Rethymno hosts the ICOT2022 Annual Conference, June 22-25.
The ICOT conference takes place in a different destination each year to bring academics together and enable them to experience first-hand the hidden qualities and the beauty of each location. Following the success of the previous International Conferences on Tourism (ICOT) held in Greece, China, Cyprus, the U.K., Italy, Thailand, and Portugal but also virtually following the COVID-19 outbreak and with the strong support by the international scholarly community.
ICOT2022 Annual Conference is bringing together a worldwide audience and attendees to anticipate the day after, with an indigenous theme of " Back to the future: Reconfiguring the travel industry?”
The twenty-first century brought unprecedented challenges for the tourism, hospitality, and events industries. Until the end of 2019, globalization vs globalization, extravagant economic and travel activities, marked issues related to climate change, over-tourism vs degrowth, terrorism, and the aftermath of the economic crisis of 2008 comprised the most talked-about topics in tourism studies.
Then, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic changed dramatically the scenery and the priorities of the tourism and hospitality industries. Even experienced and ‘heavy’ travelers and travel lovers have to rethink their beloved hobby. Destinations, which were troubled with over-tourism in 2019, need now to re-orientate their strategic plans. Focusing on the place rather than the destination, branding becomes a priority in order to effectively manage the destinations as safe places for international and domestic travelers, investors, and local communities alike.
ICOT 2022 seeks to contribute to the debate regarding how to decrease risk and uncertainty in order to resume the viability of tourism. For some, a focus on sustainable practices and crisis management initiatives appears more necessary than ever before. On the other hand, other practitioners and scholars believe that the COVID-19 impacts on destinations and the traveler’s attitude are temporary.
The conference stimulates discussion and exchange of ideas related to the conference theme and beyond, between tourism professionals, academics, researchers, policy-makers, consultants, practitioners, government officials, and postgraduate students from tourism academia and related fields.
Members and conference delegates had the opportunity to experience Rethymno and Crete, and learn more about its offerings through excursions, gastronomic experiences and event engagements.
Rethymno is looking to promote travel to education, postgraduates - academics, and other niche tourism segments such as business travel, and conferences, as it continues to rebuild tourism.