iiiACKNOWLEDGMENTS The dissertation would not have been completed without the support and assistance of many people. I wish to express my sincere appreciation to my dissertation advisor and mentor, Dr. Hailin Qu for his supervision, constructive guidance, inspiration and friendship. Dr. Qu was always an encouragement throughout my graduate program and ready to help me in any way towards making this study my best. My sincere gratitude extends to my other committee members Dr. Tom Brown, Dr. Jerrold Leong and Dr. Bo Hu, whose guidance, assistance, encouragement, and friendship are invaluable. I am deeply grateful for the Great Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce for providing financial support and data access for my study. Many thanks also go to those who provided suggestions, assistance and unforgettable friendship for this study: the staff members of the Great Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Jason Perry, and Ms. Yoriko Masuyama. I would also like to thank Mr. Jack Moyer, the general manager of the Crescent Hotel and the Basin Park Hotel in Eureka Springs. Without his smooth coordination and firm support, this study would not have been possible. Avery special appreciation to my parents, my sister and her family – one and all –who were always there to offer endless love, support, and understanding.