Jason Swanson
Associate Professor & Director of Undergraduate Studies

Professional Profile

Jason’s professional experience consists of hotel operations, market/feasibility analysis, hospitality real estate advisory services, and tourism development.  He has worked for consulting clients in the restaurant, hotel, spa, convention center, marina, golf course, and government sectors in over 50 markets throughout the United States, the Caribbean, and Asia. 

Jason has a Masters of Management from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and a Ph.D. in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management from North Carolina State University.  Jason is an Assistant Professor in the Retailing and Tourism Management Department at the University of Kentucky, where he teaches classes on tourism trends and tourism planning.  He is also an adjunct graduate faculty member at Assumption University in Bangkok, Thailand, leading an annual Ph.D. seminar in strategic tourism planning.

He conducts research on community-based tourism development, tourism trade association management, and tourism policy advocacy.  He also co-authored a textbook titled Tourism Policy and Planning: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.  The second edition of the book will was released in 2013.  In 2012, he was named to the inaugural class of Forty for the Future, a national program recognizing tourism’s leading talent under the age of 40. 

Course Instruction

  • HMT 308:  Principles of Food and Beverage
  • HMT 359:  Education Abroad Experience - Panama
  • HMT 359:  Education Abroad Experience - Paris
  • HMT 486:  Education Abroad Experience - Greece
  • HMT 560: Tourism Planning and Development
  • HMT 580: Trends Analysis in Hospitality and Tourism


  • Tourism planning for the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area in Central, Illinois
  • Aspiring Innkeeper's Guide for the Bed & Breakfast Association of Kentucky
  • Analysis of paddle trail demand in North Carolina
  • Emerging trends in tourism industry business sectors throughout the United States
  • Festival and event visitor research
  • Tax implications on restaurant demand
  • Tourism Policy in Antarctica


Ph.D. North Carolina State University Parks, Recreation and Tourism Managment

M.M. Cornell University Hospitality

B.S. George Mason University Finance

Areas of Interest

Academics, Extension, Research