Site visit the International Academy for the Study of Tourism

From 8th to 10th November 2021, a site visit for the International Academy for the Study of Tourism was organized. After having been in contact with the President Karl Wöber and 1st Vice President Daniel Fesenmaier for several months via email and Teams we finally got to meet in person.

The Academy is an international organization created to enhance both theoretical and practical research in the field of tourism and are well known in this industry. They are planning to host their conference in Leuven from 30th May to 3rd June 2022. The local host of this conference is Prof. Jan van der Borg of the Division of Geography and Tourism, part of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences from KU Leuven. Additionally, during this conference there is a special collaboration with Visit Flanders. Therefore, Alexandra Raab-Frostl who works for Visit Flanders Convention Bureau, also participated the entire site visit.

Day 1:

After arriving by plane from Vienna, the group took a train from Brussels Airport to Leuven. An early check-in was arranged at the Martin’s Klooster Hotel so after a quick fresh up we were ready to discover Leuven.

As it was a lovely fall day we started out at the Kruidtuin (botanical garden) after which we had lunch at Elisa. Thereafter, it was time to visit the Faculty Club to discuss the possibilities for a dinner during the conference. Along the way to the Faculty Club we passed by the Old Beguinage.

The conference of the Academy will be taking place in KU Leuven facilities, namely Aula Emma Vorlat and Zaal Couvreur. Therefore, a visit to these facilities could not be missing from this list.

To make this day even more successful, a dinner was planned with Prof. Jan van der Borg and his colleague Prof. Arie Stoffelen at De Werf. This nice informal dinner was the starting point to shape the plans for the conference.

Day 2:

The second day of the site visit was intended for meetings discussing the outline of the conference. Multiple tourism professionals joined this day, namely Visit Leuven and Visit Flanders.

As Leuven is truly the beer capital of the world a visit to De Hoorn, the original Stella Artois brewery could not be missed. So what better way to end a successful day of meetings than to have drinks and dinner at this heritage location. This was also a great opportunity to visit de Vaartkom, one of the areas under development in Leuven.

Day 3:

The third day of the site visit was reserved for meetings with stakeholders outside Leuven and took place in Brussels. After which a flight was taken back to Vienna.

It was truly a pleasure of organizing this site visit and showcasing our beautiful city, it’s venues and arranging the meetings. Leuven is looking forward hosting the conference of the Academy next year!