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IS TOURISM ENOUGH FOR LOCAL DEVELOPMENT?, MedBRed Workshop, Cluj, Romania, 25.-27.10.2007 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joachim Willms [Managing Director]   
Mediterranean and Balkan Regional Development Working Group
1st  Workshop,
25-27 October 2007
Cluj, Romania
Department of Political Science and Public Administration; Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj; Romanian Academic Society (SAR), Bucharest

Call for Papers
The Regional Studies Association (RSA) has established the Mediterranean and
Balkan Regional Development Working Group (MedBReD), to explore regional
and local development issues in peripheral areas of the European continent. We are therefore happy to announce that we accept papers on the following topic:

High expectations and real impact in the periphery of Europe Traditionally, the third sector, and particularly the hospitality industry, has been regarded as the silver bullet with which to achieve rapid access to prosperity in less developed communities. Many strategies and plans were drafted in the past decades, either by national governments or the regional and local authorities, which relied on tourism as the solution of choice, especially in the Mediterranean Sea area. Officials have gone to a great length to invest public resources and promote their natural and cultural assets in order to attract the global traveler. More recently, the admission into the EU of the relatively poorer Central and East European states has created a new wave of enthusiasm, as most local and regional governments in these countries are frantically preparing tourist-friendly development strategies.
This is probably the right time to look back and learn a number of lessons from
the past decades of "growth through tourism" in the periphery of Europe.
MedBred invites you to reflect on the ups and downs of such experiences and
propose tentative conclusions:
-  What worked, what did not work, and why?
-  Can one identify different types of tourism-promotion strategies, and if
yes, what was their relative economic effect at the local or regional level?
-  What impact has tourism, practiced over a long period of time, had on
the local culture, urban structure, land use or environment?
-  What does sustainability mean in the tourism industry?
-  What was the role of local and regional authorities in planning tourismrelated
policies and was the regulation of development effective /
beneficial in the South-European regions with tourist potential?
-  Can one identify best practices and worst practices in this respect?
-  What role, if any, has the EU regional policy played so far?
MedBReD will be inaugurated with an initial two-day workshop. We welcome a
broad range of contributions, ranging from theory-building articles, to more
policy-oriented papers, and especially case studies dealing with the questions

In terms of geographic location, the papers submitted should focus on the
broader Mediterranean, Balkan & Black Sea area, but other contributions,
especially presenting situations from new EU member states, will be accepted if relevant to the topic. We encourage particularly PhD students in the final stages of their program (for them MedBReD is able to provide a number of bursariessee
below) and young researchers at the beginning of their career. Nevertheless,
the participation is also open to all interested researchers, practitioners from
public institutions or civil society organizations and NGOs who are involved in
shaping the local development agenda, in order to better integrate theory and

Abstracts should be submitted to Sorin Ionita at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or to Vasilis
Avdikos at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it by 30 September 2007.
This workshop is the first in a series of three organized by the MedBReD. It will
take place in the University of Cluj, Romania, at 25-27 October 2007, with the
support of the Romanian Academic Society (SAR) and the Department of
Political Science and Public Administration of the University of Cluj. Paper
presenters will have to arrange for their transport to Cluj, as accommodation will be provided for free by the University of Cluj.
Cluj is the former capital city of the principality of Transylvania under
Habsburgs, and the largest city in the North Western Romania. By tradition a
mixture of Hungarian, German and Romanian lifestyles, the vibrant local culture
and intellectual life (it hosts the largest multicultural university in Central-Eastern Europe) have made from Cluj a regional concentrator of business, research and investment, as well as the natural tourist hub for those who want to visit the medieval villages and castles in the area.

MedBReD is able to provide a number of bursaries to PhD students who participate in the workshop with a paper. The bursary will cover travel tickets and accommodation in Cluj. To apply for the bursary, PhD students should send a CV in addition to the submitted abstract. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of September.
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