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Special Issue "Sustainable Tourism and Hospitality for Disabled and Aging Populations"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Ian Patterson

Formerly Associate Professor, School of Business, Tourism Discipline, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland, Australia
Interests: Ian Patterson has been a member of the academic staff of the UQ Business School (Tourism Discipline) at the University of Queensland since he was appointed Associate Professor in 2001. He was Research Director of the School between 2001 and 2004, and in 2008. Dr Patterson was Co-Editor of the academic journal, Annals of Leisure Research, between 2004 and 2011, and previously served as an Associate Editor of Schole: A Journal of Leisure and Recreation Education, and of the Journal of Park and Recreation Administration. Currently, he is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, and Urban Science. In 2016 he was appointed Guest Editor for a Special Issue entitled ‘Sustainable Management in Tourism and Hospitality’ for the journal Sustainability. Dr. Patterson has successfully supervised the completion of 15 Ph.D. scholars. He has published 20 book chapters and over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles in the areas of tourism, leisure, sports, and health. In 2018, he completed a new textbook for CABI International entitled “Tourism and Leisure Behaviour in an Ageing World” (https://www.cabi.org/bookshop/book/9781786390943).
Over the past ten years, he has concentrated on researching healthy older people and, in particular, the social-psychological experiences of older people who are participating in physical activity, sport, and tourism programs. Dr Patterson was awarded a large grant by the Australian Research Council Grant in 2004/5 to promote the health of older people by linking them with local physical activity resources and social support, to encourage them to increase and sustain their levels of physical activity. In 2011, Dr Patterson was awarded a citation, and in 2015 he was awarded Life Membership for his significant contribution to the development of the professional association, the Australian and New Zealand Association for Leisure Studies (ANZALS). He was the keynote speaker at the Tourism and Ageing Conference in Estoril, Portugal, 26–29th November, 2014, and the 3rd Annual World Congress of Geriatrics and Gerontology, 26–28th November, 2015, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. He retired from UQ at the end of 2015 to write and travel overseas.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Population projections have estimated that there will be a huge increase in the number of older people who are living longer. The United Nations (2013) has recognised the fact that the older generation is growing at a rapid rate, and estimated that by 2050 more than two billion people will be aged 60 and older. This will account for 22% (or 1:5) of the world’s population, compared with only 10% in 2000, and this demographic shift will be seen across all continents. As a direct consequence of these global ageing patterns, the travel and tourism industry is set to welcome the baby boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964). Baby boomers are now accounting for a greater share of all tourism spending than previous cohorts of older travelers. The World Tourism Organization (2001) has predicted that by 2050, international travelers who will be aged 60 years and over would exceed two billion trips per annum, compared to 593 million in 1999. This significant population increase by older travelers will have a noticeable impact both on the type of holidays undertaken and the destinations that are chosen. To cater for this increased demand for tourism services, many countries are beginning to experience a significant impact on their natural resources, consumption patterns, pollution levels, and social systems. Sustainable tourism is becoming the new ‘buzz’ word for tourism operators, as they attempt to incorporate a suitable balance between the three dimensions of tourism development: the environmental, the economic, and the socio-cultural.

This Special Issue will comprise of a selection of papers that will address the three pillars of sustainable tourism and are based on the following key themes:

  1. Environmental: The optimal use of environmental resources, the maintenance of essential ecological processes, and the need to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity, which are key elements of sustainable tourism development. Although travelling to warmer climates will still be popular, research indicates that many older travelers are demanding new and exotic destinations to visit in their search for memorable experiences, which has implications for the environment. Baby boomers now prefer to take holidays where they can learn something new and/or embark on different historical, educational, and cultural experiences.
  2. Socio-Cultural: Sustainable tourist services need to respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, so as to conserve their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, and to contribute to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance. Educational tourism is becoming more popular for many older travelers who commit themselves to learning about a different culture and/or volunteer to help residents from rural and remote communities as well as poorer third-world countries.
  3. Economic: It is hoped that the search for new and exotic destinations by baby boomers will help to provide socio-economic benefits for all stakeholders that will be fairly distributed, including employment and income-earning opportunities for host communities, as well as the adequate provision of social services to help to alleviate poverty.

Papers selected for this Special Issue will undergo a rigorous peer-review process.

Dr. Ian Patterson
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • senior tourism
  • baby boomers
  • aging
  • older travelers
  • cultural tourism
  • educational tourism
  • adventure tourism
  • volunteer tourism

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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