TT 10



Keynote Speakers


Assistant Professor and Director of the Laboratory for Intelligent Systems in Tourism, Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University, USA

Title: All's Well That Networks Well: Harnessing the Power of Virtual Networks for Sustainability Research and Practice
Date: 28 June 2010

DR. ULRIKE GRETZEL Dr. Ulrike Gretzel is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Laboratory for Intelligent Systems in Tourism (LIST) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University. She received her Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and holds a Masters degree in International Business from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration.

Her research focuses on persuasion in human-technology interaction, the representation of sensory and emotional aspects of tourism experiences, and issues related to the development and use of intelligent systems in tourism, including community informatics and the role of technology in sustainable development.

Over the past 10 years, she has been involved in research projects supported by the European Union, NSF, the Canadian Tourism Commission, the U.S. Travel Association, the National Endowment for Humanities, the Austrian National Tourism Office, Austrian Airlines, the Federation of European City Tourism Offices, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the K. Wah Group Foundation, Padre Island National Seashore, the states of Illinois, California and New Hampshire, as well as several local destination marketing organizations in Illinois and Indiana.

Dr. Gretzel’s work has been published in the top tourism journals. She has presented her research at both national and international conferences related to tourism and technology. She has also been involved in teaching a multi-disciplinary course on Sustainability in International Tourism with field trips to Mexico and Costa Rica.

Dr. Gretzel is an external lecturer in the MBA program of MODUL University, Austria where she teaches innovation and knowledge management, and a visiting principal research fellow at the University of Wollongong, Australia. Prior to joining the faculty at Texas A&M, Dr. Gretzel was a research assistant at the National Laboratory for Tourism & eCommerce and a graduate instructor at the University of Illinois as well as a visiting lecturer at the Institute for Tourism and Leisure Studies, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. She has also studied and worked in Austria, France, Malaysia, Chile, and Australia.


Emerging information and communication technologies provide an ever growing number of opportunities for social connections and knowledge flows to be established and managed among individuals or organizations independent of their physical location. Such virtual networks open up new avenues for collaborative knowledge creation and exchange as well as the establishment of trust and social bonds necessary to form successful partnerships. Based on concrete case studies of virtual networks among students, residents and tourists, as well as research institutions and national parks, this presentation discusses the importance of virtual networks in tackling a complex phenomenon like sustainability in tourism research and practice. It also provides insights regarding the challenge of creating and sustaining technology-mediated connections.


Professor of Tourism, School of Management, University of Surrey, UK

Title: Tribes, territories and networks in the tourism academy 
Date: 29 June 2010

DR. JOHN TRIBE Professor John Tribe is Head of Tourism at the University of Surrey, UK. His undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral studies were all undertaken at the University of London. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Fellow of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism and Academician of the Academy of the Social Sciences. His research concentrates on sustainability, epistemology and education and he has authored books on strategy, philosophy, economics, education and environmental management in tourism. Funded research projects have included sustainable tourism and forests in the European Union, curriculum development in Moldova, quality in tourism education and the use of visual images in tourism. He is past Chair of the UK Association for Tourism in Higher Education (ATHE) was the specialist advisor for tourism for the UK 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. He is co-chair of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Education and Science Council and editor of Annals of Tourism Research and the Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education (JOHLSTE).

Professor Tribe will talk about his recent research and publication on Tribes, territories and networks in the tourism academy. He writes:

Initially inspired by Becher and Trowler’s classic work Academic Tribes and Territories I sought to replicate their study in the context of tourism. Hence in line with their analysis I conducted an epistemological enquiry which focused on the nature and the structure of the field (Territories) and a sociological enquiry which focused on the culture and practices of academics in the field. (Tribes) However it became apparent to me that whilst this traditional distinction could bring some clarity to an initial understanding of tourism studies, additional insights into the complexity and dynamics of the field could be obtained by adding a further layer of analysis. Here I turned to actor-network theory to make links between relevant objects in the field and reveal the significance of academic networks in the development of the tourism academy.