Sevil Sonmez , Ph.D.
Professor and Department Head
Department of Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality Management
University of Noctr Carolina at Greensboro
P. O. Box 26170
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
(336) 334-4413 (office)
(336) 256-1156 (fax)
I am a professor of tourism management (Ph.D., Penn State University, 1994). My research has evolved through three intertwined phases: (1) risks and effects of natural disasters, political instability, and terrorism on the tourism sector and travelers; (2) health risks of travel and tourism; and (3) health benefits of tourism and leisure and their link to tourism sustainability.
My current research interests include:
- Role of leisure travel in disease prevention: benefits of vacation, tourism, and active leisure and recreation on mental and physical health; and unique role of travel and leisure in preventing health problems.
- Epidemiological facets of tourism: links between travel and disease acquisition and transmission; occupational health of tourism and hospitality sector employees; and preventive interventions to reduce health risks for travelers and locals they interact with.
- Links between health benefits of tourism and destination sustainability: reduction of tourism's adverse health effects and promotion of its health benefits; diversification of tourism products away from mass toward more sustainable forms of development based on health concepts.
My work has appeared in both tourism and health journals and conferences. Recent examples include:
- Apostolopoulos, Y. and S. Sönmez (Eds.) (2007). Population Mobility and Infectious Disease. New York, NY: Springer.
- Sönmez, S. and Y. Apostolopoulos (2009). Vacation Travel as Preventive Medicine. In (Eds., R. Bushell and P. Sheldon), Wellness and Tourism: Mind, Body, Spirit, Place (pp. 37-51). London, UK: Cognizant Communication Corporation.
- Sönmez, S., Apostolopoulos, Y., Yu, C.H., Yang, S., Mattila, A.S., and L.C. Yu (2006). Binge Drinking and Casual Sex on Spring Break. Annals of Tourism Research. 33(4):895-917.
- Sönmez, S., A. Theocharous, Y. Apostolopoulos, G. Nathanael, and M. Mathioudakis (2009). Networks of Youth Travelers, Binge Drinking, and STI Risk on a Mediterranean Island. 12th World Congress on Public Health, April 27-May 1, Istanbul, Turkey.
- Sönmez, S. and Y. Apostolopoulos (2006). Can Travel and Tourism Actually Promote Health: Moving from Speculation to Evidence. Tourism and Wellness Conference, September 27-29, Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
Over the years, I have experienced diverse academic and professional settings in the U.S., Turkey, Cyprus, and the U.A.E. Before joining UNCG in 2009, I served on the faculties of Zayed University (UAE), European University of Cyprus, Emory University School of Medicine, Arizona State University, and Penn State University.