Dr Gayle Mayes

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Dr Gayle Mayes


Teaching areas

  • Sport and Event Marketing
  • Tourism, Leisure and Event Management
  • Tourism Policy, Planning and Destination Management
  • International Internships and Sustainable Tourism Expeditions

Research areas

  • tourism and climate change
  • small scale sustainable development in the Asia–Pacific Region
  • community-based tourism
  • sustainable coastal and marine (wildlife) tourism
  • sport and adventure tourism
  • destination management
  • environmental, outdoor and adventure-based education
  • interpretation in tourism
  • sustainable sport, festivals and events
  • adaptive paddle sports for people with physical disabilities


Dr Gayle Mayes is a member of the Sustainability Research Centre at the University of the Sunshine Coast, and a lecturer of Tourism, Leisure and Event Management, and Sports Marketing with the School of Business, Faculty of Arts, Business and Law at the University.

Her current research projects include sustainable coastal and marine tourism, climate change, cultural tourism and sustainable tourism development in the Asia–Pacific region. The current projects include AusAid/DFAT funded programs and research on islands and the coastal areas of Fiji, Cambodia and Indonesia, with particular emphasis on sustainable development, community-based tourism and the impacts of man and climate change on coral reefs.

Gayle has taught in universities for approximately 20 years in the interconnected fields of tourism, health and lifestyle, sport, environmental education, outdoor pursuits, leisure and events. Her successful use of experiential education (learning through experience) as her main teaching and learning strategy, earned her a national award for outstanding contribution to student learning in 2007.

Her learning and teaching methods motivate students to gain experience by volunteering for events and participating in internships, both overseas and locally, with businesses in order to become more competitive in the job market and prepare themselves for the workplace after university.

Gayle also introduced opportunities for students from all faculties to participate in educational tourism expeditions to remote destinations in the Asia–Pacific region in the areas of health, education and business/tourism. These expeditions give students a unique hands-on experience with small scale businesses and corporate social responsibility activities, and empowers them to become change agents for sustainability.

Her strong interest in sport and events was developed through competing at world championship level in numerous paddle sports, including the women's 500 metre flat water kayak event in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.

After retiring from elite sport, Gayle coached teams and individuals to international level, attended the Atlanta and Beijing Olympics as a spectator and worked as a volunteer for the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Gayle returned to competition in 2012, winning gold, silver and bronze medals at the World Outrigger Sprint championships in Calgary, Canada. This interest and expertise has led to new research areas associated with outrigger canoeing and physically disabled people. Her strengths include: use of innovative teaching methods, high levels of enthusiasm and energy, community engagement, service, and a passion for applied research.

She is committed to using her research and teaching to assist in the sustainable development and management of tourism, businesses and regions.

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