Dr. Robertico Croes

Professor Tourism Economics and Management

Expertise: Tourism Economics, Human Development, Poverty, and Tourism 

Management with a special interest in small and developing economies.

Dr. Robertico Croes, a professor at UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management, is widely recognized as an authoritative figure in the field of tourism economics and management, with a particular emphasis on promoting human development in economies with limitations. He holds the position of Editor for the Rosen Research Review and has authored six books, including his latest works titled “Small Island and Small Destination Tourism” and “A Modern Guide to Tourism Economics.” He has published over 100 works, contributed to more than twenty books, produced more than 30 industry reports, and is in the 2% top cited authors list (2021 and 2022) by Stanford University

Notably, Dr. Croes co-authored a report entitled “Opportunities for transforming coastal and marine tourism: towards Sustainability, Regeneration, and Resilience,” which was presented at the United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal. He also leads the Infectious Disease and Travel Health Project, which received a significant funding of $4,500,000 as part of the UCF Academic Excellence Funded Award. Drawing upon his extensive expertise and experience, Dr. Croes has held various leadership roles at the Rosen College, serving as the Director of the Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies for 14 years, Associate Dean for over six years, Tourism, Event and Attractions Department Chair, and Hospitality Services Interim Chair.

Dr. Croes’ areas of specialization encompass the application of econometrics in the hospitality industry, analysis and forecasting of tourism demand, assessment of tourism’s economic impact, evaluations of competitive and sustainable tourism in development, utilization of tourism development for poverty alleviation and human development, as well as the study of tourism development in small islands and developing nations. With a strong commitment to evidence-based practices that foster poverty reduction, social equity, and inclusion, Dr. Croes is deeply passionate about harnessing advanced data science technologies, including Generative AI, Federated Transfer Learning, and Graph-based data structures, to maximize the impact of research findings. As a visionary leader, he actively facilitates collaboration among stakeholders from academia, government bodies, health organizations, and tourism service providers to translate research insights into tangible improvements for individuals.

Dr. Croes has shared his profound insights and research on these subjects on a global scale, delivering presentations in numerous countries such as Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Bonaire, Ecuador, Italy, Malta, Mexico, Grenada, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and many others. He has also presented at prestigious industry and research conferences worldwide, including locations like Cyprus, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Malaysia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turkey. Additionally, Dr. Croes has provided consultation services in several countries, including the United States, Italy, Brazil, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Curacao, Bonaire, Saba, and Grenada.

Dr. Robertico Croes, a distinguished faculty member at UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management, has a remarkable funding history, securing approximately $15 million in external grants, gifts, donations, and continued education programs. He holds the prominent position of being recognized as the foremost faculty member in his field at the college. Dr. Croes has played a vital role in guiding and chairing the thesis and dissertation committees of numerous graduate students. He has also served as a principal investigator in the development of tourism master plans in small islands and developing nations. Currently, he serves as the Tourism Strategist and Advisor in Bonaire.

Dr. Croes has achieved recognition for his scholarly contributions, having published in prestigious academic journals such as Annals of Tourism Research, Journal of Travel Research, Tourism Economics, International Journal of Tourism Research, Tourism Management, and International Journal of Hospitality Management. Additionally, he has served on the editorial boards of 12 academic journals. Dr. Croes has been honored with various research awards, including the 2015 Thea Sinclair Award, the 2015 UCF Research Incentive Award (RIA), and the 2015 Best Graduate Student Research Paper, among others.

Before joining academia, Dr. Robertico Croes held significant roles in the government and public service. Previously, he served as the Minister of Economic Affairs, Tourism, and Finance in Aruba. He earned his doctorate from the University of Twente in the Netherlands, focusing his dissertation on quantitative modeling of tourism demand, tourism development, and government intervention. With more than four decades of experience in tourism, foreign affairs, and policy, Dr. Croes has held various positions, including a member of Aruba’s Parliament, Director of Aruba Foreign Affairs, Chair of the Dutch-Aruban Cultural Commission, and Vice President of the Caribbean Tourism Organization. Furthermore, he has contributed to international organizations, having served as Deputy Secretary-General of the Christian Democratic Organization for the Americas and as a Member of the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino). Throughout his career, Dr. Croes has made significant contributions as a researcher, academic, and government leader, positively impacting the lives of millions of individuals. His personal values and motivations are evident in his dedication to mentoring others, sharing knowledge, and fostering growth in those around him