Tourism is in crisis as we call for papers.  COVID-19 has changed everything we take for granted, including our individual ‘right’ to travel.  It has long been a cliché to say we live in a connected world but ‘today’ it is clear we live in a deeply interconnected world, one where tourism and travel cannot be separated from the other dynamics of our time.  International, national and local events and festivals have been cancelled.  Tourists have been ‘trapped’ in, to them, foreign countries and on cruise ships.  What happens to the concept of hospitality when borders are closed, where towns and countries tell visitors to get out, to go home?  What happens to those industries when a virus takes over? 


Events, hospitality and tourism are a triad, a deeply interconnected set of activities.  In this conference they can’t be seen as independent of each other; they are each reliant on the other.


A key phrase in our Conference title is ‘West, East, South, North’.  We want you to keep these terms in your mind, both literally and metaphorically.  South and North are political terms encompassing inequality, among other things, with our triad a major factor sometimes as a positive and sometimes as a negative.  But, the geography is also important as we in Australia and New Zealand look south to the Antarctic and north to Asia.  To the East we see serious consequences developing from climate change (as in all directions) but think about the issues in the Pacific, from Fiji to Samoa and Kiribati.  To the West we see islands but also the Indian sub-continent and Africa, with the Middle East a key aspect to our northwest.  Yet, or also, all of these issues play out within Australia and New Zealand.


Sustainability is one of the most abused concepts in the world today, one arising from ‘sustainable development’, also a flawed concept promulgated in the developed world.  As a utilitarian concept it has been useful but is increasingly counter-productive, used to hide reality.  How can tourism be sustainable and how can tourism contribute to sustainable communities, countries, etc.?  But, hold on.  The concept of sustainable development, and the related sustainable tourism, is seeing an evolution to the developing concept of regenerative tourism.  The term is being used in various ways but is gaining traction in tourism research and theorizing.  At the same time, TRINET posters are talking about Transformation Tourism. 


Climate change and Covid-19 are forcing tourism to rethink its future.  That said, there has long been an undercurrent of critique, some would say a cacophony of criticism, of the dominant mode of business as usual.  We would like the papers in this conference to address issues related to regenerative tourism and sustainability as they relate to the research underpinning the paper.  We ask that your papers address a future for our triad that is unlikely to be ‘business as usual’, or challenge this statement.  Tourism, events and hospitality are all vulnerable, as we are seeing in 2020 and, undoubtedly, in 2021.


We call for papers, we call for presenters!  Underlying the paragraphs above are some core themes in our research (listed below), with a few teasers to light up your thinking.  But, take us beyond these traditional groupings of tourism research, including interdisciplinary approaches, including ‘team science’.


West, East, South, North: New directions for tourism, hospitality and event research


  • Research methods: be sure to address the underlying paradigm and methodology within which you have chosen certain methods in your research.  What are the ethical issues in your research?

  • Innovations:

    • how do you see tourism innovating to meet the challenges of a tourism and travel industry ‘devastated’ by COVID-19 and climate change?

    • Technology: metaphorically (and physically), what do we do with the sewage?

    • Innovating the socio-political, business, the whole triad.

  • Tourism education: how can/is/should tourism education at all levels address the changes facing tourism and travel, our triad? 


  • Social science approaches

    • Community impacts of tourism, hospitality and events: It is taken for granted that tourism has impacts, both positive and negative.  How can these be seen in the context of what is written above?  Workforce, indigenous issues, local streets, overtourism, economy, to name but a few items

    • The politics and governance of tourism and power

    • Tourism geography, ecosystems, nature-based tourism and events

    • Tourism sociology, why travel?  Groups and neo-tribes.

    • Tourism anthropology, do we care about tourism’s impacts on culture?

  • Our triad in practice

    • Tourism economics, the diversity of economies and business models; who wins and who loses?

    • Tourism business, micro and macro, multi-national and local

    • Events: community benefits, visitor experiences

    • Hospitality: the art of hosting

    • The floating triad of the cruise industry

    • Marketing, including approaches in times of crisis


On one level, the list above is pretty conventional but our challenge to presenters is to surprise us with risk taking. Use your papers, especially working papers, to try out ideas, to challenge the taken-for-granted. Have some fun, play with concepts, inject some humour into your presentations, make your illustrations grab our attention. There is a plethora of videos, poems and cartoons coming out during the ‘lock-down’ period. At the same time, TRINET is brimming with challenging threads arguing the future of tourism; it is an intellectually challenging period across the web. Learn from it and challenge us in this conference. Which of you is going to lead us to new knowledge, new ways of dealing with our triad, travel/tourism, hospitality and events?

Paper submissions will open soon
More information to follow