Volume II – No. 1 – May 2005
On April 25th, more than a dozen Executive Committee members (including three from the US) attended our second Mid-Year Meeting in Paris, hosted by EC member Mathieu Flonneau. I was very pleased about the high turnout, especially among our younger members, and even more so to learn that the York Local Organisation Committee and the Programme Committee (both chaired by Colin Divall) have done a splendid job not only in attracting more than 90 submissions for our next conference in October, but also in devising a programme which at least promises to equal our previous successful event in Dearborn. It
is, again, proof of the substantial need for an annual meeting in our field and strengthens my conviction that we are on the right track: an Association of over a hundred members generating each year a conference with about the same attendance truly merits its existence.
Our EC meeting took many decisions. We finalised our Statutes, we agreed upon a basic text of our Internal Regulations, we discussed our 2005 budget, we started to
discuss a rotation schedule for EC members (implying that we will need to vote for four new EC members this year), we decided upon the date and place of our 2006 Conference (still a surprise to be revealed during our York Banquet), we started a campaign for new members (especially, institutional members), and we discussed at length an initiative to extend the Association’s activities to Theme Groups which would make our Association much more than only a conference organizer. This issue will be discussed in more detail in the next newsletter, in anticipation of the York conference.
Some of the EC’s discussion topics seem rather bureaucratic at first, but upon closer scrutiny they are highly relevant. Take, for instance, the lengthy discussion about the way the Programme Committee should function. There is clearly a tension here between our wish to expand our membership and, at the same time, to maintain and enhance the quality of our annual conferences. As in every scholarly organisation, the Programme Committee should be independent in its decisions about rejections of paper submissions. At the same time, in order not to have any discussion amongst our members about the justification of these rejections, the selection of members for the Programme Committee should be transparent and according to rules clearly laid down in our Internal Regulations. I, for my part, put great emphasis on a clear regulatory basis for our Association.
In Paris, we also discussed closer cooperation with tourism historians, one of
the wishes expressed in the Dearborn member survey. I am therefore very pleased to announce that we will have an extra meeting in Paris in June with a delegation of the tourism historians about a common Round Table Session during our York meeting, where we will discuss common ground between the two fields of Tourism and Mobility History. Our goal is
very clear: not only to acknowledge the history of tourism and travel being one of
the core themes of our field (as also expressed by the conference theme itself), but also to see to it that this results in a major growth of our Association in order to make it easier for future conference organisers to reach their break-even point. I very much look forward to meeting
tourism historians in York, who previously might not have considered T2M to be their
‘home.’ I think our conference ‘formula’ (a combination of a clear theme and at the
same time room for special sessions on a wide range of other topics) starts to really work.