Special sessions

You may suggest a topic for a special session if you want to chair one. You may also submit a brief description of the topic (maximum 10 lines). Send the suggestion by e-mail to Jon Sundbo, Roskilde University: sundbo@ruc.dk before 1 April 2019.

The special session topics and the chairs will be published below.

If you want to present your paper in a special session, you should write that in your submitted abstract just below the title.

A special session will only be organized if at least 6 papers are submitted to it.


Special sessions and chair persons

  1. Design-driven innovation in tourism, Anne-Mette Hjalager, Southern Danish University, Denmark, hjalager@sam.sdu.dk
  2. Sustainable urban tourism: dilemmas and challenges, Jan Henrik Nilsson, Lund University, Sweden, jan-henrik.nilsson@ism.lu.se 

    Content of Panel Session

    One of the most important trends in contemporary tourism is the increase in urban tourism, both in absolute and in relative terms. In some destinations, e.g. Barcelona, the pressure from tourism on local resources such as housing and urban space has reached a point where we begin to speak about overtourism. This threatens the quality of life for local residents, as well as the quality of tourism experiences. The development of overtourism is related to decreasing relative costs of travel, e.g. low-cost aviation and cruise tourism, and increasingly accessible forms of cheap accommodation, through web-based platforms such as Airbnb. The rise in urban tourism is also an important reason behind environmental problems at a global level, i.e. in relation to climate change. There is thus a need for additional research related to a multitude of geographical perspectives on urban tourism and sustainability.

    This session addresses the challenging current issues in urban tourism. The session welcomes social, cultural, economic and environmental aspects on sustainability in urban destinations.

    Abstracts are therefore invited for, but not limited to, the following:

    • urban sustainable tourism
    • urban planning and management
    • alternative approaches to urban tourism
    • sustainable urban tourism and climate change
    • alternative business solutions in urban context
    • urban place conflicts related to overtourism
    • conflicts of scale related to urban tourism
    • conceptualizing overtourism
    • political ecology of urban tourism
    • visitor management strategies
    • tourism and sustainable consumption
  3. Sustainable behaviour in tourism & hospitality, Sarah Seidel, MA. (sarah.seidel@stenden.com) & Femke Vrenegoor, MA. (femke.vrenegoor@stenden.com) Academy of International Hospitality Research, Leeuwarden, the Netherlands.

    Tourism’s future greatly depends on its capacity to meet a growing demand without increasing its environmental footprint or its pressure in communities at the destination. If not well-managed, tourism can impede reaching the UN sustainable Development Goals, by putting pressure on e.g. greenhouse gas emission, local culture and the use of natural resources (UNWTO and UNDP, 2017).

    The understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the tourism industry is limited (Dodds & Keuhnel, 2010). Even tourism companies that do have an understanding of CSR, face dilemmas in the implementation of it due to conflicting interests of stakeholders with regard to people, planet and profit. The question therefore arises how to influence the behaviour of actors in the tourism supply chain (providers and consumers) to show better sustainable behaviour and, as a consequence, make organisational/individual sustainability values more salient (De Groot & Steg, 2008; Stern, Dietz, & Guagnano, 1995).

    This session is geared towards sharing research on influencing actors in the tourism supply chain by connecting to their values, as to show better sustainable behaviour. How can dilemmas where sustainability values clash be solved?

    Examples of possible topics:

    • Sustainable tourism entrepreneurship
    • Choosing small scale local products during travel
    • Sustainable travel decision making behaviour
    • Waste avoidance in the tourism supply chain

    Key words: Sustainable behaviour, conflicting interests, dilemmas, organisational/individual behaviour.

  4. Advancements in Event & Festival Research, Tommy D. Andersson, tommy.andersson@handels.gu.se, John Armbrecht, john.armbrecht@handels.gu.se, Erik Lundberg, erik.lundberg@handels.gu.se, Centre for Tourism/University of Gothenburg.

    There has been an accelerating growth in events and festivals with respect to frequencies, purpose, content, form and popularity. The current events constitute a new wave within the experience economy, a new type of travel and leisure activity as well as a development within the flora of cultural expressions. Under certain conditions, this new wave seems to contribute to sustainable development of places and their local identities, to branding of places and marketing of regions, development of tourism and bridging gaps between locals, and between locals and visitors. They may enhance self-esteem and pride among local inhabitants in relation to own area, and facilitate their (re)discovery and (re)learning processes related to cultural and tangible items. However, there are also implications, dilemmas, paradoxes and controversies connected to events and festivals that can encumber a development in more sustainable directions.

    The session is open to anyone who would submit their paper on event and festival related issues, and will contain a range of papers discussing various aspects of event and festival (tourism) issues. The intention behind the session is to broaden and build relationships between researchers interested in this field.

  5. Lab approaches and methods for innovation and development within tourism, Dorthe Eide, Universitet Nord, Norge, dorthe.eide@nord.no  Eva Maria Jernsand, Handelshögskolan, Göteborgs Universitet, Sverige, eva.maria.jernsand@handels.gu.se, and Lars Fuglsang, Roskilde Universitet, Danmark, fuglsang@ruc.dk.

    Many industries have long traditions of using labs. The very image of white coats, test tubes and rats, or engineers simulating the use of machines as part of testing or training, is strong. Labs (e.g. living labs, innovation labs) are increasingly also used in health care and urban development projects (e.g. smart cities), mainly for public sector service development, with features of service design and digital technologies. There is however, no or little tradition of using labs within experience based tourism.

    A tourism experience lab can be defined as a forum for innovation and development where people, in collaboration, make use of methods and tools “to explore, examine, experiment, test and evaluate new ideas, scenarios, processes, systems, concepts and creative solutions” (JPI Urban Europe, 2015). In this session, we want to explore different approaches, concepts, methods, tools and environments relevant for labs in tourism experience innovation and development processes.

    We invite conceptual and empirical papers, addressing the use of labs within tourism and particularly experience based sectors. After the paper presentations, we plan to discuss chosen important issues that have come up during the session.

  6. The role of tourism in multicultural societies, University, Sweden, Eva Maria Jernsand, eva.maria.jernsand@handels.gu.se; Emma Björner and Sayaka Osanami Törngren

    Tourism and the tourism industry have been criticized for contributing to a uni-dimensional view of culture and people, which (re)produces stereotypic images, discredited histories and romantic fantasies (Bruner, 2005; Urry, 2002). There is a risk that tourism reduces places to monocultures where the complexity that makes them interesting disappear (Jernsand & Kraff, 2017). No modern society has only one culture, language or identity (Sam & Berry, 2006); globalization, migration and other intercultural exchanges changes places. Concepts such as transnationality and transculturalism emerge as a result of people’s increased mobility and openness (although there are reactions against it).

    Inclusion and participation are increasingly highlighted in tourism and place branding literature (e.g. Kavaratzis, Giovanardi & Lichrou, 2017; Scheyvens & Biddulph, 2017). However, tourism and place branding have rarely been associated with concepts such as integration, migration and multiculturalism. The focus is therefore to explore if, how and to what extent tourism can enhance sustainable development by being a facilitator for inclusive, participatory, diverse and attractive societies. Will such efforts lead to inclusive development and multidimensional destinations, or will they reinforce existing stereotypes and lead to the creation of ‘others’? We welcome contributions that are methodological, empirical and/or theoretical, and which can contribute to the discussion on the role of tourism in multicultural societies.

  7. City tourism development – a balance between economic development and environmental strain. Göran Andersson, Head of Tourism Studies at Södertörn University, Sweden, goran.andersson@sh.se

    In a modern society most of the population lives, and a significant proportion of their production takes place in urban areas. Over the last years, city tourism has increased considerably and has still a high development potential.

    However, as a result, there is a risk that tourism may consume too much natural and cultural resources. This also raises questions related to of global warming. Instead of using flights to destinations to far-away destinations, the use of public transport to local destinations will have to be given new consideration.

    A visitor may not be aware of the problems resulting from tourism, such as the conflict between residents' and visitors' use of the destination space. Therefore there is a need for improved transport systems and better coordination of visitor streams within the city. The number of residents increases in many European cities, and several have started to plan regional city centres with specific functions. In this general city context leisure activities have to be better planned for both residents and tourists.

    Cities can be seen as gateways from where visitors both start and partly experience their journey. Therefore destination planners must understand a tourism product as a whole. The function of tourism is embedded in a network of social economic realities, but this calls for new forms of policies concerning city development, where Destination Management Organisations (DMO) can play an important role. But these organisations must understand the city's vulnerability and take balanced decisions that take into consideration both sustainability and its plans for improvement of employment and economy.

    The concept of “Smart cities” has become frequently used in city planning. It is a challenge how to translate this concept into concrete tourism planning, using both today's popular smartphones services (apps) and new IT-solutions.

    We invite both conceptual and empirical papers on challenges for future city destination tourism, in particular concerning development areas and problematic questions.

  8. The Pedagogy of Sustainability in Tourism Education, Rosemarie Ankre, Department of Economics, Geography, Law and Tourism (EJT) /ETOUR, Mid Sweden University, Sweden, rosemarie.ankre@miun.se; Cecilia Möller, Department for Geography, Media and Communication, Karlstad University, Sweden, cecilia.moller@kau.se
    The provision of high quality education is of significant importance for the skill supply of the tourism industry in order to face future challenges such as climate change, social equity and digitalization. Tourism higher education has the potential to fill the need for leadership in the industry, to develop and implement solutions that contribute to sustainable development. Sustainable development has become an essential part of tourism higher education. At the same time, tourism scholars have paid limited attention to studying pedagogical resources and methods (i.e., pedagogical literature, classroom techniques, etc.), which can be used to address issues of sustainability and tourism. One challenge includes developing pedagogical methods that foster more critical and reflexive approaches to the complex socio-cultural, ecological and economic effects of tourism. Moreover, gender and intersectionality perspectives need to be integrated into themes of sustainable development.  The session puts focus on pedagogical methods and resources that can be used to promote critical thinking, ranging from more comprehensive epistemological and methodological approaches for integrating critical theory in tourism courses, to more hands-on classroom techniques, assignments, field trips, internship and blended learning methods. When the students enter the labor market, they have to combine their practical and theoretical skills in new and groundbreaking ways in order to be successful in an increasingly competitive labor market. Therefore, it is important to further developing teaching and pedagogical methods within tourism studies where sustainability is one major factor.We welcome contributions which include a) pedagogy and didactics (teaching, methods, new techniques, approaches, case studies, in-class experiences, digitalization etc.) and/or b) challenges (combining theory/practice, diversity, including gender, complexity of sustainability, industry needs versus purpose of higher education etc.).

  9. Exploring collaborative and digital methods and methodologies. Lotta Braunerhielm, (lotta.braunerhielm@kau.se), Linda Ryan Bengtsson and Laila Gibson, Karlstad University, Sweden

    As co-creation and collaboration are increasingly perceived as central in development and innovation processes in tourism, this session explores collaborative tourism research methods and the role(s) of research and the researchers in such processes. An area where knowledge and work around collaborative research methods is still limited, is digitalisation and in particular the possibilities and challenges it poses for destinations, product development and innovation within the tourism industry. There is for instance an identified gap of knowledge about methods for enhancing visitors’ on site-experiences using digital media, where key actors in the local tourism industry and community are included and were processes of development are based on place-anchoring.

    Digitalisation will therefore be a specific focus of this methodology session focusing on new opportunities and challenges. In the session, we ask how and in what ways collaborative development processes with a digital focus can contribute firstly to tourism research through the development of new methods and perspectives and second to the tourism businesses and communities? Also, we are interested in discussing possible compromises.

    Suggestion of topics:

    • ‘Best practices’ within place-based research, action research etc
    • Social sustainability, in particular regarding the development of digitally enhanced experiences at tourism destinations
    • Collaborative methods for destination development and innovation, possibly focusing on digital productions
    • Analytical approaches as well as to technological affordances enabling user-generated, locative forms of content and interaction
  1. Culturally sensitive tourism in the Arctic, Carina Ren (ren@cgs.aau.dk), Aalborg University, Denmark, Emily Höckert (emily.hockert@ulapland.fi), Kjell Olsen (kjell.o.olsen@uit.no), Bryan Grimwood (grimwood@uwaterloo.ca), Outi Kugapi (outi.kugapi@ulapland.fi)
    The purpose of the session is to gather around the notion of cultural sensitivity in tourism settings. Expanding tourist interest in the Arctic is bringing unforeseen opportunities and demand for new tourism products and services that draw on the cultural and natural resources of the region. Simultaneously, limited knowledge of indigenous and other local cultures in Northern communities calls for more open and responsible dialogue among different tourism actors. In these settings, we wish to continue the ongoing discussions about the ways in which indigenous and local cultures can be defined, categorized and utilized in sensitive and meaningful ways across the Arctic (see Viken & Müller 2017).
    The session welcomes conceptual, methodological and empirical explorations around cultural sensitivity. The research papers can draw attention, for instance, to the values of sensitivity and responsibility in tourism entrepreneurs’ work, and how tourism researchers and practitioners engage with tourism development in general (see Höckert 2018; Ren, Jóhannesson & van der Duim 2017). The session is open for critical examination of the conventional division between culture and nature in the ways we think, investigate and develop tourism within, and beyond, the Arctic (see Grimwood 2015). The gathering is co-hosted by members of ARCTISEN-project (2018-2021) http://sensitivetourism.interreg-npa.eu/.

Roskilde Universitet - Universitetsvej 1 - 4000 - Roskilde - +4546743463 - jskjold@ruc.dk