President's Message

Dear Academy Fellows

My message begins on a sad note acknowledging the passing of Foundation member Dennison Nash at the age of 87. You will have read Graham Dann’s moving obituary on our website. I will miss Dennison very much, as I know you will also. I am sure you will join with me to toast to the memory of Dennison at our next wine and cheese evening which, with his passionate support and involvement, has become an Academy tradition.

On a happier note, the 13th Biennial Conference of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism will be held on 2 - 7 June 2013 in Algarve, Portugal. Accommodation will be at the REAL Marina hotel in Olhao, Algarve http://www.real-marina.com/

Our roving Ambassador, Board Chair Pauline Sheldon on a planned to visit to the Algarve met with our Portuguese hosts who had shortlisted three hotels for her to see. She reported back to the executive that:

“The Real Marina Hotel is a 5 star property which is only one year old with about 140 rooms. All the rooms and facilities are excellent including the conference facilities and the spa.  It has more the flavor of a conference hotel rather than a tourist one. It is on the coast and is in walking distance of a small town (local bars, restaurants, cafes, shop, local market etc.- not so touristy). There is a pleasant tree-lined walk along the coast, however it is NOT a sandy beach for swimming but more marshy  (there is a gorgeous pool in the hotel). There are boats that go out to the small islands off the coast. It is a Green certified hotel with local Portuguese ownership. It is the closest to Faro and to the airport (about ten minutes taxi ride into Faro). There is a Portuguese theme throughout the hotel”.

The Executive agreed that the REAL Marina is a very suitable venue for the conference and we have notified our Portuguese hosts that this is our preferred venue. (thanks Pauline).

The theme of the conference will be Tourism in Changing Times - West meets East. This theme has been enthusiastically embraced by our hosts at the University of Algarve. Under this overarching theme, three panel sessions with invited speakers within the Academy will be organized. The first panel discussion will focus on the overall trends in global tourism with a view to setting the scene of the conference; the second panel will deal with tourism education issues and the third panel discussion will be on tourism research. All these three panel sessions will explore the trends and issues from both West and East (or North/South) perspectives. In addition, Fellows will be invited to contribute to the standard academic sessions. Haiyan Song will soon post more complete information on the Academy website with dates for abstract submissions.

Please see the call for nominations for new Fellows and for Emerging Scholars, posted by 2nd VP, Tom Baum in this Newsletter. The same as for past years we have nominated September 30 as the closing date for nominations. I suggest that, if you haven’t already done so, that you think of suitable persons to nominate and discuss the nominations process with them (and remember, new fellows now require at least two nominators). I would also like to see more nominations of emerging scholars (those rising stars whose PhD was gained less than ten years ago). This is an important Academy initiative which deserves support from the fellows.

Regarding 2015, the University of the Aegean is keen to host the conference but there is one small problem at the moment -- - the state of the Greek economy. This is preventing any commitments being made at this time. Fellows are most welcome to suggest additional possible hosts and the Executive will follow up suggestions. Please contact me if you have some ideas on this.

We are still exploring online publishing. Dan, Gianna and Charly are preparing a report for the Executive that outlines issues and options. This initiative fits well with some directions that Bob McKercher and his Outreach Committee have been exploring. Haiyan is exploring the development of a Blog site on the Academy website and is talking to staff at HK Polyu about this. At the final Business meeting in Taiwan, a number of motions were passed that have implications for action by Fellows. I will have more to say on these issues in the next Newsletter.

I hope that each of you travels well and is enjoying life.

Best wishes,