What are the Objectives of ATLAS?

  • To promote the teaching of tourism, leisure and related subjects.
  • To encourage the exchange of staff and students between member institutions.
  • To promote links between professional bodies in tourism, leisure and associated subjects and to liaise on educational issues, curriculum development and professional recognition of courses.
  • To promote transnational research which helps to underpin the development of appropriate curricula for transnational education.

What does ATLAS do?

ATLAS promotes links between member institutions through regular meetings and information exchange. The main activities of ATLAS are:

  • Organising conferences on issues in tourism and leisure education and research. Regional conferences are also held in Africa, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region;
  • Information services and publications, including the ATLAS website, member portal and the yearbook ATLAS Reflections;
  • Designing and coordinating curriculum development projects under the SOCRATES programme;
  • Running international courses, such as the ATLAS Winter University in Europe and the Summer Course in Asia;
  • Organisation of and participation in transnational research projects, for example on cultural tourism and sustainable tourism, and information technology;
  • Research publications and reports.
ATLAS is also represented at regional and local level by sections such as ATLAS Europe, ATLAS Asia-Pacific, ATLAS Africa, ATLAS Latin America and ATLAS Middle East. ATLAS Europe was founded in 1991, and still attracts the bulk of ATLAS members. Other sections are growing rapidly, however. ATLAS Asia-Pacific, established in 1997, has staged conferences in Indonesia and China, Japan and New Zealand. ATLAS Africa was launched in 1998 and held its inaugural conference in 2000 in Mombasa Kenya and since then in Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Botswana and Rwanda. ATLAS Latin America held its first conference in 2017 in Recife, Brazil and since then in Mexico and Colombia. The regional sections of ATLAS have developed their own programme of activities and publications to respond more closely to the specific needs of members located in these regions and those with related research interests. Membership of ATLAS regional associations and special interest sections of ATLAS is open to all ATLAS members.

ATLAS Special Interest Groups

Members of ATLAS can form Special Interest Groups (SIG’s) related to specific education and research topics or for specific geographical areas. SIG’s run research programmes and can organise special events and publications related to their area of interest. The current special interest groups are:


  • Cultural Tourism
  • Gastronomy and Tourism
  • Business Tourism
  • Volunteer Tourism
  • Events
  • Space, Place, Mobilities in Tourism
  • Heritage Tourism and Education
  • Urban Tourism
  • Visual Tourism
  • Climate Change and Tourism
  • Tourism Education
  • Circular Economy
  • Artificial Intelligence and Tourism
  • Animals in Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure
  • Dark Tourism
  • Systems Thinking in Tourism

More information about the SIGs HERE

What are the benefits of Membership?

  • Regular mailings of information, including updates on ATLAS projects, conferences, meetings, publications and other activities
  • Access to the ATLAS Member Portal on Internet with exclusive access code
  • The annual ATLAS conference, which provide an opportunity to network with other members
  • Conferences organised by regional associations, such as ATLAS Asia-Pacific and ATLAS Africa
  • ATLAS members can participate in a wide range of projects run by ATLAS in the areas of tourism and leisure education and research
  • ATLAS members are listed on the ATLAS homepage, giving teachers and students easy access to information about your institution via Internet
  • ATLAS members have access to research information gathered through ATLAS international projects
  • Distribution of information about your programmes, projects and products via the ATLAS mailing list
  • ATLAS members are entitled to substantial discounts on ATLAS conference fees and selected ATLAS publications.

Information lists

The ATLAS information list is open to all staff members of a member institution. ATLAS sends information to this list to update the members about its activities and to inform them about other relevant information related to tourism, leisure, education and research. The members can also use this list to distribute information about upcoming events, publications, research proposals, etc. To read more about this list and about the lists of the Special Interest Groups, please click HERE


You can read the ATLAS Constitution HERE

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