Laurie Murphy grew up in London Ontario Canada and completed a Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Waterloo in Recreation and Leisure Studies. She then spent two years at North Carolina State University completing and Master’s Degree in Recreation and Leisure and as a research assistant on a major project for the North Carolina State Division of Travel and Tourism where more than 12,000 visitors to the state were surveyed.

While backpacking in Australia Laurie was offered a lecturing position at JCU which she took up in 1991 and she completed her PhD at JCU on Backpackers and their travel decisions in 1997.



  • Laurie serves on the Tourism and Event Strategic Advisory Committee at Townsville Enterprise.
  • Understanding and improving tourism’s contribution to regional Australia: Her early work on backpackers focused on understanding their travel decision making processes.
  • Work in the field of destination branding has focused on its application to regional destinations and whether traditional brand personality concepts translate from consumer goods to tourism destinations.
  • Tourism and its contribution to regional communities is at the core of another ongoing research program focusing on Tourist Shopping Villages. This research examines tourist shopping villages in order to understand how their performance can be enhanced for multiple stakeholders in the community and considers the tourist experiences. The shopping villages research highlighted the important linkages between tourism and other regional industries. This has evolved into the more recent research examining the links between tourism and community well-being in more detail in order to identify the ways in which tourism can best make a positive contribution to tropical communities.
  • Laurie is the Work Integrated Learning Co-ordinator for the School of Business and is responsible for establishing industry partnerships to facilitate professional internship and industry project opportunities for students.
  • 1991 to present - Associate Professor, James Cook University (Townsville)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2022 - Townsville Enterprise Richard Power Award for Outstanding Contribution to the North Queensland Tourism Industry

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 75+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Laurie Murphy from 2001 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Sealink Queensland Pty Ltd - Contract Research

Townsville Tourism Growth Initiative

Indicative Funding
$69,500 over 3 years
The aim of the Townsville Regional Visitor Survey would be to form a cooperative of regional tourism business to build a research tool that provides local tourism businesses and destination stakeholders with access to data on the profiles, preferences and satisfaction of visitors to the Townsville region. It would also provide specific information on the performance of tourism products and industry sectors within visitor markets. This localised information would be specific to the needs of Townsville businesses and would supplement the data collected through International Visitor Surveys/National Visitor Surveys from Tourism Research Australia.
Laurie Murphy in collaboration with Jenny Panchal (College of Business and Law & Governance)
tourism market intelligence; tourism product development; tourism market research; tourism industry collaboration

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • An Exploration of Mindfulness on Tour Guides and Tourists and their Influences on the Sustainability of Tourism (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Effective Interpretation for Children and good Sustainability Lessons: A Multiple Case Study of Nature-based Tourism Sites (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Host-Tourist Interaction in Ethnic Tourism: Challenges and Strategies for Improved Outcomes in the Central Highlands, Vietnam (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • The contributions of sport and recreation infrastructure to community wellbeing (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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  • 28.124, Marine & Tropical Biology 2 (Townsville campus)
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