Salazar will steward new hospitality major

After years of teaching and researching hospitality industry management at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, John Salazar knows hospitality is as much a science as it is an art.

Salazar joined the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences on May 1 as coordinator for the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics’ new hospitality and food industry management major.

The major, approved by the Board of Regents in spring 2018, will prepare students for jobs in the hospitality and food industries across a broad spectrum of opportunities available in Georgia and beyond.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that hospitality is a $60 billion industry that supports more than 450,000 total jobs in Georgia. Of that number, close to 15,000 are hospitality management positions requiring a four-year degree, with 370 job openings every year, according to the Georgia Department of Labor Occupational Outlooks.

At the University of South Carolina Beaufort, Salazar was a professor in the department of hospitality management and director of the Lowcountry and Resort Islands Tourism Institute. Previously, he was director of the University of Tennessee Tourism Institute, and he also taught at Southern Illinois University and the University of South Alabama. His research focuses on destination management and marketing and hospitality human resource management. He has conducted research for local, state and regional tourism agencies, nonprofits, municipalities, federal agencies and private corporations across the country. Prior to his career in academia, he held management positions with premier U.S. hotel and resort companies.

In coordinating instruction for the new CAES major, Salazar will be helping to design a curriculum and maintain an applied-research program that will work with governments, nonprofit organizations and hospitality corporations.

For more information about the hospitality and food industry management major, visit

By Merritt Melancon

Salazar headshot