International Tourism Congress 2022

The International Tourism Congress ITC2022 was organized by the Faculty of Geographical Sciences at the University of Lodz (Poland) in cooperation with CiTUR Centre for Tourism Research, Development and Innovation. The title of ITC2022 was “Tourism – Going Back/Forward to Sustainability”. ITC2022 was also the final event disseminating achievements of the SPOT project. The event was supported by the Lodz Tourism Organisation and the Polish Geographical Society.

The event was held both online and in person in Lodz, 16-19 November 2022. Participants were from, for instance, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Czech Republic and Ukraine. 181 people participated in the congress in total, including 106 on-site participants, and 75 online.

This congress is part of the initiative to host a BUP event where the focus was for the BUP to financially support colleagues at BUP participating universities to host and organise a BUP academic event/activity that is of interest and relevance to sustainability and a Baltic Sea Region perspective, and that encourage interdisciplinary co-operations. 

Structure of the event

The organisers announced the call for participation in the themed sessions first, and after that the call for abstracts. This allowed for a selection of the most important and popular topics to be discussed during ITC2022, and for structured discussions.

Discussions on recovering financial sustainability of tourism as well as experiential tourism were the most popular. This confirms the strength of growth-oriented paradigm of tourism development. However, there was also an increasing interest in the environmental context of tourism (discussion on climate challenges of tourism), as well as the social one (sessions devoted to the issues of accessible tourism and cultural tourism). The support of The Baltic University Programme allowed for the implementation of a discussion on sustainable tourism in the Baltic Sea Region.

During the event there was a special plenary session on sustainable spatial planning of tourism destinations that was organised to disseminate the achievements of the Erasmus+ SPOT project. The research was conducted to investigate the spatial planning issues of tourism development in the following types of landscapes: vineyard, mountain, coastal, industrial, and rural. This allowed the identification of spatial contexts of various factors affecting tourism sustainability, e.g. 1) seasonality of tourism, 2) dominance of supralocal structures over local ones, 3) dominance of neoliberal paradigm of growth in tourism destinations, and 4) leading role of tourism industry in tourism destinations over needs of local communities. Students were involved in the research process. And, as the result, the innovative method of “teaching by researching” was elaborated during the SPOT project, and discussed during ITC2022.

Read the program for the ITC2022.

The logo of ITC2022

Voices of participants

Agata Basińska-Zych - Participant from WSB University in Poznan

Photo of Agata Basińska-Zych

During the congress, I wanted to establish new research contacts in the field I work within. An important magnet for me was the opportunity to meet fellow scientists in person with whom we collaborated as part of the Sustainable Tourism Network from the Baltic Sea Region. 
The event atmosphere was great! In my opinion, the best part of the ITC2022 aside from the big variety of conference topics was the opportunity of networking and exchange of good practices between researchers from different part of the Europe and World in the topic of sustainable tourism.
From this event I will take with me a new energy, new research contacts and new motivation for further scientific work. After two years of the pandemic it was great to attend a face-to-face international conference. 

Leszek Butowski - Participant from University of Lodz

Before I participated in the congress I had the expectation that there would be an exchange of new ideas coming from the colleagues taking part. One of the reasons for this is that the co-organizers were institutions from Portugal and Sweden and relatively many scholars from these countries participated in the event.

I would say that the best part of the event were the selected thematic sessions as opposed to official speeches and inaugural lectures. Sometimes this official "welcome" part, although necessary, is quite time-consuming and brings little real value.

From the congress, I will take with me some new contacts with people I did not personally know before. Hopefully I will succeed to cooperate with some of them in the future.

Markéta Novotná - Participant from Masaryk University

Photo of Marketa Novotna

Before attending the congress, I was looking forward to visiting the city where the congress was taking place. The Polish university city Lodz has much in common with my home city of Brno (CZ). The city of the textile industry with potential for post-industrial tourism and new people dealing with similar issues – these were my main expectations.

I enjoyed the presentations that offered different perspectives on sustainability, whether from the demand or supply side. However, the best parts were when we could discuss these perspectives during breaks and informal meetings.

Thanks to participation in the congress, I met new people and broadened my horizons. I will bring mainly new contacts and experience with me back home.

Images from ITC2022

A large group of people standing in a venue.

Participants that took part in the conference in person in Lodz.

Photo: the SPOT project

Two people giving a presentation.Katarzyna Leśniewska-Napierała & Tomasz Napierała from the Organising Committee opening the congress.

Photo: the SPOT project

Presentation of the SPOT-project.

Presentation during the special session for the SPOT project.

Photo: the SPOT project

Presentation during a themed session.

Presentation during one of the themes sessions of the congress.

Photo: the SPOT project

Field trip to Bełchatów industrial district.

The event included a field trip to Bełchatów industrial district.

Photo: the SPOT project

Last modified: 2023-01-20