Skip to Content

College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

Faculty and Staff

Lori Pennington-Gray, Ph.D., M.S.

Title: Endowed Chair and Director
Department: SmartState Center for Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development
College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management
Phone: 803-576-7386
Office: Close-Hipp 627
Resources: SmartState Tourism Center
Lori Pennington-Gray headshot


Ph.D., Michigan State University
M.S., The Pennsylvania State University
B.A., The University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada)


Lori Pennington-Gray is a leader in tourism crisis management. She currently is the director of the Richardson Family SmartState Center for Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development. She has a strong commitment to enhancing the industry and aiding in strategic policy decisions. Pennington-Gray's work converts research into practice. She has experience working with a variety of stakeholders from the public and private sector to non-government and community-based organizations. Much of her work has been featured by top media outlets such as the New York Times.

In the Media

Research Interests

  • Tourism crisis management
  • Destination resilience
  • Crisis preparedness
  • Stakeholder networks
  • Visitor assistance programs and incident management
  • Risk perceptions and personal protective behaviors
  • Risk and crisis communication
  • Safety climate and perceptions of safety
  • Destination management and marketing

Honors / Awards

  • Academy of Leisure Sciences fellow, December 2020
  • Xu, Y. H., & Pennington-Gray, L. (2017). "Explore the spatial relationship between Airbnb rental and crime." Best student colloquium paper TTRA 2018.
  • Lee, Y., Pennington-Gray, & Kim, J. (2018). "Understanding the effect of tourism clusters on sharing economy performance." Presented at the Stanley Lecture series symposium. Best poster session winner — TRSM.
  • Choe, Y.; Lee, Y., Kim, L. & Pennington-Gray, L. (2018). "Representation of food safety in online reviews." Presented at Enter2018, January 28. Best poster presentation Enter Conference 2018.
  • Omodior, O., Pennington-Gray, L., & Donohoe, H. (2015). "Efficacy of the theory of planned behavior in predicting the intention to engage in tick-borne disease personal protective behavior amongst visitors to an outdoor recreation center." Journal of Park & Recreation Administration, 33(2). Best Paper of the Year for the Journal.
  • Pennington-Gray, L. (1998). "Generational marketing: An examination of attitudes and benefits sought by different generations of Canadian pleasure travelers." Awarded the Luray Caverns Grant by the National Tourism Foundation, National Tour Association, St. Louis, Missouri.
  • University of Florida — Term Professorship (2017-2020)
  • University of Florida — International Educator of the Year: Senior Faculty (2013)
  • University of Florida — Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management: Doctoral Dissertation Mentoring Award (2019)
  • University of Florida — Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management: Sabbatical (2013)
  • University of Florida — College of Health and Human Performance: Doctoral Dissertation Mentoring Award (2012)

Book Chapters

Barbe, D., & Pennington-Gray, L. (2020). Social media and crisis communication in tourism and hospitality. In Z. Xiang, M. Fuchs, U. Gretzel & W. Höpken (Eds.), Handbook of e-tourism (pp. 1807-1833).

Research Publications

* Ph.D. student

Garrod, B., Saarinen, J., Moreno-Gil, S., Stepchenkova, S., Buhalis, D., Fyall, A., Jamal, T., & Pennington-Gray, L. (2020). Taking a road less travelled. Tourism and Hospitality, 1(1), 20-22.

Anderson, K. R., Naaman, K., Omodior, E., Karikari, G., Pennington-Gray, L., & Omodior, O. (2020). Predicting Chikungunya disease personal protective behaviors: Results of a cross-sectional survey of US-Caribbean travelers. Health Promotion Perspectives, 10(1), 43-49.

*Barbe, D., *Neuburger, L., & Pennington-Gray, L. (2020). Follow Us on Instagram! Understanding the driving force behind following travel accounts on Instagram. E-review of Tourism Research, 17(4), 592-609.

Kim, M., Pennington-Gray, L., & Kim, J. (2020). Corporate social responsibility as a determinant of long-term orientation. The Service Industries Journal, 40(3-4), 243-267.

*Lee, Y., Pennington-Gray, L., & Kim, J. (2019). Does location matter? Exploring the spatial patterns of food safety in a tourism destination. Tourism Management, 71, 18-33.

*Xu, Y.-H., Pennington-Gray, L., & Kim, J. (2019). The sharing economy: A geographically weighted regression approach to examine crime and the shared lodging sector. Journal of Travel Research, 58(7), 1193-1208.

*Liu-Lastres, B., Schroeder, A., & Pennington-Gray, L. (2019). Cruise line customers’ responses to risk and crisis communication messages: An application of the risk perception attitude framework. Journal of Travel Research, 58(5), 849-865.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.