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ATLAS Special Interest Group
Climate Change and Tourism



Contact details

The contact persons for this research group are:



Ioanna Farsari

  Dalarna University




Climate change has come as a disruption to our usual practices. Social movements and activism such as the Friday school strike has brought it to the everyday discussions. Climate change has challenged also tourism scholars to think outside their local territories to accommodate issues of global social and environmental change (Espiner et al., 2017). In spite of its alarming nature and tourism’s contribution to climate change, tourism remains the sector with the least responsiveness in taking measures to mitigate its carbon footprint (Scott et al., 2016).

The SIG is developed on the understanding of the mutual effects of Tourism on climate change and vice versa, of climate change onto tourism. It acknowledges also the inter and trans disciplinary character of the research on the field and invites contributions from a variety of fields, disciplines, and expertise to encourage the development of shared research agendas which manage to capture the complexity of CC and tourism.

It also acknowledges the accuracy of the matter and the need to relate to stakeholders, policy makers and the wider public in an effort to develop relevant research as well as to disseminate research results to a wider audience for a greater impact. Knowledge sharing and co-creation are deemed important and this SIG aims to offer a fertile ground for the encouragement of collaborations and the development of new, creative, and innovative research.


Provide a forum for networking and information and ideas exchange with the objectives to:

  • Foster international cooperation and develop research on the field
  • Organise meetings and events to share knowledge, information and expertise
  • Produce publications on the topic
  • Invite collaboration with tourism stakeholders
  • Communicate knowledge and research produced within the group to the academic community, the wider public and tourism practitioners
  • Encourage the integration of produced knowledge to tourism education

Key topics

  • Climate change and resilience in the social, natural, economic and institutional environment
  • Vulnerability of destinations
  • Policies, adaptive capacity and adaptation measures
  • Political stability and risk and crisis management
  • Social, environmental, and economici impacts of climate change on tourism (destinations, transportation, experiences etc)
  • Mitigation of tourism’s impacts on climate change
  • Social justice and the vulnerability of less privileged groups
  • Socio-cultural understanding and interpretations of climate change
  • Stakeholders participation, social learning
  • Tourists’ perceptions, behaviour, responses, and their adaptive strategies to climate change
  • Tourism education and climate change
  • Ethics, responsibility

Program of activities

The work plan for the coming year 2020-21 is as following:

  • Organise an event meeting as a special session in the coming ATLAS conference
  • Organise a publication based on that session
  • Organise work groups with SIG members to support the activities of the group (e.g. social media, newsletter with news on CC and tourism)



Activities 2022

During the last year (2021/22) we have organised the special track in 2021 Annual conference with the theme ““Engaging into meaningful research and action for climate change and tourism: the role of scholars”. Track governors: Ioanna Farsari, Dalarna University, Sweden; Liliana Carvalho, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal; Martine Bakker, Wageningen University, the Netherlands.

The 2021 special attract attracted a great deal of interest with 19 submissions and 13 presentations. We followed a transformative approach with the aim to network, reflect and discuss meaningful research on climate change and tourism. Together with the co -chairs we have written a report around it which we have distributed among SIG members and the special track participants. We have also worked to develop it further to a research note that we plan to submit for publication in fall 2022. As a result of the special track, we received attention and a few more memberships in the group.

During 2022, we have also planned for a special track to take place in 2022 annual conference with the theme “Tourism in the new normal: accelerating climate change or embodying crisis?”. Track governors are Ioanna Farsari, Dalarna University Sweden; Harald A. Friedl, FH JOANNEUM, Austria; Jane Turner, Leeds Beckett University, UK. 

We look forward to meeting in person some of the members and other colleagues for the first time.

Work plan 2022-2023:

• Publication: invite pieces of opinion, based on special track 2022 to be published in ATLAS Review
• Organise Special Track 2023
• Network: connect to researchers around climate change and tourism to develop the SIG further 



Activities 2021

This SIG was inaugurated on ATLAS annual conference in 2020. Consequently, most of the effort in 2020/21 was in setting up the group, its goals, its activity plan for 2021 and its identity. During that year we worked with the inauguration of the group, the drafting of its work plan and inauguration statement of Goals and objectives. The SIG has been formulated around the need for disruptive and inter- trans and post- disciplinary research but also as more than research to address education, collaboration, and action.

We also organised the inauguration webinar/meeting digitally during ATLAS 2020 conference. During that webinar, ATLAS chair, Tara Duncan gave a welcome speech; Ioanna Farsari (SIG coordinator) presented the group and its objectives; and Harald Friedl, (Associate Professor for Ethics and Sustainability in Tourism, FH JOANNEUM – University of Applied, Sciences, Austria) gave an Inspiration Talk. This part was the webinar open to all ATLAS conference participants. After that first part, a second part followed which was the inaugural meeting of the SIG open only to registered SIG members. Five members participated in the meeting where we discussed the role and our vision for the SIG. The importance of regular meetings, of communication channels and of the SIG as a meeting place between senior and young researchers was mentioned and a working group by the participants was set.

During the year, the working group had some regular meetings where the focus was on the identity of the SIG around the competencies and the interests of its members. The need for transformative approaches was apparent there, innovative approaches and whole systems perspectives which challenge dominant understandings.

Following these discussions and the identified need for non-conventional approaches, a special track has been invited for ATLAS digital annual conference 2021. This special track has been designed as a transformative and innovative one.

Work plan 2021/2022
• Write a research note around the special track of 2021
• Organise a special track in 2022 annual conference
• Start planning for a special issue/publication opportunities



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