Dr. Knight


Dubbed “Mr. Positivity” (but without the coffee mug to prove it), Dr. David W. Knight has developed a unique transnational skill set in tourism research and education while living and working in the U.S., Spain, the Philippines, Peru, Mexico, and China. He has worked with esteemed collaborators to publish research in several of the world’s top tourism journals, exploring and informing linkages between tourism and development with a focus on community empowerment, poverty alleviation, and destination resilience.

As a Center for Collaborative Conservation Fellow, David’s projects analyze diverse natural resource tourism issues for organizations operating from local to international levels. With funding from agencies like the U.S. Department of State and the Army Corps of Engineers, project findings have informed destination development pertaining to National Parks, Chinese tourist behavior, marine protected areas, UNESCO World Heritage sites (e.g., Machu Picchu), and institutional fortification (e.g., indigenous tourism associations, international business operations, etc.).

Based in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at Colorado State University, David is co-Director of the U.S.-China Tourism Lab for Destination Development alongside his venerable colleague, Dr. Lina Xiong.

Google Scholar


An overview of Dr. Knight’s research in collaboration with colleagues, students, and visiting scholars.


An overview of Dr. Knight’s teaching endeavors in the U.S., China, and elsewhere.


An overview of the Student Nature Vids Film Festival, consulting, community engagement, and other outreach activities.


News and blogs associated with Dr. Knight’s work, as well as personal creative content.