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Linking Urban and Rural Tourism: Strategies in Sustainability. Fairfax, USA, 13.-17.09.2015 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joachim Willms [Managing Director]   

Linking Urban and Rural Tourism: Strategies in Sustainability

September 13 to 17, 2015

Fairfax, Virginia, U.S.A

Conference papers will be considered for publication in an edited book to be published by Routledge

Keynote Speakers

Professor Russell Brayley, George Mason University, Virginia USA

Professor Robert Maitland, University of Westminster, London, England


Visit the conference website at

A 500 word abstract must be submitted by January 31st, 2015.  Conference papers may be submitted after this deadline, but will not be considered for publication within the edited book.

The aim of this conference is to provide the first comprehensive set of tourism debates surrounding the linkage of urban and rural tourism strategies as they relate to sustainable tourism development.  As a form of integrated tourism, destinations rely on regional strategies to support and enhance the tourism product through regional partnerships. By moving away from a strict vertical business or industry approach to integration, the goal is to provide insight into inclusive regional development strategies that support both the needs of urban and rural areas whilst enhancing the tourist experience, supporting the positive impacts of tourism and mitigating the negative.

Integrated tourism is defined as tourism that is explicitly linked to the economic, social, cultural, natural and human structures of the region in which it occurs (Oliver & Jenkins, 2005). Integrated tourism has evolved to include numerous meanings and definitions, such as: institutional integration involving numerous tourism agencies into partnerships or other formal semi-permanent structures; economic integration which addresses different economic sectors with tourism; policy integration which assesses the broader national and regional goals for economic growth, diversification and development; and personal integration relating to tourists as ‘guests’ and their interactions with host communities (Jenkins & Oliver, 2001). Integrated tourism also seeks a participatory approach to tourism development by encouraging a larger degree of participation, decision-making, power, and ownership of resources in the local tourism sector (Mitchell & Eagles, 2001).  Oliver and Jenkins (2010) summarize: “the concept of ‘integrated tourism’ can be understood as an aid to understanding tourism’s potential to sustain the rural (and urban) landscape” (p. 296).

However, the unification of urban and rural tourism development strategies is surprisingly mute in integrated tourism research and sustainable development.  Regional studies tend to portray either an urban or rural focus without acknowledging that often these spaces constitute joint governance structures, similar historical and cultural roots, and economic dependencies.  Sustainable tourism promotes sourcing local, such as using rural agricultural products in urban tourism experiences (Tapper, 2001). Furthermore, new marketing strategies linking tourism heritage, food and drink trails, and other rural attractions with urban visitors, is on the rise (Rogerson, 2007).

Purpose and Scope

The purpose of this conference, and subsequent book, is to provide a forum for discussion on the latest developments, trends, and research into sustainable tourism that links rural and urban tourism markets, production, and policy, either through supply chain networks, dispersion strategies, joint marketing campaigns, or regional partnerships.  Both applied and conceptual papers are encouraged. Paper formats may include: standard research based papers; analyses of best practices; overviews of niche areas; narratives; and explanatory essays. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

·               The evolution of tourism destinations from rural to urban;

·               Regional policies and integrated planning in urban and rural tourism development;

·               Examples of coordinated tourism development strategies;

·               The clustering of urban and rural tourism attractions;

·               Innovative networking and partnerships between urban and rural tourism communities;

·               Comparing the impacts of tourism in urban, rural or fringe communities;

·               Dispersion strategies;

·               Social representations of urban, rural and fringe communities;

·               Regional identity as negotiated through urban and rural tourism;

·               Cultural conflicts in urban/rural tourism;

·               Urban rural marketing strategies;

·               Local sourcing in tourism destinations

We would anticipate requesting final conference papers in July 2015.  Papers will be a maximum of 6,000 words (not including references). Papers must not have been published or submitted elsewhere.

For more information, or to submit an abstract, please contact Susan L. Slocum at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Keynote Speakers

Professor Russell Brayley is the Director of the Division of Sport, Recreation, and Tourism at George Mason University. He is an internationally recognized scholar who has published dozens of manuscripts, presented at international conferences and symposia, and co-authored three widely adopted textbooks. He has worked as a city administrator, government consultant, and educator in Canada and the United States. His professional experience includes community recreation as a city recreation director and a senior community recreation consultant for the Government of Alberta, Canada. He served for many years as a board member and president of the Resort and Commercial Recreation Association. Dr. has held teaching, research, and administrative positions at the University of Manitoba, Indiana University, and George Mason University. His current research interests include the socio-cultural impacts of tourism, with emphasis on the reciprocal impacts of tourism and sacred sites.

Professor Robert Maitland holds a Chair in City Tourism at the University of Westminster, London, UK, where he is Director of the Centre for Tourism Research in the Faculty of Architecture and Built Environment. He is an authority on tourism in cities, in particular world cities and national capitals. Current research interests focus on tourism and everyday life, tourism in world cities and national capitals, new tourist areas in London, and social tourism. He has published extensively on these themes and frequently gives keynote papers at international conferences. He is immediate past Chair of the Association for Tourism in Higher Education, the subject association for tourism in the UK, Chair of the international ATLAS City Tourism and National Capitals Research Group , which includes over 100 scholars from around the world, a member of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) College of Reviewers, on the editorial board of Tourism Planning and  Development and International Journal of Tourism Cities And Visiting Professor, Faculty of Tourism and Geography, Universit At Rovira i Virgili, Spain.


About Fairfax, Virginia

Fairfax County, Virginia is home to numerous historical, natural and cultural tourism attractions. As a suburb of Washington DC, Fairfax brings together both urban and rural tourism attractions and is considered the gateway to Northern Virginia’s extensive wine country. It is home to Dulles International Airport, Mount Vernon (George Washington’s home) and the Space Shuttle Discovery. Fairfax County provides an unrivaled opportunity to connect with Civil War landmarks, museums and re-enactments—at the epicenter of where these history-making events took place.  For more information on Fairfax, Virginia, please visit

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