Skip to Content

College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

  • Digital neon 2D world map

International Tourism Research Institute

Tourism creates jobs, income, new businesses and a better quality of life. The International Tourism Research Institute exists to make this happen in your community and for your business, and serves international, national, regional, state and local clients.

Carnegie Foundation-Recognized Research and Community Engagement

The Carnegie Foundation has recognized the university with top classification — R1 university — for “very high research activity.” In addition, South Carolina is one of few public universities that has also earned Elective Community Engagement Classification, a prestigious designation recognizing universities with strong community relationships.

Graphic stating: Keynote Speaker, The 5th International Tourism and Retail Service Management Conference (TRMC2023), Hosted by the Macao Institute for Tourism Studies (IFTM), Macao SAR, China, October 19-20. Rich Harrill is pictured to the right holding a Gamecock flag in front of the Colosseum.
Whitney Sullivan from WLTX and research professor Rich Harrill are seated on a television studio set.
Director of the International Tourism Research Institute and research professor Rich Harrill is a regular in the news media. He sat down with WLTX in June 2023 for its morning show to talk about South Carolina's top destinations and spots to visit whether you're coming on vacation or live here. He also appeared on WOLO the following month to give advice on getting a passport for summer travel.

The mission of the International Tourism Research Institute is to provide innovative tourism assistance to communities, development organizations, agencies, and businesses. We advocate for the tourism industry, focusing on tourism-related issues, providing credible data, and promoting the industry as a globally viable economic development strategy.

Our Clients

The institute serves economic development organizations, city and regional planners, resort and community developers, convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce, local governments, national governments, regional development organizations, and local, state, federal, and international agencies. It also provides services to individual businesses on a fee-service basis. Proposals for project work are free-of-charge.

Get in Touch

For more information about the International Tourism Research Institute, please contact director Rich Harrill, Ph.D. You can also learn more about our services and how to work with us on our website and view the extensive research done by director Harrill.

Rich Harrill headshot

Rich Harrill, Ph.D.

International Tourism Research Institute Director
Research Professor

School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.