Group photo of conference participants

Annual NATU meeting held in Kalmar

On 19-20 October, NATU, the network for academic tourism education and research in Sweden, met at the School of Business and Economics in Kalmar, for its annual meeting.

This is the national subject conference for tourism research and tourism education at Swedish universities and was a prerequisite for the formation of the subject of tourism studies 20 years ago. They met for the first time in Kalmar and since then meetings have been held every year.

Last year, the meeting was held at the School of Business, Economics and Law in Gothenburg and the last time the meeting was held in Kalmar was in 2016. Representatives from Umeå University, Mid Sweden University, Karlstad University, Dalarna University, Södertörn University and Lund University were present this time.

Deliberations and discussions on the conditions for education and research in tourism were discussed over two days. The overall picture for the programmes is that there is a convincing ability to develop and renew the range of courses and ways of teaching, both on campus and online.

In terms of research, it is developing strongly and is particularly linked to the doctoral programme in tourism studies at Mid Sweden University, where there are 11 doctoral students in the subject. Dalarna University's research and collaboration group CETLER will become a center of excellence and in the long run, an application for doctoral education will be submitted in the field of social sciences.

BFUF, the tourism industry's research and development fund, had a presentation during day two, and noted that although research funding for the tourism area is increasing, it is from comparatively low levels compared to other industries. A positive dialogue between NATU and BFUF guarantees continued work to create resources for a positive development.

All in all, a very successful meeting with an open attitude and a willingness to share and jointly pursue important issues for education and research at a national level.