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- Kevin Kam Fung So, Ph.D., Research Associate
Faculty and Staff
Kevin Kam Fung So, Ph.D.
Research Associate, Richardson Family SmartState Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development
|Department:||School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management
College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management
Carolina Coliseum, Room 1011 C
Ph.D., Tourism and Hospitality Marketing, Griffith University, December 2013
Graduate Certificate of Mathematical Science in Statistics and Statistical Modeling, Queensland University of Technology, December 2010
Bachelor of Business in Hotel Management (First Class Honors), Griffith University, December 2009
Kevin Kam Fung So, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management and a research associate in the SmartState Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development at the University of South Carolina, USA. So earned his Ph.D. in Tourism and Hospitality Marketing from the Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Australia, where he also obtained a Bachelor of Business in Hotel Management with First Class Honors. While completing his doctoral studies, So pursued graduate studies in mathematical science and statistical modeling at Queensland University of Technology, Australia.
So’s research interests focus on services marketing and service management, with a special emphasis on branding, customer engagement, electronic word of mouth, and the sharing economy in the tourism and hospitality industry. He also has a strong interest in advanced quantitative methods and techniques, such as structural equation modeling (SEM), partial least squares path modeling (PLS-PM), and finite mixture partial least squares (FIMIX-PLS), latent class analysis (LCA), latent profile analysis (LPA), latent transition analysis (LTA), and latent growth curve modeling (LGM). To date, So has published 32 peer-reviewed journal articles (24 appeared in the College of HRSM’s A+ journals and 7 in A journals), 4 book chapters, and 28 refereed national and international conference papers. He has 5 manuscripts under review (4 in HRTM A+ journals and 1 in an HRTM A journal) and 12 manuscripts in progress (11 targeting HRTM A+ journals and 1 targeting USC’s Retailing A+ journal). His work has appeared in many top-tier tourism and hospitality journals including the Journal of Travel Research, Tourism Management, Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, International Journal of Hospitality Management, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, and Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing. So is guest co-editor of Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, special issue on “Customer engagement in tourism and hospitality services.” He also serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Travel Research, Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Journal of Destination Marketing and Management, Tourism Analysis, and Tourism Economics, and as a reviewer for 15 academic journals.
So has received many prestigious awards including the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence: Highly Commended Paper Award from the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management in 2011 and 2018, the Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing Martin Oppermann Best Article of the Year Award in 2014, and the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research Article of the Year Award in 2015. His doctoral dissertation won the Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Award in the Hospitality Management category in 2014. He is also the recipient of the 2018 William Bradford Wiley Memorial Best Research Paper of the Year Award and the College of HRSM’s 2018 Patricia G. Moody Researcher of the Year Award in recognition of his scholarly achievements. His article “The role of customer engagement in building consumer loyalty to tourism brands,” published in the Journal of Travel Research, was ranked the No. 1 most downloaded article published in the journal.
So has attracted a total of more than US$500,000 in external research funding. Many of these projects were funded by reputable industry partners including the United States Department of Commerce, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, the City of Columbia South Carolina, and peer institutions from Australia and Hong Kong.
While completing his Ph.D. at Griffith University, So served as a lecturer and instructor for a number of undergraduate and graduate courses in the tourism and hospitality program. Before entering academia, he gained extensive industry experience in hotel operations including banquet, fine dining, room service, concierge, and housekeeping at the Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa Gold Coast, Sheraton Perth Hotel, Perth Ambassador Hotel, and Perth Comfort Inn Wentworth Plaza Hotel. Outside of work he is a photography enthusiast and a passionate distance runner.