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NO.348 10.27.2017

Professor Choong Ki Lee Rated Fourth in the World in Journal Citation Report in the Area of Tourism, Hotel, Leisure, and Sports

Professor Choong Ki Lee at the Department of Tourism of the College of Hotel and Tourism Management ranked 4th in the world by Incites in the area of Tourism, Hotel, Leisure, and Sports

Incites is a scholarly publication database managed by Thomson Reuters that provides expert knowledge in finance, law, science, media, and so on. It is considered as a key indicator of academic influence based on the rate of citation of given scholar’s publication listed on SSCI, SCIE, and A&HCI.

Academic research rooted in everyday interest
At the news of the 4th in the world in academic influence, Professor Lee responded, “I find it meaningful that it shows the level of our academic competitiveness in the inclusive area of tourism, hospitality industry, leisure, and sports is shoulder to shoulder with the best academics in the world.”

Professor Lee finds inspiration for his research in everyday life. One such example is his influential study on mega-event demand forecasting. Forecasting the magnitude of possible tourism demand for mega-events is a crucial preparatory step in determining the accurate scale of necessary groundwork including the size of the venue, transportation system, housing accommodation, tourist attraction and associated business opportunities, and others. Professor Lee said, “It had been impossible to measure the ratio of actual visitors out of the number of people who answered that they would, what I call the ‘willingness-to-visit’ (WTV) ratio. We developed the first plausible model for the WTV ratio for the use of demand forecasting for mega-events.”

After the Yeosu Expo was finished in 2012, Professor Lee surveyed 3,000 people from sixteen cities and municipalities in Korea based on the population, gender, and age group through quota sampling, and derived the WTV ratio for the Yeosu Expo to be 50.2% for the first time as a systematic academic approach. This seminal research was published on Tourism Management, a SSCI journal, and has since been widely used for tourism demand forecasting for mega-events.

Problem solving through cooperation with academic peers
Professor Lee named his interest in new, emerging social trends as what drives his research. He said, “We study social phenomena unique to Korea such as temple stay, DMZ, THAAD, or Dokdo, which tend to generate more interest in international tourism and hospitality industry and academia by reflecting upon the identifiable features and recognizable characteristics relevant to a specific regional aspect.”

Professor Lee is actively pursuing cooperative research opportunities with scholars in other fields of expertise. He said, “As I accumulate more research publications in my area of interest, it becomes easier for me to get opportunities for convergent research with colleagues in other areas of expertise. It is always more effective to seek advice from and to crosscheck with the experts in that particular area of study than trying to do it myself.” For instance, he did a cooperative study with an American research team on the motivational pattern of gamblers, ranging from casual gamblers to pathological ones, and an American medical scientist analyzed the gambling addiction to a great effect.

Professor Lee is also working closely with diverse academic disciplines such as environmental economics and psychology, to name a couple. He has so far published 115 SSCI-level articles and is working as an editor for SSCI journals such as Tourism Management, Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, and International Gambling Studies.

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