Alan Hogenauer’s Global Excursions
Alan Hogenauer, who has traveled the world more than popes and secretaries of state, teaches global tourism in the College of Business Administration.
Published: September 18, 2012
By John Kissell
Name a state, any state, and Alan Hogenauer has been there — 10 times. He has 15 of the world’s countries to go before he hits them all. Only a handful of people have traveled more.
A professor of marketing in the College of Business Administration, Hogenauer has logged more than 2.2 million air miles. He’s traveled across all seven continents, to 311 countries and territories, and to each of the official 397 National Park Service sites. That last one put him in the Guinness Book of World Records. He’s been called the sixth-most-traveled person in the world.
Hogenauer’s desire to see the world was kindled early: He grew up in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx, N.Y., and he would often walk to the Harlem River to watch the boats’ arrivals and departures. But two seminal trips shaped his life.
In 1959, his mother took him and his siblings on a transcontinental rail journey to see the United States. A year later, they took a 50-day bus trip across Europe. He began then to tally his trips and categorize the places he visited — cities, countries, borders crossed. “With every place I went to,” he recalls, “I knew the category that it fit, or I began to learn the category it fit into.” Later, in 1965, his honeymoon was spent traveling the world in a land rover: rambling across Australia, trekking from Mumbai to Edinboro, and crossing oceans on freighters.
Today, Hogenauer’s interest in travel is just as serious: Whether on the road or in the air, he’s not just collecting stickers for his suitcase. “Travel is an educational experience,” Hogenauer says. “You learn from it.” He’s fascinated by the influence of marketing on travelers’ choices: How do travelers get to a particular locale? Why do they choose one place as opposed to another? Where will they go next? And, who are they demographically?
The travel and tourism industry, Hogenauer says, “is globally significant in the sense that every place in the world is trying to attract visitors.” Valued at more than $700 billion worldwide, the industry is among the top five private employers in the United States and generates jobs for more than 10 million American workers. At LMU, Hogenauer shares what he’s learned: He teaches courses on global transportation, tourism marketing and systematic travel. “Students of mine are now executives at hotels and travel bureaus, he says. “I am so proud of their achievements.”
Despite his knowledge of the world, Hogenauer hesitates to recommend any one destination. “There are a lot of places you should go,” he said. “For years I used to suggest New Zealand because it is compact, and clean, safe and exciting. But I have added China to the list.” Hogenauer consulted with Chinese authorities during the early 1980s and urged them to make entering China and getting around more convenient for visitors. “That’s where the Chinese have succeeded,” he said.