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Peter Ricci, Ed.D. - Florida Atlantic University. Boca Raton, FL, US

Peter Ricci, Ed.D.

Clinical Professor and Director | Florida Atlantic University


Peter Ricci is an expert in food service, lodging, incentive travel, and destination marketing.




Peter Ricci is a hospitality industry veteran with over 20 years of managerial experience in segments including: food service, lodging, incentive travel, and destination marketing. While filling the role of hotel general manager for almost a decade, Ricci served as a part-time educator before entering academia full time as both a clinical associate professor and administrator.

Areas of Expertise (14)

Casinos & Gaming

Travel and Tourism

Hotel Guest Services



Destination Marketing


Food Service

Incentive Travel

Hospitality Management

Employee Performance


Restaurant Management


Accomplishments (3)

Distinguished Alumnus Award

University of Florida, College of Health & Human Performance, Dept. of Tourism, Recreation, and Sport

Lifetime Achievement Award

Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International

Lifetime Achievement Award

Norma Bondy Lifetime Achievement Award

Education (3)

University of Central Florida: E.D.D. 2005

University of Florida: M.S. 1989

University of Florida: B.A. 1987

Selected Media Appearances (14)

A water tower along I-95 will soon look like a giant beach ball. But will it make a town more ‘beachy?’

Sun Sentinel  


“The leisure travelers often say ‘beaches’ in the top three reasons they come to Florida, always — and that’s never changed,” said Peter Ricci, a Florida Atlantic University professor who specializes in hospitality and tourism industry trends. “So ‘beach’ is always a biggie in the title (of a city).”

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DeSantis Defies Bob Iger, Calls Disney Suit ‘Political’



The governor’s criticism of the municipal district, which was previously controlled by Disney but allowed to borrow under cheaper municipal finance rates, has some merit, according to Peter Ricci, a professor of hospitality management at Florida Atlantic University.

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JetBlue settlement with Florida mandates growth plan after Spirit takeover — but would it fly?

Sun Sentinel  


“I believe that any merger between the two carriers should be what’s best for business, be that synergies in combining routes, merging a fleet of similar aircraft to create maintenance efficiencies, and in offering a better overall product to the consumer enhancing stakeholder value,” said Peter Ricci, clinical associate professor and director of hospitality management programs at Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business.

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North Bay Village getting new Shuckers watering hole, condo-hotel tower in $300M development

Miami Herald  


Peter Ricci, a professor and director of the hospitality and tourism management program at Florida Atlantic University, predicted the planned hotel section of the project will attract guests, despite the grim status of the hospitality industry’s labor supply. The village’s proximity to Miami Beach, he said, will likely draw visitors to the hotel.

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True cost of eating: Is it cheaper at home?

City & Shore  


“Both eating at home and eating out have gone up since April,” says Peter Ricci, Ed.D., director, hospitality and tourism management at Florida Atlantic University. “The grocery supply chain has increased from 3 to 7 percent since April, so eating at home is more expensive, particularly for people with kids home from school, and people may have the perception that prices have gone up even more because they’re making more impulse purchases than they used to.”

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Florida launches tourism campaign — just as more events cancel

Sun Sentinel  


“The reality is we are not even remotely coming back yet,” said Peter Ricci, director of the hospitality and tourism management program at Florida Atlantic University. “I’m just on the fence about it. I think it’s the cart before the horse. I don’t think the general population is safely ready to travel just yet.”

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What went wrong in Florida? Timing, testing, tourism and a COVID-19 crush

Tallahassee Democrat  


After being on virtual lockdown for four months, Floridians were itching to get out of the house, said Peter Ricci, director of the Hospitality and Tourism Management program at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.

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Rebuilding America: Florida tourism tries for comeback

The Palm Beach Post  


“We will re-emerge as a completely different industry than we were,” said Peter Ricci, director of the Hospitality and Tourism Management program at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.

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Coronavirus Florida: Cruise lines plan restart, but CDC has not lifted no-sail order

The Palm Beach Post  


“I was super surprised to hear them coming out with sailing dates so early, but on the financial side, they have to,” said Peter Ricci, Director of Hospitality & Tourism Management Programs at Florida Atlantic University. “They can do a number of things to get back in operation where people would feel comfortable, but I wouldn’t book until I saw that.”

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Coronavirus Florida: How will mass-scale tourism fare when the economy reopens?

The Palm Beach Post  


“We will re-emerge as a completely different industry than we were,” said Peter Ricci, director of the Hospitality and Tourism Management program at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.

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Did You Hear? Thousands of Displaced Hospitality Workers Around the World Take Up Florida University's Offer to Help

CoStar News  


The course usually costs $900, but the university in Boca Raton, Florida, waived the fee for workers whose livelihoods were impacted by the sudden crash of the hospitality market caused by shutdowns and stay-home orders to slow the spread of the virus. “This is a tool to keep people positively engaged while they are not at work so they can be better prepared to hit the ground running when things do ramp back up,” Ricci said.

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Relief. Recovery. Rise Up. How South Floridians are helping those hit hard by coronavirus

Miami Herald  


“Hospitality will always rebound, but this is the first global crisis where every hospitality segment was affected at the same time,” Peter Ricci, director of FAU’s Hospitality and Tourism Management program, said in a release.

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Guatemalan tourist, 38, who died after King Kong ride couldn't read warning signs at Universal, attorney says

Orlando Sentinenl  


Pendas said theme parks should put up warnings in French and Spanish as well as English, all the major international languages. At Florida Atlantic University, Peter Ricci disagrees. “The issue here is one of long-term frugality and practicality,” said Ricci, director of the university’s Hospitality and Tourism Management program, in an email. “It is completely rational and practical to expect theme parks to have instructions, directions, and safety information in every language that one of its guests could use, but it would be super impractical when it comes to costs.” [...]

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Despite red tide, mostly business as usual for local economy

Palm Beach Post  


Peter Ricci, the director of FAU’s Hospitality and Tourism Management program, said he received around a half-dozen calls from local hotel general managers this week asking for advice. [...]

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Selected Articles (4)

Context-Based Leisure Travel Facilitation among People with Mobility Challenges: A Self-Determination Theory Approach

Journal of Travel Research

Peter Ricci et al.

2019 In response to the pressing need to psychologically empower people with mobility challenges (PwMC) to travel, this study proposes the facilitation of self-determined travel motivations as a promising approach. The variation of self-determined travel facilitation across different challenge levels is examined through a quasi-experimental design and analyzed with a new test of moderated mediation based on Hayes’ (2015a) model. The results indicate that for PwMC with significant travel challenge levels, the tourism industry should prioritize the cultivation of intrinsic travel motivations and perceived travel competence satisfaction over less-autonomous motivation dimensions and satisfaction of alternative psychological needs. Such cross-context exploration extends self-determination theory with a new moderator of challenge levels.

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Hotel guest preferences of in-room technology amenities

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology

Peter Ricci et al

2016 Advances in technology and in subsequent guest-related amenities have the potential to improve the guest experience and also increase both guestroom revenues and ancillary room revenues. Innovative technologies will be one of the prime differentiators of hotel companies in the twenty-first century. However, it is important for hoteliers to answer questions such as which technology amenities do their guests desire when choosing overnight accommodations? Further, what are the importance levels assigned by guests of these various technology amenities? This study aims to answer the question of how leisure travelers may differ or be similar to business travelers with regard to in-room technology amenities.

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Creation of a Professionalism Scale for Hospitality Students: An Exploratory Study


Tammie J Kaufman, Peter Ricci

2014 The hospitality industry is dependent on a professional staff to exceed guests’ expectations. Existing research has focused primarily on the various attributes necessary for success in the hospitality industry. The primary focus of this research was professionalism and hospitality students’ self-perception of their professional attributes. Data collected from a focus group of hospitality human resource managers were used to develop a professionalism scale. The scale produced five factors that explained 53.6% of the variance in the responses. Students were more likely to agree in their preparedness for the interview process, but less in agreement of their preparedness for workplace issues. This research provides an exploratory study into a student’s perception of his or her own professional abilities and could be used as a placement tool for human resource managers and a benchmark to determine student’s …

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Do lodging managers expect more from hospitality graduates? A comparison of job competency expectations

Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality & Tourism

Peter Ricci


The lodging industry continues to be a fast-growing portion of the American business landscape. Simultaneously, colleges are expanding their hospitality management offerings, while remaining variable in their levels of lodging-specific coursework. The growth of the industry has led to higher competency needs/requirements among lodging recruiters. In this study, lodging managers who were members of the American Hotel & Lodging Association were surveyed to garner expectations for new-hires specifically using the job competency domains of knowledge, ability, and attitude. With inconsistency in curricula across college hospitality programs in the U.S. as the norm, lodging recruiters cannot recruit with the accuracy necessary for success.

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