Recreation, Tourism and Sport Specialty Group Business Meeting
American Geographers Centennial Meeting -
Report from the AAG Specialty Group Chairs Meeting
Specialty Group Sponsored Sessions
Deborah Che, RTS Chair, reported that the number of organized specialty group sessions was raised. On one hand, the AAG Council believed the bottom-up nature of specialty groups’ organizing sessions indicated that the needs of specialty group members were being met. On the other hand, the proliferation of sessions could lead to fragmentation of the discipline. Having sessions co-sponsored by a number of specialty groups was seen as a way to address this fragmentation as well as a way to foster communication across subfields. In the end, the AAG Council felt that there should not be a limit to the number of sessions, but that specialty groups should focus on assembling the highest quality sessions. Lisle Mitchell commented that RTS is sponsoring or co-sponsoring 21 sessions, which included many people new to RTS. In addition to sponsoring sessions at the AAG Annual Meeting, specialty groups could sponsor them at the AAG Regional Meetings.
Specialty Group Membership and Activity
Deborah Che also reported that the number (now 54 with the addition of a new Wine and Viticulture group) and the “health” of specialty groups were also discussed. The AAG has the authority to pull specialty groups with less than 100 members. It is not inclined to enforce this minimum membership requirement, in part because this could mean the end of more than ¼ of all specialty groups. Additionally, specialty groups with 40 or 50 active members could be vibrant and serve the association’s membership. But for instance, one specialty group chair who was also a member of the Aging specialty group, which had a small number of members and no sponsored sessions during the Centennial Meeting, suggested that the future of this specialty group be considered. The AAG would also look at reports of activities and future plans regarding any decisions on specialty groups. Che noted that as of May 2003, when the AAG most recently sent a membership list, RTS had 214 members.
Specialty Group Membership Lists and List-Serves
Che reported discussion on whether the AAG could and/or should house specialty group list-serves as well as issues with getting AAG specialty group members on list-serves. Currently the AAG sends out specialty group membership lists, but many specialty groups have separate list-serves which include non-AAG members. Their list-serves may not include all specialty group members since one must choose to join the list-serve. The issue of the AAG housing all specialty group list-serves (which could necessitate another staff person) will require further discussion.
Specialty Group Financial Administration
As agreed at last year’s business meeting, RTS will be turning over financial administration to the AAG. Thus after this year, the check for dues will no longer be sent to the Chair and deposited by the Treasurer. The Treasurer will authorize disbursements.
Treasurer’s Report and Discussion of Further Student Support
David Truly reported that the RTS balance as of
RTS Paper Competition
The RTS Board members involved in judging the papers noted
the large number of entrants for the student paper competition and the
difficulty in selecting the award winners.
Gyan Nyaupane (The Pennsylvania State University) received the first
place award for ‘Searching for a
Tourism Development Model for Developing Mountain Regions: A Controlled Comparison
of Annapurna, Nepal and
RTS members discussed the possibility of separate awards for undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. students. All of the entrants for this year’s competition were graduate students, but the award winners included both students at the master’s and at the Ph.D. level. Dimitri Ioannides suggested in addition to the monetary award, the RTS paper competition winner could also receive assistance towards getting the paper published in Tourism Geographies. This would not entail a guarantee of publication since the journal articles are peer-reviewed, but assistance towards possible publication.
Plans for AAG 2005-
For next year’s meeting in Denver, the following session
themes were proposed (organizers in parentheses): 1) urban tourism (Rudi Hartmann),
2) mountain tourism (Sanjay Nepal), 3) sport tourism (Theodore Gouge), 4)
post-colonialism and tourism (Anne-Marie d’Hauteserre), 5) implications of the
extension of the European Union for tourism (Rudi Hartmann) and 6) tourism theory
(Michelle Metro-Roland). Additionally a possible RTS field trip (a ski
train up to the
Deborah Che (RTS Chair, 2003-2005)
Department of Geography
 RTS is co-sponsoring sessions with the Rural Geography, Cultural Geography, Canadian Studies, Cultural and Political Ecology, Regional Development and Planning, Urban Geography, and Coastal and Marine specialty groups.