Becky Liu-Lastres

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Are We Always Prepared? Examining Risk and Crisis Management in Tourism and Hospitality

Tourism and hospitality is a solid part of our local, domestic, and global economy . Despite its importance, the industry is vulnerable to various adverse events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Becky Liu-Lastres 's primary research interests involve risk and crisis communication and management in tourism and hospitality. Through a systematic approach, Dr. Liu-Lastres has established a research program focusing on how various stakeholders, including tourists, residents, organizations, and destinations, respond and manage emerging issues. These findings have been translated to practical implications in terms of crisis management and resilience building in tourism and hospitality.

Dr. Liu-Lastres's translation of research into strategies to promote success and resilience in the tourism and hospitality industry is another excellent example of how IUPUI's faculty members are TRANSLATING their RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 26
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    Building A Resilient Event Industry: Lessons Learned during the COVID-19 Pandemic
    (TTRA, 2021-06) Liu-Lastres, Bingjie; Cahyanto, Ignatius; Tourism, Conventions, and Event Management, School of Health and Human Sciences
    Guided by the theoretical framework of organizational resilience, this study interviewed twenty-six event planners regarding their risk and crisis management related practices and their experiences with the COVID-19 global pandemic. This study conducted thematic analyses to analyze the data. The results showed that organizational resilience was approached through planned and adaptive resilience. Their crisis management practices are influenced by event planners’ personal knowledge, experiences, and expertise as well as their organization’s policy and leadership. When it comes to the case of COVID-19, the concept of organizational residence is mainly reflected through adaptive resilience. It also seems that most resilient organizations have been excellent in communicating and managing customer relationships and creating innovative strategies to generate revenue. Further theoretical and practical implications were provided based on the findings.
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    Risk perception, media exposure, and visitor’s behavior responses to Florida Red Tide
    (Taylor and Francis, 2020) Cahyanto, Ignatius P.; Liu-Lastres, Bingjie
    Florida’s Red Tide outbreak, a major environmental disturbance in 2018, not only garnered nationwide attention but also affected both in-state and out-of-state visitors. Guided by the Social Amplification of Risk Framework (SARF), this study examined the relationships between media exposure, risk perception, and visitors’ behavioral responses. Data were gathered from two surveys in late 2018. The findings validate the practicality of applying SARF to the current context. This study also found that both perceived consequences and access to the community are significant predictors of visitor behavior. This study further discussed how to market destinations during turbulent times.
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    Risk reduction and adventure tourism safety: An extension of the risk perception attitude framework (RPAF)
    (Elsevier, 2019-10-01) Wang, Jie; Liu-Lastres, Bingjie; Ritchie, Brent W.; Pan, Dong-Zi
    Visitor safety is an important topic in adventure tourism but remains underexplored. Using a psychological approach, this study applies and extends Rimal and Real's risk perception attitude framework to include personality traits and emotions to understand adventure tourists' safety behaviours on site. Focusing on tidal-bore watching activities in China, this study consists of two phases: interviews with nine local stakeholders followed by a field survey involving 302 visitors. Cluster analyses were conducted and three visitors' groups were identified that varied in risk perception attitudes and safety behaviours. Mediation analyses were conducted to explore the role played by worry during visitors' decision-making related to safety behaviours. Based on the findings, this study provided managerial insight for developing risk communication strategies to engage visitors in self-protective behavior. This study also provided recommendations on how to improve visitors' safety and to protect their lives in adventure-tourism sites in China.
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    Developing a resilience-based adaptive co-management framework: public sectors’ insights on the role of tourism
    (Taylor and Francis, 2020) Cahyanto, Ignatius P.; Liu-Lastres, Bingjie; Edwards, Chase
    Public-private partnerships are essential to effective disaster response and recovery. Given their scare resources, it is neither efficient nor practical for governing bodies to bear the sole responsibility for maintaining an ever-ready disaster response infrastructure and workforce. While it is necessary and admirable for governments to improve their internal disaster response mechanisms, a community's resilience can also be enhanced by leveraging private entities and their assets. This study utilized the Adaptive co-management (ACM) framework to examine existing partnerships between emergency operations centers and the tourism industry in co-managing hurricane-related disasters. By utilizing group discussion and individual interviews, this study reveals the public sectors’ expectations of the tourism industry when partnering to co-manage disasters. The findings highlight theoretical and practical implications for current public-private partnerships and the need to improve these efforts in disaster management. Several critical deficiencies are identified and discussed, including interagency trust, financial support, and communication.
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    Exploring Ethnic Minority Workers’ Perceptions of Employee Well-Being in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry: An Exploratory Study
    (Travel and Tourism Research Association: Advancing Tourism Research Globally, 2020-06-17) Liu-Lastres, Bingjie; Wen, Han
    The purpose of this study was to examine ethnic minority workers’ perceptions of employee well-being in tourism and hospitality. Based on tourism and human resource management literature, this study adopted a mixed-methods research design. Particularly, fourteen interviews were conducted, and a total of 414 employees in the tourism industry were surveyed. A series of statistical analyses, including exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis, were performed using SPSS 25.0 and AMOS 26.0. The results confirmed the multi-dimensional nature of employee well-being, which is constituted of four dimensions, namely, professional/personal development, work-life balance, workplace happiness, and work benefits. The findings also revealed that the participation in corporate-sponsored wellness programs might affect how employees perceive their well-being at work. Based on the findings, this study further discussed both theoretical and practical implications.
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    Examining the impact of psychological capital on workplace outcomes of ethnic minority foodservice employees
    (Elsevier, 2021-04-01) Wen, Han; Liu-Lastres, Bingjie
    The purpose of this study was to examine the impacts of psychological capital on workplace outcomes of ethnic minority employees in the foodservice industry. Guided by the social exchange theory and the equity theory, this study developed and tested a survey instrument and collected 407 valid responses through an online survey. Results of the structural equation model analysis confirmed the positive impact of psychological capital on work engagement and workplace happiness, and their further impacts on job satisfaction and commitment. The results of multi-group comparisons showed differences between salaried and hourly employees. For individuals holding salaried positions, it was work engagement, rather than psychological capital, that affected their workplace happiness. For hourly employees, although psychological capital influenced their work engagement and workplace happiness, their work engagement and work happiness remain unrelated. Based on the findings, this study offered practical implications on how to enhance psychological capital for ethnic minority employees.
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    Travellers' self-protections against health risks: An application of the full Protection Motivation Theory
    (Elsevier, 2019-09-01) Wang, Jie; Liu-Lastres, Bingjie; Ritchie, Brent W.; Mills, Deborah J.
    Ensuring travellers' health and well-being is an important issue in tourism management and public health. By applying and testing the Protection Motivation Theory (PMT), this study serves as one of the early attempts in tourism to explore travellers' self-protective behavior against health risks. This study conducted semi-structured interviews and an online survey. Consistent with the PMT, this study found that both threat and coping appraisals can enhance travellers' protection motivations, which in turn affect their actual behaviors. This study also provided interpretation of maladaptive perception in a tourism context and found its negative association with coping appraisal. Implications were provided on how to encourage travellers to protect themselves against health risks.
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    Business travel, risk, and safety of female university faculty and staff
    (Taylor and Francis, 2020-09-29) Mirehie, Mona; Liu-Lastres, Bingjie; Cecil, A.; Jain, N.
    Women constitute a significant portion of the total business travel market in the U.S. This study aimed to explore travel risk and safety issues among women in higher education who regularly travel for work. Three focus groups were conducted with female faculty and staff at a major public university in the U.S. Results of an inductive-deductive analysis indicated three major themes, namely, risk perception, risk treatment, and risk adoption. Findings provide insights into how female higher education employees perceive risk and safety during business trips, and their travel behaviour that include actions taken to mitigate the potential risks or time-to-time risky decisions about travel arrangements. Further, recommendations are made for enhancement of travel policies at the institutional level to ensure safety of female employees.
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    Managing the reputation of cruise lines in times of crisis A review of current practices
    (Goodfellow Publishers, 2019) Liu-Lastres, Bingjie; Johnson, Amy M.
    The cruise industry is one of the fastest growing sectors within the tourism and hospitality industry. Reputation serves as one of cruise lines’ key assets, as it can affect customers’ attitude, perceptions, and travel decisions. The onset of a crisis on cruise lines not only can negatively impact passengers and crew members, but also can damage the cruise lines’ reputations, which can lead to bad publicity, distorted brand image, and revenue loss. To cope with these challenges, scholars have highlighted the importance of crisis management practices as well as effective crisis responses. Accordingly, the purpose of this book chapter is to examine cruise lines current crisis management/crisis response strategies. Guided by the Situational Crisis Communication Theory, a total of 14 responses from major cruise lines between 2013 to 2017 were collected and analyzed. The results of this study revealed mixed findings --most cruise lines have adopted the most appropriate reputational management strategies, while failing to provide enough public safety information. Based on the findings, further discussions on how to effectively respond to major incidents on cruise ships and to protect organizational reputation during crisis times were included.
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    Are we missing the boat? Examining managers’ perspectives on employee wellbeing in the foodservice industry
    (Edward Elgar, 2021-05-01) Liu-Lastres, Bingjie; Wen, Han
    The purpose of this research note was to examine managers’ perspectives on employee wellbeing in the foodservice industry. Particularly, this study conducted 14 semi-structured individual interviews with upper-level managers of various organizations within the foodservice industry. Thematic analyses were employed to analyze the data. The overall findings addressed the essence of considering employee wellbeing in the industry. Particularly, this study revealed managers’ interpretation of employee wellbeing, identified major influences on employee wellbeing, reported the current measures, and presented the major challenges facing most organizations regarding improving employee wellbeing. From a theoretical point of view, this study used a qualitative approach and reflected managers’ perspectives on the concept of employee wellbeing. Building on those findings, this study provides practical implications, which mainly involves using a forward-thinking, top-down approach to enhance employee wellbeing, and highlights the roles of organizational support and organizational culture. Based on the findings, this study also discusses future research directions and limitations.