President's Message

This is my first message as the new President of the Academy. It is both an honor to have been elected by the Fellows and also a somewhat daunting task to represent your interests as fully as possible.

We have a great new executive including David Airey as the returning 1st Vice President, Sara Dolnicar as the incoming 2nd Vice President and Doug Frechtling as the incoming Treasurer, and ably advised by Larry Dwyer who moves to the Board Chair after having served the Academy in a number of roles for the past eight years.

On behalf of the incoming executive and all Fellows, I would like to thank Larry for his dedication and contribution to the Academy.


The 14th biennial Membership Meeting was held between May 24 and 29, 2015 in Rhodes, Greece. A total of 36 Fellows and/or Fellows Emeritus attended. The conference was a great success thanks to the hard work of Andreas Papatheodorou and his dedicated team. The contribution of Dimitrios Buhalis as our de facto local host must also be recognized. In spite of uncertain economic conditions, the hosts managed to deliver an event that was above and beyond our expectations.

The conference agenda was also meaty with presentations and/or panel discussions from 22 Fellows or Fellows Emeritus. Seven nominees attended and gave impressive presentations. In addition, emerging scholars Mucha Mkono and Phil Zheng Xiang demonstrated that the future of tourism research is strong. It was a shame that Robin Nunkoo could not join with the other emerging scholars, but I guess he felt his wedding was more important than the conference.

Agenda for the New Executive

The new executive presented a proposed agenda/action plan for the next couple of years to help raise the profile of the Academy and to help us better live up to the stated purpose of this august body.

We are committed to establishing Wikipedia pages for the Academy as a whole as well as for all Fellows and Fellows Emeritus.

A number of other suggestions were discussed, including revamping the website, using the website as a source of information for the broader tourism research community as well as providing a series of teaching aids for academics. We also discussed Academy initiated debates on TRINET, formal Academy sessions at conferences, advisory services for new programs and book ideas.

Two other important decisions were made at the second business meeting. The first was to revamp the membership nomination process with a formal proposal to be submitted by June of next year. Dick Butler has agreed to lead destination. Changes to the bylaws may be needed, so stay tuned.

Charly Wöber has also agreed to lead a group to develop the idea of an Academy journal more fully for a decision to be made at the next meeting.

The incoming executive is looking forward to serving the needs of members. Organizations are only as strong as the members who contribute to them. If you have any ideas, suggestions or criticisms, please get in touch with me.

Best wishes,