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Tourism, international relations, economic development, conservation, cultural studies, gaming tourism, green marketing
Dr. Chhabra provides a multidisciplinary perspective on contemporary issues associated with sustainable use of leisure and tourism resources. She has identified crucial factors that promote socio/cultural and economic equity and capital of both the visiting and visited communities. She has also applied different theories of authenticity to amass cultural capital and advance the sustainable use of heritage as manifested in traditional handicrafts, historic sites, and museums. This has entailed an in-depth exploration of the significance of authenticity and marketing in heritage tourism and critical examinations of the commoditization of authenticity as a marketing tool to draw visitors and revenue for the associated heritage institutions. She has further examined challenges associated with the ethical consumption of heritage by analyzing the effects of the tourist gaze on marginalized communities in the United States and the developing world. Additionally, her work has examined the notion of economic equity by determining visitor expenditures and sustained economic benefits of cultural/heritage tourism and gambling tourism for destination communities, as well as for local and state governments. This includes calculating multiplier effects and assessment of net economic benefits by factoring in socio-economic costs. Her prominent research work includes chairing a study for Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce to ascertain economic impact of visitors to Wickenburg and determine their marketing. She recently conducted a study to determine economic impact of visitors to regional parks for the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department. She has also chaired a study sponsored by the Iowa Legislative Council for a socioeconomic impact study of casino gambling on Iowans. This study received local, national and international attention.
Dr. Chhabra has further examined the marketing plans and initiatives of heritage institutions from across United States and the globe. She has designed a sustainable marketing model that promotes civic engagement, cultural and social capital and equity. Her model is extensively utilized by the heritage industry. She continues to examine the sustainable marketing initiatives of heritage and gaming institutions. Her more recent work examines social media as a platform to assess the probable effectiveness of marketing using a modified strategic paradigm suggested by documented literature. It explores the extent to which social media marketing is used as a tool to advocate and/or reinforce sustainable initiatives of both suppliers and tourists and reinforce the need for the sustainable use of resources.
Dr. Chhabra has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Travel Research and is currently serving on the editorial board of Annals of Tourism Research, Journal of Heritage Tourism, Journal of Culture Tourism and Hospitality Research and International Journal of Tourism Sciences. She has served as a reviewer for several tier-one and prominent journals. Currently, she serves as a member on several regional and national organizations. She continues to make extensive effort to engage the professional community through research projects with local hotels, resorts, museums, and other heritage institutions. Over the past six years, Dr. Chhabra has volunteered to analyze the marketing and visitor research initiatives of a variety of tourism entities such as convention and visitor bureaus, the Bureau of Reclamation, and non-profit organizations such as Museums and Goodwill Industries.
2001 Ph.D., Department of Forestry, North Carolina State University, NC, USA.
1992 M.A., International Tourism and Hotel Management, Schiller International University, London UK.