Laura Lesar is a Senior Lecturer at Flinders University. A fusion of her multidisciplinary background, Laura specialises in sustainable tourism and the quality control tools that translate sustainability into practice. In addition to a state-of-the-art articulation of these tools, Laura’s most recent research endeavours stem from a solutions-oriented grant research project surrounding sustainable destination management that assessed tourism impacts, social carrying capacity indicators, and the utility of innovative technology (aerial drones) to facilitate impact monitoring. Laura's research interests also include sustainability and resilience in wine business. Dedicated to excellence in research, Laura’s research can be found in leading academic tourism journals including Journal of Travel Research (highest ranking of A* in ABDC) and Journal of Sustainable Tourism (A*). Laura is also an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Travel Research (A*).
Laura is an accredited eco-certification auditor, sustainable tourism consultant, and corporate sustainability manager. In this capacity, she has been involved with projects for the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, Expedia, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Hostelling International, and Sustainable Travel International. Sparking her passion for the wine industry, Laura has also held entry-level to managerial positions in the wine and spirits industry, and has undertaken intensive food, wine, and spirit courses, and sommelier training.
Laura enjoys opportunities for industry engagement and knowledge-sharing. With her extensive background in sustainability and associated practical tools, she has facilitated numerous industry workshops and presentations. Most recently, she was an invited sustainable tourism panelist for the World Tourism Summit in Hawaii and for the U.S. Department of State’s East-West Professional Fellows Program at the University of Hawaii.
Laura is pleased to support Flinders University's new degree focussing on the business of wine, spirits, and tourism.
PhD in Sustainable Tourism, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus
Masters of Science in Travel Industry Mangement, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies (Honours, thesis component), University of California, Santa Cruz
Research and Teaching Awards
Teaching Award for School of Travel Industry Management (Elective Course) 2020, School of Travel Industry Management, Shidler College of Business, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA
PhD Bursary Award Winner for CAUTHE 2016, CAUTHE 2016: The Changing Landscape of Tourism and Hospitality. The Impact of Emerging Markets and Emerging Destinations.
Academic Awards and Achievements
-Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management -
Griffith University Postgraduate Research Scholarship (GUPRS) for PhD
Griffith University International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (GUIPRS) for PhD
-University of Hawaii at Manoa, School of Travel Industry Management-
School of Travel Industry Management "Outstanding Graduate Student Award" Recipient
School of Travel Industry Management "Department Merit Scholarship Award" Recipient
Graduate Student Organization Award Recipient for the School of Travel Industry Management
High Honours 3.95/4.0 Cumulative GPA (Masters of Science)
-University of California, Santa Cruz, Environmental Studies-
Honours in the Major
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