Guidelines for Annual Conferences

Guidelines for the planning and organization of EATSA annual conferences

1.    General Requirements for EATSA Conferences

Conference Schedule
The Euro-Asia Tourism Studies Association (EATSA) hosts its annual conferences alternating between locations in Europe (in odd-numbered years) and in Asia (in even-numbered years). Proposals to host the conference should first be presented to the EATSA Committee meeting; upon agreement by the Committee, the proposal(s) are then presented during the EATSA General Assembly at the conference of the previous year. If there are several proposals endorsed by the Committee, the final location is decided by vote during the Assembly.

EATSA conferences are held in the summer, preferably in June or July. Conference organizers decide the specific dates of the conference after consultation with the EATSA Board.

Conference Format
Preferably, EATSA conferences are held over a period of three days, ideally beginning on a Thursday and ending on a Saturday. Academic paper sessions constitute the main part of the conference. All presenters should be given sufficient time to present their work (with 30 minutes for the presentation and discussion of each paper being recommended). When necessary, parallel sessions can be scheduled.

Additionally, EATSA conferences include:
-  A welcome reception on the evening of the day before the conference
-  A Board and Committee meeting which is scheduled on an evening during the conference or on the evening of the day before the conference, after the welcome reception
- One or two keynote speeches given by prominent scholars or business practitioners during the opening session
-  A conference dinner for all participants
- The EATSA General Assembly of all members who are present that takes place on the final day of the conference
- A local visit, typically with a half day format (before, during or after the conference itself).

Conference Attendees
All tourism scholars or practitioners with an interest in European, Asian Tourism or Global Tourism may participate in EATSA conferences. For participants who are not yet members of EATSA, the annual membership fee will be added to the conference fee.

Conference Fees
Each year’s conference organizer sets the conference fee after consultation with the EATSA Board. The fee should be modest and should only be used to reimburse the organizer’s expenses (such as for receptions and meals, venues, conference support staff, production of conference proceedings, and the company visit) as far as they are not covered by other sources. The additional fee for non-members (see previous point) needs to be transferred to EATSA after the conference within two months after the conference. Fees for students should be half of those for other participants. When the conference is held in an emerging or developing country, the organizer may set reduced fees for local participants in consultation with the EATSA Board.
Conference organizers are strongly encouraged to investigate alternative sources of finance, such as support from their home institutions or external sponsors.

Conference Tracks
EATSA conferences have three tracks: the competitive track, the workshop track, and the PhD track. The most developed and polished papers should be submitted to the competitive track, whereas papers on work-in-progress should be considered for the workshop track. The PhD track is reserved for work submitted by doctoral students.
Papers should generally follow the APA guidelines. The length of papers should not exceed 8.000 words (including references and exhibits) for competitive track submissions and 6.000 words for workshop and PhD track submissions.

Matchmaking for new research projects
During the annual conference, there will be a specific space for presenting research projects, calling to people with the same interest to attend and make progress in the configuration of joint projects.

EATSA bestows three awards at its conferences: Best Paper Award, Best Euro-Asian Collaborative Paper Award and Best Reviewer Award.

The Best Paper Award is given to the author of the paper which has the highest quality among all competitive papers presented at the conference. The best paper is selected in two steps. First, the organizing committee pre-selects a small number of papers from all competitive track submissions that have received the most positive reviewer feedback. Thereafter, the EATSA President and two Vice-Presidents review these pre-selected papers anonymously and determine the best paper. Paper submissions by EATSA Board members and members of the organizing committee are not eligible for the Best Paper Award.

The Best Euro-Asian Collaborative Paper Award is given to co-authors of the paper that presents the best Euro-Asian joint research. It is selected using the same methodology that was referred for the Best Paper Award.

The Best Reviewer Award is given to the reviewer who has written the paper reviews with the highest quality. The Best Reviewer Award is determined by the organizing committee. Members of the organizing committee are not eligible for the Best Reviewer Award.

All accepted papers are to be included in full length in the EATSA conference proceedings which are distributed to all conference participants. The proceedings should not be registered as a publication with an ISBN number to avoid problems with future publications in journals or books.

EATSA conference organizers are strongly encouraged to publish selected papers as part of a journal special issue of edited book. The usual practice within EATSA should be to publish selected conference papers in a special issue of a scientific indexed journal. Conference organizers may also explore additional or alternative publication opportunities after consultation with the EATSA board.

2.    Organizing tasks and schedule for EATSA conference organizers

(1)    Submitting a conference proposal to the EATSA Board
Conference proposals should, initially, specify a conference theme, the name of the conference organizer(s), the name of the hosting institution, and the approximate timing of the proposed conference. Proposals also need to include a clear indication of the level of institutional support by representatives of the hosting institution.

Conference proposals may be submitted to at any time. However, to be considered for a particular year, they need to reach EATSA no later than one month before the conference of the previous year. Conference organizers are normally expected to attend the annual EATSA conference which immediately precedes the year of the proposed one, so that they can present the proposal directly to the EATSA Committee and during the general assembly. If there are several proposals, the Board will vote to decide the conference venue.

(2)    Drafting and internally circulating the call for papers
Once a conference proposal has been accepted by EATSA, conference organizers will draft a Call for Papers and circulate it amongst the EATSA Board members for feedback and potential suggestions for improvement. The Call for Papers must include a description of the conference theme and it should specify a number of topics or themes for which submissions are invited. It also needs to include a specific submission deadline and instructions on how to format and submit papers. EATSA strongly recommends setting a submission deadline which gives potential participants sufficient time to prepare and submit their work and also gives the local organizing committee the time needed to organize the review process for paper submissions.

Experience has shown that the paper submission deadline may be reasonably set to a date 3-4 months prior to the conference. EATSA also recommends not extending the submission deadline and mentioning this in the Call for Papers to signal to authors that the deadline needs to be kept to have their work considered for the conference.

Note that a short Call for Papers should be sent to the Board for review and consultation by February prior to the conference. A full Call should be circulated by May. The paper submission deadline is suggested to be by the end of July at the latest. The review process should be organized during the month of August. Organizers are strongly encouraged to provide final acceptances for papers by 15th September at the latest, as many participants will require visas for travel or agreement from their institution for financial support to attend the conference.

(3)    Publishing the call for papers
Once the Call for Papers has been circulated and any revisions or additions based on the comments of EATSA Board members have been incorporated, the final version should be published and distributed through various channels:

-    The EATSA general secretary will send it to all EATSA members by email.
-    The EATSA webmaster will upload it on the EATSA website.
-    It should be distributed via the mailing lists of related academic communities, in particular the AIB mailing list.
-    It should be distributed, using appropriate means, among the national and local academic communities of the host institution to attract the attention of local academics and encourage them to submit their work.

(4)    Creating an organizing committee for the conference
For each EATSA conference, an organizing committee needs to be created. It should include several members of the hosting institution who are willing and able to provide continuous support for the planning and organization of the conference and at least one member of the EATSA Board. Additionally, members of other local academic institutions may also be invited to join the organizing committee. It is also expected that a member of the EATSA Direction Board and Advisory Board be part of the conference organizing committee. It is recommended that the organizing committee is constituted early and that its members are announced in the final Call for Papers. The committee needs to be in place before the paper submission deadline.

(5) Reviewing conference submissions and announcing the results
All paper submissions that reach the conference organizers before the submission deadline need to be reviewed on an anonymous (double blind) basis. Two reviews per paper are needed for both competitive track and workshop track submissions, and one review is needed for PhD track submissions.

All EATSA Direction Board and Advisory Board members may be requested by the organizing committee to review conference submissions. Additionally, academic members of the hosting institution may also be recruited as reviewers. It is further recommended that a few backup reviewers are recruited who can replace those initial reviewers who are unable to submit their reviews on time. Reviewers need to be instructed about how and by when they should submit their reviews. Reviews are submitted online. Reviews consist of three parts: numerical scores regarding a given list of quality criteria, written comments to authors, and written comments to the organizing committee. Comments to authors should be written in a constructive tone to help them improving their work.

Based on the reviews, the organizing committee will make decisions on the paper submissions. Papers submitted for the competitive track may be accepted for the competitive track, accepted for the workshop track or rejected, whereas workshop and PhD track papers may be accepted for the track they have been submitted to, or rejected. In general, as there are two streams of papers (competitive and workshop), papers that are still in progress and less polished should be included within the workshop stream. This will give the opportunity for most authors to take part in the conference.

After the decisions on paper submissions have been made, authors must be informed about the outcomes immediately. All notifications of acceptance or otherwise should be sent to the authors at least two months before the conference. Authors of accepted papers are invited to revise their work based on reviewer comments and re-submit their final paper versions that are being included in the conference proceedings. Revisions should be requested to be submitted no later than three weeks after acceptance notifications.

(6) Opening conference registration
Participants need to be asked to register and transfer the conference fee in advance of attending the conference. Conference payment may be supported by the payment function at the EATSA website in collaboration with the EATSA webmaster.

Conference registration needs to open when authors are notified about the acceptance of their papers, at the latest. Authors of accepted papers should be directed on how to register and be informed that the inclusion of their papers in the conference program is conditional on their registration and the transfer of the conference fee. A deadline for registration needs to be set accordingly and advertised on the conference/EATSA website. Conference information is made available on the EATSA website. The organizing committee may decide to develop an additional independent conference website.

(7) Composing and publishing the conference program
Once the authors of accepted papers have registered, the conference program can be devised. Conference sessions should be created separately for the competitive, workshop and PhD tracks and grouped around common themes.

For PhD track sessions, conference organizers may ask selected EATSA senior members to help at this stage. Track leaders should be invited to read submitted papers before the conference so that they can provide constructive and informed feedback to junior researchers, with suggestions on how to further develop their work.

Once the conference program has been finalised, it needs to be uploaded to the conference website. All conference participants should be notified of the availability of the program individually by email.

The conference program should be published no later than one month before the conference.

Conference organizers should inform session chairs of their role before the conference. Session chairs should be sent papers for their session and invited to read them before the conference.

(8) Editing conference proceedings
After the authors of accepted papers have sent in their final paper versions, the conference proceedings should be produced. The proceedings should be organized by the three different conference tracks.

A copy of the conference proceedings must be given to all participants together with all other materials in the conference bag (such as a hardcopy of the conference program, name tags, directions to the conference rooms, and writing materials) at the conference registration desk. The copies of the proceedings can be produced either in hardcopy or in electronic format.

(9) Providing information regarding travel and accommodation to participants
Conference participants are provided with general travel information for the conference venue, including visa regulations when applicable, preferably two months before the conference starts. Participants should also be provided with non-binding accommodation offers for hotels close to the conference site. These offers should include a choice of different hotels with varying price levels to provide all participants with reasonable choices according to their needs and personal conference budgets. Conference organizers are encouraged to negotiate special conference rates with these hotels beforehand.

Travel and accommodation information should be uploaded at the conference website. It should be made available as early as possible and at the latest at the same time as acceptance letters for conference submissions are sent out.

(10) Inviting selected participants to submit their work for follow-up publications
After the conference, selected participants should be invited by the conference organizers to revise their work based on comments received during the conference and submit it for a followup publication which can be either a special issue of a journal or an edited book (see also the point ‘publications’ above).

It is recommended that these invitations are sent to potential contributors as soon as possible, during or after the conference, as the authors of high quality papers often commit themselves to other publication outlets otherwise.

ETASA - Euro-Asia Tourism Studies Association