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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
59th AIEST Conference 2009, Savonlinna (Finland), 23-27 August 2009
Article Type: Call for papers From: Tourism Review, Volume 63, Issue 3
Management of Change in Tourism: Creating Opportunities – Overcoming Obstacles
AIEST, the International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism is calling for papers for its 2009 congress.
AIEST, the International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism is calling for papers for its 2009 conference in Savonlinna, Finland. The event will take place from Sunday noon, 23 August until Thursday morning, 27 August 2009. The core and a number of related streams of this conference are dealing with the following topic: ”Management of Change in Tourism: Creating Opportunities – Overcoming Obstacles”.
AIEST preferably seeks full papers which explicitly address the above conference core topic. A maximum of 25 short to medium length full papers shall be accepted to be presented within a number of sequential plenary sessions and published in the conference proceedings (book; with ISBN/ ISSN number) by ESV Erich Schmidt Verlag. Please refer to the section entitled “The core topic and stream of the conference” for more details.
To accommodate research results not related to the core topic of the conference, the following additional stream for a broad variety of methodologically sound papers is provided: “Advances in Tourism Research”. This stream includes two parallel sub-streams/ sessions for a maximum of 16 short full papers, which shall be published in one or two special issues of Tourism Review by Emerald Publishing Ltd. Those sub-streams include:
Advances in tourism research: system perspective, consisting of contributions from fields like economics, geography, regional sciences, ecology, sociology, and other;
Advances in tourism research: institution/company/actor perspective, consisting of contributions linked to management, marketing, finance, consumer behaviour, and other.
Please refer to Table I for a summary of main issues of the paper submission and publication process.
All papers, no matter to what stream they are submitted to, shall be double blind reviewed prior to the event. This review process might include multiple steps.
All accepted papers need to be presented at the conference by at least one of the authors.
All accepted papers shall be included in the publication outlet according to the stream they are submitted to (conference proceedings with regard to the core issue stream, Tourism Review with regard to the advances in tourism research stream). For that reason, copyright will needed to be transferred to the corresponding publishing house. To include potential feedbacks at the conference, authors will be given the opportunity to finalise their publication version of papers after the conference.
The conference planning follows the timetable shown in Table II.
The core topic and stream of the conference
The rationale for the topic
Firms and organizations often have to handle daily business under stress. They thrive on chaos and have to solve in the short term a number of urgent problems. Such a situation is particularly the case in the field of tourism where demand has become more volatile and consumer needs often change. Therefore structural changes in the life cycle of tourism products and in the tourism related industries and destinations are often neglected or overseen.
Manager of tourism-related institutions have often no time and opportunities to analyze new trends which impact on the development of tourism. The management that is responsible for detecting these trends is not able to identify the changes and initiate necessary adoption programs. It does not overcome or master the imbalance between the current state of its organization and its environment which is the essential driver of change.
The search for a systematic approach of the change processes
Until now, an integrated view on the requirements of a successful management of change in tourism is missing. This is regrettable since change or adaptation to change is more than a design and development of new products. It is asking for a long-term oriented management approach which has to take into account a complex spectrum of exogenous and endogenous change factors.
Managing change in the field of the complex tourism phenomenon needs therefore a system and holistic approach. To understand and to master change asks for an analysis of change within and beyond the company at the inter company and at the destination level.
Tourism is also always part of a socio-economic system with important links to the natural and cultural environment. The analysis of change must therefore take place on a interdisciplinary basis (Figure 1).
Core and mainstream topics to be discussed
The AIEST Congress 2009 will try to contribute to the deeper understanding of change in tourism related industries and destinations by dealing with the following issues and questions (Figure 2).
Figure 2 Change management in tourism systems
Understanding the exogenous and endogenous drivers of change
The sources and drivers of change in tourism are still not fully understood. Change is not just demand driven. It is well known that supply influences largely demand. Tourism was made possible by economic growth and welfare. Nevertheless its drivers go beyond offer and demand. Cultural and social trends influence the travel choice of visitors and their behaviour.
Tourism on a large scale is a result of the industrialisation and later on of the move to a service and an then an information economy. It takes place in an environment which is free from the constraints of daily life. It is part of the leisure and the new experience society. New trends in this environment influence consumer preferences and life patterns which impact on tourism.
Important actual tourism related trends are e g the mix of working and leisure activities, the efficient use of the scarce leisure time, the search for multi optional bundles of services or the community based consumption behaviour. New life pattern such as the growing number of people which hold different places of life for different working and leisure functions occur.
Questions to be asked
Which are the important drivers of social, economic and environmental changes? How do new patterns of life influence the change of tourism products and destinations? In which ways does the competitive environment of products and destinations evolve?
Market trends accelerating structural change of tourism related industries
Supply side trends influence largely the tourism phenomenon. They accelerate the structural change of tourism related industries and destinations. The development on the financial markets leads to investment potentials for specific forms of tourism infrastructure. The emergence of leasing facilities pushed investments in cruise ships and airplanes. Large-scale investments such as resorts instead of hotels are required to master the growing tourism flows. Instead of individual services delivered by pap and mom companies industrialised, commodified tourism service delivery is needed.
New developments on the demand and supply side have an impact on the product life cycle. They lead to the emergence of new destinations and new forms of tourism products. After a growth stage follows stagnation and in many cases also a stage of decline. This was the case with the old spa resorts which with new forms of medical treatment lost their importance or with ski areas which saw their monopoly for winter holidays vanish.
Questions to be asked
Which are the main supply side trends to explain structural change? Which are the obstacles to structural change? Can declining core product in destinations be replaced and repositioned on the market?
Business environment and barriers to change
Tourism which relies on external resources is affecting the environment of people living in a destination. Changes of tourism products such as a growing part of secondary homes in the accommodation sector put a heavy burden of adaptation on the social and natural environment. Change management has to overcome these obstacles and contribute to sustainable growth.
Tourism has to help to find a balanced development. It has to improve the economic situation in areas with week structures. It has to contribute to the welfare of the resident population and poverty alleviation. Adaption to change includes also the recycling of natural and cultural resources. It has to deal with major environmental problems such as the global warming which asks for carbon neutral or carbon free tourism products and destinations. These needs important technological and organisational changes.
Questions to be asked
Which are the effects of change of tourism products, structures and destinations for a given region in its economic, social and natural environment? Which are the relevant obstacles and barriers to change? How can tourism clusters be rejuvenated? Which are the changes needed for a tourism production with high value added?
Managing change within and between corporations
Tourism related firms and destination lose their competitiveness and enter in a vicious cycle of decreasing profitability, shrinking investments and a loss of competitiveness if they do not continuously adapt their structures to the new market requirements, to the technological developments and to the environment. Management of change is therefore necessary.
In the case of tourism enabling change is very often more suitable than “managing change”. The actors of the provider of tourism services and experiences depend to much on exogenous factors of change. Therefore intelligence and flexibility are needed for ensuring survival in the open tourism system. This last module wants to focus on concepts, tools, best practices for enabling and managing change.
Questions to be asked
How can change be enabled in a destination context? Who are the relevant actors? Which are the tools and instruments to open up communication structures between different groups? Which are the intelligence units in a tourism destination?
Challenge for an interdisciplinary approach of tourism
Our Association promotes an interdisciplinary approach of tourism issues. The topic of next year’s AIEST Conference is in line with this major objective. Understanding, mastering and handling problems linked with change needs inputs from different scientific experts representing a large spectre of disciplines in the field of management, economics, social sciences, humanities and sciences. Contributions from marketing experts, economists, geographers, sociologists, physical planner, environmentalists and political scientist are welcomed.
Prof. Peter KellerPresident of AIEST
Prof. Thomas BiegerSecretary General of AIEST
Prof. Christian LaesserExecutive Editor Tourism Review
St Gallen, 16 May 2008