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02/28/2020 Interview > Faculty > 우수연구자


[HY's Excellence] The best researcher that defines the future of tourism as an interdisciplinary study

Professor Sunghyup Sean Hyun (Division Of Tourism)


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Professor Sunghyup Sean Hyun is pioneering the field of “Neo-fusion Tourism” that presents a new paradigm in tourism. He has been studying tourism for nearly 20 years and has published numerous studies on airline, cruises and the convention industry, which are the main features of the tourism industry. He has conducted many comprehensive studies of the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the tourism industry, including the factors of psychological anxiety experienced by flight attendants, the psychological situation of cruise passengers and expectations of others, the establishment of convention centers for the city branding strategy of MICE (Meeting, Incentives, Convention, Exhibition) and the analysis of the luxury tourism market.

Throughout 20 years of research and more than 330 tourism studies (SSCI /KCI journals) conducted, he thoughts it was time to present a new paradigm for tourism.
"It has been an ongoing concern of mine that focusing only on the major fields of tourism, such as conventions, or airline, and withholding the convergence of other disciplines would limit the synergistic effect. The ultimate goal of our research is to ensure that tourism contributes to the development of society, and a moment of realization occurred that studying pure tourism alone would only constrict us more.”

As Professor Hyun contemplated on how tourism can have a greater impact to influence social development, he took note of the medical and the environmental aspects of tourism. “First of all, medicine is the study of the phases of human life from birth, aging, sickness, and death. If tourism can demonstrate the synergistic effect in medical development, the versatility of tourism can be acknowledged to society. In the field of medicine, I studied psychoanalysis, particularly in depression, in conjunction with tourism. Drugs are used to treat depression, and I thought tourism can be possibly approached differently. Namely, through the treatment of depression through travel.” An analysis of 367 American adult men and women (based on an online tourism community) revealed that the more active communication occurs, the more people’s effect of the three types of loneliness (social loneliness, family loneliness, and romantic loneliness) decreases, which leads to a lower depression index. Professor Hyun's research goes further by integrating social psychology’s “set point” theory to find ways to make traveling a good long term method to treat depression in a semi-permanent way. It has been shown that if tourism studies provide a new direction for psychotherapy, it can greatly contribute to the increase of the human happiness index as well as economic growth. In other words, by adding tourism therapy treatment methods along with the drug treatment techniques from medicine, the medical and tourism field will build on together and contribute to social development and happiness. This is what Professor Hyun’s "Nep-fusion Tourism " represents.

Another neo-fusion tourism field that Professor Hyun has called attention to is the integration between the environment and tourism. Professor Hyun says that environmental problems, such as fine dust and environmental pollution, must be solved by tourism for people’s happiness and their well-being.

Hyun said, “We researched the degree of ignorance of environmental awareness where tourists have no connections towards the environment and how to overcome this problem.” Based on the result of surveying 321 tourists for three years, Professor Hyun divided the factors on how to extend tourists' consistent responsibility for environmental protection that has no relevance towards the environment into five categories. Among them, he discovered that 'Recognition of Environmental Value' is the most important category, and further research is continuously being conducted regarding this category. If the following results create a policy to go into effect, this study can be a major component in drastically reducing the amount of fine dust/pollution. Tourism contributes to improve the quality of human life as an interdisciplinary study. This is the direction Professor Hyun's "Neo-fusion Tourism" lies ahead.

Professor Hyun emphasizes that it is a researcher's job to be interested in an unchallenged path. “The goal is to build a strong identity of tourism as an interdisciplinary study by combining diverse fields of medicine, psychology, business administration, economics, engineering, etc. and to recognize the important role that tourism plays in society,” he stated. Despite the current tourism industry, which focuses only on high profitability, the future of tourism is secured by incorporating “Neo-fusion Tourism” established by professor Hyun.
(Present) Coordinating Editor: International Journal of Hospitality Management(SSCI)

(Present) Editorial Board: Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing (SSCI)

(Present) Editor-in-Chief at Korean Hospitality and Tourism Academe

2018, 2019, 2020 Top-Level Researcher at Hanyang University

2017 Honorary Scholar Professor of Hanyang University

2016 Minister’s Award by Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (Individual Academic Research)

2015 ~ present Associate Professor at Hanyang University Division of Tourism 

2012 Professor with Best Research Achievements at Pusan National University

2009 Doctorate degree in Tourism at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Neo-fusion tourism: Future tourism that presents the new paradigm of tourism through fusion and convergence with other fields of studies
Airline Management: Aviation management that presents strategies to improve the work environment and quality of lives of the airline employee with scheduled working hours, along with the maximization of the airline’s profit
Convention & Exhibition Management: Branding strategies for development of MICE(Meeting, Incentives, Convention, Exhibition), excavation of convention centers, reconsideration of forming city image.
Human Resource Management in Tourism: Presenting strategies to improve the job embeddedness of employees within the tourism industry
Luxury Tourism: Market research of customers that enjoy first-class travels, luxury cruises, luxury restaurants, and shopping 

“Understanding the dimensions of customer relationships in the hotel and restaurant industries”, International Journal of Hospitality Management, 2017 Find more
“Luxury cruise travelers: Other customer perceptions”, Journal of Travel Research, 2015 Find more
“A Model of Behavioral Intentions to Follow Online Travel Advice Based on Social and Emotional Loneliness Scales in the Context of Online Travel Communities: The Moderating Role of Emotional Expressivity”, Tourism Management, 2015 Find more
“Green indoor and outdoor environment as nature-based solution and its role in increasing customer/employee mental health, well-being, and loyalty”, Business Strategy and the Environment, 2019  Find more
“Customer Retention in the Medical Tourism Industry: Impact of Quality, Satisfaction, Trust, and Price Reasonableness”, Tourism Management, 2015 Find more
“Eliciting customer green decisions related to water saving at a hotel: Impact of customer characteristics”, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 2018 Find more
“What Influences Water Conservation and Towel Reuse Practices Of Hotel Guests?”, Tourism Management, 2018 Find more
“Fostering customers’ pro-environmental behavior at a museum”, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 2017 Find more
“First class airline travelers' tendency to seek uniqueness: How does it influence their purchase of expensive tickets?”, Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing, 2017 Find more

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