Dr. Stephen Smith
Senior Consultant on Tourism and Hospitality

Dr. Smith is an internationally-recognized tourism research with more than 35 years of experience in tourism research, policy, planning, and education. He is currently Professor in the School of Hospitality, Food, and Tourism Management, University of Guelph, where he teaches and advises graduate students on various aspects of tourism. He is also Professor Emeritus in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, University of Waterloo; and Associate Editor for 'Publications in Review', Annals of Tourism Research.

Dr. Smith has worked with diverse tourism organizations, from local agencies to international groups such as the UNWTO and APEC. He currently serves on the marketing committee of the Waterloo Regional Tourism Marketing Corporation. Dr. Smith was the founding Chair of the Canadian Tourism Commission’s Research Committee and was Chair of the Research Committee of the Canadian Tourism Human Resources Council. He also has served on numerous industry task forces related to tourism and tourism statistics, including strategic marketing for Ontario municipalities and regions, and culinary tourism in Ontario.

For over 15 years, Dr. Smith has collaborated on SPR projects, most recently, on a project examining the Health and Economic Benefits of Recreation Trails, which provided detailed analyses of SPR's 2015 survey of 5,000+ users of Ontario nature trails, expanding on initial reports. In-depth health and economic benefits were estimated for each of 6 nature trail user groups, with positive benefits noted for: hikers; snowmobilers; mountain bikers; off-road motorcyclists; cyclists; 4x4 users; and horseback riders (for the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, 2017-2019). Other SPR projects include: Renewing Ontario's Recreation-Nature Trails Strategy, which provided evidence of the major health and economic benefits of hiking and other trail-related activities. The main data source relied on the results from a major on-line survey of over 5,000 Ontario trail users. SPR's final report was complemented by the introduction of Bill 100 - the Supporting Ontario's Trails Act, 2015 (for the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, 2014-2015); Review of Attractions Ontario's Summer Coupon and Passport Program which provides web, toll-free telephone and print information to hundreds of thousands of visitors to Ontario every year. The study examined the effectiveness in aiding the marketing needs of major attractions in Ontario. The review also provided insights on linkages with regional tourism bodies and the broader Province of Ontario tourism strategy. In 2001, Dr. Smith participated in SPR's initial Evaluation of the Atlantic Canada Tourism Partnership, which he completed in 2009. Dr. Smith is also a key member of SPR's team for the Ontario Vendor of Record for the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.