How can academia help industry with sustainable development?

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes

Richard Teare, Managing Editor, Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes


Since its inception in 2009, the Emerald journal Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes (WHATT) has encouraged academics to engage with industry to co-create solutions to real world challenges. This short piece explains WHATT’s approach to extending collaborative effort via theme issue launch events. Here, invited guests who are stakeholders in the nature of the challenge that the journal issue has been investigating, come together to listen to a short synopsis of the outcomes and then to debate and discuss ‘What next?’. If this works as intended, the launch event discussion provides a foundation for a follow-on journal issue that centres on the next steps.


WHATT: Why is collaboration with industry so important?

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes (WHATT) focuses on thematic reviews of the major challenges for sustainable hospitality and tourism development. Every issue of the journal is based on a strategic question that guides analysis, case studies, applied research and the formation of practical, implementable solutions to industry challenges. This is enabled by collaboration with industry and dialogue with practitioners in the field. To conclude, all theme issue editors compile a short summary article in which they reflect back on their strategic question, review the contributions made by the writing team and consider the implications for management action and further investigation. In drawing together the individual contributions in this way, the WHATT format facilitates a response to ‘So what?’ questions about aspects of industry development.   


What are the challenges and opportunities for tourism sustainability in Cyprus?

Theme editors Zanete Garanti and Galina Berjozkinahas have organised an online theme issue launch event that will take place on Friday 28th January 2022 at City Unity College, Nicosia, Cyprus. The event is supported by Emerald Group Publishing who are providing free access to all the articles in this issue from 21st January until 4th February 2022. The theme issue question is: What are the challenges and opportunities for tourism sustainability in Cyprus?

The analysis contained in WHATT v13 n6 2021 focuses on the case for sustainable development in small island developing states (SIDS) with specific reference to the economic, political, socio-cultural, and environmental sustainability issues facing Cyprus. The articles in this theme issue address: stakeholder involvement in sustainability planning, support availability to undertake sustainability-driven initiatives, and residents' perceptions of rapid tourism growth. The issue also examines ways of developing a sustainable tourism industry through education, the Cyprus sustainable tourism initiative, the development of rural thematic tourism, and 3D technology development.

The launch event discussion will be facilitated by Zanete Garanti, Associate Professor at City Unity College Nicosia, Cyprus, Galina Berjozkina, Senior Lecturer at City Unity College Nicosia and Richard Teare, Managing Editor, Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes. Senior level attendees will represent: Academia; Government, Industry and Municipal Authories.


Publishing and real work impact

Emerald’s support for sustainable development and the kind of collaborative effort that WHATT encourages is making a difference. If Hale, Ali and their team had not been able to frame an important question, undertake collaborative analysis and publish their findings in WHATT, we would not be in a position to bring so many industry stakeholders together. Our aim on the 28th January is to help facilitate more extensive collaboration and to use the discussion outcomes as a framework for Zanete and Galina’s follow-on WHATT theme issue in 2022.

Richard Teare


Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes (WHATT) aims to make a practical and theoretical contribution to hospitality and tourism development and we seek to do this by using a key question to focus attention on an industry issue. If you would like to contribute to our work by serving as a WHATT theme editor, do please contact the Managing Editor, Dr Richard Teare – email: [email protected]