetings, conferences, and conventions. He has worked, made presentations, or otherwise contributed to some tourism activity in almost all of the U.S. states and in more than 25 countries.