[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.
Go! Hanyang WIKI : http://wiki.hanyang.ac.kr/Sunghyup_Sean_Hyun
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