Integrating City Tourism(s) in the Urban Research Agenda

1st Workshop
“Integrating City Tourism(s) in the Urban Research Agenda”
L’Aquila (Italy), 18-19 June 2015

Call for papers

Deadline for submission: March 13, 2015

Attention to urban tourism has been growing rapidly. Researchers, practitioners and policy-makers should carefully reconsider the nature, distinct role, and connections of tourism in the frame of urban economies. Tourism is undergoing fundamental changes regarding the market, the industry’s structure, and the ‘product’ itself. Motivations, preferences and modes of traveling to and experiencing a destination have been changing and proliferating in their number and range, thereby challenging traditional models of tourism management and planning. Cities, towns and mega-cities which are key destinations in the geography of global tourism constantly change, so that a focus on the links between the travel industry and the urban dynamics of change is of great importance. In this regard, a paradigm shift has been recently affirmed at the 3rd Global Summit on City Tourism organized by the UNWTO and titled “New Paradigms in City Tourism Development”, which promoted an understanding of tourism as a key component of local economies and the social life of urban communities.

Despite the evident links between the travel industry and the urban dynamics of change, limited advances in the field have been made.This first Workshop, which will take place in L’Aquila (Italy) from June 18 to19, will provide an international and interdisciplinary platform for critical discussion – from a policy-oriented standpoint – of the interconnections between tourism(s) and the city, in order to outline a research agenda that combines tourism perspectives with urban models, issues and challenges.

The purpose of the Workshop is to build a new network of scholars and experts contributing to the urban research agenda from tourism points of view. Most welcome are contributions from scholars in social sciences, as well as practitioners concerned with the translation of models and perspectives into tools and frameworks for urban management. A tentative (but not exclusive) list of topics of interest includes:
·       City marketing and branding
·       Tourism attractors: higher education; shopping and entertainment; heritage and museums; events and mega-events; the cultural economy
·       Accessibility and Infrastructures
·       Tourism and city governance
·       Urban tourism and local/regional competitiveness
·       Creative tourism
·       The management of city users flows in urban settings
·       Tourism in post-disaster contexts
·       Technologies and travellers’ experiences

The outcomes of the workshop will be:
·       The outline of an international research agenda on urban tourism(s);
·       The building of a platform for on-going discussion and collaborations;
·       An international publication
Nicola Bellini, La Rochelle Business School & Institute of Management, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna
Cecilia Pasquinelli, GSSI Cities – Gran Sasso Science Institute

About GSSI
The institution hosting and organizing the Workshop is the Gran Sasso Science Institute ( in L’Aquila. The GSSI was promoted and supported by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), as part of the economic recovery strategy after the disastrous 2009 earthquake. The GSSI Cities Research Unit focuses on the long-term development trajectories of ‘territorial systems’, and ‘urban systems’ in particular (cities, metropolitan areas, metropolitan regions), from a trans-disciplinary perspective. Research and learning at GSSI Cities is policy-oriented, with a strong emphasis on empirical inquiry. GSSI Cities is organizing this Workshop as part of a series of events in the field of urban studies (for further information please visit
Application process and deadlines
Up to 20 contributions from academics and practitioners will be selected according to their originality and consistency with the aims of the workshop.
There is no registration fee and the Gran Sasso Science Institute will provide contributors (one per accepted paper) with:
·        Accommodation for two nights
·       Coffee and snacks on Thursday and Friday
·       Lunch on Thursday and Friday
·       Dinner on Thursday
A limited number of bursaries are available to cover the travel expenses of Ph.D. students only. To apply for a travel bursary, you should indicate this clearly in the email sending your application.
Please send:
  •                an abstract of max 350 words as a Word document
  •                a short bio followed by a brief statement of current research interests (max 250 words) as a Word document
to by Friday 13th March 2015.

 Late applications will not be considered.

For the Accepted Papers
All applicants will be notified about the selection (by no later than April 10). Authors are required to send an extended abstract of approx. 2,000 words to by Friday 22 May.
Briefly about L’Aquila
The Workshop will take place on the premises of the Gran Sasso Science Institute in the city centre of L’Aquila (viale Francesco Crispi 7). Severely damaged by the earthquake of 2009, the city currently features an exceptional number of construction sites whose tall cranes draw L’Aquila skyline. Yet the city is facing not only a process of physical reconstruction but also a social and economic one. Being a university city and the urban core of a broader region with a tourism vocation (the region hosts one of the most important natural park systems in Europe including Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso), L’Aquila is in the outskirts of the metropolitan region of Rome and it is accessible to a basin of 4,000,000 inhabitants in two hours of travel. L’Aquila is one hour’s drive from Rome; and Roma Tiburtina railway station, Fiumicino Airport and Ciampino Airport in Rome are well connected to the city by bus.
For more information about the Workshop please contact Cecilia Pasquinelli ( or Nicola Bellini (

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