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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

The Richardson Family SmartState Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development

Work with Us

Become a client, a fellow or take advantage of our visiting professor program.

Become a Client

We believe that we are in a unique position to offer South Carolina tourism industry professionals and organizations unparalleled support and resources. In addition to award-winning researchers, our dedicated project coordinator and grant writer allows us to spend our time focused directly on the research at hand, and your unique business needs.

If you think that your organization could benefit from research or training conducted by the Center, we'd love to hear from you. 

Please contact Dr. Simon Hudson at or feel free to call 803-777-4290.

Become a Fellow

The SmartState Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development at the University of South Carolina is seeking Fellows who would like to be associated with the Center. This is an open invitation to both scholars and practitioners who are engaged in activities that fit with the goals of the Center, which in short are to improve the competitiveness of South Carolina’s tourism industry. These are unpaid positions with no formal commitments, but Fellows will benefit from being attached to the Center by:

  • Having access to the Center’s resources including grant writing and funding opportunities;
  • Being able to attend events sponsored by the Center including an annual meeting of Fellows;
  • Staying abreast of trends and government decisions;
  • Networking with like-minded scholars and practitioners through knowledge sharing and collaboration;
  • And being part of a welcoming organization of like minded tourism researchers and practitioners.

As Fellows of the SmartState Program in Tourism and Economic Development you will be part of an organization that acts as:

  • A voice for the State’s tourism’s challenges and achievements
  • A hub for knowledge sharing and collaboration
  • A conduit between researchers and industry

If you are interested in this opportunity, please submit a short 50 word bio including research interests, contact information and a photograph. Please also send any information for papers or reports related to tourism in South Carolina that you have published. The information will be used on the Center’s website.

Visiting Professor Program

The SmartState Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development welcomes applications from tourism professors wishing to spend a short time in the college of HRSM at the University of South Carolina (USC). The visitation period could last any time between 1-4 weeks, during which we would expect the visitor to be engaged in one or more of the following activities:

  1. Collaboration on research projects with the Center
  2. Research seminars for both faculty and students
  3. Mentoring for graduate students
  4. Guest lectures in the classroom
  5. Industry networking
  6. Partnering on grant applications
  7. Other research/teaching activities agreed between the Center and the visitor

We anticipate hosting one or two visitors each year, and our annual budget for the program is $5,000 a year. We therefore expect to be able to pay travel expenses (flight, car rental, accommodation* etc.) up to about $2,500 per visit. We cannot guarantee office space, but we will do our best to provide an office and computer access. Upon mutual agreement of dates and visit agenda, you will be provided an official offer letter that will assist in the attainment of your visa. USC’s International Support for Faculty and Staff office will also provide assistance in this matter.

If you are interested in coming to South Carolina as part of our Visiting Professor program, please contact Dr. Hudson at and provide the following information:

  1. An updated Curriculum Vitae
  2. The period in which you would like to visit
  3. Activities you would prefer to be engaged in from the list above

* Visitors are usually accommodated at the Cliff Apartments in Columbia