Sara Dolničar is a Professor in the Tourism Department at UQ Business School (The University of Queensland). Since her PhD, Professor Dolničar has worked to improve market segmentation methodology and refine empirical measures used in social science research. She has applied her work primarily to tourism, but has also contributed to the areas of environmental volunteering, foster care and public acceptance of water alternatives. Her current research program focuses on developing and experimentally testing measures that trigger pro-environmental behavior in tourists. In recognition of her achievements, Professor Dolničar was elected a Fellow of the Academy for the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA), the International Academy for the Study of Tourism, the International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism (AIEST), and the Council for Australasian Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE). In 2019, she has been awarded a prestigious Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship to leave a creative and human legacy relating to her work into low harm hedonism. Professor Dolničar currently serves the Co-Editor in Chief of one of the three leading tourism journals globally: Annals of Tourism Research. She was awarded the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) Distinguished Researcher Award in 2017, and named the Slovenian Ambassador of Science in 2016, the highest honor the Republic of Slovenia bestows on expatriate Slovenian researchers in recognition of global excellence, impact, and knowledge transfer.
Research projects: The research program Professor Dolničar is currently working on is developing and validating a new theory that explains, predicts and elicits pro-environmetal conduct in pleasure-focused settings like tourism. It is significant in challenging the assumption of conventional theories about universal drivers of human behaviour, asserting instead that increased pleasure or changed infrastructure are needed to boost pro-environmental actions in hedonic contexts. The outcome and benefits will be in effective, evidenced-based social interventions that reduce the huge environemntal burden of tourism and other pleasure-focused industries. Such interventions are urgently needed to manage the impacts arising from athe extraordinary growth in sectors critical to the global economy.