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December 2014   Vol. 4 No. 3

The connecting organization: ITSA

One of the good things about ITSA is that the letters give us an easy word to describe the organization. ITSA is easy to say, it is easy to remember and the very title of this newsletter shows how the label can be used. Unlike some other global tourism groups which sound very much like another (APTA, PATA, TRA, TTRA- Do you remember clearly exactly what they all are?) I am hoping that as ITSA members you can quickly say the name and much more importantly describe the position and purpose of the organization. When communicating to non-members and explaining why you are member it is good to have a quick by line, a tag or slogan and here it is: ITSA is the connecting organization, it seeks to connect tourism researchers in developing and developed countries.
I appreciate that developing countries is a bit of a clumsy term; we could I suppose use East and West or even the more confusing North-South divide but these labels were dreamt up by European explorers and analysts and as an Australian with a strong interest in Asia I do not think East –West works terribly well. My home University James Cook, for example, is certainly east of Western Australia and Europe but then it is west of America and south of all my colleagues in Asia so these compass terms just seem curiously out of place.
Let us then fully respect all the growth, development, change and strong cultural identities and traditions of countries which we might call developing while recognizing that the overall level of personal wealth and well-being can still be improved compared to Western Europe, Oceania and North America. Let us hope and work towards improving the lot of many communities in the developing countries while educating those from developed countries as ITSA connects us together- a tourism tribe of researchers with a common goal of doing good work for ourselves and for our societies.
Philip L. Pearce
Australia’s First Tourism Professor
James Cook University
ITSA incoming President


The 5th ITSA Biennial Conference, Perth, Western Australia

The 5th International Tourism Studies Association (ITSA) Biennial Conference was held in Perth, Western Australia on November 26-28, 2014. The conference theme was “Tourism, Cities and the Environment in the Asian Century.” It was co-organized by ITSA, Murdoch University, and Peking University, and was held at the Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPAW). The three-day conference was structured around three themes: 1) China outbound tourism market; 2) city tourism in the Asian century; and 3) nature based tourism in the Asian century. There were four keynote speakers and a panel discussion for each theme. Academic paper and poster presentations were made and aligned with the three component conference themes. The delegates to the conference were mainly from Australia, China, and Southeast Asia. Welcome speeches were made by the Conference Chair, Dr. David Newsome of Murdoch University, Professor Andrew Taggart, Acting Vice Chancellor of Murdoch University, Du Ling, Vice-Consul of the Consulate-General of China in Perth, Stephanie Buckland, CEO of Tourism Western Australia, and Dr. Bihu Wu, Peking University and Secretary-General of ITSA. The conference also opened with dances from an Australian Aboriginal troupe (Richard Walley and the Middar Dance Group).
China Outbound Tourism
James Clarke of the Australian China Business Council moderated the first day’s session on the theme of the China Outbound Tourism. It featured keynote speeches from Dr. Bin Dai (China Tourism Academy, Beijing), Dr. Wolfgang Arlt (China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, COTRI, Hamburg, Germany), Mr. Carl Yin (Spring Travel, Shanghai), and Doc Reynolds (Kepa Kurl Enterprises Pty Ltd, Esperance, Western Australia). These presentations highlighted the expected strong growth and diversification of outbound travel from Mainland China. Wolfgang Arlt suggested that there now was a “second wave” of outbound Chinese travelers.


City Tourism in the Asian Century
In a breakfast at the South Perth Yacht Club delegates heard about several exciting Perth city development projects from the Deputy Lord Mayor, Rob Butler. Perth Airport also shared valuable statistics on its arriving passengers.
Keynote speeches for the City Tourism in the Asian Century theme were delivered by Jim Dion (National Geographic Society, Washington DC), Stephanie Buckland (Tourism Western Australia), Dr. Bihu Wu (Peking University), and Dr. Betty Weiler (Southern Cross University, New South Wales). “Great places to live are great places to visit” was a statement emphasized by Jim Dion in describing NGS’ sustainable tourism projects worldwide.

Nature Based Tourism in the Asian Century
The four keynote speakers for the Nature Based Tourism in the Asian Century theme were Dr. Paul Eagles (University of Waterloo, Canada), Dr. David Weaver (Griffith University, Queensland), Jim Sharp (Department of Parks and Wildlife, Western Australia), and Dr. Philip Pearce (James Cook University,Queensland).Jim Sharp said that “parks were good for tourism and tourism was good for parks” while highlighting Western Australian extensive terrestrial and marine protected areas.

Five best paper and one best poster awards were announced at the conference closing dinner held in a cave at Yanchep National Park. ITSA also announced its Best Emerging Scholar in Tourism (BEST) as Dr. Svetlana Stepchenkova of the University of Florida. Before the dinner delegates were introduced to some young Australian animals, had an introductory talk about Aboriginal cultural, visited a Karst cave, and enjoyed a lively Aboriginal dance performance.


Warm welcomes at a great conference venue


The conference was held at a fabulous venue – the Department of Parks and Wildlife Building in Kensington.

Our delegates, Day 1, November 26, 2014


Our delegates, Day 2, November 27, 2014


Our delegates, Day 3, November 28, 2014


Panel discussions
Day 1: China outbound tourism: Panelists – Wolfgang Arlt, Xu Chen/Bin Dai, Doc Reynolds, and Carl Yin. Moderator – James Clarke.
Day 2: City tourism in the Asian century: Panelists – Jim Dion, Betty Weiler, and Bihu Wu. Moderator – Alastair M. Morrison.
Day 3: Nature based tourism in the Asian century: Panelists – Paul Eagles, Philip Pearce, Jim Sharp, and David Weaver. Moderator – Sue Moore

Academic paper presentations

A truly global collection of presenters and papers were evident at the 5th ITSA Biennial Conference.L-A Shibish, expert photographer, with Bihu Wu The presenters were from Australia, China, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. Universities with several presenters included Beijing International Studies University, Srinakharinwirot University (Thailand), James Cook University of North Queensland, Udayana University (Indonesia), Murdoch University, Zhejiang University, and Edith Cowan University.
An expert group of academic paper session moderators supervised these sessions within three different rooms. The moderators were Wolfgang Arlt, Carl Yin, Alastair Morrison, Diane Lee, Alan Briggs, Tracy Shea, Bihu Wu, Nisha Abm, David Weaver, Eunice Tan, Sue Moore, and Betty Weiler.
There were also several posters prepared and displayed at the Perth conference and a Best Poster Award was made.
ITSA acknowledges the expert photography taken at the conference by L-A Shibish. Many thanks to her for this great work and also congratulations on her Best Paper Award!


Congratulations to the Best Paper and Best Poster Award winners

Best Papers
A number of speakers were commended and awarded with certificates for best paper contributions to the parallel sessions:
 L-A Shibish and Ross Dowling, Edith Cowan University, Aboriginal Tourism in Western Australia
 Eunice Tan, Barkathunnisha, and Rob Law, The HK Polytechnic/Murdoch University, iDiscover Rural Singapore: A Mobile-driven Nature-based Tourism Experience in an Urban Destination.
 Yu, Ji-Bin, Zhou, Lingqiang, and Wu, Mao-Ying, Zhejiang University, Living Long, Living Well: Perceived Health Benefits Driving Senior Mobility in Bama Ethnic Village.
best paper

Best Papers (continued)
 Ronda Green and Maree Treadwell, Wildlife Tourism Australia, Inc., Expanding the Wildlife Tourism Industry while Minimising Negative Impacts.
 Angela Riganti, Jean Johnston, Roger Hocking, and Mike Fetherston, Geological Survey of Western Australia, Dress to Impress – The Story Behind a Building’s Façade.
Best Poster
Paiboon Onmung (Srinakharinwirot University) for the presentation of The shopping tourism model in China: visit action research technique.

Breakfast meeting at South Perth Yacht Club

Speakers at the breakfast included the Hon. Rob Butler of the City of Perth, David Morrison, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), and James Gorton from Perth Airport.

Yanchep National Park

At Yanchep, conference delegates got close to some Australian native animals and were thrilled by authentic Aboriginal experiences and dances.
Yanchep National Park Cave Dinner
The BBQ Dinner & Award Ceremony was held in Cabaret Cave in Yanchep National Park. ITSA was honored by the presence of MLA Albert Jacob, Western Australia’s Minister for Environment and Senator Chris Back, Senator for Western Australia. The BEST Award winner was announced and the 5th ITSA Biennial Best Paper Award winners were recognized. ITSA also presented gifts of appreciation to the Local Organising Committee (David Newsome, Pearl Chua Kyselicova, Alan Briggs, Tracy Shea, Diane Lee, Susan Moore, and Pat Barblett.

Dr. Svetlana Stepchenkova wins the 2014 BEST Award from ITSA

The awarding of the 2014 Best Emerging Scholar in Tourism (BEST) was announced in Perth, Western Australia at the 5th ITSA Biennial Conference. Dr. Svetlana StepchenkovaDr. Stepchenkova is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management at the University of Florida. Originating from Russia, she earned her Master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University. The area of her research interests is destination management, marketing, and branding, with the focus on quantitative assessment of destination image and brand communications using unstructured and qualitative data. Since graduation, Dr. Stepchenkova has established an impeccable research record. aShe constantly presents her work at national and international conferences, reviews for highly acclaimed academic journals, advises students from various countries, and serves her profession at various associations with the global outreach. To date Dr. Stepchenkova has 27 research publications and two book chapters. Dr. Stepchenkova publishes her work in high-ranking tourism and hospitality journals, such as Tourism Management (5 papers), Journal of Travel Research (5 papers), and Annals of Tourism Research (1 paper). Multiple papers of hers focused on developing countries like Russia and China.
Dr. Stepchenkova has received nearly $1 million in grants from the Russian and U.S. agencies supporting and improving tourism high education in Russia. The projects cover degree curriculum development, course delivery, student mobility programs, and the building of a research center. She has lead international student exchange program between Russia and the U.S., and developed multiple training programs for Russian faculty and administrators visiting the U.S. She also actively involved her own graduate students, many of whom are international, in conducting international tourism research and publishing.

Thanks to our Local Organising Committee

Coordinating an international conference is a complex proposition but the Local Organising Committee in Perth was up to the task under the leadership of Dr. David Newsome of Murdoch University.
Local Organising Committee
The Local Organising Committee comprised Pat Barblett, Sue Moore, Alan Briggs, Diane Lee, Pearl Chua Kyselicova, Tracy Shea, and was chaired by David Newsome.111 Special thanks go to Pat Barblett for her support and mentorship and for bringing various sponsors on board. Pat’s experience as the founder and long-standing committee member of FACET was invaluable in galvanizing the committee into action and in providing advice throughout the conference planning process. Pearl Chua Kyselicova played a vital role in engaging the Chinese community in Perth and in keeping Murdoch University active in organising the conference. Alan Briggs brought considerable experience, from his career as a former public servant, to the role of treasurer. Sue Moore provided a very important advisory role and substantive financial support in the form of the provision of airfares, financial and logistical support for Paul Eagles (Keynote Day 3). Diane Lee facilitated an on-going connection between the committee and the Forum Advocating Cultural and Eco-Tourism (FACET) and Tourism Western Australia and invested invaluable time in the abstract reviewing process. Tracy Shea was tireless in her support and in the provision of venue services for the conference. Tracy deserves a special mention and we are all deeply grateful for her generosity with time, the use of DPW headquarters as a venue and logistical support regarding the opening ceremony and conference dinner, both of which are pivotal to a successful conference.
ITSA also acknowledges the great support it received from Murdoch University over many months leading up to the conference. In particular, Pearl Chua Kyselicova, Dr. David Morrison, and Dr. Bernie Dell helped forge the long-term cooperation among ITSA, Peking University, and Murdoch University.


Thanks to our meeting planning company, Promaco Conventions Perth

ITSA acknowledges the expert convention planning experience received from Promaco Conventions Perth who worked closely with the Local Organising Committee to organize and deliver an outstanding event that spanned several locations in and near to Perth.

Thanks to our 5th ITSA Biennial Conference Sponsors

No conference is successful without the generosity of sponsors. In regard to this the ITSA and the Local Organising Committee is grateful to the following sponsors for their support of the Perth 5th ITSA Biennial Conference. We express our thanks to Perth Airport and the City of Armadale (southeast Perth region) for Gold Sponsorship and Tourism Western Australia for Silver Sponsorship. The Australia China Business Council became a session partner for Day 1 which had the theme of the China outbound tourism market. We thank Pemberley Wines for providing wine gifts for keynote speakers and at the Yanchep dinner, Emerald Publishing and the Perth Mint provided in-kind support for the conference. A special thank-you goes to the Department of Parks and Wildlife who provided significant support and sponsorship in the form of the conference venue at the Kieran McNamara Science and Conservation Centre, substantial in-kind support for various social events and especially in regard to arrangements at the outstanding venue, the Cabaret Cave (Yanchep National Park), where the conference dinner was held.Sponsor
The conference also greatly benefited from the support of the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife, which graciously provided the venue and considerable staff support. The others supporters were Perth Convention Bureau, WA Department of State Development, City of Perth, and FACET (Forum Advocating Cultural & Eco-Tourism, Inc.)

New Executive Committee takes the helm at ITSA in 2015

At a General Meeting of ITSA in Perth on November 27, 2014, the new Executive Committee of the association was announced.

ITSA Executive Committee for 2015-2016

Positions 2015-2016
President Professor Philip Pearce
CEO Prof. Alastair Morrison
Secretary-General Prof. Bihu Wu
Deputy Secretary-General Dr. Han Shen
Deputy Secretary-General Dr. Lina Zhong
Deputy Secretary-General Dr. Mimi Li
General Manager Ms.Yi Ru
Treasurer Prof. Soocheong Jang
Vice President (Greater China) Prof. Jie Zhang
Vice President (NE Asia) Prof. Hong Bumm Kim
Vice President (Central Asia) James Yip
Vice President (South Asia) Prof. Nimit Chowdhary
Vice President (Oceania) Dr. Claire Liu
Vice President (Africa) Prof. Cine van Zyl
Vice President (Russia) Prof. Svetlana Stepchenkova
Vice President (E Europe) Dr. Laszlo Puczko
Vice President (W Europe) Professor Manuela DeCarlo
Vice President (N America) Dr. Rebecca Liang Tang
Vice President (S and Latin America) Dr. Bianca Camargo Ortgega
BEST Committee Chair Dr. Robert Li
Professional Committee Chair Dr. Chaozhi Zhang
Membership Committee Chairs Dr. Amy So, Prof. Xinran Lehto
Middle Eest Dr.Erdogan Ekiz
Southeast Asia Dr.Wiendu Nuryanti
Uk and lreland Dr.James Kennell
Sustainable Tourism Dr.David Newsome
Research Committee Dr.Dianne Lee
BRICS IN Tourism Dr.To be determined
Membership Prof.Mao-Ying Wu
Membership Prof.Ulli Gretzel

A new committee on sustainable tourism will be formed, with Prof. David Newsome being appointed as the head of this committee.


“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson”

International Tourism Studies Association (ITSA)