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Dr. K. Thirumaran

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Dr. K. Thirumaran

Head Of Academic Group, Business & IT / Senior Lecturer in Business, Tourism & Hospitality Management


  • PhD - National University of Singapore
  • MA - University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
  • BSc & MA - Indiana State University, USA
  • Summer School - Oxford University, UK
  • Graduate Studies - University of Iowa, USA

Click here for research interest and publications


Thiru has been with James Cook University since 2008. He leads a team of talented scholars and lecturers specializing in Business, Tourism, Environmental Sciences and IT. He facilitates and coordinates quality educational experiences for students across Business and IT degree programs.

He specialized in tourism and hospitality management. Both his undergraduate and postgraduate students can expect very engaging and lively class sessions.  Most classes involve a combination of seminar style learning and industry-related field excursions. He encourages students to pursue particular passions beyond classroom learning. His effective mentoring is mirrored in the successes of his students. One of his mentees has established an ecotourism attraction in Kerala, while another has worked in several hotel management positions in Vietnam and is projected to enroll in a PhD program after completing his second co-authored journal article. These are just two among many career progression narratives that reflect the close interaction between Thiru and his students.

Thiru possesses vast industry experience having held various positions in companies such as Singapore Airlines, American Express Financial Advisors, Iowa State Bank and Trust Company, Informatics Pte. Ltd. and Swissport & QANTAS owned Hallmark Aviation Services, Delgro Comfort Pte. Ltd’s previous subsidiary Singapore Sightseeing Tour East Pte Ltd. and Marriott Dining Services. These experiences combined with his academic training, gets him up to speed with industry practices and impart significant skills based knowledge to students.

His research interests are varied but Thiru’s core specializations are in cultural and luxury tourism. He co-chairs the World Luxury Destinations 2018, an academic and industry conference to be held in Bangkok. He volunteers his time as an editorial board member for Asia Tourism Research Journal, Journal of Tropical Psychology and several others. He has authored over 24 different scholarly works and continues to engage with the industry through participation in numerous MICE events in Singapore and abroad.

Given his background as an avid debater during school days, he enjoys organizing the annual campus debate competition for students.  Aside from his academic pursuits, he enjoys swimming, jogging and playing badminton.