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Kelly MacKay - Ted Rogers School of Management. Toronto, ON, CA

Kelly MacKay Kelly MacKay

Interim Associate Vice-President, Research and Innovation | Crossroads International

Toronto, ON, CANADA

Professor MacKay focuses on destination marketing, information technology and tourist behaviour, and nature-and tourism



Kelly MacKay Publication



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Dr. Kelly MacKay has worked extensively with Parks Canada, the Canadian Tourism Commission Research Committee, many provincial tourism departments and DMOs, as well as major festivals (Taste of the Danforth, Pride Toronto, Buskerfest) and organizations such as Attractions Ontario, Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance, and Transportation Options Ontario. Her recent research examines Mobile IT and Free Choice Experiences (SSHRC). Dr. MacKay’s work employs a variety of methodological approaches including photo-elicitation, focus groups, surveys, and mixed-methods. She is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Travel Research and Past President of the Travel and Tourism Research Association Canada Chapter.

Areas of Expertise (4)

Nature Information Technology Destination Marketing Tourism

Accomplishments (2)

Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight (professional)


Ryerson University Office of the Vice President research and Innovation (professional)


Selected Media Appearances (1)

Researcher tracks cell phone usage trends

Edmonton Examiner  


Elizabeth Halpenny, associate professor in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, teamed up with co-researchers Christine van Winkle and Kelly MacKay at the University of Manitoba and Ryerson University, respectively, to study how festival-goers use their phones during these events...

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Selected Articles (5)

Social media activity in a festival context: temporal and content analysis International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

Kelly MacKay, Danielle Barbe, Christine M Van Winkle, Elizabeth Halpenny


This study explores the multi-phasic experience of festivals to understand the nature, purpose and degree of social media (SM) use before, during and after festival occurrence and how this may inform better engagement of attendees.

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Factors affecting mobile device use at festival attractions 2017 TTRA International Conference

Christine Van Winkle, Jill NH Bueddefeld, Kelly J MacKay, Elizabeth A Halpenny


To better comprehend mobile device acceptance and use at attractions and during tourism experiences broadly, we need to know and understand the factors that influence the decision to use technology in varying contexts. This presentation will discuss the Unified Theory of the Acceptance and Use of Technology 2 in relation to mobile device use at festivals. On-site interviews and survey data collection from 9 festivals reveals 5 new items that should be incorporated into this technology use model going forward. The implications will enable attraction staff and mobile device experience designers to ascertain appropriate ways to integrate mobile technology in the visitor’s experience.

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Information technology in everyday and vacation contexts Annals of Tourism Research

Kelly MacKay, Christine Vogt


This research employed a longitudinal panel to examine diffusion of information technology (IT) and its spillover from everyday contexts to vacations. Over the course of the research wireless access to Internet became more common and increasingly IT was brought or available on a trip and the decision of tourists to be off or on the Internet while vacationing became more pronounced. Panelists showed evidence of diffusion with IT advancements through learning, equipment ownership, and improving perceived skills, as well as spillover of IT use and behavior into vacation contexts as a continuation of trip planning and information search beyond home or pre-trip planning, where Internet access is available and most common at destinations and travel facilities...

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Online Information Search Strategies: A Focus On Flights and Accommodations Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing

Soo Hyun Jun, Christine A Vogt, Kelly J MacKay


The problem of the research was to understand information search strategies that individuals utilized in online travel product purchases. Two products, flights and accommodations, were selected to examine each product's explanatory variables in online purchase behaviors. The results indicate online flight purchasers utilize direct information sources and focus on transactional attributes...

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Relationships between travel information search and travel product purchase in pretrip contexts Journal of Travel Research

Soo Hyun Jun, Christine A Vogt, Kelly J MacKay


This study adds to understanding the relationships between travel information search and product purchase behaviors by examining online and offline information search and purchase behaviors. A conceptual model of travel planning was developed from case-based vacation planning theory. Results indicated travel information search and product purchase commitments in the pretrip stage are different, travel information search and product purchase vary by travel product categories in the pretrip stage, and travel experiences influence travel information search and product purchase for certain travel products in the pretrip stage...

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