Laura Lesar
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Research Biography

Laura Lesar is a Senior Lecturer at Flinders University in Australia. She holds a PhD in Sustainable Tourism from Griffith University in Australia, a Master's of Science in Travel Industry Management from the University of Hawaii, and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) 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 concepts into practice. In addition to a state-of-the-art articulation of these tools, Laura’s most recent research endeavours stem from a solutions-oriented grant research project relating to sustainable destination management that assessed tourism impacts, social carrying capacity indicators, and the utility of innovative technology (aerial drones) to facilitate impact monitoring. Additional research endeavours relate to the sustainability and resilience of wine business. 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*).

Laura has worked with sustainable tourism projects globally in the Hawaiian Islands, South East Asia, South America, and Central America. Laura is also an accredited eco-certification auditor, sustainable tourism consultant, and corporate sustainability manager. In this capacity, she has been involved with projects for the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, Expedia, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Hostelling International, and Sustainable Travel International. 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 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 Hawaii.

Laura is pleased to join Flinders University and support their new degree focussing on the business of wine, spirits, and tourism.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus


Master of Science, University of Hawaii at Manoa


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



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