The conference closed with an invigorating academic roundtable that pulled together some of the many themes central to this conference. The topic was “Travelling in a Globalised World: Questions of Sustainability and Responsibility” and the discussion was chaired by our own communications officer, Tomos Davies.
Our speakers were academics who were involved in other aspects of the conference. First up was Frank Uekoetter, an academic in history from the University of Birmingham. Next we were delighted to welcome back Patrick Willcocks who was gave the keynote address on the first day of the conference. Shelly Hornstein travelling to us all the way from Toronto closed the panel.
Each panelist considered notions of sustainability and responsibility in relation to their different disciplines and backgrounds. Questions and discussion points included whether a difference exists between responsibility and sustainability, what are the requirements of a sustainable destination, how do our perspectives on sustainability differ comparing rural and urban areas, is ecotourism potentially an oxymoron, what are the advantages and disadvantages of events based tourism strategies and who bears the primary responsibility for sustainability (e.g. tourists, government, local communities, businesses). The roundtable was a great way to end the academic portion of the conference and like the plenary sessions that preceded provided an ample opportunity to discuss and debate the oft overlooked considerations of travelling.
There will be one final blog report to wrap up the social side of our travels in Birmingham. After which keep an eye on this page as we’ll shortly be detailing our final events for the year including the EU Hustings event that is being organised in collaboration with the Institute for German Studies, our 4th and final Postgraduate Afternoon and a pub quiz social to wrap up the year.