Report of ITC2022. International Tourism Congress

International Tourism Congress ITC2022 was organized by the Faculty of Geographical SciencesUniversity of Lodz (Poland) in cooperation with CiTUR Centre for Tourism Research, Development and Innovation. ITC2022 was also final event disseminating achievements of the SPOT project. The event was supported by the Lodz Tourism Organisation, the Baltic University Programme, and the Polish Geographical Society. We met both online and in person in Lodz on 16th to 19th of November, 2022.

Participants of ITC2022 were affiliated to institutions from all over the world, but mostly from Poland (the country where the congress was organised) and Portugal (the country of CiTUR – scientific centre owning the congress brand). Distance matters. Thus, Poles were eager to participate on-site rather than online, while people from other countries preferred to join ITC2022 online. 181 people participated in the congress in total, including 106 on-site participants, and 75 online.

Local organising committee, in cooperation with CiTUR ITC Board, decided to announce the call for sessions first, and then – call for abstracts. This allowed to select the most important topics to be discussed during ITC2022, and structure the discussion in consequence. Interestingly, some topics proposed by most influential researchers have not attracted the attention of a wider audience. On the one hand, broad discussion about sustainable development and tourism was identified as too general. On the other hand, deliberations on youth tourism and sustainability of air transportation were indicated as too narrow. Unfortunately, we were not able to discuss theoretical and methodological fundamentals of tourism research. Missing submissions related to this topic seem to be worrying. It must be emphasized that lack of discussion about the theoretical foundations of tourism research can lead to a significant deterioration its quality.

Discussions on recovering financial sustainability of tourism as well as experiential tourism were found as most popular. This confirms the strength of growth-oriented paradigm of tourism development. However, an increasing interest in environmental context of tourism (see discussion on climate challenges of tourism), as well as social one (see sessions devoted to the issues of accessible tourism and cultural tourism) is very promising. Thanks to the support of Baltic University Programme, the inspirational discussion on sustainable tourism in Baltic Sea Region was organised.

The special plenary session on sustainable spatial planning of tourism destinations was organised to disseminate the achievements of the Erasmus+ SPOT project. The research was conducted to investigate the spatial planning issues of tourism development in the following types of landscapes: vineyard, mountain, coastal, industrial, and rural. This allowed to identify spatial contexts of various factors deteriorating tourism sustainability, e.g. 1) seasonality of tourism, 2) dominance of supralocal structures over local ones, 3) dominance of neoliberal paradigm of growth in tourism destinations, and 4) leading role of tourism industry in tourism destinations over needs of local communities. Students were involved in the research process. And, as the result, the innovative method of “teaching by researching” was elaborated during the SPOT project, and discussed during ITC2022.

Photos of ITC2022. International Tourism Congress

ITC2022 Organisers:

ITC2022 Partners:

Programme of ITC2022. International Tourism Congress

See the programme of ITC2022. International Tourism Congress ‘Tourism – Going Back/Forward to Sustainability’. If needed, you can download the programme as a PDF file. Mind that all hours are in Central European Time (CET). If interested in details of the presentations proposed, see the book of abstracts.

International Tourism Congress 2022 is organized by the Faculty of Geographical Sciences, University of Lodz (Poland) in cooperation with CiTUR Centre for Tourism Research, Development and Innovation. ITC2022 is also final event disseminating achievements of the SPOT project. ITC2022 will be held on November, (16)17-19 2022 in Lodz, the city located in the very heart of Poland. Participants of ITC2022 will be hosted in the Training and Conference Center of the University of Lodz (Kopcinskiego 16/18 Street, Lodz), and the Faculty of Geographical Sciences, at University of Lodz (Kopcinskiego 31 Street, Lodz).

The programme of ITC2022 refers to sustainability of tourism in general. We are going to discuss geographical, social, environmental, economic, political, and managerial contexts of sustainable tourism. The notion of tourism sustainability will be related to the concepts like quality of life, ecosystem services and resilience of ecosystem functions, development and economic growth, social and spatial justice as well as territorial cohesion, and – last but not least – coopetition and tourist packaging.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022, Day 0

Mind that all hours are in Central European Time (CET).

Liszewski Hall

Straszewicz Hall

N105 Room

Front room

Mirror Room

T&C Centre

Thursday, November 17, 2022, Day 1

Mind that all hours are in Central European Time (CET).

Friday, November 18, 2022, Day 2

Mind that all hours are in Central European Time (CET).

Saturday, November 19, 2022, Day 3

On-site participants of ITC2022 are invited to join the trip to the Polish case study area of the SPOT Project. We are going to discuss the following topic in the field: Evolutionary changes of tourism in industrial area in transition – Challenges of introducing European Green Deal in Bełchatów industrial district. On Thursday, November 17, 2022, you will have a chance to listen about the case in during the SPOT special session. On Saturday, November 19, 2022, you will be able to experience it for yourself. The trip is organised by the Polish team of SPOT project and REGIO. Enjoy!

TimePlaceActivity
09:00 – 10:30Łódź – BełchatówBus transfer: Bus arrives from T&C Centre
10:30 – 11:30BełchatówCity witnessing radical industrialization: sightseeing
11:30 – 12:00Bełchatów – RudziskoBus transfer
12:00 – 13:30RudziskoLooking for local identity: Meeting with members of Pilsian Tribe Association; Lunch
13:30 – 14:00Rudzisko – ŻłobnicaBus transfer
14:00 – 14:30ŻłobnicaBełchatów energy complex: from radical industrialization to just transition
14:30 – 15:00Żłobnica – Kleszczów (Solpark) – Kamieńska MountainBus transfer
15:00 – 15:30Kamieńska MountainNew tourism infrastructure of Bełchatów industrial district
15:30 – 17:00Kamieńska Mountain – ŁódźBus transfer

SPOT project team celebrated 20th Anniversary of ERDN

Katarzyna Leśniewska-Napierała and Tomasz Napierała represented SPOT project team during celebratory seminar for the 20th Anniversary of ERDN (European Rural Development Network). The event was held on September 14-16, 2022 in Mielno (Poland), and organized in cooperation with the Koszalin University of Technology. The title of the seminar was ‘Cooperation and experience of science in support of policies for rural development’.

The celebratory seminar for the 20th Anniversary of ERDN was the outstanding opportunity to meet all members of the network. The ERDN was established in 2002 as a forum for exchange of ideas and research experience and a platform for cooperation between Polish and European scientific and research institutions in the field of rural development and agriculture, especially in the perspective of the European Union enlargement and its future policies.

Katarzyna Leśniewska-Napierała and Tomasz Napierała contributed to the seminar for the 20th Anniversary of ERDN by the presentation entitled ‘Going back/forward to rurality: Case of tourism in Bełchatów industrial district’. The goal of the presentation was to discuss rurality as the neglected context of the wider perspective of co-evolution of tourism and core industries of the Bełchatów industrial district: lignite mining and energy production. The Bełchatów industrial district in Central Poland is the case study area. It consists of the city of Bełchatów and thirteen rural communes. The case study area was delimited based on industrial transformation of rural landscape resulting from lignite mining and energy production and fitted into administrative divisions at local level.

The roots of tourism development in Bełchatów industrial district date back to the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. At that time, it did not stand out against the economic background of the region, remaining a typically agricultural area with limited expansion of holiday homes along newly built railway line connecting Warsaw and Vienna. The first triggering event for the development relied on the discovery of rich and accessible lignite deposits. Since the mid-1970s, the case study area has undergone rapid and permanent structural changes with unprecedented development of opencast mining and energy production. That included stimulation of leisure and tourism through organizational and financial support targeting employees and their families, as well as direct investment in facilities for holidaymakers (social tourism).

Economic transition is considered as a second triggering event shaping co-evolution of tourism and industrial sectors of Bełchatów industrial district. In 1990, lignite mining and energy production were marketed in Poland. Bełchatów Mining and Energy Complex was included in assets of the company currently called PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna (Eng. Polish Energy Group). Development of a large enterprise in Bełchatów industrial district stimulated significant increase of both demand and supply of business tourism. In 2014 the exhibition of ‘PGE Giganty Mocy’ (PGE Giants of Power) was opened. This event triggered the development of educational tourism in the case study area.

The future of Bełchatów industrial district is shaped by the European Green Deal and implementation of Just Transition Mechanism. To make the European Union (EU) climate-neutral by 2050, the lignite mine in Bełchatów industrial district will be closed, and the way the power plant works will be transformed. It is proposed that tourism, in particular leisure tourism, might become one of new developmental functions of Bełchatów industrial district. It should be emphasized that all mentioned processes of both mass tourism and industry development were triggered by political decisions at regional, national and European level.

The perspective of the local stakeholders is substantially different from supralocal once. Local actions groups operating in the case study area identified folklore, history, local traditions, culture, and material heritage, as well as – interestingly – contemporary economic and social challenges, as the most significant elements of local identity. Sustainable tourism development is directly indicated as a way to increase social participation and social capital. Thus, promoting agritourism and ecotourism combined with organic farming and ecological food processing is requested.

In both spatial and development strategies in the case study area it is clearly stated that the focus on quality of local spatial policy and spatial order will affect the increase of supralocal interest in developing areas for second homes construction. It should be indicated as a great chance for Bełchatów industrial district to keep relations between the inevitable outflowing population and its recent places of permanent stay. The path from industrial dwelling-places towards rural second homes should be considered as the bottom-up alternative for top-down decisions. This is the path going back/forward to rurality.

Programme of study visit to Italy and local seminar

See the programme of study visit to Italy organised by the SPOT project. We are going to concern the case study of “vineyard landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato”. All activities are presented in Italian time zone (CEST). Students and academicians are requested to take own laptops. You might also download the programme of the study visit to Italy as a PDF file, and the programme of the local seminar (PDF file).

Notes

September 19, 2022, Monday, Study visit Day 1

TimeActivityPresenter(s)Venue
09:45 – 10:00Meeting at Castello del ValentinoRoom 6V – Castello del Valentino
10:00 – 10:30WelcomeGiancarlo Cotella (POLITO, SPOT Partner Leader)
Andrea Bocco (DIST, Head of Department)
Marco Santangelo (POLITO, School of Planning and Design Vice-Head)
Tomasz Napierala (ULODZ, SPOT Project Manager)
Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
10:30 – 11:30Introduction to the Case Study AreaMarta Bottero / Vanessa Assumma (POLITO)Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
11:30 – 13:00Spatial Planning, Landscape Planning and Tourism in ItalyGiancarlo Cotella / Emma Salizzoni (POLITO)Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
13:00 – 14:30Lunch breakArmida Canoeing Club
14:30 – 15:30Subdivision into Groups & Meeting with the Tutors7 groups of students (each of 5-6 students from 5 different universities)
Each group is supported by 1-2 instructors
Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
15:30 – 16:15World Heritage Sites – Cultural Landscapes and TourismYasemine Sarikaya Levent (UMERSIN)Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
16:15 – 17:00The Challenges of Climate ChangeVanessa Assumma (POLITO)Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
17:00 – 17:30Break
17:30 – 18:15Enhancing Sustainable Tourism in Rural Areas – Mobility ChallengesElisabetta Vitale Brovarone (POLITO)Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
18:15 onwardsFree Evening

September 20, 2022, Tuesday, Study visit Day 2

TimeActivityPresenter(s)Venue
08:30 – 09:45BUS travels to the case study areaMarta Bottero / Vanessa Assumma (POLITO)Castello del Valentino – Serralunga d’Alba
09:45 – 10:15Exploratory walk in Serralunga d’Alba TownSerralunga d’Alba
10:15 – 12:15“Locals talking” – Discussion with various stakeholders from the case study areaVanessa Assumma (POLITO)Maria Cappellano Square, Serralunga d’Alba
12:30 – 13:30Lunch time (Lunch box)Verduno Belvedere
14:00 – 16:00Visit in the WiMu Wine Museum in BaroloFalletti Castle, Falletti Square, Barolo
16:00 – 17:30Scenic walk from Barolo to La Morra BelvedereBarolo – La Morra (Download GPX file for your GPS device)
17:30 – 18:45BUS travels back to TorinoLa Morra – Castello del Valentino

September 21, 2022, Wednesday, Study visit Day 3

TimeActivityPresenter(s)Venue
09:00 – 10:30Workshop: Stakeholder AnalysisKatarzyna Leśniewska-Napierała / Marta Nalej (ULODZ)Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
10:30 – 12:30Students working in groups on stakeholder analysis7 groups of students (each of 5-6 students from 5 different universities)
Each group is supported by 1-2 instructors
Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
12:30 – 14:00 Lunch breakArmida Canoeing Club
14:00 – 15:00Workshop: How to Support Decision Making EffectivelyVanessa Assumma (POLITO)Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
15:00 – 17:00Participated SWOT Analysis: Students working in groups7 groups of students (each of 5-6 students from 5 different universities)
Each group is supported by 1-2 instructors
Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
17:00 – 17:30Break
17:30 – 19:00Students working in groups7 groups of students (each of 5-6 students from 5 different universities)
Each group is supported by 1-2 instructors
Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
20:30 onwardsSocial dinnerLo Sbarco – Via Silvio Pellico 5

September 22, 2022, Thursday, Study visit Day 4

TimeActivityPresenter(s)Venue
09:00 – 12:30Workshop: Writing Actionable Policy RecommendationsKatarzyna Leśniewska-Napierała / Marta Nalej (ULODZ), Yasemine Sarikaya Levent, Tolga Levent (UMERSIN)Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
10:30 – 12:30SPOT Consortium MeetingIn parallel to the working groups (max 2 persons per every SPOT Project Partner)Room Astengo
12:30-14:00Lunch break
14:00 – 18:30Students working in groups7 groups of students (each of 5-6 students from 5 different universities)
Each group will be supported by 1-2 instructors
Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
18:30 onwardsFree (working…) evening

September 23, 2022, Friday, Local seminar

TimeActivityPresenter(s)Venue
09:00 – 09:15Welcome speechGiancarlo Cotella (POLITO)Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
09:15 – 09:30Presentation of the SPOT ProjectTomasz Napierała / Katarzyna Leśniewska-Napierała (ULODZ)Room 6V – Castello del Valentino
09:30 – 11:00Students’ presentation. Round I15 minutes presentation and 5 minutes of discussion for each of 3-4 groupsRoom 6V – Castello del Valentino
11:00 – 11:30Break
11:30 – 13:00Students’ presentation. Round II15 minutes presentation and 5 minutes of discussion for each of 3-4 groupsRoom 6V – Castello del Valentino
13:00 – 14:30Lunch breakArmida Canoeing Club

September 23, 2022, Friday, Study visit Day 5

TimeActivityPresenter(s)Venue
14:30 – 16:00Evaluation of educational effectiveness of teaching on the spotInstructors (2 per group) will conduct focus with each of students’ groupRoom 6V – Castello del Valentino
16:00 – 16:30Summary of the study visit to ItalyRoom 6V – Castello del Valentino

Konrad Czapiewski died on August 25, 2022

Konrad Czapiewski died on August 25, 2022, during his trip to Mexico. This is shocking and devastating news for the whole community of the SPOT project. We send our deepest condolences to the family and friends for your loss.

Konrad Czapiewski led the SPOT project’s team of the Institute of Geography and Spatial Organisation Polish Academy of Sciences. He was a human geographer, an associate professor at the Department of Rural Geography and Local Development. Konrad was one of the most active members of the Polish Geographical Society, national representative of the Association of Geographical Societies in Europe EUGEO, known and extremely liked in the international geographic community. His interests focused on the subject of rural development.

Konrad was a very-best friend for many of us. He was always cheerful and optimistic about life. He talked a lot and beautifully about travelling, which was his greatest passion. Nothing was impossible for him, so he willingly offered advice on many spheres of everyday life and work. We will all remember his brilliant comments in ongoing scientific discussions during our meetings. Konrad was a person with an extraordinary geographical sensitivity to the surrounding world, which he was able to observe closely.

There are common dreams, ideas, already started publications, projects and initiatives that we will have to implement and develop, unfortunately, without his participation.

Rest in peace our dearest Friend!

SPOT project contributes to the Annual AESOP Congress 2022

Project SPOT actively contributes to the Annual AESOP Congress 2022 ‘Space for Species: Redefining Spatial Justice’ in Tartu (Estonia), July 25-29, 2022.

Just green transition – Polish case study of co-evolution of tourism and heavy industries

The SPOT project team had the opportunity to present one of our case studies during the Annual AESOP Congress 2022 in Tartu. The session chaired by Katarzyna Leśniewska-Napierała (University of Lodz, SPOT) was about culture and tourism. During the session, the SPOT project’s researchers from the University of Lodz (Katarzyna Leśniewska-Napierała, Marta Nalej, Tomasz Napierała, and Iwona Pielesiak) delivered the presentation entitled ‘Lignite mining and energy production in Bełchatów industrial region: a threat or opportunity for tourism development?’.

In Bełchatów industrial region, all tourism changes have been and will be related to transformative moments such as the development and then the extinction of the core developmental functions in the region: lignite mining and energy production. Exploration of co-evolution of tourism and both of industrial sectors is the focus of a case study conducted by SPOT project’s researchers from the University of Lodz. Recently, the decision on liquidation of the lignite mine and power plant is a consequence of the EU policy related to reducing the use of coal in the energy sector and switching to renewable energy. The Bełchatów Power Plant is responsible for the largest emissions of carbon dioxide in the entire EU.

The announcement of the closure plan of the power plant and the lignite mine was a necessary step in obtaining funds from the Just Transition Fund. It forced both the regional authorities and the state company that owns the complex to set a schedule to shut down the lignite mine (until 2038) and the power plant (2030-2036). This will result in workplaces losses as the employment in the energy complex in Bełchatów is more than 14,500 people. About 4,500 people work in the mine and about 3,000 in the power plant. Another almost 7,000 people are employed in subsidiaries. These numbers should be confronted with the fact that the case study area is populated by more than 130 thousands of inhabitants for now. Just green transition of the Bełchatów industrial region results in substantial economic, social, and demographic consequences.

The fundamental goal of the transformation should be, on the one hand, to convert the economy to modern and green technologies, especially in the area of energy. As the energy infrastructure is an unquestionably strong side of the Bełchatów region. The economic diversification of the region should also be one of the transformation priorities, but it is necessary to focus on the use of existing potentials. The transformation of the Bełchatów industrial district also requires the recultivation and revitalization of areas degraded by open-cast lignite mining. It is expected that tourism, in particular leisure tourism, might become one of the core functions of the Bełchatów industrial region, and a chance for the regional economy to be impacted by the loss of a significant number of workplaces. The recultivation plan is already partially implemented. The Kamieńska mountain was formed at the external dump of the Bełchatów field. Using that, a 760-metre long ski route was created. In the summer, Kamieńska mountain is available for cyclists and off-road vehicles. In total, the area of 7,886 ha will be recultivated. The main focus of the recultivation will be afforestation. It is also planned to create a water reservoir in part of the present Bełchatów field. The process is expected to last until 2070.

Some inconsistencies of the recultivation plan should be indicated. Neighbouring areas of the Bełchatów excavation field are planned to be used as a municipal waste dump, water reservoir, and recreational centre at the same time. There is also a huge time gap between the moment when the lignite mine and the power plant will be shut down (2030-2038), and the moment when the water reservoir will be created and the area will be ready to launch the recreational centre (2070). Moreover, in the strategy for just green transition of Bełchatów industrial district it is estimated that mass leisure tourism development based on a recreational centre will allow to create 50 new workplaces only. Last but not least, the exclusion of local communities from strategic and spatial planning should be mentioned as well. It resulted in significant inconsistencies between the territorial just transition plan for Bełchatów industrial district on the one hand, and local strategies and master plans on the other. While the supralocal document is focused on the development of mass leisure tourism, local strategies and plans mainly consider the development of second homes. All of this brings us to the most fundamental question of planning reminded by Maroš Finka (Slovak University of Technology, President of AESOP) during the opening ceremony of Annual AESOP Congress 2022: Should we plan for people or with people?

Social and territorial impact of just green transition

The SPOT project team joined the round table of Annual AESOP Congress 2022 led by Kejt Dhrami (Polis University, Co-PLAN Institute for Habitat Development) entitled ‘Fit For Green: Social and Territorial Impact of Just Green Transition’. Giancarlo Cotella (Politecnico di Torino, SPOT) was one of the contributors.

The discussion started with regional similarities and specificities of just green transition. Maroš Finka (Slovak University of Technology, President of AESOP) emphasised that diversity is the main common feature of regions significant from the perspective of green transition. Diversity should be discussed in the context of geographical proximities and dependencies. He noticed that Russian aggression over Ukraine moves Europe ahead, which also refers to the problem of just a green transition. However, any action cannot be successful without the focus on: integration (interdependencies between actions and territories of their implementation), synergies (between all single actions undertaken), and efficiency (as we have limited resources to undertake actions).

Giancarlo Cotella noticed that it is difficult to identify regional specificities of just green transition across Europe. ‘Low-carbon’, ‘post-carbon’ or ‘zero-carbon’? – it is very challenging to discuss EU policies when the goals of those policies are changing so fast. On the other hand, green Europe and just Europe are seen for now as the two main long-term goals of the future Europe. ‘No one left behind…’ is the main construct of social justice – Carlos Tapia (Nordregio) mentioned. Transitions affecting both nature and societies (including their economies) are difficult to engineer, and their outcomes are hard to predict. Giancarlo Cotella emphasised that it is a great progress that the EU does not sweep under the carpet the negative social and economic effects of a green transition.

Thanks to Maroš Finka and Bianca Mitrica (Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy) we had an opportunity to address the issues from the national perspectives of Slovakia and Romania respectively.

Maroš Finka concluded that the EU is at the end of the process of transfers addressing solidarity. Now, we are shifting to the EU focused on transfers addressing local services. We understand that not every region or locality has to be industrial, but every area can contribute in some way to the development of the EU. Rodon Miraj (Open Regional Fund for South East Europe) noticed that in a discourse on just green transition, gender issues are missing, especially that it is well evidenced that women are mostly affected by negative effects of economic transitions. Ledio Allkja (Co-PLAN) concluded that the biggest question is how we can go from the neoliberal economic-centric approach to more just and green. There is also a big question about the winners and losers of just green transition.

Giancarlo Cotella chosen as the new Secretary General of AESOP

Last but not least, we are pleased to inform you that Giancarlo Cotella (leader of the Politecnico di Torino team in a project SPOT) has been chosen as the Secretary General of AESOP. Giancarlo Cotella has over 15 years of international research experience on the comparative analysis of territorial governance and spatial planning systems in Europe and beyond with particular reference to the impact of EU policies on domestic contexts. His work focused extensively on the potentials for transferability of good practices and policy recommendations within the European space. Congratulations!

BUP PhD workshop “Societies, Cultures, Critical Theories”

PhD workshop “Societies, Cultures, Critical Theories” will take place on 6-7 October 2022 at Södertörn University.

Deadline for applications is 22 August 2022.

Read more about the workshop and how to apply on the Södertörn University website.

The upcoming PhD workshop “Societies, Cultures, Critical Theories” aims at strengthening collaboration and find novel ways of interaction between PhD students from participating universities of The Baltic University Programme (BUP), in the name of supporting the key role that universities play in a democratic, peaceful and sustainable development. Drawing on peer-to-peer learning, the workshop offers the possibility for doctoral students to present and receive feedback on their own research, as well as to comment on research by fellow PhD students. In addition, it constitutes a platform for initiating possible collaborations, networks and joint publications. The workshop will take place on 6-7 October 2022.

The workshop focuses in particular on PhD level research in the humanities, arts, and social studies. We especially encourage participation in this workshop for PhD students from the following subjects: aesthetics, anthropology, archaeology, arts, cultural studies, ethnology, history, history of ideas, languages, literature, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology, but PhD students from all disciplines are welcome!

Participants that take part during the whole workshop will receive a Certificate of Attendance, issued by the BUP Coordinating Secretariat.

There is no participation fee and accommodation as well as lunches will be provided by BUP (Södertörn University). Participants are expected to cover the travel costs to and from Södertörn University themselves. We are aiming for an in-person event, however, the alternative of a hybrid format remains open.

The SPOT project at the IGU Congress in Paris

The team of Erasmus+ SPOT participated in the congress of the International Geographical Union “Time for geographers”, which took place in Paris, University of Sorbonne, between July 18th and 22nd, 2022.

After a few IGU conferences held online in 2020 and 2021, almost 2,200 geographers from 92 countries all around the world finally gathered “face to face” at this prestigious event. Also, an additional 300 scholars were present online. This IGU Congress was the Centennial Congress of the International Geographical Union, which celebrated 100 years of regular meetings. The host and main organiser of this extraordinary event was the French Committee of Geography (CNFG).

After opening the IGU Congress and addressing the contemporary challenges of geography and geographers by keynote speakers, the congress consisted of numerous round tables, almost a hundred scientific sessions, exhibitions and various social events.

Some outputs of the SPOT project have been presented during the scientific session entitled “Tourism governance in the Anthropocene: enhancing landscape, local knowledge and pro-environmental behaviour for facing environmental crisis” organised by the IGU Commission Geography of Governance. Presentation entitled “Diverse challenges of tourism spatial planning: evidence from Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal and Turkey” was presented by Denis Cerić and Konrad Czapiewski from the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning – Polish Academy of Sciences.

Denis Cerić and Konrad Czapiewski presented the outcome of the SPOT project regarding tourism governance development in five different countries. Answers on two research questions have been elaborated: 1) How the challenges of spatial planning in tourism destinations are addressed in the strategic documents of five selected European countries – Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal and Turkey?, and 2) Which changes in spatial planning of tourism could be observed regarding the COVID-19 pandemic?

Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal and Turkey are countries characterised by substantially different locations within the continent, different importance of tourism in creating national income, different nature of tourism, and different ways in which tourism is managed and planned. Authors argued that the comparison of such different countries can make an important contribution to discussions on addressing tourism spatial planning challenges in strategic documents prepared by central and sub-central governments. The research’s empirical layer was based on peer-reviewed theoretical and case study reports on spatial planning systems, concepts and tourism developments in mentioned five countries developed by SPOT project beneficiaries.

Content analysis has been employed to identify the challenges for spatial planning in observed countries and the output summarises and underlines the common challenges and those specific to a particular area. Common elements of tourism spatial planning could be found in planning tradition, regulatory layer, the desire for a fast response to the challenges of socio-economic development processes and challenges related to the social dimension, and other various common challenges of spatial planning of tourism destinations.

The chosen topic fit well inside this session of IGU Congress: a couple of questions being asked after the presentation, a few comments and interest in the SPOT project itself, and the appreciation from the sessions’ chair Federica Burini (University of Bergamo). The topic will be published as a chapter in a SPOT project’s book entitled “Contemporary challenges of spatial planning in tourism destinations” edited by Tomasz Napierała, Katarzyna Leśniewska-Napierała (University of Lodz) and Giancarlo Cotella (Politecnico di Torino). Follow our project for detailed results and conclusions – the publication is in preparation.

International Tourism Congress ITC2022: Registration

Registration to International Tourism Congress ITC2022 is open:

  • till November 13, 2022 – registration to special session of SPOT project only
  • till October 15, 2022,
  • early bird – September 15 25, 2022.

We welcome all researchers, PhD candidates and students interested in geographical, social, environmental, economic, political, and managerial contexts of sustainable tourism. Join our discussion! Join the International Tourism Congress ITC2022! The main theme of ITC2022 is: “Tourism – Going Back/Forward to Sustainability”.

Mind that during ITC2022 you can present results of your recent studies on various issues and problems of tourism. When registering to the ITC2022, please consider submitting an abstract of your presentation. For more details go to Call for Abstracts.

Registration to International Tourism Congress ITC2022 is open till October 15, 2022, and for early birds – till September 15, 2022. Your registration form will be revised. Then, you will receive the payment request with all details your accounting department might need when sending a bank transfer.

We proudly announce that the Baltic University Programme decided to support the International Tourism Congress ITC2022. BUP offers 20 scholarships to cover costs of congress fee for researchers, PhD candidates and students who 1) are affiliated to BUP participating universities, 2) want to participate in ITC2022 onsite in Lodz, and 3) submitted an abstract of oral presentation or poster. Application for a scholarship is included in a registration form.

How to register? Just fill the form below!

Lesson from Portuguese local seminar – Peniche, May 13, 2022

We were impressed by the quality of work presented by our students during Portuguese local seminar. This multiplier event was held in Peniche on May 13, 2022. The aim of the local seminar was to present the results of the SPOT study tour to Portugal. The achievements of a students’ work during the intensive learning programme in Peniche were presented to the local community and now – after review and revision – are available on the SPOT project website.

We have learned from our students that the concept of sustainability should be changed. The focus on economic growth must be replaced by the idea of a great experience that every stakeholder should have in terms of development.

We understand that spatial planning is strictly connected to strategic planning. Everything what we plan is somehow embedded in a space and places. On the other hand, timeline for different strategic goals is requested. When planning, resources and tools of main stakeholders influencing solutions should be clearly defined. Consequences of renunciation should be identified as well when planning.

It must be emphasized that any plan won’t be successful without dialogue between stakeholders, at least local community and authorities. This makes participatory spatial planning extremely demanded. Destination Management Organization might become a perfect forum for that kind of dialogue. On the other hand, we have some limits of public participation. Spatial planning of archeological sites or ecological precious areas cannot be negotiated.

When proposing solutions and defining actionable policy recommendations, interests and needs of all stakeholders should be taken into consideration. As an example, most of our students’ groups identified problem of missing or inefficient public transportation system. When developing one it must target problems of both inhabitants and tourists. It is better to be sustainable by using existing potential of the place but not creating big investment projects.

When summarising Portuguese local seminar our students noticed that even small steps undertaken by local communities contribute to global change and allow to solve global threats.

Students’ reports aiming issues of sustainable tourism development in the area of Baleal Beach:

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