Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Michael J. Bradley

Second Advisor

Charles S. Hausman

Third Advisor

James N. Maples


As many rural communities are searching for ways to increase their local economy, several of these communities have begun to turn their attention to the tourism industry. By turning their attention to the tourism industry, they are searching for ways to increase tourism in hopes of bringing in additional revenue that is needed for revitalizing many of these communities. These rural communities are "focused on maximizing individual spending, and providing products and experiences as an incentive to tourists to stay longer and return on repeat visits" (Briedenhann & Wickens, 2004, p. 72). Also, waterparks, as well as amusement parks and theme parks, have become "motivators for tourism trips to many destination and core elements of the tourism product" (Raluca & Gina, 2008, p. 635).