Like most geographers, my interests span a number of different topics and I find tourism is an exciting and emerging field which is branching out into these many areas. The RTS Specialty Group provides an opportunity for discussion and learning for me and I want to thank you for electing me as your Chair. Since my first attendance at AAG, as a graduate student accepting the Roy Wolfe Award in behalf of my supervisor, Peter Murphy, I have found a welcoming and friendly atmosphere in RTS. I would like to thank Alan Lew for all the work he has put in over the last two years as Chair; he will be a hard act to follow. We will miss him at next year's meeting in Boston, but perhaps see him in Hawaii. Please plan toattend the Boston meeting. We need a good mix of poster and paper sessions.
Barbara Carmichael, RTS
Alan Lew is stepping down after a highly successful two-year stint as RTS Chair. As Barbara has pointed out, he will be a tough act to follow. Like most other Chairs before him, he not only attended to the everyday responsibilities of directing the Specialty group, but also pursued an agenda that corrected nagging problems, created new possibilities for the future, and generally left the RTS SG in much better shape than he found it. Because of Alan's stewardship the RTS SG now as--among other things--a website, a solid record of coordinating and promoting sustainable tourism research, and greatly improved links to other AAG specialty groups, the IGU, and the international community or RTS researchers. Alan is now free to direct his considerable talents to Other Things. Paramount among them is a June 1997-May 1998 Visiting Fellowship in the Department of Geography at the National University of Singapore. He will be teaching GIS and computer mapping, conducting tourism research, and being careful not to chew gum or spit on the sidewalk. Alan can still be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org and will continue to manage the RTS homepage for us.
Rob Bristow is working on a project that should be of great benefit to RTSers throughout academe. He's reviewing the literature related to recreation geography, preparing a recreation geography bibliography, and gathering information bearing on pedagogical issues. Rob is especially interested in how we are teaching our courses in recreation geography and applied outdoor recreation planning. He wants us to send him our RTS-themed course outlines and reading lists--even our lab exercises, homework assignments, and exams. The bibliography (and, presumably, some of the other fruits of his efforts) will be made available on the web. Contact: Rob Bristow, Chair, Dept. of Geography & Regional Planning, Westfield State College, Westfield, MA 01086 (413/572-5595; email email@example.com); Rob's website is http://bondo.wsc.mass.edu/dept/garp/faculty/bristow.htm
I hope that Rob hears from lots of RTSers. As Dick Smith's AAG paper "Trends in the Academic Status of Recreation and Tourism Geography" revealed, enrollments in tourism/travel-oriented RTS courses dropped nearly 50 percent in America between 1988 and 1996. The increase in recreation-oriented RTS courses during that period, while significant, was nowhere near enough to take up the slack. Obviously, we need to improve both the quantity and quality of our RTS-themed teaching. I can personally attest to the value of having help for launching new RTS-themed courses and improving old ones. The national parks course I introduced some years ago at the University of South Carolina, and which has since become one of the most heavily-enrolled courses in the Geography Department, is patterned after a course developed by Hank Raup at Western Michigan University. My proposed World Tourism Geography course draws on extremely helpful suggestions supplied by Randy Baker during my recent AAG/GTU Visiting Geographical Scientist stint at St. Cloud State University. From time to time over the years, Lisle Mitchell and I have been happy to share what we think we know about teaching our course on The Geography of Recreation and Sport. It is easy to take advantage of this sort of help yourself. Check the "courses taught" information (code CRS) in the 1997 RTS Directory and contact people who share your specific teaching interests. Get in touch with Rob Bristow to learn more about his project on the teaching of recreation geography courses. Above all, actively seek out opportunities to share your teaching-related Goode Stuffe with other RTSers.
I wonder if anybody else uses my low-cost approach to staying on top of developments in the rapidly changing world of tourism and travel. In addition to browsing the travel-relevant parts of the various daily newspaper websites I've bookmarked on the Web (free), I spend about 6 hours/week at Barnes & Noble sipping Starbucks ($1.05 apiece), perusing the Travel sections of more than a dozen major Sunday newspapers (free), and taking notes for my teaching and research (free). The fact that I never buy any of these newspapers clearly illustrates the difference between "thrifty" and "cheap." Anybody else want to share freeloading tips?
We note with sadness the passing of sports geographer
Harold McConnell. Hal, a Professor at Florida State University, died
in Tallahassee last October at age 64 following an extended illness.
He will be missed. RLJ
The Treasurer's Report indicated $402.27 in expenditures since the last report and a balance of $936.14 as of 28 March 1997. The mail ballots for the RTS election yielded a new slate of officers for 1997-99, including Chair Barbara Carmichael (Wilfred Laurier University), Secretary-Treasurer Lisle Mitchell (University of South Carolina), and Board Members Charles Stansfield (West Chester State College [PA]), Dimitri Ioannides (Southwest Missouri State University), and Simon Milne (McGill University). Since no student member had been included on the mail ballot, Scott Loban (University of South Carolina) was elected at the business meeting to fill that slot. RTS membership now stands at 282, up slightly from the 276 in 1995-96 and the 262 in 1994-95. The RTS SG sponsored 11 sessions at the 1997 AAG meeting, including nine paper sessions, one panel discussion, and one plenary session. This is an increase over the nine sessions produced for the 1996 AAG meeting. RTS co-sponsored sessions with five other Specialty Groups, including Transportation Geography, Rural Development, Regional Development and Planning, Geographical Perspectives on Women, and Cultural Geography.
Bob Janiskee agreed to continue editing the RTS Newsletter (Alan Lew has offered to take over after the May 1998 issue). The RTS Directory has been updated, and the 1997 edition is available by visiting the RTS homepage or contacting compiler Bob Janiskee; members were urged to verify and update their entries. The RTSNET-L Discussion List (contact firstname.lastname@example.org) had 130 members in March 1997. Alan Lew reported that two edited books dealing with geography and sustainable development are in progress. Bob Janiskee reported that a new book on rural tourism development will be published by Wiley this year. Alan Lew and Michael Hall have discussed organizing a joint meeting of the RTS SG and the IGU Study Group on the Geography of Sustainable Tourism for the 1999 Honolulu AAG meeting; new Chair Barbara Carmichael will be following up on this. At the 1998 RTS business meeting there will be further discussion of an approved-in-principle plan to allocate a total of $1,000-$1,500 in travel funds to student paper presenters in RTS sessions at the 1999 AAG meeting in Honolulu.
The inaugural John Rooney Applied RTS Geography Award
was presented to Robert A. Britton, Managing Director of Corporate Communications
at American Airlines. The 1997 Student Paper Competition winners were:
First Place, Barbara McNichol (University of Calgary) "Determining Group
Images of Proposed Tourism Resort Developments"; and Second Place, Jonathan
Wessell (Western MichiganUniversity) "Recreation Quality and Usage: A Comparative
Study of Three West Michigan Rail-Trails." The Roy Wolfe Award was not
presented this year. There was discussion of RTS SG participation
in the revision of the Geography in America 2000 publication. The
RTS chapter of the new edition will be a collaborative effort written by
a panel of RTS members selected by the SG; those nominated at the meeting
include Barbara Carmichael, Ted Goudge, Dimitri Ioannides, Alan Lew, Scott
Loban, Klaus Meyer-Arendt, and David Truly. To cope with excessive
demands for meeting space and time, the Program Committee for the Boston
AAG apparently will minimize paper sessions of the traditional variety
and go to a program dominated by poster sessions. Each session of
this new variety would consist of 8-12 posters coupled with mini-presentations.
Beginning with the Boston meeting the AAG may also start rotating (on a
3-5 year basis?) plenary session "state of the art" Specialty Group lectures.
RTS may want to select its plenary session presenters from among the Roy
Wolfe Award winners. The RTS SG voted to pay AAG SG Chair's Lunch expenses
for the incoming as well as the current RTS Chair; the RTS will also
bear AAG Awards Lunch expenses for RTS award recipients and for both the
current and incoming RTS Chairs.
A tourism-themed session is being organized by Scott Loban (Department of Geography, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208; 803/750-5838 or 777-5234; email@example.com).
A recreation-themed session is being organized by Lisle Mitchell (Dept. of Geography, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208; 803/777-2986; fax 803/777-4972; email firstname.lastname@example.org). Lisle is also organizing a poster session focused on identifying the core questions and research paradigms of geographic research related to leisure-recreation-tourism-sport (LRTS).
Ted Goudge is organizing a sport-themed poster session--possibly to be blended into the recreation-themed session (Ted Goudge, Dept. of Geography, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, MO 64468; 816/562-1798; email@example.com).
RTS Chair Barbara Carmichael will coordinate the allocation of "general" presentations that cannot be accommodated in the themed sessions (Barbara harmichael, Dept of Geography & Environmental Studies, Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario Canada N21 3C5; 519/884-0710 x2609; <firstname.lastname@example.org>).
The Boston venue should be great for RTSers in general
and tourism geographers in particular. Boston, the capital of New
England, is a great walking city with loads of Touristy Stuffe like the
FreedomTrail (New England's #1 tourist attraction), the Black Heritage
Trail, Faneuil Hall, the Common, and world-class museums. A good
selection of field trips is slated, including Cape Cod, the Berkshires,
historic Lowell, and the North Shore or SE Connecticut. (NB: Rob Bristow
has promised to check out the eateries in Beantown for the 1998 AAG meeting;
with Rob's help, the traditional restaurant jaunt after the RTS business
meeting should be a rare treat.)
The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association
reports that its ca. 1,200 gay and gay-friendly travel agents billed $1
billion in tickets and $35 million in accommodations in 1995.
Maintained by webmaster Alan Lew, the RTS homepage
is located at www.geog.nau.edu/rts and offers a great variety
of Useful Stuffe such as the membershipdirectory, current issue of the
RTS Newsletter, Student Paper Competition guidelines, instructions for
subscribing to the RTSNET-L Discussion List, and information about the
RTS paper sessions for the AAG meeting, recent RTS-themed publications,
upcoming conferences, etc. RTS members desiring to post their website info
should contact Alan Lew at <email@example.com>. The homepage received
281 visits In March 1997.
We want all RTSers included, and we want every entry
to be as complete, accurate, and up-to-date as possible. Bob Janiskee is
the contact person for all matters concerning revision of the RTS membership
24-26 October 1997 at the University of California-Davis. International Conference--Gender/Tourism/Fun. Builds on recent work exploring the global-local nexus of gender in tourism relationships and identities. Cosponsored by the IGU Commission on Gender and Geography, the IGU Study Group on Sustainable Tourism, the International Sociological Association RC50 on International Tourism, and the UCD Gender and Global Issues Program. Contact Margaret B. Swain, Dept. of Anthropology, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616; ph 916/752-8205; fax 916/752-8885).
2-5 December 1997 at the Golden Gate Lodge, Cromwell, Central Otago, New Zealand. Trails in the Third Millenium: An International Tracks, Trails, Heritage, and Back Country Conference. Timed to precede the 8-12 December meeting (in Wellington) of the IGU Study Group on the Geography of Sustainable Tourism; has IGU support (Geoffrey Kearsley or James Higham, Centre for Tourism, Univ. of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).
8-12 December 1997 at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. Regional & Urban Development Conference (Analysis-Policy-Practice). The Tourism section is run in conjunction with the IGU Study Group on the Geography of Sustainable Tourism. Direct all Tourism section inquiries to Michael Hall, Tourism and Services Management, Victoria University of Wellington, Te Whare Wananga o te Upoko o te Ika a Maui, PO Box 600, Wellington, New Zealand (phone + 64 +4 4955233 #8998; or email firstname.lastname@example.org; or http://www.rses.vuw.ac.nz/geography/conferences/PRSCO15).
16-18 June 1998 at the University of Surrey, Guildford, England. Harnessing the High Latitudes--People and Places. Focus on tourism and other developments in ecologically sensitive environments of the high latitudes and cold climates. Contact Alex Noble, School of Management Studies, University of Surrey, Guildford, GU2 5XH United Kingdom; ph +44 1483-300800 ext. 3094; fax +44 1483-259387; email email@example.com).
17-20 August 1998 at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Symposium on the Consumer Psychology of Travel, Hospitality and Leisure Research. Small-scale symposium, no concurrent sessions. Sponsored by the Society of Consumer Psychology, American Marketing Association Special Interest Group in Travel, Hospitality and Leisure (Martin Oppermann, Centre for Tourism Studies, MDC, Waiariki Polytechnic, Private Bag 3028, Rotorua, New Zealand; ph ++64-7-346 8656; fax ++64-7-346 8680; http://www.waiariki.ac.nz/~oppermam/sympo.html).
1st week of September 1998 at Lisbon, Portugal. IGU
Regional Conference: The Atlantic--Past Present, and Future. Sponsored
by the Portuguese National Committee for Geography (Fernando Parreira,
email firstname.lastname@example.org). Publications Available
Jakle, John, Keith Sculle and Jefferson Rogers. 1996. The Motel in America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins.
Mirkovich, Thomas R. and Allison A. Cowgill. 1997. Casino Gambling in the United States. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. [has the most extensive bibliography of gaming literature ever published]
Pearce, P.L., G.M. Moscardo and G.F. Ross. 1997. Tourism Community Relationships.
Tourism Social Science Series. Pergamon.