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BEST EN Think Tank XIII, Taylor’s University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 23.-26.06.2013 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joachim Willms [Managing Director]   
BEST EN Think Tank XIII: Engaging Communities in Sustainable Tourism Development
June 23 – 26, 2013,

We cordially invite you to the BEST EN Think Tank XIII entitled, “Engaging Communities in Sustainable Tourism Development”, to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from June 23–26, 2013 in conjunction with Taylor’s University.

The BEST Education Network is a long established international consortium of educators committed to furthering the development and dissemination of knowledge in the field of sustainable tourism. It is open to all students, academics and professionals who are interested in furthering education and research for sustainable tourism.

At a BEST EN Think Tank sustainable tourism topics are addressed in a collaborative and stimulating environment. A BEST EN Think Tank is about more than presenting papers: in workshop sessions participants co-produce knowledge through brainstorming and discussions to create research and educational materials for use in their research and teaching. Examples of co-produced knowledge from previous Think Tanks can be found in the knowledge section of the BEST EN website (
The focus of Think Tank XIII is “Engaging Communities in Sustainable Tourism Development.” Communities are the key resource upon which sustainable tourism relies. Without meaningful community input that transcends mere tokenism, sustainability in tourism will remain unattainable. There are a number of challenges in developing community-based tourism and encouraging meaningful local participation in decision making and ownership. The theme of this conference targets several of the UN millennium development goals through the development of sustainable tourism at a local level, such as ending poverty and hunger, gender equality, environmental sustainability, and life-wide learning. Engagement of stakeholders beyond the private and public sectors may refer to host communities, third sector organisations or interest groups. Participants are welcome to present conceptual and empirical papers on a range of topics including:

● Community involvement and empowerment in sustainable tourism development
● Community capacity building and education
● Tourism public policy and issues of inclusion
● New governance and spaces of political exchange
● Inter- and intra-community politics of engagement
● Multi-stakeholder collaboration/contestation
● Third sector and NGO involvement in tourism
● Volunteering in community tourism development
● Intercultural exchange and communication
● Harnessing local knowledge and expertise
● Methods and methodologies for understanding community engagement
● Pro-poor tourism and poverty alleviation
● Managing global and local tensions
● Community well-being and the role of Sustainable Tourism Development
● Other topics relevant to sustainable tourism and community involvement

We invite potential authors to submit either an abstract or a full paper for consideration by
the Think Tank’s scientific committee. Early submission of abstracts and papers is encouraged
and will expedite the review process for those needing advanced notification of the status of
their submission.

Abstracts should be approximately 1,000 words with a title page containing full name and
contact information, and following the structure of a full paper as outlined below. The deadline
for abstract submission is March 1, 2013.

Full papers should be no more than 6,000 words in length (excluding tables/references),
double spaced and in APA format. The deadline for full paper submission is March 1, 2013. Full
papers should include a title page with author name and affiliation; introduction; methods;
findings; application of results; conclusions and references. The author’s name should appear
only on the title page. The review process will start on December 1st, 2012 and all authors are
guaranteed to receive notification of acceptance within 4 weeks of submission.

Abstracts and full papers will go through a double blind review process. Final versions of
abstracts and full papers submitted by June 1, 2013 will be published by BEST EN in the Think
Tank’s electronic proceedings and will be accessible on the BEST EN website.

The submission of a paper or abstract requires that at least one author attends the Think Tank
to present the paper. The winner of the BEST EN Outstanding Paper Award will be selected
from full papers that reflect the theme of Think Tank XIII.

Selected full papers will be considered for publication in a proposed special issue of the Journal
of Sustainable Tourism.

Please submit your abstract or paper in Word format by e-mail to: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

This year the Think Tank will precede the 12th Asia Pacific Forum for Graduate Students’
Research in Tourism, held on June 27-29, at Taylor’s University, themed ‘Challenging
Conventions in Research’. We encourage participants to take part in the forum to make the
most of their visit to Malaysia.

For more information about the organisation and the upcoming Think Tank please visit our

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