Laura Lesar
  • Source: Scopus
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20162022

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Personal profile

Research Biography

Laura Lesar is a Senior Lecturer at Flinders University in Australia. She holds a PhD in Sustainable Tourism from Griffith University (Australia), a Master's of Science in Travel Industry Management from the University of Hawai'i, and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons, thesis) from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

A fusion of her multidisciplinary background, Laura specialises in sustainable tourism and the quality control tools that translate sustainability into business practice. In addition to a state-of-the-art articulation of quality control tools for tourism sustainability, currently, Laura’s research focuses on innovative methods for developing and optimizing quality control tools for wine business sustainability and resilience. Laura also enjoys industry- and community-engaged, multidisciplinary research. Recently, she worked with the City and County of Honolulu in Hawai’i, USA on a solutions-oriented project assessing tourism impacts on the community, social carrying capacity indicators, and the utility of innovative technology (aerial drones) for impact monitoring to guide sustainable destination management. Dedicated to excellence in research, Laura’s research can be found in leading academic journals in tourism including Journal of Travel Research (highest ranking of A* in ABDC) and Journal of Sustainable Tourism (A*). Laura is also an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Travel Research (A*).

Through research and industry projects, collectively, Laura has worked on sustainability and tourism projects for the public and private sectors in the USA, South-East Asia, South America, Central America, and Australia. She has been involved with projects for the Expedia, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Hostelling International, Sustainable Travel International, and Gemtree Wines. Laura is also holds several professional accreditations in sustainable tourism.

Sparking her passion for the wine industry, Laura has also held entry-level to managerial positions in the wine and spirits industry, and has undertaken intensive food, wine, and spirit courses, and sommelier training. Laura also holds Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 accreditation for wine professionals, regarded as the international standard in wine and spirit knowledge. 

Laura enjoys opportunities for industry engagement and knowledge-sharing. With her extensive background in sustainability and associated practical tools, she has been invited to facilitate numerous industry workshops and presentations. Most recently, she was an invited sustainable tourism pannelist for the World Tourism Summit in Hawaii and for the U.S. Department of State’s East-West Professional Fellows Program at the University of Hawai'i.

Research Expertise

Sustainable tourism and the practical tools that translate sustainability into business practice (i.e., quality control tools).

Sustainability and resilience in tourism and wine business

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus

20142018

Master of Science, University of Hawaii at Manoa

20102012

Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of California, Santa Cruz

20052009

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