Economic Impact of Gun Violence on Tourism – Panel Discussion

The topic of gun violence is not exclusive to politics – American gun policy has a major impact on the economy, including the tourism sector which is heavily reliant on perceptions of risk and safety.

During this participatory panel discussion, you’ll learn:

  • data showing how gun violence impacts tourism economies
  • how you can elevate the conversation from being one of politics to one of economics
  • where opportunities are available for tourism leaders to make a difference
  • where to find resources to support communities that are affected by gun violence

Panelists include:
Sandy Phillips, Survivors Empowered

Survivors Empowered is an organization founded by Sandy and Lonnie Phillips after the slaughter of their daughter, Jessica Redfield Ghawi and eleven others in the Aurora Colorado Theater Mass Shooting in 2012. Their original non-profit, Jessi’s Message, has grown into Survivors Empowered – a national organization created By Survivors, For Survivors, Empowering Survivors.

Prior to Jessi’s murder, Sandy spent over 20 years working in the tourism industry – product development, destination marketing and travel trade relations.

Wes Roehl, PhD, Temple University

Wes Roehl is a professor in the School of Sport, Tourism, and Hospitality Management at Temple University.  Wes received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University and holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from The College of New Jersey and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, respectively.  In addition to his current position at Temple University he has taught at the University of Nevada,  Las Vegas; Bond University in Australia; and Temple University’s Japan campus.  His research focuses on tourist behavior, industry performance, and advertising effectiveness.  He is a former editor of Tourism Review International and the UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal.  He has worked with industry partners including casinos, destination marketing organizations, festivals and events, industry advocacy groups, and municipal governments.


Stephen Ekstrom, The Tourism Academy (Moderator)

Advisory Panel Chair and Chief Strategist at The Tourism Academy | is Stephen Ekstrom. Ekstrom began his career in the 1990’s on college radio at Quinnipiac University. He went on to create and deliver successful tourism development strategies for now thriving destinations, theme restaurants, cultural institutions, theatrical management companies, and some of the world’s most recognized attractions. He’s called upon to speak at colleges and universities, conferences and countless panel discussions each year. He hosts The Tourism Academy’s Business Class podcast and is a featured writer for several travel magazines. He’s also been profiled by media giants like the New York Times, NBC, ABC, CBS Morning, and NY1.

Host of the Business Class Podcast

Connect with Stephen on LinkedIn

Twitter: StephenEkstrom

Download the Report & Slides
3 minutes

Get a copy of the report published by The Tourism Academy on the Economic Impact of Gun Violence on Tourism

Download the slides prepared by Dr. Wes Roehl, Temple University on the topic.

Panel Discussion
55 minutes

Watch the Panel Discussion recorded on June 24, 2022

What Can You Do To Make A Difference
2 questions

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Enrolled: 291 students
Duration: 1 hour
Lectures: 2
Video: 55 minutes
Level: Beginner

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Economic Impact of Gun Violence on Tourism – Panel Discussion
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