Over three hundred presentations, nine keynote speeches, hundreds of delegates – these are just some numbers summarizing the fourth annual INVTUR 2017 conference hosted by the University of Aveiro between May 17 and 19. A picturesque coastal city, known as the Venice of Portugal due to its canals and colorful boats, Aveiro was the scene for discussions among tourism scholars and industry representatives under the theme “Co-creating the future of tourism”. MODUL University Vienna was represented by Kristof Tomej, Researcher and Lecturer at the Department of Tourism and Service Management, and MBA student Igor Gula.
“INVTUR 2017 was a great opportunity to see the research contribution from colleagues from numerous universities, especially those from the lusophone world. There is a substantial amount of research, published in languages other than English, and this conference provided a chance to get an insight into research developments from colleagues in Portugal, Brazil, as well as other countries”, says Kristof who presented preliminary findings of his study on the motivations of persons with and without visual impairment for participating in inclusive holidays.
He adds, “The main reason I decided to present at INVTUR was the special session entitled “Inclusion through tourism: The challenges of social tourism”. The existence of such a session allowed to share my research with colleagues working in the same area. I was very glad to receive positive feedback on my study and to exchange ideas with people that have an interest in accessible and inclusive tourism. It is also always a pleasure to hear that colleagues from all over the world recognize MODUL University Vienna, and in a very positive way”.
The range of topics covered by INVTUR participants was broad. Igor Gula, who is working towards his MBA degree at MODUL University Vienna, presented a paper entitled “Open tourism: Structuring opening movements in the tourism industry using the contribution-utilization-matrix”, which he co-authored with Roman Egger and Dominik Walcher. Among others, the conference also featured sessions on technology and tourism, cultural tourism, wine and food tourism, gender and tourism, family tourism, tourism governance, and education in tourism.
On the day before the start of INVTUR, the University of Aveiro also hosted the International Military Tourism Conference and PhD workshop, while the Business Innovation Tank – a platform for industry representatives – took place in parallel to the main conference. The research contributions, presented at INVTUR 2017, including those by MU representatives, will be published in a special issue of the Journal of Tourism and Development, administered by the University of Aveiro.