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What are the Objectives of ATLAS?

  • To promote the teaching of tourism, leisure and related subjects.
  • To encourage the exchange of staff and students between member institutions.
  • To promote links between professional bodies in tourism, leisure and associated subjects and to liaise on educational issues, curriculum development and professional recognition of courses.
  • To promote transnational research which helps to underpin the development of appropriate curricula for transnational education.


What does ATLAS do?

ATLAS promotes links between member institutions through regular meetings and information exchange. The main activities of ATLAS are:

  • Organising conferences on issues in tourism and leisure education and research. Regional conferences are also held in Africa and the Asia-Pacific region;
  • Information services and publications, including the ATLAS website, member portal and the yearbook ATLAS Reflections;
  • Designing and coordinating curriculum development projects under the SOCRATES programme;
  • Running international courses, such as the ATLAS Winter University in Europe and the Summer Course in Asia;
  • Organisation of and participation in transnational research projects, for example on cultural tourism and sustainable tourism, and information technology;
  • Research publications and reports.

ATLAS is also represented at regional and local level by sections such as ATLAS Europe, ATLAS Asia-Pacific, ATLAS Africa, ATLAS Latin America and ATLAS Middle East. ATLAS Europe was founded in 1991, and still attracts the bulk of ATLAS members. Other sections are growing rapidly, however. ATLAS Asia-Pacific, established in 1997, has staged conferences in Indonesia and China, Japan and New Zealand. ATLAS Africa was launched in 1998 and held its inaugural conference in 2000 in Mombasa Kenya and since then in Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Botswana and Rwanda. ATLAS Latin America held its first conference in 2017 in Recife, Brazil. The regional sections of ATLAS have developed their own programme of activities and publications to respond more closely to the specific needs of members located in these regions and those with related research interests. Membership of ATLAS regional associations and special interest sections of ATLAS is open to all ATLAS members.


ATLAS Special Interest Groups

Members of ATLAS can form Special Interest Groups (SIG's) related to specific education and research topics or for specific geographical areas. SIG's run research programmes and can organise special events and publications related to their area of interest. The current special interest groups are:



What are the benefits of Membership?

  • Regular mailings of information, including updates on ATLAS projects, conferences, meetings, publications and other activities.
  • Access to the ATLAS Member Portal on Internet with exclusive access code.
  • The annual ATLAS conference, which provide an opportunity to network with other members.
  • Conferences organised by regional associations, such as ATLAS Asia-Pacific and ATLAS Africa.
  • ATLAS members can participate in a wide range of projects run by ATLAS in the areas of tourism and leisure education and research.
  • ATLAS members are listed on the ATLAS homepage, giving teachers and students easy access to information about your institution via Internet.
  • ATLAS members have access to research information gathered through ATLAS international projects.
  • Distribution of information about your programmes, projects and products via the ATLAS mailing list.
  • ATLAS members are entitled to substantial discounts on ATLAS conference fees and selected ATLAS publications.


Information lists?

The ATLAS information list is open to all staff members of a member institution. ATLAS sends information to this list to update the members about its activities and to inform them about other relevant information related to tourism, leisure, education and research. The members can also use this list to distribute information about upcoming events, publications, research proposals, etc. To read more about this list and about the lists of the Special Interest Groups, please click here.


How is ATLAS organised?

ATLAS is co-ordinated by Tara Duncan who is situated at Dalarna University in Falun, Sweden. ATLAS is run by a secretariat based in Arnhem, the Netherlands, which is accountable to the ATLAS executive, elected from the ATLAS membership.

The elected executive members are currently:

  • Tara Duncan (Coordinator/chair)
  • ... (Vice Chair/secretary)
  • Greg Richards (Treasurer/Publication coordinator)
  • Antonio Paulo Russo (Coordinator publications and surveys)
  • Carina Ren (Coordinator PhD colloquium)
  • Ilja Simons (Coordinator Special Interest Groups)
  • Vacancy (Coordinator Multi Media)
  • Emmanuel Akwasi Adu-Ampong
  • Silvia Aulet Serrallonga (Coordinator student chapter)
  • Vacancy (Coordinator ATLAS Africa)
  • Kevin Hannam (Coordinator ATLAS Asia)
  • Alžbeta Kiralova (Coordinator ATLAS Europe)
  • Willem Coetzee (Coordinator ATLAS Oceania)
  • Vacancy (Coordinator ATLAS Middle East)
  • Daniel Barrera-Fernández (Coordinator ATLAS Latin America)

All full members of ATLAS are eligible to stand as candidates for the executive and the boards of the regional associations.


ATLAS advisory board


New ATLAS Advisory Board

As part of the 30th Anniversary, ATLAS has installed an Advisory Board. The main task is to strategically advise ATLAS and to recommend and develop potential new revenue streams. One of the first outputs of this new Advisory Board was the launch of an ATLAS thesis prize. Current members of this Advisory Board are former chairs and members of the ATLAS Board: Melanie Smith, Carlos Fernandes, Rob Davidson, Ana Goytia Pratt, John Swarbrooke en Rene van der Duim.

The workings of the Advisory Board will be evaluated after 2 years. If you have any suggestions for the future direction of ATLAS or ideas for increasing revenues, please contact the Advisory Board by sending an email to


Joining ATLAS

Who can join?

ATLAS membership is open to bona-fide educational institutions and professional bodies with educational, research or professional interests in tourism, leisure and related areas.

How much does it cost?

The 2021 annual fee for ATLAS full members is € 325. For organisations situated in countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America the fee will be € 200. Patron members pay a fee of € 500.

Patron membership

In 2004 the patron membership was introduced for institutions that are highly involved in ATLAS and therefore benefit much more than other members from the membership with for instance discounts on ATLAS conferences. Another reason to become a patron member could be if an institution has a lot of people involved in the Special Interest Groups. The patron membership is voluntarily. Extra benefits of this patron package are a direct link via the institution's logo on the first page of the ATLAS website and one free copy of all new publications published by ATLAS.

How can you join?

Simply complete and submit an application form here...

How to end membership?

ATLAS membership will be renewed automatically each year. Membership can be terminated by the member notified in writing at the end of the financial (=calendar) year. More details about the membership and the association can also be found in the ATLAS Constitution.



You can read the ATLAS Constitution here.


Association for Tourism and Leisure Education
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