President's Message

Dear Fellows:

Again, I have some very sad news to start with. It is with great sadness that our colleague and Academy Fellow, David Harrison died earlier this year. David had been suffering from cancer for a long time, but was still very active. Only a few weeks later Tej Vir Singh passed away after a prolonged illness with COVID-19. Tej was a founding member of the Academy and was awarded the UNWTO Ulysses Prize for Excellence in the Creation and Dissemination of Knowledge in 2013. David Airey and John Tribe have written an obituary for David Harrison, Metin Kozak for Tej Vir Singh; both are included in this newsletter.

The next Academy Conference will be held June 6-10, 2022 in Leuven, Belgium. Dr. Jan van der Borg from KU Leuven will be our host. The operating theme of the conference will be 'Visioning the Future of Tourism' where we will work with tourism industry leaders and regional scholars to draft a progressive vision for the industry and the Academy. A call for papers, panel members, moderators and help with drafting the vision document will be sent out to all Academy Fellows within the next couple months.

We are planning to welcome the newly elected Fellows (Aliza Fleischer, Alan Fyall, Heather Gibson, Jürgen Gnoth, Ulrike Gretzel, Tazim Jamal, SooCheong (Shawn) Jang, Scott McCabe, Nigel Morgan, Youcheng Wang, and Honggang Xu), and to invite outstanding scholars as well as emerging scholars to present at the conference in 2022. Recently a committee decided on the list of invited scholars who will be invited to the upcoming Leuven conference: Albert Assaf, Salvador Clavé, Scott Cohen, Xavier Font, Tanja Mihalic, Marina Novelli, and Greg Richards. I would like to thank the committee consisting of Tom Baum, Chris Cooper, Tiger Bihu Wu, Frederic Dimanche, Aliza Fleischer, Alison Gill, Maria Gravari-Barbas, Metin Kozak, and Gang Li which was established to vet the nominations. In addition, another committee under the leadership of Vice President Jigang Bao, together with committee members Gang Li, Egon Smeral, and David Simmons, assessed this period’s applications for emerging scholars. The committee decided on three emerging scholars: Vincent Tung, Mingming Cheng, and Xiaoxiao Fu and will be invited to the Academy conference in 2022.

The Academy conference 2022 will be a much larger event then usual and we trust that the significantly revised format drafted by Vice President Daniel Fesenmaier will reflect and strengthen the vision of the Academy. Hopefully, the pandemic will be under 'control' and all national travel restrictions will be lifted such that we can have a wonderful meeting where we can address the challenges for managing the 'post' pandemic tourism world. Dan will update you on the plans for organizing the Academy meeting 2022 and invite you to submit your contributions within the next few weeks.

Recently, we also welcomed two new members to the executive, Alan Fyall as 2nd vice president and Ulrike Gretzl as treasurer and said goodbye to two departing members of the executive, Alison Gill and Jigang Bao. Daniel Fesenmaier, Bob McKercher and I will be staying for another two years.

Although I am personally not able to participate in the AIEST conference, I hope 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