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First CfP: Sacred Space, Pilgrimage, and Tourism, London, GB, 26.-28.08.2014
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Written by Joachim Willms [Managing Director]   

Please find below the second call for papers for a session entitled ‘Sacred Space, Pilgrimage, and Tourism’ at the 2014 Annual International Conference of the Royal Geographical Society with Institute of British Geographers. Deadline: February 14th.

 First Call for Papers: Sacred Space, Pilgrimage, and Tourism

Conference:                       RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, London, Tuesday 26 to Friday 29 August 2014

Theme:                              Geographies of co-production

Conference chair:             Wendy Larner (University of Bristol)

Session sponsored by:       Geographies of Leisure and Tourism Research Group (GLTRG) of the RGS-IBG

And convened by:             Jacky Tivers (St John’s College, Nottingham)

According to Park (1994,245), ‘one of the more prominent geographical dimensions of religious expression is the notion of sacred space’.  Interest in this concept within human geography has increased considerably in recent years (for instance, Hopkins et al, 2013; Dwyer et al, 2013; Sturm, 2013; Megoran, 2013; Przybyiska, 2013; Dewsbury and Cloke, 2009; Daniels, 2009; Holloway and Valins, 2002).  Linked to the idea of sacred space is the phenomenon of pilgrimage, which has been studied through ‘a wide range of approaches – academic, confessional, personal and canonical’ (Coleman and Elsner, 1995, 8), and which has also attracted the attention of geographers (for example, Maddrell and della Dora, 2013).

Today, sacred space and pilgrimage are features of all faiths and spiritualities, as well as being evident within the secular realm, and are therefore important concepts to be considered in relation to geographical understandings of places and their contexts. In addition, sacred sites and pilgrimage routes may be re-imagined as tourism opportunities, both by promoters and by tourists themselves. Indeed, Ron (2009,290) asserts that pilgrimage is simply ‘a sub-type, or form, of tourism’, while Tidball (2004) fears that it may very often show the same characteristics of ‘transience, spectatorship, non-engagement with the local culture and moral irresponsibility’ as tourism often does.

This session aims to investigate the co-production of sacred space through the lens of pilgrimage/theology/spirituality/belief systems, on the one hand, and that of tourism/leisure/promotion/visitor behaviour, on the other, addressing practices at a range of scales - individual, communal and commercial.  Papers are invited which address this issue of co-production specifically, as well as those that deal more broadly with the concepts of sacred space and pilgrimage.

Abstracts of approximately 200 words should be submitted to Jan Mosedale ( This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ) by Friday, 14th February 2014.




IC 'Global Event Educators Symposium', Indianapolis, USA, 21.-24.05.2014
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Written by Joachim Willms [Managing Director]   

International Conference

Global Event Educators Symposium

21-24 May 2014, Indianapolis, USA


Event management is increasingly becoming recognised globally as a distinct occupation though the level of recognition varies between countries.  Practitioners and their representative associations routinely talk about ‘professionalism’ and the importance of a ‘professional workforce’, but these terms are rarely defined clearly.  There is an associated set of techniques advocated by professional associations and large event companies that are becoming sophisticated and designed to ensure that returns on investment accrue to those organising meetings and other planned events.   Moreover, several organisations have mapped the competencies required to be effective as an event manager and offer training programs to develop the skills base.   Little of this has been informed by academic research, grounded in theory, or influenced by the thinking of academics.

Educators have also experienced an explosion of interest from potential students who are keen to gain qualifications to enter this occupation (or profession).  There has been a corresponding expansion of events courses as well as the development of a community of scholars who define themselves wholly or partly in relation to their teaching and/or research on planned events.  In spite of an overt vocational focus, there has been little engagement with practitioners on what might represent a research agenda for the field or how industry might articulate with events educators in other ways.   For many, such conversations would open new avenues of research and strengthen the value of programs.  Others would consider such developments intrusive.  Discussions about the strategic development of the field of study has also been limited; questions about where events should be located within universities, the extent to which new or existing subject associations might better represent the interests of events scholars have not been prominent.  This international conference provides an opportunity to explore these and related matters.

The conference will focus on issues associated with event management education, business engagement and the professionalization of event management in an international context. Topics will include, but not be limited to, the following:

·         Critical perspectives on professionalism and the professionalization of event management

·         Engaging with industry: perspectives and practices

·         Event management education

·         The politics of the events curriculum and its position within universities

·         The skills agenda

·         Finding a voice for events scholars: strategies and tactics

·         Issues of distinctiveness: sports events, cultural events, meetings and exhibitions

·         Examining the relationship between event studies and event management

1st International Conference on Cultural and Digital Tourism, Athens, Geece, 30.05.-01.06.2014
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Written by Joachim Willms [Managing Director]   

Please find below the call for papers for  Association of Cultural and Digital Tourism (IACuDiT) International Conference, “Cultural and Digital Tourism”, May 30 to June 1, 2014, Athens, Greece. The deadline for abstract submission is February 23, 2014.

“Cultural tourism in a digital era”, 1st International Conference on Cultural and Digital Tourism of the International Association of Cultural and Digital Tourism (IACuDiT).

May 30 to June 1, 2014, Athens, Greece

The 1st International Conference on Cultural and Digital tourism , with the theme “Cultural tourism in a digital era” will provide a timely and interactive international platform for academics and industry practitioners from cultural, heritage, communication and innovational tourism backgrounds and interests to meet, discuss and debate cultural,heritage and other tourism issues that will affect the future direction of hospitality and tourism research and practice in a digital and innovational era.  The Conference is supported by the International Association of Cultural and Digital Tourism.

The Conference focuses on cultural tourism as it develops into the second decade of the new millennium. It intends to offer not only academic research presentations, but also to promote mutual dialog, interaction and understanding of various stakeholders of hospitality and tourism research outputs, including academic researchers and scholars, industry professionals, and government/quasi-government officials and other key industry practitioners who will share and highlight tourism industry trends and research gaps from a pragmatic and applied perspective. In a  globalized , digital era, nations seek to retain a sense of identity through their very unique cultures and history.

The 1st International Conference on Cultural and Digital tourism aims to be a stimulating, challenging and informative platform, offering information and exchange of ideas about trends in all aspects of Cultural Tourism particularly in an era of major global changes. As such, in addition to academic research presentations, the Conference will feature key industry practitioners who will share and highlight industry trends and research gaps from a pragmatic and applied perspective.

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