In 1979 the University of Central Florida established the Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies (DPI). The Institute was established for the purpose of (1) conducting proprietary and public domain research, (2) promulgating information to the public at large about the contributions of the hospitality and tourism industry, especially along economic, sociological, environmental, and quality-of-life dimensions, and (3) carrying out credit and non-credit educational activities.
Since 2005, DPI has secured over $1.2 million in contracts and grants for research purposes. Its extensive client list includes categorical sampling, destination management organizations, convention and visitor bureaus, hotels, hospitals, vacation homes, restaurants and theme parks.
Furthermore, DPI has played a significant role in facilitating over $4 million in non-credit educational programs with international partners. UCF’s Rosen College doctoral students are extraordinarily essential to the Institute’s ability to meet its objectives and its commitments. In addition, contracts and grants funded through DPI have been an invaluable source of external funds to support graduate assistantships for the doctoral students.