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ATLAS Annual Conference 2018
Copenhagen, Denmark
26-29 September, 2018
Destination Dynamics

You can find updated info on the PhD seminar HERE



Welcome to a dialogue about the places and people of tourism. During this conference, we explore tourism destinations as relational, intersectoral, collaborative, networked, hybrid, transnational and multiscalar endeavours. We expand on the connections between tourism and communities, value (co-)creation, rural and urban development, entrepreneurship and innovation as well as quality of life – to name just a few things. Essentially, we are interested in knowing more about how destinations change and how this relates to other parts of the social.

Welcome also to Copenhagen, a bustling Nordic capital experiencing increasing tourism numbers through a strong brand combining liveability, sustainability, food, design and diversity. Also, it is a destination which has declared war against “tourism as we know it” – at least in the newly launched and much-famed DMO strategy, Localhood. During the conference, we will get a first-hand look at how very different actors work together to develop tourism for the benefit of the destination, locals and tourist and also discuss the challenges and paradoxes ingrained in this ‘local’ tourism movement.

Lastly welcome to the home of TRU, the Tourism Research Unit at Aalborg University. As the heading for our research strategy, Destinations dynamics is a common denominator for the work and projects conducted under TRU. As hosts to the conference, TRU is committed to integrate the conference theme as a red thread throughout the keynotes, break-out sessions and general activities during the conference. We look forward to hosting you in our city and our university for some exciting days of sharing and co-creating new ways of understanding and engaging with Destination dynamics.


Keynote speakers

Dianne Dredge


Aalborg University

It’s our backstory that defines who we are. After growing up in one of the most idyllic natural environments between reef and rainforest, and before ‘sustainability’ was even a word, the values of sustainability were imprinted on my identity. Following my passion for understanding people, places and environments, I spent 20 years as an urban, environmental and tourism planner in Australia, Canada and Mexico. But tensions between planning work under late modern capitalism and my sustainability values created a conflict between profession and self. My academic life commenced in 2002, and into this academic life I have been fortunate enough to incorporate my interest in understanding the micro-contexts of people, places and environments with an unfolding curiosity for the deep and sustained socio-cultural and political shifts that shape contemporary societies. Currently Professor of Tourism Policy and Development at Aalborg University, Denmark, my current research activities include collaborative and alternative economies, tourism social enterprise, tourism policy, networks and governance. In addition to a portfolio of books and papers covering these aspects, it is my privilege to chair the Tourism Education Futures Initiative (TEFI), a network of the most inspirational 500+ international scholars and practitioners committed to co-creating sustainable and just tourism though education and action.

Beyond Collaborative Economy Dynamics and Disruptions

Two years ago I commenced writing and coediting a book entitled Collaborative Economy and Tourism (Springer). It was published in 2017, and was the first major work attempting to conceptualise and theoreize the relevance of collaborative economy for tourism. Yet, instead of being a time to sit back and reflect, the publication of the book only heightened my curiosity about the disruptions unfolding in many destinations, and whether there was a bigger picture, a meta-narrative, that needed exploration. Without doubt, the collaborative economy is one of the most significant disruptions challenging the tourism sector, and yet, after only a year since the book’s publication, it has become apparent that there is a larger narrative, and the implications on tourism we are yet to appreciate. This presentation will reflect back on recent theoretical and practical developments in collaborative economy and its disruptive effects on destinations. It will situtate these reflections in terms of a series of increasingly critical and complex waves of research characterising collaborative economy and look forward to what is next. Known as Industry 4.0, drawing from recent research, I will explore what this means for tourism.


Jarkko Saarinen

Geography Research Unit
University of Oulu

Jarkko Saarinen is a Professor of Geography at the University of Oulu, Finland, and Distinguished Visiting Professor (Sustainability Management) at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. His research interests include tourism and development, sustainability in tourism, indigenous and cultural tourism, tourism-community relations, tourism and climate change adaptation and wilderness studies. Over the past 20 years, he has been working extensively in the rural and peripheral areas of northern (Arctic) Finland and southern Africa. His recent publications include co-edited books: Tourism Planning and Development (2018), Political Ecology and Tourism (2016) and Cultural Tourism in Southern Africa (2016).

Transforming Destinations and Sustainability: Tourism, Governance and Localities in Change

Change is a constant feature in tourism and contemporary destinations are increasingly transformed by socio-economic and political forces, systems and relations operating in a local-global nexus. In this respect, transforming tourism destinations can be understood as relational spaces connecting and creating multi-scalar processes and various actors. This is highly evident especially in the peripheries of Global North and South where evolving forms and activities of tourism and modes of development are taken place, creating change and challenges for destination structures, localities and surrounding socio-ecological systems. Due to its capacity to generate (local) change, the industry is often regarded as having a potential to provide major benefits to its destination economies and communities. Therefore, tourism is widely promoted as a tool for development and local wellbeing by policy-makers and regional developers. However, good intentions, policies and plans do not always materialise in practice. Instead, tourism industry and its growth ideology and related neoliberal logics can result negative changes and challenges for sustainability. Locally these impacts can include land use and environmental conflicts, commodification of cultural products and identities, destination enclavisation and unsustainable use of resources, for example. These kind of impacts and their relations with transforming tourism are often contextual and highly complex, which makes them challenging to theorize and analyse empirically. This presentation aims to discuss conceptually the relationships between tourism destinations, change and localities in the context of sustainability governance with theory-informed demonstrative cases examples.


Hazel Tucker

Associate Professor in Tourism
University of Otago
New Zealand

Hazel Tucker is Associate Professor in Tourism at the University of Otago, New Zealand, and specialises in the area of tourism’s influences on socio-cultural relationships and change. Originally from the UK, Hazel conducted her PhD research (Social Anthropology, University of Durham, UK) on tourism development in Cappadocia, central Turkey. Since then, Hazel has continued to be engaged in a longitudinal ethnographic study in that region of Turkey, exploring issues concerning gender and women’s involvement in tourism work, host-guest interaction and tourism representations and identity in relation to World Heritage. Other areas of Hazel’s research and publishing include colonialism/postcolonialism, tours and tour guiding, the social dynamics of commercial hospitality, and emotional and affective dimensions of tourism. She has more recently been engaged in a project on the relationship between tourism and apocalypticism. Along with a number of published articles in refereed journals and books, Hazel is author of Living With Tourism: Negotiating Identity in a Turkish Village (Routledge 2003), and co-editor of Tourism and Postcolonialism (Routledge 2004) and Commercial Homes in Tourism (Routledge (2009). Hazel is engaged in curriculum development at the postgraduate level and teaches courses on tourist culture and research methodologies, as well as leading a Masters level ethnographic fieldschool course in northern Thailand. Along with serving on the Editorial board of several journals, Hazel is a Resource Editor for Annals of Tourism Research and Co-Vice President of the RC50 International Tourism Research Committee of the International Sociological Association.

Destination Dynamics: On the unintended, unexpected and indeterminate

Much of the tourism literature focusing on tourism destinations expresses a desire to manage, plan and control so that as little as possible is left to chance. There is a view, in other words, that chance is trouble. However, in the actual dynamics of people and places in tourism there seems always to be a stirring up of ‘trouble’. In this talk, I will take up this ‘trouble’ as a focus by endeavouring to think through what it means to always try to push the trouble away, and what it would mean instead to ‘stay with the trouble’ (Haraway, 2016). Beginning by viewing destinations as sites of encounter, I will include stories of encounter in order to highlight both the serendipitous nature and the indeterminacy of encounter, both with and in tourism destinations. I will then consider the space ‘in-between’ the intended and unintended, planned and serendipitous events, and the determinate and indeterminate. I will discuss how including a focus on the accidental and seemingly incidental in our thinking about destinations, in other words staying with the trouble, is helpful in opening up new ways of understanding entanglements in destination dynamics.

Miša Novak and Dejan Križaj

Miša Novak
Head of Strategic Projects at Slovenia Tourist Board

Miša has 20 years of professional experience in tourism industry including hotel management, product development, destination strategic planning, marketing strategic planning and implementation, branding, corporate communications, sustainable management in hotels and destinations. This is complemented by facilitation skills (active member of a facilitators association) and skills of facilitating roundtables and conferences. Miša has extensive and varied experience in the tourism industry: in public sector, a consultancy firm, a hotel company, education institution and a non-government organization.

Dejan Križaj - Vice-Dean for Global Initiatives at UP Faculty of Tourism Studies Portoroz - Turistica, Slovenia

Dejan's research and publications focus on R&D in tourism and the promotion and measurement of tourism innovation. He is the co-founder of AIRTH – Alliance for Innovators and Researchers in Tourism and Hospitality. Since 2006, he is the chairman of the Slovenian National Tourism Innovation Awards Commission on behalf of Slovenia Tourist Board, and Ministry of Economic Development and Technology. His projects and innovation efforts have been internationally recognized by the UNWTO, OECD, and EU. Teaching e-tourism and tourism innovation courses at undergraduate and graduate levels.

In recent years the Slovenian tourism sector has shown some highly original sustainability and innovation related development and the simultaneous growth of Slovenia into a strong destination brand. Drawing on their hands-on experience with this work, Miša and Dejan will reveal some interesting facets to Slovenia destination dynamics line of questions and will offer a relevant contribution to fuel the academic debates at the conference. Both have deep knowledge about this process, but still, are located in different areas of and have different roles in the Slovenian ‘tourism landscape’.



Conference themes

Conference Abstracts for presentations will be invited on the following themes:

  • Post-industrial destination presents and futures
  • Platforms, networks, communities: Disruptive and regenerative tourism entrepreneurship
  • Destination transformations and intersectoral governance
  • Tourism and mobility transpositions:Hosts, guest, expats, migrants, pilgrims and intersecting trails Informal ecologies in tourism
  • Smart tourism methodologies: big data, digital crowdsourcing/PPGIS, multi-modal opportunities
  • Place making and sense of place in a globalized world, branding and geopolitics, transcultural aesthetics
  • Collaborative action research: interventions, living labs, e-governance, learning hubs, ethics of engagement, design methods, public ethnographies
  • Valuing tourism: practices of measuring, documenting, legitimizing, institutionalising and compromising
  • South-South dynamics – new theoretical and methodological perspectives
  • Taste of place – the role of food and gastronomy in branding, place making and destination development
  • De-centering tourism: emerging ‘localhoods’, temporary citizenship, mooring and other mobilities
  • Urban tourism in the Anthropocene
  • Arctic tourism - exploring liveable futures
  • Staging tourism – the politics and implications of infrastructures, designs and materialities in tourism
  • Affective geographies of tourism: sensing places and the power of the sensuous



Call for sessions


Call for sessions

Destinations are made up of dynamic relationships and interactions between places and people, which shape economic, ecological, political, cultural and social dimensions of global tourism landscapes. Constant transformative forces influence destinations at all levels, and the need to zoom in on the destination as a central tourism actor is more pressing than ever. Destinations are not passive locations for tourism activities, but are imbued with meanings, values and symbols that form dynamic constellations formed and performed by the places and people involved. Moreover, destinations not only exist locally in the settings that are place-specific, but also globally in a web of understandings that reaches beyond a destination and creates an interconnectivity between destinations based on commonalities and points of reference that actors in tourism (tourists, businesses etc.) carry across different contexts, touristic and non-touristic. These dynamic relationships frame tourism developments and change to an extent that calls for exploration of destination dynamics at a wider scale. 

The ATLAS annual conference 2018 opens up for focussed discussions of the wider scale of dynamic relationships that influence tourism development and change at multiple levels of the destination context. Through this call, we invite a wide variety of proposals for sessions that seek to explore destination dynamics in various ways. We invite proposals for sessions organised according to the headings below:

Theoretical or conceptual focus: Innovation, entrepreneurship, governance, transformation and change, mobility, co-creation, place branding, place-making, market communication, consumer behaviour, identity construction etc.
Methodological focus: Big data, smart methods, public ethnographies, living labs, action research, practice research, collaborative research etc.
Thematic/topical focus: Food tourism, smart tourism, rural/urban tourism, coastal tourism, heritage tourism, emerging markets in tourism, Arctic tourism etc.

Please submit session proposals as abstracts of max. 500 words, introducing and motivating the session, and please include contact details of the session organiser(s), so that conference organisers can get in touch with you in relation to organisational issues.

Please submit your proposal or contact before February 1st 2018.



Special tracks

The conference organizers invite proposals for organizing special tracks during the conference and encourage ATLAS Special Interest Groups and Chapters to plan meetings and workshops within or next to the conference program. Please contact before January 15th 2018 if you have any plans to organize a SIG meeting or a project meeting during this conference



Special track 1

Event platforms, networks and communities: Making time and space to link people
Special Track of the ATLAS Conference 2018

Copenhagen, 26-29 September 2018, organized by the ATLAS Events Group

Events increasingly act as occasions that bring people together, on a local, national and global scale. Events are usually thought of as moments of shared physical co-presence, but increasingly the addition of online elements to events to extend the range and reach of physical events also means that events become virtual communities as well. This topic has been touched upon by the ATLAS Events Group in some previous meetings, and the growing role of ritual in supporting communities has been a common theme in previous publications (Richards, de Brito and Wilks, 2013, Richards, Marques and Mein, 2014).

In this special track we would like to link to a major theme of the 2018 ATLAS Conference in Copenhagen conference by examining the role of events as platforms, networks and communities. Because of their power as temporal markers and social catalysts, events are increasingly being used by places as a means to attract attention, form networks and build communities. This is of importance not just in terms of developing social cohesion in the contemporary network society, but also for the value creation activities of enterprises and the place promotion campaigns of public authorities.

Events can arguably become a key element of ‘city as platform’ strategies that provide opportunities for residents, businesses and visitors to link themselves to place, co-create value  and kick-start innovation. The potential development of platforms can include IT based applications to gather information and distribute knowledge, but they can also arise out of the temporary clusters provided by events themselves. Examples include the development of ‘field configuring events’ such as international forums and global cultural festivals. These in turn link to global and local networks and the dispersed communities that cluster around themes of mutual interest. We are particularly interested in examining how events can act as the drivers for the development of such networks and communities, both as moments of physical co-presence during events, but also as dispersed communities created and supported by events elsewhere.

Potential themes include:

  • Online/offline communities
  • Co-creation processes in events
  • Events as animators of city  or place-based platforms
  • Events as place ritual
  • The development of ‘event careers’ as a means to support communities
  • The use of events to support (global) business development
  • Field configuring events and their associated networks and communities

More information about the Events Experience Project and the ATLAS Events Group can be found on

All abstracts will be subject to double-blind review by members of the scientific committee. Acceptance of a submission will be based on: theoretical and empirical significance; methodological soundness; relevance to the theme of the conference and logical clarity. The official language of the conference is English. Abstracts should be submitted via the ATLAS website using the abstract form provided.

For any further questions, please contact Greg Richards ( 



Special track 2

Innovation and entrepreneurship: Creating and exploiting opportunities to develop sustainable destinations

Track convenors:
Florian Zach – AIRTH, Washington State University, USA
Dejan Krizaj – AIRTH, University of Primorska, Slovenia

Track management:
This track is managed by AIRTH (Alliance for Innovators and Researchers in Tourism and Hospitality). Its mission is to foster interdisciplinary collaboration to develop and implement innovations that contribute to the sustainable development of destinations and tourism & hospitality businesses. AIRTH was created in 2017 and had its first conference 2017 in Slovenia. AIRTH was asked to collaborate with ATLAS to provide a special track, which we are happy to do as we believe that innovation and entrepreneurship are crucial for dynamic and sustainable destinations. Visit for more information.

Innovation is generally understood as an activity critical for the success of firms and destinations. Similarly, entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial initiatives, especially from small and medium sized businesses, builds the backbone of travel experiences at most tourism destinations. As such, both innovation and entrepreneurship are ideal themes to be discussed and elaborated under the ATLAS 2018 theme of “Destination Dynamics”. Indeed, innovation in destinations usually requires a combination of entrepreneurial spirit and inter-organizational relationships with stakeholders to develop and implement successful innovations.

The interdisciplinary nature of tourism invites innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities from multiple sources. This special track centered on innovation and entrepreneurship is thus open to contributions from a broad academic field. As such we welcome submission that contribute to our understanding of innovation and entrepreneurship, that unravel “secrets of success”, that inform on failure, and that generally link innovation and entrepreneurship with sustainable destination development. Since we aim for such a broad set of contributions we believe that the below list of topics is not exhaustive, but rather, that it is understood as a first take to link innovation and entrepreneurship in tourism with sustainability.

Potential themes:

  • New service & product development
  • Innovation management
  • Business models
  • Co-creation with customers and stakeholders
  • Organizational setting enabling and facilitating innovation
  • Information technologies
  • Development of sustainable innovations
  • Destination and stakeholder networks
  • Contributions from various points of view are welcome (sociology, anthropology, business, geography etc.)

All abstracts will be subject to double-blind review by members of the scientific committee. Acceptance of a submission will be based on: theoretical and empirical significance; methodological soundness; relevance to the theme of the conference and logical clarity. The official language of the conference is English. Abstracts should be submitted via the ATLAS website using the abstract form provided.

Contributions to the innovation and entrepreneurship track will be reviewed by AIRTH members.



Special track 3

Mobility clashes at tourism destinations

Track convenors:
Antonio Paolo Russo, University Rovira i Virgili
Iride Azara, University of Derby Buxton
Chiara Rabbiosi, Alma Mater University of Bologna

An expert meeting of the ATLAS ‘Space Place Mobilities in Tourism’ Special Interest Group

This special track, organised under the aegis of the ‘Space, Place and Mobilities in Tourism’ SIG, invites contributions which present conceptual, methodological and empirical advances in research on tourist places as shaped / negotiated / transformed through the intervention of multiple tourism mobilities, both human and non-human.

We are especially keen on bridging the gap between technical analyses (of mobility patterns, geographies, impacts) using a variety of methodological approaches, and the political economy of place development underlining relations of agency, dominance and contestation between the plurality of actors navigating the destination.

It is thus a strongly inter-disciplinary session situated at the crossroads of emerging ‘turns’ in social sciences such as mobilities, the relational turn, gendered approaches, and the critical and radical studies of place.

We thus welcome high quality abstracts on a variety of themes, including:

  • Tracking and making sense of encounters and relations between different mobilities in the urban space
  • Tourist practices and processes of material and symbolic dispossession
  • Otherness and mimesis at tourism destinations: mobilising identities
  • The mobility clash: discourses of contestation and resistance
  • What’s yours is mine – the rhetoric of collaborative tourism and its semantic (de)construction
  • The political economy of urban mobilities: policing the city ‘for’ tourists 
  • Urban welfare and tourism – from conflicts to synergies
  • Planning for the inclusive destination: towards a ‘procommons’ agenda

The organiser of this session will actively seek for publication opportunities with high-impact journals or book publishers. He will also make sure that the session will be followed up through active engagement of the participants in the ‘Space Place Mobilities’ SIG.

All abstracts will be subject to double-blind review by members of the scientific committee. Acceptance of a submission will be based on: theoretical and empirical significance; methodological soundness; relevance to the theme of the conference and logical clarity. The official language of the conference is English. Abstracts should be submitted via the ATLAS website using the abstract form.

For any further questions, please contact Anotonio Paolo Russo at or the ATLAS Secretariat at



Special track 4


Special track 4

The influence of ethical and moral concern on the dynamics of tourism development

Session convenor:
Andrew Holden, Professor of Environment and Tourism, University of Bedfordshire, England

The lens of ethics is increasingly been turned towards tourism’s interactions with the social and environmental dynamics of destinations. Issues of anthropic concern relating to the social and cultural impacts of tourism including interactions between tourists and communities, employers and workers, rest juxtaposed those of environmental ethics as tourism has increasing impacts on nature. These ethical issues reflect tourism stakeholders’ relationships with nature that play out against the types of values recognised within the environment, our recognition of its interests and a right to existence. Examples of issues of environmental ethics include the use of animals in the industry, bio-diversity loss, pollution and climate change. Ethical dynamics thus embraces a range of anthropic, anthropocentric and anthropogenic concerns that are played out with the destination arena. Ethical perspectives on the interplay of tourism with cultural and natural environments ultimately influence our determination of moral issues and have subsequent consequences for the dynamics of tourism planning and development. The spatial dynamics of ethical concern are however not restricted to the geographically defined boundaries of the destination as other issues that include the abuse of power of political economy or climate change emphasise the inter-connectivity of environments within the global system.

The focus of this session is to subsequently explore the dynamics of ethical relationships that play out within the geographically determined conceptual limits of a destination but also extend their interconnectivity spatially across social and physical environments, e.g. ethical issues of political economy and tourism; and climate change. Academic contributions are sought that add to the relatively nascent theoretical and methodological focus of the application of ethics to situations that arise from tourism. The context of this session will embrace ethical concerns and dilemmas that relate to the interaction of anthropic relationships and also ones with the natural environment that are played out through tourism. The development of theoretical frameworks for the application of ethics and environmental ethics to tourism is encouraged as is the presentation of case studies based on a theoretical framework of ethics. Consideration of how ethical developments in society, e.g. human and environmental rights will influence the dynamics of tourism into the future is welcomed. An aim of this session will be to found a working group of scholars who specialise in the application of ethics to tourism with the objective of identifying opportunities for future collaborative academic co-operation.

All abstracts will be subject to double-blind review by members of the scientific committee. Acceptance of a submission will be based on: theoretical and empirical significance; methodological soundness; relevance to the theme of the conference and logical clarity. The official language of the conference is English. Abstracts should be submitted via the ATLAS website using the abstract form.



Special track 5


Special track 5

Tourism and Collaborative Learning in Transnational Contexts

Session convenors:

  • Dianne Dredge, Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Vibeke Andersson
  • Helene Balslev Clausen
  • Giang Phi
  • Jonathan Day
  • Jochen Hoffman
  • Karla Boluk


This session seeks to leverage the Tourism Education Futures Initiative (TEFI) network to present a series of interlinked papers that explores transnational dimensions of tourism, education and research that has real, on-the-ground impacts.

TEFI represents an inclusive tourism network of educators, researchers, industry actors and community members. It is a social movement comprised of people who seek to progress an alternative type of tourism that is sustainable and just, that delivers blended social, economic and environmental value, and that promotes vibrant flourishing communities.

Our ambition is to move beyond business as usual, exploitative and extractive industrial approaches to tourism. We seek to create spaces of knowledge sharing and co-creation between industry and practice and we look upon education as a two-way link that moves us towards evidence-based tourism policy, planning, place-making and collective ownership of tourism development.

The distinguishing feature of TEFI-ites is that they care for much more than publication metrics and citations. We believe that long term sustainability must be involve holistic approaches and that tourism is intimately bound up in a larger and more complex world which we cannot divorce ourselves from.

This track will cohere around a number of interrelated topics including:

  • TEFI walking workshops as learning, reflecting and capacity building
  • Tourism social enterprise and micro-finance
  • Education and knowledge dynamics for just and sustainable tourism
  • Tourism and transnational brokerage
  • Tourism, values and responsibility

All abstracts will be subject to double-blind review by members of the scientific committee. Acceptance of a submission will be based on: theoretical and empirical significance; methodological soundness; relevance to the theme of the conference and logical clarity. The official language of the conference is English. Abstracts should be submitted via the ATLAS website using the abstract form.



Special track 6


Special track 6

Knowledge Co-creation and Destination Dynamics in Heritage Tourism

Track convenor:
Dr Chin-Ee Ong, National University of Singapore, ICOMOS Singapore
Dr Sharif Shams Imon, Institute for Tourism Studies, Macao, ICOMOS Bangladesh

Destinations are often active agents for the co-production of various sets of tourism knowledge and their corresponding arrays of dissemination, capacity-building and education channels. We see these in forms of conservation, training and education programmes funded by UNWTO, UNESCO and other international agencies and NGOs. Destination communities have also come together to resist, negotiate and/or co-create knowledges of their heritage tourism worlds. From tour guiding scripts for an ancient Angkorian temple to conservation guidelines for a thriving plot of mangrove, heritage tourism knowledge production and distribution have commonly been thought of as ‘value-free’ and straightforward capacity-building endeavours. However, they have increasingly been seen as collaborative, networked, political, transnational and multiscalar processes (Hollinshead, 1999; Ong, Ryan and McIntosh, 2014, Winter, 2015).

In this special track, we will explore the role of cultural and natural heritage tourism knowledge (co)production and distribution in destination changes. We are also interested in the role of communities, conservationists, heritage managers, tourism experts and other actors in such abovementioned processes.

Potential themes include:

  • Role of knowledge (co)production and distribution in destination change
  • Production and consumption of heritage, tourism and heritage tourism knowledge and their interplay with destination dynamics
  • Social justice, neo-liberalism, power-knowledge, politics of representation in heritage and tourism education content
  • ‘Buzzwords’ and tourism education (eg. sustainability, resilience, pro-poor, community-based) and their implications for destination dynamics
  • Quality assurance and control, effective communication, pedagogic techniques, technologies and paradigms in academic and professional tourism and heritage education
  • Tourism and education programmes in degree granting institutions
  • Site manager training for UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Tour(ist) guide, docent and heritage interpreter training
  • The role of tourism schools in their communities and destinations

All abstracts will be subject to double-blind review by members of the scientific committee. Acceptance of a submission will be based on: theoretical and empirical significance; methodological soundness; relevance to the theme of the conference and logical clarity. The official language of the conference is English. Abstracts should be submitted via the ATLAS website using the abstract form.

Hollinshead, K. (1999). Surveillance of the worlds of tourism: Foucault and the eye-of-power. Tourism Management, 20(1), 7-23.
Ong, C. E., Ryan, C. and McIntosh, A. (2014) Power-Knowledge and Tour-Guide Training: Capitalistic Domination, Utopian Visions and the Creation of UNESCO’s Homo-Turismos in Macao, Annals of Tourism Research, 48: 221-234.
Winter, T. (2015) Heritage Diplomacy, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 21 (10): 997-1015.



Special track 7


Special track 7

Mobility, decent work and destinations

Track convenor:
Tara Duncan, Jörgen Elbe, Anna Gudmundsson Hillman
Dalarna University, Sweden

There is existing and growing literature concerning the importance of tourism employment in general and to destinations specifically. At the same time, management and economic perspectives still dominate (Ladkin, 2011); there are very valid concerns about the challenges and possibilities of migrant labour in and for tourism (Joppe, 2012); and perhaps most frustratingly, there remains a lack of progress in dealing with the many, continued, human resource issues in tourism and hospitality (Baum, 2007; 2015).

On the other hand, there are positive movements of change regarding work more generally. Embedded within the Sustainable Development Goals and a focus of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the concept of ‘decent work’ is taking hold (ILO, n.d.). Alongside this is the growing field of sustainable human resource management, and specifically its incorporation into tourism (Baum, 2018; Baum et al. 2016). As recent research suggests (Baum et al. 2016; Kramer, 2014), this links with corporate social responsibility and advocates a focus on the tourism employee, the host community and the tourist.

Taking a sustainable work perspective, this call for papers aims to consider the interplay between issues of mobility, ideas of decent work, and the needs of destinations. Following the conference theme, the purpose of this session is to be a space for conversations about the places and people of tourism. This session invites contributions that engage with these debates through the following areas (this is an indicative rather than exhaustive list):

  • (sustainable) tourism employment as central to communities, destinations, and regions
  • decent work and tourism
  • tourism work and sustainability
  • mobile work within tourism
  • mobility, immobility, sustainability and tourism work
  • employment, work, and labour within tourism
  • interplays between the local, the worker and the tourist
  • destinations and tourism work

All abstracts will be subject to double-blind review by members of the scientific committee. Acceptance of a submission will be based on: theoretical and empirical significance; methodological soundness; relevance to the theme of the conference and logical clarity. The official language of the conference is English. Abstracts should be submitted via the ATLAS website using the abstract form.

Baum, T. 2018. Sustainable human resource management as a driver in tourism policy and planning: a serious sin of omission? Journal of Sustainable Tourism. DOI 10.1080/09669582.2017.1423318.
Baum, T. 2015. Human resources in tourism: still waiting for change? A 2015 reprise. Tourism Management. 50, 204–212.
Baum, T. 2007. Human resources in tourism: still waiting for change. Tourism Management, 28(6), 1383-1399.
Baum, T., Cheung, C., Kong, H., Kralj, A., Mooney, S., Thi Thanh, N., Ramachandran, S. & Ružic Siow, M. 2016. Sustainability and the tourism and hospitality workforce: A thematic analysis. Sustainability, 8, 809.
International Labour Organisation. n.d. Retreived from
Joppe, M. 2012. Migrant workers: Challenges and opportunities in addressing tourism labour shortages. Tourism Mangement, 33(3), 662-671.
Kramar, R. 2014. Beyond strategic human resource management: Is sustainable human resource management the next approach? International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25, 1069–1089.
Ladkin, A. 2011. Exploring tourism labour. Annals of Tourism Research. 38(3), 1135-1155.



Special track 8


Special track 8

Destination Evolution: Place Dynamics Beyond the Evolution of Tourism Activity

Track convenor:
Salvador Anton Clavé,
Cinta Sanz-Ibáñez,
Rovira i Virgili University, Spain

Tourism destinations are dynamic systems and, as such, gaining comprehensive
understanding on how and why their transformations occur over time is a complex issue
that has stimulated academic debates and growing concerns in policy-making.
The complex processes of change that transform the configuration of tourism
destinations and shape their evolutionary trajectories and performance in the long run
respond to diverse catalytic factors—economic, social, political, historical and
ecological. Those factors cannot only be understood by traditional life-cycle-based
models mainly focused on analyzing the evolution of tourism. Destinations can be
approach as places with economic, urban and residential functions.

The adoption of concepts and approaches from diverse disciplines to tackle destination
evolution has become increasingly visible in recent years. These strands of research
represent a significant advance in understanding tourism destination transformation
using non-linear and non-deterministic lenses through which to analyse and
conceptualise the complexity and nuanced characteristics of destination evolutionary

This session seeks to open up discussions around theoretical and empirical works based in local and regional development contexts and focused, among others, on the
following potential themes:

  • Evolutionary economic geography approaches applied to a tourism geography
  • context: complexity, path dependence, path creation, path plasticity, coevolution.
  • Adaptive cycles, panarchy, resilience and destination sustainable development.
  • Network dynamics in the evolution of destinations.
  • Cultural political economy and urban restructuring.

All abstracts will be subject to double-blind review by members of the scientific committee. Acceptance of a submission will be based on: theoretical and empirical significance; methodological soundness; relevance to the theme of the conference and logical clarity. The official language of the conference is English. Abstracts should be submitted via the ATLAS website using the abstract form.



Special track 9


Special track 9

Soft skills in tourism and leisure: education and research challenges for a new generation


Track convenor:
Sheena Carlisle, Cardiff Metropolitan University, United Kingdom
Greg Richards, Breda University, The Netherlands
Alexandra Correia, Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, Portugal

ATLAS is participating in two major EU project: the Next Tourism Generation Alliance (NTG) project and the INCOME tourism, which both aims to understand the skills development needs of the tourism sector, particularly in relation to ‘soft skills’ and links to social sustainability criteria in tourism. The development of the experience economy and the demand for more engaging and creative tourism and leisure experiences has shifted attention from the ‘hard’ or more technical skills that were central in the service industries, towards the social, empathetic and emotional skills required to support successful experience development. In some ways this can be seen as a recognition of the importance of skills that have long been undervalued by the industry, even though the problems that this has caused have long been recognized.

A 2005 report by CEDEFOP noted that tourism employees were much in demand in other sectors because of their transversal and soft skills, leading to a drain of talented employees (Strietska-Ilinanand Tessaring, 2005).

In many recent publications related to occupational skills and competences, soft skills have been highlighted as a source of competitive advantage and a support for employability (OECD, 2015). However, this faces the industry and academia with a number of new challenges. One of the first is how to define and measure soft skills, particularly in order to identify apparent ‘skills gaps’. As Cinque (2016) has noted, “There are various ways of naming soft skills, also called social skills, transversal competences, social competences, generic competences, even basic and life skills. Some authors identify soft skills with EI (Emotional Intelligence)”. In the NTG project employer and employee soft skills are defined as behavioural and practical attitudinal competences in interpersonal communication; cross-cultural understanding; gender equality; customer service orientation. Soft skills also include managing personal relationships, understanding the feelings of others, cooperating with others, showing a positive attitude, showing respect, making appropriate contact and active listening.  Such skills also reflect the need for more social inclusion in tourism and the recognition of needs of marginalised groups such as ethnic minorities, destination residents and those with disabilities.

Another issue is how the rapidly changing nature of the tourism and leisure experience and attitudes of industry managers will affect skills needs, for example in  terms of the integrated relationship between social and digital skills; cultural and historical sensitivity within tourism interpretation methods; empathy and protection of the natural resources and environment; the development of a more collaborative economy and attitudes towards urban and rural regeneration.  In this special track we want to focus not only on questions of how to define and measure soft skills and emerging skills gaps, but also on effective methods of teaching, training and application for such skills and the wider implications of the shifting skills agenda. Baker and O’Brien (2017) argue that there is a need to extend our thinking on soft skills, through critical, alternative and post‐modern approaches.

We would therefore welcome contributions to this Special Track that considers effective practice, the challenges and implications of the development of soft skills in tourism and leisure: Topics of particular interest include:

  • The identification of gaps related to soft skills in tourism and leisure
  • The relationship between hard and soft skills
  • Effective methods of training or teaching (nurturing) soft skill sets
  • Comparison of the need for soft skills in different settings (locations, sectors, activities, groups)
  • The requirement of experience providers to engage in emotional labour
  • The gendered nature of ‘soft’ skills, often associated with feminine attributes and ‘hard’ skills being linked with masculine traits
  • How can soft skills be taught or learned and consequently evaluated?
  • How can employers promote and develop soft skills among their staff?
  • How can soft skills be developed through public policy approaches?

All abstracts will be subject to double-blind review by members of the scientific committee. Acceptance of a submission will be based on: theoretical and empirical significance; methodological soundness; relevance to the theme of the conference and logical clarity. The official language of the conference is English. Abstracts should be submitted via the ATLAS website using the abstract form.

Baker, M. and O’Brien, W. (2017)   National ‘soft skills’ training: Investigating soft skill training in the outdoor recreation sector. Blue Mountains, NSW: Lamped Research.
Cinque, M. (2016)  “Lost in translation”. Soft skills development in European countries. Turning Journal, 3(2) (2016).
OECD (2015) Skills for social progress: The power of social and emotional skills. Paris: OECD.
Strietska-Ilina, O. and Tessaring, M. (2005) Trends and skill needs in tourism. Cedefop Panorama series; 115. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.



PhD event

PhD seminar, Wednesday 26 September 2018
9.00 - 17.00

You can find the PROVISIONAL PROGRAMME for the PhD seminar HERE



Interventions: Tourism, Politics and the prospects of change

The landscape of tourism seems to change faster than ever before. This beckons new creative and critical research that address the notion of ‘change’ and its implications on the social, cultural, environmental, economical, technological and managerial dimensions of tourism. This PhD course is aimed at PhD students within areas such as tourism and leisure studies, cultural studies, mobility studies, political science, human geography, sociology and anthropology. Under the theme “Interventions: Tourism, Politics and the prospects of change” we consider how research can be both driven by change, and work as a driver of change in tourism across scales ranging from local neighborhoods to destinations and global systems.

How do we study the complex networks that both shape and hinder change in practice? How is change itself a contested ‘vision’, rooted and in deep ideologies, personal experiences, values and constantly up for negotiation? Responding to these complex ‘questions of change’ requires an open mind set, agile theoretical concepts and creative methodical approaches. In this PhD course we strive to share ideas, co-create leaning and discuss issues related to ‘research on/for change’ and ‘methods that change’ in relation to tourism.

The course will draw on a fair amount of both conceptual and empirical readings. The course lecturers will present their own research and link this to the participant’s projects. A modest amount of reading prior to the course is to be expected as well as each participant is asked to be able shortly to present their research project in the light of the course theme and the selected readings.


  • Martin Trandberg Jensen, assistant professor, Aalborg University.
  • Orvar Löfgren, professor emeritus, Lund University.
  • Hazel Tucker, associate professor, University of Otago


Participants are expected to be enrolled as PhD students within fields related to tourism, mobility, recreation, leisure, hospitality, cultural studies or similar. Students at all stages of their project are welcome. In order to apply for the seminar, the student must send a research reflection paper (1000-2500 words). The paper must reflect on some of the central and most challenging issues related to working with ‘change’ in your doctoral research (e.g. ethically, theoretically, empirically, methodically). The paper may work around questions such as: What research strategies are used to deal with expectations, pressures and uncertainties of working with change in your research? What values and rationales guide the ‘change’ that you either study or seek to drive? For whom is this change important? Why? What is your own ethical position in relation to change-oriented research? The participant papers will form part of the discussions during the PhD event. By sharing the challenges and opportunities of working with different conceptualizations of change, and change-driven involvements, we strive to foster a space for understanding and targeting the future components of change-oriented tourism research. 

Who should apply

Participants should be enrolled as PhD students within fields related to tourism, mobility, recreation, leisure, hospitality, cultural studies or similar. Students at all stages of their PhD are welcome.

To gain two ECTS credit: Send a research reflection paper (1000-2500 words) to The paper must reflect on some of the central and most challenging issues related to working with ‘change’ in your doctoral research (e.g. ethically, theoretically, empirically, methodically). The paper may work around questions such as: What research strategies are used to deal with expectations, pressures and uncertainties of working with change in your research? What values and rationales guide the ‘change’ that you either study or seek to drive? For whom is this change important? Why? What is your own ethical position in relation to change-oriented research? All submissions should be in English and submitted in Word format.


Please send you research reflection paper to
Deadline for research reflection papers: 31st May 2018.


The event is free of charge for all qualified applications who are also attending the ATLAS annual conference, which will start the day after the PhD seminar. Max seats: 15 (first come, first served). The seminar includes materials, coffee break and light snacks. An evening activity will be planned (self-payment).
Please register making use of the conference registration form here.


A.C. Meyers Vænge 15, Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark. 2.1.025 (in the ‘Globe’ corridor)



Abstract submission

All abstracts will be subject to double-blind review by members of the scientific committee. Acceptance of a submission will be based on: theoretical and empirical significance; methodological soundness; relevance to the theme of the conference and logical clarity. The official language of the conference is English.

Abstracts should be submitted to ATLAS by using this form before April 30th 2018.

Abstracts should indicate background, theoretical/practical implications, methods and/or data sources and indicative findings of the paper. Abstracts should have between 350-500 words. The title should be no more than 12 words. Authors should also indicate which conference topic their proposed paper relates to.


Important dates

Abstract submission :

March 1st, 2018
March 31st, 2018
April 30th, 2018

Notification of acceptance :

April 1st, 2018
May 1st, 2018
June 1st, 2018

Extended abstract submission : June 12th, 2018
PhD seminar : September 26th, 2018
Conference : September 27-29th, 2018
Full paper submission : November 29th, 2018



Publication details

All abstracts (max 500 words) and extended abstract/working papers (max 2000 words) will be published in the abstract book. This abstract book (with ISBN) will be sent to all registered participants before the conference, in PDF format.

Submission date for the extended abstracts / working papers (max 2000 words) is May 10th 2017 and should be submitted to ATLAS in MS WORD by e-mail attachment to

Delegates are welcome to submit their full papers AFTER the conference. We are very happy we have been able to develop multiple ways to publish the papers:

Papers will be considered to be published in a special issue of:
International Journal of Tourism Cities (
European Journal of Tourism Research (
The Scientific Committee will decide on which papers will be considered for these special issues.

Papers that are not considered for the three journals above will be considered for publication in the ATLAS Review - The ATLAS Review gives ATLAS members and participants of the ATLAS conference and meeting participants a platform to publish the papers they have presented. The editing will be carried out by an editorial board / field editors.



Scientific committee

    Helene Balslev Klausen – Aalborg University, Denmark
    Dianne Dredge – Aalborg University, Denmark
    Rene van der Duim – Wageningen University, The Netherlands  
    Tara Duncan – Dalarna University, Sweden
    Szilvia Gyimóthy – Aalborg University, Denmark
    Kevin Hannam - Middlesex University Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Laura James – Aalborg University, Denmark
    Alžbeta Kiralova – University College of Business in Prague, Czech Republic
    Dejan Krizaj – AIRTH, University of Primorska, Slovenia
    Karina Madsen Smed – Aalborg University, Denmark
    Carina Ren – Aalborg University, Denmark
    Greg Richards – NHTV Breda, The Netherlands
    Antonio Paolo Russo – University Rovira i Virgili, Spain
    Martin Trandberg Jensen – Aalborg University, Denmark
    Florian Zach – AIRTH, Washington State University, USA



Provisional programme



Conference packages


Packages: ATLAS members Non-Members
  • Conference Materials
  • Welcome reception Wednesday
  • Coffee breaks
  • 3 lunches
  • Conference dinner Friday
€ 305
€ 400
Doctoral students
  • Conference Materials
  • Welcome reception Wednesday
  • Coffee breaks
  • 3 lunches
€ 185
€ 235
Conference dinner
€ 70
€ 70
  • Welcome reception Wednesday
  • Conference dinner Friday
€ 75
€ 75



Cancellation policy

If written cancellation is received before September 10st 2018, a refund of all meeting fees will be made, minus an administration fee of € 50. No refund will be possible after September 10st 2018, but substitute delegates can be nominated.


Conference venues

The Conference will take place at two locations:

Wednesday and Thursday:
Tourism Research Unit at Aalborg University
A.C.Meyers Vænge 15
2450 Copenhagen

Friday and Saturday:
Scandic Sydhavnen Hotel
Sydhavns Pl. 15
2450 Copenhagen




Conference organisers

The Conference will be organised by Aalborg University in Copenhagen


AIRTH – the Alliance for Innovators and Researchers in Tourism and Hospitality – encourages contributions that strive to better understand innovation as a cornerstone of economic development. Contributions should align with the vision of AIRTH; that is: Understand, develop and implement tourism & hospitality innovations that sustainably create value for tourism, destination societies and businesses on Earth and beyond.
More information at:



The conference is also made possible by:




On Friday and Saturday the conference will take place at Scandic Sydhavnen Hotel, Sydhavns Pl. 15, 2450 Copenhagen, Denmark. We have pre-booked rooms at Scandic Sydhavnen Hotel for a special rate for conference delegates.


We have also negotiated (modest) 10% discount with three hotels centrally located in the area:

You can follow the link as you book, mentioning you are participating at the ATLAS conference. The rooms can be booked and cancelled right up until the day of arrival.

Furthermore there are plenty of hotels in all different rates which can be booked via the usual booking sites.




Here you can find information on how to reach the conference venue at Aalborg University in Copenhagen.


Here you can find information on how to reach the conference venue at Scandic Sydhavnen Hotel in Copenhagen.


For more information on Copenhagen, please visit:




  • Contact
    Please contact: e-mail
  • Registration
    Submit this form to register for the conference.
  • Abstract submission form
    Submit this form to submit an abstract for the conference.


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