The focus of study at NCROC is tourism economics and community tourism development and planning. Other tourism research interests include regional economic impacts from tourism and travel, nature-based tourism and the identification of linkages between natural resource management processes and tourism.
A recently completed yearlong study looked at the economic impacts of using a city-owned arena; it sampled non-local attendance at ice and dry-floor events. The focus was on duration of stay in the community and spending patterns.
A new study launched in September 2014 profiled visitors to Itasca County to better understand their travel motivations, how they get the information they need to make travel decisions and their spending habits while traveling. The information will be used to enhance marketing of the region and understand spending on the local economy.