President's Message

Dear Fellows:

The Academy Conference will be held May 30, 2022 – June 3, 2022 at KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium and as always will be a great opportunity to meet Fellows and friends. The Academy Conference will start early on Monday, May 30 and continue through Friday, June 3. We will conclude the conference with a Fellows dinner, which will include Fellows and their guests (and a few other invited persons) on Friday following the second business meeting. Dan and I, as some other Fellows, will stay at the Pentahotel Leuven, but also the Martin’s Klooster is a very nice hotel and located nearby.

Despite a few requests of Fellows if the meeting could be organized in hybrid mode, many others have signalized understanding that the Board decided that the event will be organized in presence only. The Academy is a place where the celebration of friendship in a personal meeting setting is important, and this can only be encouraged and achieved if we return to our traditional meeting format.

Due to the current circumstances, First Vice President Fesenmaier and the organizing team of KU Leuven led by Professor Jan van der Borg, have delayed the announcement of the final program as much as possible to be able to provide a well-developed program which hopefully will not experience many amendments until the commencement of the conference. The program will be sent to you by email and published on the website of the Academy very soon and will include a registration form which you will be asked to complete and return to the conference team at the KU Leuven. In the meantime, you are asked to make a reservation with the recommended hotels you will find on the Academy Conference 2022 webpage directly with the hotel or via booking.com. These are five hotels that have been identified (and recommended) by our host.

Finally, I would like to inform you that the Board decided to organize a straw poll whether we stay in sync and have the next conference in 2023 or start a new round of 2-year conferences and plan the next one for 2024. Leslie Fung will be contacting you shortly and invite you to participate in this quick survey which will help us to make a well prepared decision in our first business meeting in Leuven. The background for the survey is that due to the pandemic we had to move the Academy meeting from 2021 to 2022. Despite that change, we elected a new Executive Committee last year, which is now out of sync with the biennial meeting. This is very unfortunate as it creates problems in the planning and organization of future Academy meetings. If we decide to stick to the term of the current Executive Committee but decide to return to the biennial format with the next conference in 2024, then the current Executives would establish contacts with the local hosts of the conference but then hand over the organization to the new Executives in the middle of the planning period. The current Executives believes that this asynchrony situation will hinder adequate planning for the next conference, not only in 2024, but in subsequent years as well.

We discussed the options we have and decided that we either need to move the Academy a year back to uneven years (option 1), or to extend the term of the Executives by one year (option 2). Another option would have been that the current Executives steps down earlier, i.e. right after the meeting in Leuven, and that we (again) organize an election for finding a new Executives which continues from July 2022 onwards. Since there is a willingness of all current members to continue until 2024, we have taken the liberty of proposing only these 2 options. This is also in line with the Academy tradition that every re-elected Executives have the opportunity to organize two Academy meetings.



Karl Wöber
International Academy for the Study of Tourism