President's Message


Dear Fellows

This is my last newsletter message as President and I hope that it finds you well.

The recent elections put in place a new Executive Committee which will take office on January 1, 2012. With Larry as President I feel confident that the Academy will move forward from strength to strength. I wish Larry, Haiyan, Tom and Brian all the best as they chart the Academy’s course for the next few years. Sincere thanks go to Rick who is now free of Executive Committee duties after a very long and productive term. Rick was an incredible support and sounding board for me during my Presidency and I would like to express my gratitude to him. Also thanks to Julio (who is also stepping down from the Executive Committee) for the excellent job he did as Program Chair for the last two conferences.

As I reflect over the last four years I see some accomplishments and some areas that need more work. We have inducted nine new Fellows who are bringing new ideas and perspectives to our institution. I am particularly pleased to see some of these new Fellows taking leadership in the various committees. Sadly we have lost three Fellows in the last four years – John Pigram, Salah Wahab and, recently, Georges Cazes. We will be honoring his memory in the next newsletter and on the new In Memorium section of the website. We still have room for more new Fellows (about 15 slots available) and I hope that we can fill them with top tourism scholars in the years ahead. The refinements to the nomination process passed in Taiwan should assist with this. Personally, I was disappointed in the last round of voting which seemed unnecessarily exclusive.

I am pleased with the Emerging Scholars program that we initiated. These young scholars have provided informative presentations on cutting edge topics to our two conferences and connections have been made to help to mentor and nurture these scholars. Equally importantly the program has increased our visibility with tourism academics at large, so I hope the new Executive will continue the program. The need for more visibility is evident for the Academy, and I look forward to the recommendations from Bob McKercher’s committee on this topic. While we have always tried to give back to our host destinations with seminars, books, etc. I feel that more needs to be done here. I would also like to see us continue to create meaningful alliances with other related academies and institutions.

Our 2013 conference location is set for Portugal (thanks to Jafar) and the host team has ensured us of a warm welcome. Thinking ahead to 2015, we are having initial discussions with Dr. Andreas Papatheodorou (one of the Emerging Scholars in Mallorca 2009) from University of the Aegean, Greece who is very enthused to host us. He is already having discussions with a number of possible contributors and we will keep you informed as this develops.

It remains only for me to express my gratitude to so many people: to each one of you for supporting me over the last four years, to the incredible executive committee that I had so much fun working with, and to the Secretariat and its staff which is always professional, polite and effective. I look forward to supporting Larry and his team - although from the background now.

All my very best wishes to each one of you,