President's Message

Dear Fellows:

On behalf of the Academy board, I hope that you (and your family) are healthy.

I am writing to you that the Executive Board as recommended by our First Vice President Daniel Fesenmaier to drop our plans to organize a "Think Tank" meeting in Leuven early this year. Unfortunately, it appears that the roll-out of the vaccine in Europe and, indeed, throughout the world, is much slower than initially hoped and the lift of national travel restrictions are uncertain. As such, it appears that only a few Academy Fellows would be interested and able in traveling this coming spring.

We have informed our hosts, Flanders Tourism, that we hope that we could organize our regular Academy Conference in Leuven in April/May, 2022. Hopefully, the pandemic will be under 'control' such that we can adopt much of the program that we already agreed upon with some slight adjustments to how we address the challenges for managing the 'post' pandemic tourism world. We are also planning to welcome the newly elected Fellows, and to invite outstanding emerging scholars to present at the conference in 2022.

A few days ago, we had a virtual meeting with our Fellows Christian Laesser, President of AIEST, and Egon Smeral, President of TRC, two other networks with memberships of tourism scholars. Christian Laesser informed us that AIEST is still planning its annual conference in Switzerland from August 29 to September 1. Knowing that some Academy Fellows are also members of this global network of tourism experts, AIEST generously offers all Academy Fellows to register for this meeting at the discounted AIEST conference fee. If a significant number of Fellows decide to participate at this AIEST conference, we will consider organizing a separate informal business meeting of all present Fellows in parallel or in addition to the conference program. Information on the upcoming 70th meeting of AIEST can be found here (https://www.aiest.org/conference/conference-2021-lucerne/). When you register, please indicate that you are a Fellow of the Academy to receive the discounted conference participation fee.

We will update you on the plans for organizing the Academy meeting 2022 as soon as we have more details. We hope that it will be possible that some of us will meet at the end of August in Switzerland. For the moment, I wish you to stay healthy and to get vaccinated soon.

Best wishes,

Karl Wöber