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Press Release

BESTEN Think Tank 2012: Moving towards sustainable mobilities

As the effects of globalization, scarcity of resources and environmental challenges intensify, the movement of people is increasingly a topic of debate. There is no tourism without travel; yet, mobility has profound impacts on our environment, economies and social structures. Temporary or permanent migration, results of changes in lifestyles and the globalization of the workforce, cause further, equally under-researched, effects.

This year’s BESTEN Think Tank “Mobility and sustainable tourism” did not only address transportation issues but also aspects of social and economic mobilities and immobilities. Organized in conjunction with SKEMA Business School and La Cité de la Culture et du Tourisme Durable, about 60 educators, researchers and industry professionals from Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas convened in Gréoux les Bains, France, to discuss the trends in mobilities and their implications for sustainable mobility practices in a tourism context.

Keynote speaker Prof. Alan Williams, University of Surrey, UK, discussed the complexity of technological, political, economic and cultural drivers of mobility. Recognizing that tourism mobility is closely interwoven with other forms of mobility, he described the influence of migration and resultant international networks in tourism mobility. Keynote speaker Prof. Stefan Gössling, Linnaeus and Lund Universities, Sweden, suggested that common personality and psychotic disorders may explain some travel behaviors and transport mode choices. He illustrated how public transport spaces can be perceived as spaces of fear whereas the personalized car represents a defensive capsule and an extension of the self. He sees concepts from clinical psychology as useful tools in the investigation of mobility behaviors.

In addition to presenting current research, Think Tank participants worked on selected topics in sustainable mobilities to develop educational material and identifying knowledge gaps for future research. The Think Tank proceedings, presentations, educational and research materials are available on

For more information please contact Anja Hergesell