6 ways to celebrate tourism in Arizona during National Travel and Tourism week

More than 80 ASU students to enter tourism workforce after graduating during the week

May 5, 2017

Arizona State University’s graduation ceremonies coincide with a weeklong celebration of one of Arizona’s biggest industries: tourism. National Travel and Tourism Week runs May 7 to 13, highlighting both the people that power this sector and the personal well-being gained through travel.  

This semester, two ASU master’s students and 82 undergraduates will be entering the tourism workforce.  Phoenix skyline Phoenix skyline.

Travel and tourism have existed for a long time, but an organized industry and university degrees are relatively young. Christine Vogt, professor of tourism at ASU, does not believe a tourism degree was around when she attended college for her undergraduate degree.

“In the 1990’s, tourism degrees were becoming available. As an interdisciplinary area of study, there are so many doors to study and work in the tourism industry,” said Vogt, who leads the ASU Center for Sustainable Tourism.

As students graduate this week, many will have family visiting Arizona to celebrate with them as well.

According to the Arizona Office of Tourism, visitors spending generated $21 billion in 2015. More than 180,000 people are employed in the local industry and it generates $2.9 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue.

Here's a short list of highlights in the Phoenix-Tempe-Mesa area to make the most of a visit to Arizona:

1. Shop and eat local. Check out the Center for Sustainable Tourism's Local First Arizona’s travel guides to explore its area’s “Small Wonders” neighborhoods.

2. Visit world-class museums along Central Avenue in Phoenix, including the Phoenix Art Museum and the Heard Museum.

3. Phoenix is a city of parks — large mountain parks frame our urban space. Start at South Mountain Visitor Center off of Baseline Road and then select the right trail length and challenge. Piestewa Peak, north of downtown Phoenix, offers picnic ramadas and an assortment of trails.

4. The Musical Instrument Museum is top rated and one of a kind. The museum is located in north Phoenix near Mayo Clinic.

5. Tempe’s Town Lake features a lake with many active recreation opportunities including walking, biking and running trails. Boating is also possible and rentals are available.

6. For transport, use the Light Rail to get from the airport and between the Tempe and Downtown Phoenix campuses and graduation venues.

Heather Beshears

director marketing and communications, College of Public Service and Community Solutions


ASU group looks into women's representation in politics

May 5, 2017

Over the years Arizona State University's School of Politics and Global Studies has developed working groups that emphases on advancing research in key areas. The Women and Politics Working Group has been active since 2013 and consist of scholars whose research focuses on women’s role in politics.

Three members of the Women and Politics Working Group, Magda Hinojosa, Miki Kittilson and Kim Fridkin, received a USAID award in 2014 to study symbolic representation through a natural experiment in Uruguay. Their recently published paper is part of USAID’s Research and Innovation Grants Working Paper Series and is titled "Does Women’s Political Presence Matter? Examining the Effects of Descriptive Representation on Symbolic Representation in Uruguay." ASU professors from left to right: Miki Kittilson, Magda Hinojosa and Kim Fridkin Download Full Image

Uruguay first applied a gender quota law in the 2014 elections. The researchers recognized that this presented a unique opportunity to examine how the increase in women’s parliamentary representation would affect Uruguayan citizens.

In order to figure out whether women’s representation actually mattered, the group polled Uruguay citizens on their interest, knowledge and participation in politics before and after the gender quota was implemented. Hinojosa also traveled to Uruguay in the summer of 2015 and 2016 to interview with female parliamentarians.

“The take-home point from our work in Uruguay is that women’s representation in politics matters,” shared Hinojosa.

The results of this research have been shared at USAID and ASU conferences.

“The implications of our work extend far beyond Uruguay,” Hinojosa said. “There’s a documented gender gap in political knowledge, interest, and participation across the globe. What we find is that this gender gap shrinks in response to changes in women’s legislative representation; as we say in our report: this gender gap is not insurmountable.”

Through their research the group believes that women would be more interested in politics if they see someone they could related to (i.e. women) representing them. A more gender equal political arena would be key in increasing the number of engaged citizens.  

“Our faculty strength in understanding the role women play in the political arena makes a critical contribution to the development agenda of USAID and other actors committed to advancing development around the world,” shared Cameron Thies, director of the School of Politics and Global Studies.

“Countries across the world are debating the merits of gender quotas and other affirmative action measures aimed at increasing women’s representation in political office,” Hinojosa said. “Our work is an important contribution to these debates.”

Matt Oxford

Manager of marketing and communications, School of Politics and Global Studies