The theme of this year’s hybrid annual ATLAS conference was Quality of Life: Health, Tourism and Climate. The conference was hosted by the FH JOANNEUM University of Applied Sciences in Bad Gleichenberg, Austria; 9-13 October 2023.
As the Special Interest Group (SIG) Coordinator for ATLAS, Jane oversees the coordination of the 15 special interest groups, with members drawn from around the world. Themes of the current SIGs span topics including Artificial Intelligence, Volunteer Tourism, Gastronomy and Tourism, and the Circular Economy - to name just a few.
The hybrid nature of this year’s event also meant that our colleagues Dr Elisa Burrai and Dr David Sterchele who are the coordinators of the Volunteer Tourism SIG (but unable to travel to Austria) were able to host and facilitate their special track online.
The conference provided the perfect occasion for Jane to meet with special interest group coordinators and support the ongoing activities of the established SIGs. The opportunity to network with academics from tourism, hospitality and events disciplines throughout Europe also proved beneficial in helping to implement plans for the creation of more SIGs throughout this year and next.
As the ATLAS PhD Colloquium Coordinator, Miju co-hosted a day-long PhD seminar which brought together PhD students from different stages of study to present on their research and provided a supportive network in which to learn. Feedback from the day was extremely positive, with all students noting that the event had been an encouraging space in which to present their work and network with other PhD students.
Miju also hosted a special track session on Mindful Hospitality that included the presentation of papers on the themes of fair work in the hospitality sector and perspectives of LBGTQ+ customers within hospitality settings.
Despite a full programme of seminars and keynote presentations, we also made time to sample the local culture! The conference programme included dinner at a Styrian style ‘Buschenschank’ (quite an experience) and an enjoyable conference dinner hosted in the spa town of Bad Gleichenberg - amidst the backdrop of musical fountains!
Attending the ATLAS 2023 conference, which is considered a key event in the academic calendar, was a pleasure. The event afforded us the opportunity to network with colleagues working in the same field and further engage with our research interests that were encapsulated by the conference theme.
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