A Florida State University scholar already recognized as one of the world’s top tourism researchers has received an honor a bit closer to home.
Mark Bonn, the Robert H. Dedman Professor in Hospitality Administration in FSU’s College of Business, has been inducted into the Florida Tourism Hall of Fame by the Florida Commission on Tourism. He becomes the first educator ever selected for this honor.
“Dr. Mark Bonn has been on the frontlines of tourism, serving the industry through education and research,” said Richard Goldman, senior vice president of Amelia Island Plantation and chairman of the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors. “He is a remarkable man who recognizes challenges, identifies solutions, and pursues them with perseverance and passion. He has an extraordinary, meaningful legacy that is carried on by so many students who he inspired to become hospitality professionals. Members of the Florida Tourism Hall of Fame inspire all of us in Florida’s tourism industry to build legacies of our own.”
Bonn was inducted during a dinner attended by 1,200 tourism leaders at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism, held in Orlando on Aug. 17. He was selected from a field of nine nominees.
“On behalf of the Florida Commission on Tourism and the Florida tourism industry, I am very honored and extremely humbled to have been inducted into the Florida Tourism Hall of Fame,” Bonn said. “By giving me this award, they have acknowledged and validated the importance that university-level scholarly tourism research, teaching and service have upon the state of Florida’s economy and specifically its tourism industry.
“I also would like to express my sincere gratitude to T.K. Wetherell, president of Florida State University, its administration, the College of Business and the Dedman School of Hospitality for supporting my tourism research passion over the past 20 years and into the future as we face new issues related to travel, environment and tourism development,” Bonn said.
Begun in 2001, the Florida Tourism Hall of Fame acknowledges contemporary and historic figures whose vision, creativity and drive have had a positive and significant impact on the development of Florida as a desirable visitor destination. Inductees are chosen annually and announced during the Governor’s Conference on Tourism. Selection is made by a panel representing the state’s various tourism industry associations and other key industry representatives.
Bonn is frequently called upon to develop marketing plans for resorts and restaurants, service models for hospitality employees and curriculum models requiring strategic and creative thinking. Bonn has used entrepreneurial spirit and hard work to take a key leadership role in Florida’s movement to make Florida a premier “green” visitor destination.
“The College of Business is proud of Professor Bonn’s accomplishments,” said Dean Caryn L. Beck-Dudley. “This honor is a testament to the benefits of university and industry collaboration.”