“A guest never forgets the host who had treated him kindly”
-Homer, The Odyssey, 9th century B. C.
Welcome to the “Wonderful World of Travel and Tourism” according to David L. Edgell, Sr., PhD, a recognized leader in the global field of travel and tourism. Please note that this Website 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 forty years have included such areas as entrepreneur, consultant, marketing executive, researcher, government administrator, educator, author, and speaker. He is steeped in activities in tourism as, for example, strategic planning, policy, marketing, sustainability, cultural/heritage, research, international programs, and economic development. He consistently works on structuring new programs in trade, tourism and economic development, researching key tourism issues, advising tourism enterprises and governments, creating exciting community programs as well as authoring significant tourism publications, and speaking at tourism conferences.
ENREPRENEUR: Dr. Edgell is President, Global Tourism Solutions, Inc., a small consulting firm that provides advice and solutions to a broad range of tourism interests and economic development strategies. He has conducted tourism and economic development projects in local communities, U.S. states, and with national and international governments.
MARKETING EXECUTIVE: Dr. Edgell is a travel and tourism marketing consultant advising on domestic and international tourism-related projects. He has broad experiences in the marketing area having served as the vice president for strategic marketing with a major travel, tourism, and hospitality marketing firm and simultaneously as Executive Director for a leading target marketing firm.
GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATOR: Dr. Edgell has held numerous governmental executive/administrative positions. He served as 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 percent 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 the tourism industry. He has conducted research in subject areas including tourism policy and strategic tourism planning; travel decision-making processes; marketing and promotion of tourism destinations; community tourism development; and sustainable tourism that includes both the natural environment and the social, cultural, history and heritage aspects of a community. His holistic approach to community economic development through tourism is aimed toward opportunities to create new jobs, realize increased revenues, benefit from a diverse economy, add new products, spawn new businesses, generate additional income, 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.
EDUCATOR: Dr. Edgell is a professor of trade, tourism, and economic development in the School of Hospitality Leadership at East Carolina University, which is the largest academic tourism related program in North Carolina. He regularly teaches undergraduate courses in the “Dimensions of Tourism”, “Travel and Tourism Management”, and “Marketing for Hospitality and Tourism”. He is also a graduate professor and research scholar in East Carolina University’s Center for Sustainable Tourism, of which he founded. While he worked in Washington, D.C., Dr. Edgell was also an evening graduate professor of business and tourism policy at The George Washington University. He continues to teach in the University of Hawaii’s Executive Development Institute for Tourism.
AUTHOR: Dr. Edgell has authored ten books on tourism as well as over one hundred monographs, articles, and case studies. His recent book Tourism Policy and Planning (second edition – 2013) has received international acclaim. One of his most popular books is Managing Sustainable Tourism, a precursor of the world’s interest in new topics of “sustainable tourism”. His classic book Coopetition, Global Tourism Beyond the Millennium, has been extensively quoted from, especially his invention of the word “coopetition” to describe cooperation (partnership) toward expanding global competition.
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.