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Tuesday 7 July, 2020
10.00 – 12.00 CEST

Tourism and the Corona crisis: Some ATLAS reflections

This is the link to the LIVE STREAM on YOUTUBE:



On the 19th of March, Yuval Noah Harari wrote in the Financial Times:

Humankind is now facing a global crisis. Perhaps the biggest crisis of our generation. The decisions people and governments take in the next few weeks will probably shape the world for years to come. They will shape not just our healthcare systems but also our economy, politics and culture. We must act quickly and decisively. We should also take into account the long-term consequences of our actions. When choosing between alternatives, we should ask ourselves not only how to overcome the immediate threat, but also what kind of world we will inhabit once the storm passes. Yes, the storm will pass, humankind will survive, most of us will still be alive — but we will inhabit a different world .

Not only our healthcare systems, economy, politics and culture will change, but also tourism. But how and in which directions? What kind of world will we inhabit once the storm passes? Which forms of tourism do fit in this world, and which forms do not?

To start answering this question we invited 12 tourism scholars to write an essay in which they were asked to answer these pertinent questions, inspired by Harari’s reflection. We have now collected these essays in this special issue of ATLAS Review available to all ATLAS members.

With these 12 essays ATLAS aims to contribute to the intense debates in- and outside academic circles about the consequences of COVID-19 for tourism specifically and society more generally. Clearly, the pandemic has devastated global tourism and provoked  powerful discussions about its future. In the coming year ATLAS will continue these debates through a number of webinars  in the hope we reunite again during the next ATLAS conference in Prague in September 2021.

During this webinar, on July 7th 2020, the 12 authors of the essays in the ATLAS Review will discuss and debate on tourism and COVID-19.

Participation is free for ATLAS members and non-members. Registration for the webinar is required. You can fill in this form. The webinar will be live streamed on YOUTUBE. We will send the link to registered delegates before the meeting.

The ATLAS Review about "Tourism and the corona crises: ATLAS reflections" will be sent for free to ATLAS members. Non-members can order it for EURO 10 while registering for the webinar.




Freya Higgins-Desbiolles


Freya Higgins-Desbiolles is a Senior Lecturer in Tourism Management, Business Unit, University of South Australia. Her work focuses on social justice, human rights and sustainability issues in tourism, hospitality and events. She has worked with communities, non-governmental organisations and businesses that seek to harness tourism for sustainable and equitable futures. She is one of the Founding members of the Tourism Alert and Action Forum. She has published in leading journals, the Conversation and Newsweek as well as contributed to tourism trade magazines. She was honoured as one of 50 “most awesome” tourism scholars in 2018 by the Women Academics in Tourism network.

Edward H. Huijbens

Edward H. Huijbens (b. 1976), MA, PhD. Edward is a geographer, graduate of Durham University in England. He is chair of Wageningen University’s research group in cultural geography. Before assuming this post in 2019 he ran the Icelandic Tourism Research Centre (2006-2015) and later worked as a scholar of tourism, professor and head of department at the school of social sciences and humanities at the University of Akureyri, Iceland (2015-2019). Edward works on tourism theory, issues of regional development, landscape perceptions, the role of transport in tourism and polar tourism. He is author of over 35 articles in several scholarly journals such as Annals of Tourism Research, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Tourism Geographies and has published three monographs in both Iceland and internationally and co-edited four books. Edward is currently finalising the book Developing Earthly Attachments in the Anthropocene to be published by Routledge.


Kevin Hannam


Professor Kevin Hannam is currently Dean of the Faculty of International Tourism and Management at City University Macau and a research associate at the University of Johannesburg. He is a founding co-editor of the journals Mobilities and Applied Mobilities (Routledge) and has published over 100 research articles and book chapters. He has a PhD in geography from the University of Portsmouth and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS). 


Antonio Paolo Russo


Antonio Paolo Russo is tenured assistant professor with the Faculty of Tourism and Geography, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona. Dr. Russo is author of more than 50 publications in academic journals and books on research topics that range from tourism studies to cultural and urban geography. He has been involved as member of the research group GRATET at URV or as an independent advisor in various research projects with local and regional governments, and international institutions such as the EU, the Council of Europe, the BID and UNESCO. Currently, he leads the H2020 project ‘SMARTDEST’ tackling tourism mobilities and social exclusion. He is also coordinating the Special Interest Group “Space Place Mobilities in Tourism” in ATLAS.


Carina Ren

Carina Ren is Associate professor at Aalborg University, Denmark. Carina researches how tourism interferes with other fields of the social through cultural and digital innovation and explores the different practices and processes through which tourism is developed, organized and valued. Geographically, her research is situated in the Nordic Arctic and Greenland and most often takes place in research collaborations with tourism organizations and businesses, communities and students. She is the co-editor of book such as Tourism Encounters and Controversies. Ontological Politics of Tourism Development (2015), Co-Creating Tourism research. Towards collaborative ways of knowing (2017) and recently Collaborative Research Methods in the Arctic (2020).


Marina Novelli


Prof. Marina Novelli (PhD) is a geographer with a background in economics. At the University of Brighton (UK), she is Professor of Tourism and International Development and Academic Lead for the Responsible Futures’ Research and Enterprise Agenda, which is aimed at fostering internal and external interdisciplinary research and consultancy collaborations. She is an globally renowned tourism policy, planning and development expert and has advised on numerous international cooperation and research assignments funded by International Development Organisations (IDOs) such as: The World Bank, the European Union, The UN (UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO), the Commonwealth Secretariat, National Ministries and Tourism Boards, Regional Development Agencies and NGOs. She is known for her excellence in leading and collaborating with multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder and multi-cultural teams and for her commitment to generating new knowledge on ways in which tourism can play a key role in sustainable development by stimulating local economies, conserving the environment, developing peoples and changing lives. Her most recent publications span across sustainable tourism in Africa, niche tourism and overtourism.


Jim Butcher

Jim Butcher is a lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent. He blogs at . Jim has written 3 monographs on contemporary debates in the sociological and human geographical understanding of modern mass tourism, the most recent of which is Volunteer tourism: the lifestyle politics of international development (Routledge, co-written with Pete Smith). A critic of the degrowth philosophy, he advocates for an expansive, growth oriented approach to tackling the problems associated with mass tourism. Jim is also an associate of Cieo, a UK based think tank, and has written on citizenship, education, free speech and decolonise in outlets including the Times Higher, Spiked and Areo. He is a union rep, Maltaphile, organiser of the East Kent Salon (debating, not hair) and keen supporter of Derby County Football Club.


Wendy Morrill


Wendy has managed WYSE Travel Confederation’s research and education portfolios since October 2014 and is a familiar face at conferences and webinars hosted by the association. Having also worked for WYSE Travel Confederation from 2008 to 2010, she has watched the evolution of who’s who and what’s what in youth travel since the explosion of online travel and social media. She is particularly interested in young consumers as trendsetters, music tourism and the history of student travel, having spent many hours sifting through the archives of WYSE Travel Confederation’s fascinating past. Prior to moving to The Netherlands in late 2007, Wendy lived, studied, and worked in New York City. She is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and the New School for Social Research.


Robert Fletcher


I am an environmental anthropologist with research interests in conservation, development, ecotourism, globalization, climate change, social and resistance movements, and non-state forms of governance. I use a political ecology approach to explore how culturally-specific understandings of human-nonhuman relations and political economic structures intersect to inform patterns of natural resource use and conflict. Most of my research has been conducted in Latin America (particularly Costa Rica and Chile) but I have begun to work in East Africa as well.


Melanie Smith

Dr Melanie Kay Smith (PhD) is an Associate Professor, Researcher and Consultant whose research includes urban planning, cultural tourism, health tourism and the relationship between tourism and wellbeing. She has lectured in the UK, Hungary, Estonia, Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as being an invited Keynote speaker in many countries. She was Chair of ATLAS (Association for Tourism and Leisure Education) for seven years and has undertaken consultancy work for UNWTO and ETC.


Anna Carr

Anna has been an academic at Otago University's Department of Tourism since 2001. She is co-director of the Centre for Recreation Research . Her current research interests focus on environmental management of tourism and recreation,  cultural landscapes and indigenous community development. She serves on the editorial boards of Tourism in Marine Environments, Journal of Ecotourism and the Journal of Heritage Tourism. Before academia, Anna was owner-operator of two adventure tourism businesses and had several decades’ experience working in various tourism businesses and NZ national parks for the Departments of Conservation and Lands and Survey. A proud 'Kiwi', mother and  grandmother she is of Maori (Ngapuhi, Ngati Ruanui), English, Scottish, Portuguese and Swedish ancestry.


Raoul Bianchi

Dr Raoul Bianchi is a Reader/Associate Professor of International Tourism and Development in the Institute of Hospitality and Tourism and Centre for the Study of States and Markets at the University of East London (UEL).   He has an academic  background in politics, international relations and social anthropology as well as tourism management. His work focuses primarily on the political economy and politics of international tourism with particular emphasis on coastal and island economies in the Mediterranean/southern Europe. 


Moderator: Tara Duncan

Tara Duncan is a Senior Lecturer at Dalarna University in Sweden. Her research interests revolve around mobility, tourism and everyday life. Tara is also the chair of ATLAS.


Moderator: René van der Duim

René van der Duim is Emeritus Professor at the Cultural Geography Chair Group, Department of Environmental Sciences at Wageningen University & Research, the Netherlands. His research focuses on the relation between tourism, conservation and development and he has executed research projects in countries like Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania Costa Rica, Portugal and the Netherlands.






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