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Tourism, Regional Development and Public Policy, RSA Workshop, Izmir, Turkey, 02.-04.04.2008 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joachim Willms [Managing Director]   
RSA Working Group on

Tourism, Regional Development and Public Policy

1st  Workshop: 2-4 April 2008, Izmir, Turkey

Organised by Nese Kumral, Department of Economics, Ege University, Izmir

Call for Papers: In recent decades tourism has occupied an increasing schizophrenic position in regional development: often sidelined by manufacturing or knowledge-oriented activities, occasionally seen as the great hope for peripheral regions, and more recently as a potential driver of a new experience economy in metropolitan areas, or even as a kind of cluster of traditional services.

Descriptive case studies seem to dominate the not-to-large literature on tourism and regional development, and hopefully the working group will be able to assist the move towards a more theoretically informed perspective, drawing on the interdisciplinary traditions of the RSA and the diverse interests of its members. Among the questions to be taken into account are for instance those related to the conditions of successful and sustainable contribution of tourism in a given region. The problem of adequacy of tourism development as a potential policy instrument will be analysed with regard to the specificity of regions and their development paths. The question of potential conflicts surrounding tourism as a multidimensional phenomenon shall be examined to the extent possible. 

The aim of the RSA working group is to examine tourism diversity from the perspective of regional development in order to identify current challenges and opportunities in a more systematic manner, and hence provide the basis for a more well-informed integration of tourism in regional development strategies and move beyond political short-termism and buzzword fascination.

Three meetings will be held, each focusing primarily on particular types of tourism activities and locales in Europe, i.e.

  • organised leisure tourism and regional development (Izmir, Turkey, Spring 2008)
  • individual leisure tourism and regional development (Aalborg, Denmark, Autumn 2008)
  • business and cultural tourism in metropolitan areas (Warsaw, Poland, Autumn 2009) 

Across the meetings a number of different dimensions of tourism that are central from a regional development perspective will be covered:

  • place branding and territorial identity
  • travel services, including the rise of the budget airline short-trip culture
  • on-site services, including standardisation/specialisation in hotels, second homes and rural accommodation
  • attraction development, including cultural (culinary, heritage, faith-based), event (sport, music), nature (sea-side resorts, mountain areas), and activity-based (health, sport) forms of tourism
  • the role of tourism within regional development strategies and organisations
Abstracts of papers are invited for the first meeting of the working group in Izmir, Turkey. Abstracts should be submitted to Nese Kumral at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Deadline for abstract submission: 15 February 2008

Contributions are invited that focus on any aspect of tourism, regional development and public policy, but given the southern location of the first workshop, contributions which focus on the diversity of experience with organised/package tourism in coastal destinations in southern Europe are of course particularly welcome.

The event is open to researchers and practitioners, young and old, with an interest in tourism, regional development and public policy. The event will take place at the Bornova Campus of Ege University, beginning with the opening plenary late afternoon Wednesday 2 April, and ending at noon Friday 4 April. The event will combine keynote presentations, workshops and other interactive ways of working.

 Attendants will be charged a fee of 25 euros to cover refreshments (coffee etc.) during the event, but students can attend for free.

The RSA has kindly provided bursaries of up to 150 euros to support travel of students or other delegates with limited financial means of their own in order to encourage as wide a participation in the working group as possible.

The working group is financially supported by the RSA and organised by

Nese Kumral, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey - This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Marek Kosak, University of Warsaw, Poland - This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Henrik Halkier, Aalborg University, Denmark - This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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