The story of Encuentros

Encuentros is a biannual international tourism conference organized by the University of Primorska, Faculty of Tourism Studies – Turistica. Located on the Adriatic coast in the Port of Roses (Portorož), part of the community of Piran, the conference provides space for encounters of tourism scholars from various academic disciplines, tourism practitioners and students. The official working languages of the conference is English.

We exchange our worlds, languages, habits, experiences, and feelings through tourism. We share our stories, thoughts and ideas with the people we meet on our way. Turism is therefore a continuum of encounters of people with diverse cultural and social backgrounds.

In 2003, the Faculty of Tourism Studies – Turistica (University of Primorska) started the Encuentros project with the intent to turn tourism conferences into such encounters. Tourism conferences should not only be a series of presentations and exchanges of professional experiences and scientific research, but most of all a multidisciplinary, multicultural and multi-rhythmic encounter of tourism researchers. Therefore, we did not envisage a conference or a meeting but rather encuentros.

The Spanish word encuentros was chosen for the conference because the World Tourism Organisation (UN WTO) is based in Spain and we also wanted to stress the Mediterranean character of tourism and that of the Adriatic resort in Slovenia where the event takes place. In Slovene, the word encuentros (srečanja) is similar to the word happiness (sreča), but that is another story.

Encuentros conferences were organized in 2004, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014. During these past years, Encuentros has evolved into a biannual international conference that provides space for encounters of tourism scholars from various academic disciplines, tourism practitioners and students. The conference features keynote speakers and three sets of workshops:

  1. Academic workshops welcome scientific contributions from all fields of tourism studies.  There are two permanent workshops: Tourism in the Mediterranean and Dialogues of small destinations.
  2. Applied workshops welcome contributions from the fields of tourism practice – tourism organizations, travel agencies, NGOs etc.
  3. Student workshops that invite students to present their original ideas, research reports or parts of their theses.