ATLAS Annual Conference 2024
Leisure & Tourism 2030: Navigating the Future
Breda, Netherlands
June 25-28, 2024


Leisure & Tourism 2030: Navigating the Future

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The agenda sets out a global framework to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and fix climate change by 2030. The UNWTO has also defined a clear and consistent sector-wide message and approach to climate action in the coming decade, aligned with the wider scientific framework and urgency to act now. In the light of this agenda, it is essential to stay ahead of the curve to succeed. The ATLAS Annual Conference 2024 “Leisure & Tourism 2030: Navigating the Future” aims to bring together researchers, educators and innovators to explore the future of leisure and tourism, and how we can adapt to meet the changing landscape. The conference will cover topics such as the impact of technology on travel, the rise of sustainability in leisure and tourism, societal impacts, and the changing preferences of consumers. We’ll also focus on emerging trends and opportunities, such as the growing interest in (designing) experiences and the rise of niche markets. Through engaging keynote speeches, parallel sessions, interactive panels, and networking opportunities, participants will gain valuable insights into the future of leisure and tourism, and how they can prepare for the challenges and opportunities ahead.


  • Gössling, S., Scott, D., & Hall, C. M. (2020). Tourism and water: Interactions, impacts and challenges. Channel View Publications.
  • UNWTO. (2018, 2019). Tourism Highlights 2018, 2019 Edition. UNWTO.
  • Buhalis, D., & Sinarta, Y. M. (2020). Real-time co-creation and nowness service: lessons from tourism and hospitality. Journal of Travel Research, 0047287520964397.
  • Streimikiene, D., Svagzdiene, B., Jasinskas, E., & Simanavicius, A. (2021). Sustainable tourism development and competitiveness: The systematic literature review. Sustainable development, 29(1), 259-271.
  • Zhang, J., Gao, J., Li, X., & Song, H. (2020). Exploring the tourism destination image and brand personality relationship: a study of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 17, 100429.
  • Higham, J. E., & Hinch, T. (2018). Tourism and planetary health: A call for action. Journal of Travel Research, 0047287518771470.
  • UNWTO. (2021). UNWTO Tourism Towards 2030, Global Report on Future Tourism. UNWTO.
  • Sigala, M., Christou, E., & Gretzel, U. (2021). Advances in Tourism Marketing and Management: Future Tourism and Hospitality Industry: Challenges and Opportunities. Routledge.

Conference Themes


The main theme of the conference is:

Leisure & Tourism 2030: Navigating the Future


We welcome abstracts in the following areas:

  1. Sustainability in Leisure & Tourism: How to Build a Greener Future – exploring practical ways to incorporate sustainable practices into leisure and tourism, such as reducing waste, conserving energy, and preserving natural resources.
  2. The Future of Technology in Leisure & Tourism: Innovations and Opportunities – focusing on emerging technologies that are changing the industry, such as virtual and augmented reality, blockchain, and AI. How can these technologies be applied in leisure and tourism and how they will shape the future.
  3. Adapting to Changing Consumer Preferences – exploring how traveler preferences in leisure and tourism are changing in the post-pandemic era, such as increased interest in off-the-beaten-path destinations, local experiences, events, and outdoor activities. How can businesses adapt to meet these changing preferences.
  4. Designing Memorable Experiences – focusing on the importance of creating unique and memorable experiences for consumers, such as immersive cultural experiences, adventure tourism, and events. How to design and market these experiences to attract and retain consumers.
  5. Tourism and Workforce Skills Development – examining the role of leisure and tourism in creating job opportunities, and the importance of providing training and career advancement opportunities for leisure and tourism workers. Exploring ways to promote fair and equitable working conditions in the industry.
  6. Placemaking and Destination Branding – focusing on how destinations can use placemaking and branding strategies to create a unique identity that attracts visitors while maintaining the character and authenticity of the destination. Exploring ways to involve residents in the process of destination branding and placemaking.
  7. Leisure and tourism growth and local livability – focusing on the challenges and opportunities of balancing leisure and tourism growth with local livelihoods in destinations. As tourism continues to grow, it can bring significant economic benefits to destinations, but it can also have negative social impacts on local communities, such as overcrowding, increased living costs, and displacement of local residents.

Conference Venue


Situated in the South of the Netherlands, in the city of Breda, Breda University of Applied Sciences (called “BUAS” hereinafter) is a premier higher education institution with about 7,500 students from over 60 countries. The University was founded in 1966 as an institute offering management programmes in tourism and leisure and conducting research in this field.


BUAS’s unique approach and teaching and research outlook, proactively combined with an effective international classroom experience has gone a long way in developing an ideal learning environment for its students. BUAS offers 17 bachelor & 12 master’s Programmes in a wide variety of disciplines: Hospitality, Tourism & Leisure, Gaming, Logistics, and Media.


Since its inception, the institute has received several notable awards for its excellence in teaching and innovative programmes. Almost all of BUAS’s Bachelor Programmes were awarded with the highests ranks in the Dutch National Student Survey. The institute has received international accreditations from the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO/TedQual), the World Leisure Organization, and The International Facility Management Association. BUas has been consistently ranked amongst the Top 30 Global Institutions in the QS Subject Rankings for Hospitality & Leisure around the world.


BUAS collaborates with a wide variety of partners. In the Netherlands we are one of the three core members of CELTH, the national Centre of Expertise in the sector of leisure, tourism, and hospitality. The Dutch government engages with this center to identify trends and developments in the hospitality and tourism sectors and initiates cooperation between industry and education. BUas is accredited by the THE-ICE which is the International Centre of Excellence in Hospitality & Tourism Education (see, which has members in Switzerland, France, Australia, The Philippines, UAE, Qatar, Taiwan and Fiji amongst other countries. Our programmes are also certified by the United National World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) though its TedQual process. In addition to also being an Affiliate member of UNWTO, we are also a member of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).


Our innovations are award-winning on a global level, such as the development of the Carmacal Carbon Calculator, which was recognized with a WTTC Award in 2016, and a UNWTO Award in 2018. We also offer executive education and masterclasses to large and small organizations in tour guiding, sustainable tourism and ecotourism, digital tourism, social impacts of tourism and other areas.


BUAS has experience in organizing international conferences and is equipped with all the amenities and infrastructure required to host an event of this size.


BUAS offers its students plenty of opportunities to pursue their dreams in a small-scale and international study environment. Between 2016 and 2020, the campus along the Mgr. Hopmansstraat was fully redesigned and renovated, as well as expanded by the acquisition of the adjacent monastery. This former monastery is now the base of the Academy of Tourism. We think the delegates will be really impressed with the building and its facilities.


The campus itself is modern and spacious, with a range of facilities that are designed to meet the needs of visitors and students. The classrooms are equipped with the latest technology, and there are plenty of spaces for workers and students to work individually or in groups. The library is well-stocked and offers a quiet and peaceful space for students to work, while the various cafeterias and restaurants provide a range of delicious and healthy food options.


BUAS is located in the city of Breda, a beautiful city located in the southern part of the Netherlands, known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and scenic beauty. Breda has many benefits, including:

  • Excellent location: Breda is located at the crossroads of major European cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Brussels. This makes it an ideal place to live for those who like to travel and explore new places.
  • Rich history: Breda has a long and fascinating history dating back to the 12th century. It was once the home of the Dutch royal family and is still filled with historic landmarks and beautiful architecture.
  • Cultural hub: Breda is a thriving cultural hub with numerous museums, art galleries, theaters, and music venues. There are always events and festivals happening in the city, providing residents with endless entertainment options.
  • Scenic beauty: Breda is situated in a beautiful natural setting, surrounded by lush forests and picturesque countryside. The city also has many parks and green spaces, making it a great place to enjoy the outdoors.
  • High quality of life: Breda consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in the Netherlands. The city has excellent schools, healthcare facilities, and public transportation. It also has a low crime rate, making it a safe and secure place to stay.

Overall, Breda is a wonderful city with many benefits for visitors and residents. Its location, history, culture, natural beauty, and high quality of life make it an ideal place to work, live and visit. 


Breda is easily reachable with different modalities of transport.

Breda train station is connected by NS Dutch trains, including trains to/from Belgium. EuroStar Trains (to/from the UK) arrive/depart from either Rotterdam or Brussels – with a direct local connection (30 minutes from Rotterdam or 90 minutes from Brussels).

There are four airports close to Breda – Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (60 minutes, direct train), Brussels National BRU (90 minutes, direct train), Rotterdam (50 minutes, bus connecting to train) and Eindhoven (about 75 minutes, bus connecting to train).

How to get to BUas

Breda University of Applied Sciences is located about a 15-minute walk from Breda central railway station; alternatively, you can take several buses.

Call for Special Tracks

The conference organizers invite proposals for organizing special tracks during the conference and encourage ATLAS Special Interest Groups and Chapters to plan meetings and workshops within or alongside the conference programme. Please contact before December 15th 2023 if you have any plans to organize a SIG meeting, a project meeting or a special track during this conference.

Special Track 1
Animals in the future of Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure
SIG Animals in Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure

Track Convenors

Lucia Tomassini and Akke Folmer

NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands


This Special Track organised under the aegis of the novel ATLAS SIG Animals in Tourism, Hospitality, and Leisure invites contributions presenting theoretical, methodological, and empirical advances in the research on the understanding and role of animals in tourism, hospitality, and leisure.


Humans have always been entangled in relations with animals. These relations have often been loaded with a power exercised by humans over animals. As such, the understanding of the sociological and political space of animals has largely revolved around places in which humans have physically and socially confined animals and their (im)mobilities – e. g. zoo, laboratories, veterinary clinics, homes, farms, breeding farms, parks, natural reserves, and wildlife sanctuaries. This understanding of animals is the product of – and contributes to – the moral disentanglement of humans from animals and it results in a commodified approach to the latter.


In the last decade, the severe loss of biodiversity, the growing debate on the Anthropocene epoch, the climate change crisis, as well as emerging critical approaches to borders, displacement, and othering are urging the rethinking of our co-existence with animals, and our understanding of the interactions and encounters with them. Consequently, in the context of tourism, hospitality, and leisure, this Special Track aims to generate further knowledge and debate by exploring, investigating, questioning the challenges, and discussing the opportunities embedded in the human-animal co-existence as well as its understanding, storification, and sensorial representation.


We welcome contributions prompting a critical thinking on Animals in the future of Tourism, Hospitality, and Leisure. Contributions should cover a variety of themes, among which:

  • Animal Justice
  • Animal Ethics
  • Animal Welfare
  • Wildlife Tourism
  • Wildlife conservation
  • Blue Tourism and marine mammals
  • Pets and animal companionship
  • Animal-based tourism experiences
  • Animals in food experiences and culinary traditions
  • Animals in festivals, events, and sport activities
  • More-than-human methodologies
  • Animal geography and Animal mobility
  • More-than-human spatial theories
  • Animals and Governance
  • Animals and Scenario Planning and strategic Foresight
  • Animal-based tourism services
  • Human and animals’ encounters
  • Media storification and visual representation of animals
  • Animals through Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality

Publication Opportunities
The organisers of this session will explore publication opportunities with high-impact journals and will make sure that the session will be followed up through active engagement of the participants in the dedicated SIG and its activities.

Special Track 2
Circular Economy and circular regenerative processes in the future of tourism and hospitality
SIG Circular Economy

Track Convenors
Lucia Tomassini and Elena Cavagnaro
NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands


This Special Track organised under the aegis of the ATLAS SIG Circular Economy and Circularity in the Space of Tourism and Hospitality invites contributions presenting theoretical, methodological, and empirical advances in the research on Circular Economy and circular regenerative processes in the future of tourism and hospitality.


In the last decade, the Circular Economy has been at the centre of renewed interest both within Europe and globally. Nevertheless, academics and professionals of the tourism and hospitality sector have remained only partially involved in the discussion and the implications of a Circular Economy in the tourism and hospitality sector are still largely unexplored and under-theorised.


The notion of Circular Economy is grounded in the ancient archetype of ‘circularity’. This archetype understands our ecosystem and its biological processes in terms of constantly renewing cyclic patterns—e. g. the cycle of the seasons and the carbon cycle of organic materials. Similarly, the idea of circularity has shaped the basis of many rituals and traditions as an ordering principle for a dynamic perduring equilibrium. Yet, the best-known contemporary theorisations and applications of Circular Economy have focused on the reuse of materials in product-oriented industries. Framing circularity as a means to contribute to sustainable development implies being able to simultaneously create value in the environmental, economic, and social dimension. While the latter is usually overlooked in studies and theorisations of Circular Economy, the creation of circular regenerative processes can generate new value in the social dimension by enriching it with a multiplicity of novel relations, connections, and networks among human and non-human stakeholders. This means also localising the tourism and hospitality economy and supply chain in the local space by creating ‘smaller’ loops prompting the active involvement of human (and non-human) stakeholders and re-designing new power-relationships, networks, and connections among them. This can happen because the ‘space’ of tourism and hospitality is not just a flat surface that people, capital, and products transit, but a multidimensional situation within which different types of relationships, networks and connections take place, together with different type of practices and behaviours.


We welcome contributions prompting a critical thinking on Circular Economy and Circularity in the Space of Tourism and Hospitality. Contributions should cover a variety of themes, among which:

  • Network Theory
  • Practice Theory
  • Behavioural informed interventions
  • Sociology of Space
  • Biodiversity regeneration
  • Collaborative Economy
  • Placemaking and circular regenerative processes
  • Posthuman approaches
  • Green and/or alternative mobility and logistic
  • Supply chain management

Publication Opportunities
The organisers of this session will explore publication opportunities with high-impact journals and will make sure that the session will be followed up through active engagement of the participants in the dedicated SIG and its activities.

Special Track 3
Touring, seeking, or simply going? Leisure and travel choices in a post-pandemic world

Track Convenors

Kiran Shinde – La Trobe University, Australia

Daniel H. Olsen – Brigham Young University, USA


There is little doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives forever: we now live in a post-pandemic world. But has the pandemic fundamentally changed people’s attitudes towards life and how that life should be lived? Work and leisure used to be separate spheres of everyday life in both a social and spatial sense, but those boundaries have blurred. The idea of “work” itself has been turned inwards to consume people’s personal lives, particularly in the aftermath of having to work-from-home during the pandemic. Will this new work-home relationship redefine how people now frame and consume leisure? Will the life-lessons from the pandemic translate into better travel choices that would be dramatically different from the unsustainable mass tourism that was on rise before everything stopped so abruptly?


In this session, the question is asked whether there will be fundamental shifts in society’s thinking about leisure and the ways in which leisure is performed. There is increasing evidence on a growing collective consciousness about health and environmental sustainability at both the individual and community scale. Will immersing in exotic cultures be a thing of past due to excessive demands for more hygienic and safer environments? Will such concerns precede the expectations people have in deriving happiness from travel? If so, where will people go? Will visiting familiar destinations be safer and more comforting, or will people seek to be more adventurous in ticking off their bucket-list items? Or will tourism begin to center more on visiting family and friends, with social relationships being the key motivating factor to travel? While a more sustainable reframing of leisure is in order, the bigger question is how that reframing will manifest in both traveler behavior and tourism destinations.


The topics for exploration for this session include (but are not limited to):

  • Realigning leisure expectations
  • Outer limitations versus inner constraints
  • Renewed perceptions of hospitality and Host-Guest relations
  • Rejuvenation and wellness tourism
  • Spiritual seeking in sacred places

The organisers of this session will explore publication opportunities with high-impact journals and will make sure that the session will be followed up through active engagement of the participants.

Special Track 4
Leisure and Love

Track Convenors

Moji Shahvali – Breda University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands
Tila Pronk – Tilburg University, The Netherlands


Maintaining love in relationships is increasingly challenging in today’s busy, individualistic, and fast-paced lifestyle. Frequent, meaningful, and intentionally designed leisure experiences can help nurture and maintain relationships; relationships including romantic partnership, friendship, or relationships within families. New friendships or partnerships can be initiated and formed during leisure time. While this all might sound intuitive, there is limited understanding and data as how certain types of leisure and tourism experiences can contribute to relationships. Existing theories in social psychology and relationship research often focus on solving relationship issues and conflicts rather than exploring avenues for mutual flourishing. This session aims to hold a space for researchers and studies interested in studying the mechanisms through which certain shared leisure experiences can benefit relationships. These psychological mechanisms may include humor, playfulness, healthy communication, active listening, shared emotions, self-expansion, biological and behavioral synchrony and many other possible explanations for which we lack empirical support. At this time, both qualitative and quantitative research is needed to fully understand the relationship between leisure and love.


Abstract Submission

All abstracts will be subject to double-blind review by members of the scientific committee. Acceptance of a submission will be based on: theoretical and empirical significance; methodological soundness; relevance to the theme of the conference and logical clarity. The official language of the conference is English. Abstracts should have between max. 500 words. The title should be no more than 12 words. Authors should also indicate which conference topic their proposed paper relates to.


Abstracts should be submitted to ATLAS by using this form.

Important Dates


Abstract submissionJanuary 15th 2024
Notification of acceptanceFebruary 15th 2024
Extended abstract submissionMarch 15th 2024
ConferenceJune 25-28th 2024
Full paper submissionSeptember 10th 2024


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