Keynotes and Workshops


Michael Hall

Green Growth and Tourism for a Sustainable Future: ‘We just need to put the right policies in place’, or, the lunatics have taken over the asylum?

In recent years increased attention has been given to notions of the green economy and concepts of green growth. Such positions have become increasingly important to international tourism organisations, such as the UNWTO, and the consultants that serve them as well as  numerous tourism related corporations. However, the notion that a) we can make money from being ‘green’ and b) we can do so by contributing to environmental conservation goals and sustainable tourism appears to be approached somewhat unproblematically by those advocating green growth for tourism. Indeed, the UNWTO’s approach of ‘We just need to put the right policies in place’ only appears to be a recipe for further neoliberal intervention. The presentation argues that the conservation and maintenance of natural capital is the most pressing issue of our time as well as for tourism and provides a critique of the notion of green growth and its potential to contribute to sustainability rather than further adding to the growing gap between haves and have-nots. In doing so the presentation will also attempt to provide space for reflection as to how tourism academia is caught up in this process, the means by which critical research is conducted and the capacity for personal action and the role of craft. The paper will conclude with some thoughts as to the limits of liberal environmentalism and activism and the role of the university and academic ‘debate’ at times of environmental crisis. The solution of those who advocate green growth in tourism, while possibly well meaning (to provide the doubt of benefit), is regarded as patently intellectually absurd and may only make matters worse. Instead, rather than focus on market solutions and political consumerism (as significant as they may be in some cases) there is a need for systematic change.

Tom Selwyn, SOAS, University of London

The Arts of Cosmopolitan Development: Cultural work and fragmenting landscapes

This keynote considers the role of the arts and cultural industries – widely defined to include tourism within a field of literature, music, the visual arts, including design, film, museums, and so on – in processes of cosmopolitan development in places that have been and/or still are engaged in war, occupation, and social fragmentation. Particular geographical focus is upon selected parts of the Mediterranean region, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Israel, and Palestine. Reference will be made to work carried out in the first decade of this century by networks of co-operating universities within the broad area of tourism and the cultural industries under the aegis of the EC’s TEMPUS and MED-HERITAGE programmes. But, for reasons that will become clear, we will start and finish in the city that is hosting us today at a time when seven of its top cultural institutions – including libraries, museums, film archives, and art galleries – are either closed or shortly to be so. The lecture ends by asking how this conference might respond to this fact.

Freya Higgins-Desbiolles and Kyle Powys-Whyte

No high hopes for hopeful tourism

Pritchard et al. (2011) have written an important contribution to critical tourism studies which proposes a “hopeful tourism” perspective. This paper is written in the spirit of dialogue championed by bell hooks (1994, p. 130) which allows us to confront our intellectual differences, discuss diverging views and thereby create greater solidarity in our shared humanist project for a better world. In this article, Pritchard et al. offer us a mission statement for “hopeful tourism” which they describe as ” a values- led humanist approach based on partnership, reciprocity and ethics, which aims for co-created learning, and which recognises the power of sacred and indigenous knowledge and passionate scholarship” (2011, p. 929).

Reading this work critically, we have found this new paradigm problematic for its abandonment of key principles of the critical theory paradigm.  In this presentation, we will offer our insights and invite a dialogue on these issues.


Sandro  Carnicelli-Filho and Kellee Caton

Critical Tourism and Emotions

Tourist encounters, experiences and performances are lived through emotions such as anger, fun, fear, excitement, joy, and pain, for example, thus the power of emotional engagements should figure more prominently in tourism studies. In this workshop presentation we seek to open for discussion a different way of understanding tourist subjectivities, which is founded on critical socio-cultural approaches to emotions, feelings and affects. We understand tourist subjectivities performing in affective, embodied, emotional, and sensuous ways, as we acknowledge the complex relationships between these concepts. We want to advocate for an emotional turn in tourism studies. There is considerable engagement with critical aspects in tourism studies, thus continuing this critical turn could be further inspired by an emotional turn. Perhaps, “emotional tourism” or “tourism of emotions” should be recognised as an emerging approach to investigating the interconnections between tourism, emotions, feelings and affects. We invite the audience to engage in an entertaining and thought-provoking discussion about the profound role emotions, feelings, affects and senses play in tourism studies. We also want to explore in this workshop our own subjective positions as critical tourism researchers whereby we (should) openly acknowledge our embodied emotions and senses in the research process. If, as critical tourism researchers, we were to recognise and explore our emotions perhaps it would lead to increased recognition of the partiality of tourism knowledges.

Lynn Minnaert, Ross Klein, Rob Hales and Freya Higgins-Desbiolles

Scholarship and Critical Action

Do we shed the chains of the ivory tower at our own peril? Many of us are acuely aware hoe restrictive academic structures can be: academic papers read by few for example can do more for careers than industry reports read by thousands or research that is reported in the international media. The aim of this workshop is to explore the role research can play in achieving critical action and positive change and at the same time meet the needs of academia. Universities traditionally were where social innovations started – can we still play that role today, or do we have to resign ourselves to rule supreme in our ivory towers? The workshop will be led by Dr Lynn Minnaert of the University of Surrey and Dr Ross Klein of the Memorial University of Newfoundland. From their own experience, they will provide examples of the tensions between research that positively impacts the outside world versus research that primarily advances an academic career. Through dialogue and discussion with workshop participants they hope to explore how research impact – beyond the academic world – can become a viable measure of success: if ‘impact factor’ can be more than a number next to a journal’s name.

Workshop Proceedings CTS Scholarship and Critical Research

Tijana Rakić and Donna Chambers

Creative journeys through visual tourism research

Despite the growing popularity of visual methods within tourism research  as demonstrated in numerous examples of interesting and insightful tourism studies (e.g. see contributions in Rakić and Chambers, 2012;  Rydzik et al, 2013 inter alia), the relative lack of a wider range of methodological and visual ethics related publications in tourism (compared to  publications available within the wider social sciences and humanities), can arguably act as a deterrent for those tourism researchers who desire to incorporate visual methods in some of their research projects. With a view to overcoming this potential barrier, as well as promoting visual methods as a creative approach to research among critical tourism scholars, this workshop will commence with a brief overview of existing publications and visual methods including the collection of visual materials from secondary sources for the purpose of analysis, creating visuals by researchers or their research participants (such as drawings, collage, photographs and videos), as well as producing creative research outputs designed to reach wider audiences. Following this brief presentation, workshop co-participants will have the opportunity to share their thoughts about, or experiences with, visual  research methods and methodologies as well as discuss and develop ideas for future visual research projects. We envisage this workshop as a creative journey through visual research in tourism, a creative journey which will continue during and beyond this critical tourism conference.

Tomas Pernecky and Senija Causevic

Tourism and Peace

This second Tourism and Peace workshop marks the commitment of the Critical Tourism Studies researchers to continue a discourse on the ways in which tourism may promote a fair and just world, and also the ways in which tourism fails to achieve this noble vision of peace. The purpose of this workshop is to engage more deeply with a variety of issues that are inter-connected with tourism and peace, and outline a clear research agenda for this special interest group. The session will provide researchers with an opportunity to be involved in peace research and map out the varied interests that ought to be included in future tourism and peace inquiry.    Some of the topics we would like to discuss include activism, inter-, cross-, multi- & post-disciplinarity, methodological issues related to the positioning of the researcher, but also the role of the researcher in critical multi-perspectival contexts – including one’s insights and epistemological reflections. The workshop will seek to delve into matters of site interpretation, war memorabilia, and the problematic aspects of seeing tourism and peace research only through the lens of ‘dark tourism’. Given the local context of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the workshop will serve as a platform for re-visiting some of the existing and emerging concepts such as negative peace and structural violence.