Ulysses Prize for Excellence

UNWTO Ulysses Prize for Excellence in the Creation and Dissemination of Knowledge

The UNWTO Ulysses Prize for Excellence in the Creation and Dissemination of Knowledge in Tourism is awarded to a distinguished scholar for his/her outstanding contribution to create and disseminate innovative knowledge in tourism.

UNWTO Ulysses Prize Laureates:

Dr.Geoffrey Wall - 13th UNWTO Ulysses Prize Laureate

Dr.Geoffrey Wall - 13th UNWTO Ulysses Prize LaureateProfessor Wall is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, Canada, where he has been teaching for more than 40 years.

The Prize has particularly valued Professor Wall’s pioneer research on tourism and climate change and his work on ecotourism and tourism planning. His ecotourism assessment framework and economic impacts assessment models have been effectively implemented in parks and protected areas in many parts of the world. Most of his research has been undertaken in Asia, with a recent emphasis on natural and cultural heritage and indigenous people.

A prolific writer and researcher, Professor Wall has published more than 200 publications in refereed journals, more than 100 book chapters and about 20 books and monographs. He has also supervised more than 100 graduate students; many of them are now leaders in the tourism field.

Professor Wall has also considerable involvement in practical international planning initiatives. For example, he contributed to the Bali Sustainable Development Project, directed two Five-Year projects in China on coastal zone management in Hainan, and on eco-planning and development; and has been an advisor on many tourism planning initiatives, from provincial to local level, especially in China. He is currently assisting the preparation of the application for UNESCO World Heritage sites in Western China.

Dr.Richard Butler - 12th UNWTO Ulysses Prize Laureate

Dr.Richard ButlerProfessor Richard Butler has had a long-standing interest in tourism from the time he worked on his PhD which focused on the highlands and islands of Scotland. His understanding of tourism, his insights as a geographer and his empirical work in Canada led him to produce one of the most influential theories about tourism – the Tourism Area Life Cycle (TALC). His publication on this in The Canadian Geographer in 1980 remains one of the most cited academic papers on tourism and its contents and developments have been massively influential in the development of tourism destinations throughout the world.

Apart from his interest in tourism destination development his other main areas of research are tourism in remote areas, seasonality and the sustainability of tourism. Over nearly forty years he has produced some 17 books and more than 100 journal papers and chapters in books on these and related topics. 

He has also been a regular contributor to conferences, research and consultancy projects, university programmes and international studies throughout the world, including the recent sessions on seasonality for the World Tourism Organization. And he remains highly active in all these fields. He is a founder member and former President of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism and a past President of the Canadian Association for Leisure Studies.

Professor Eduardo Fayos-Solà - 11th UNWTO Ulysses Prize Laureate

Professor Eduardo Fayos-Solà Dr. Eduardo Fayos-Solà has dedicated his career to advancing the theory and practice of tourism policy and governance from various positions in academia, the private sector, government, and international organizations. He began his career as an Assistant Professor at the University of Valencia and adviser to the first democratically elected parliament of Spain on public policy matters, including tourism. Later, Dr. Fayos-Solà was appointed Director General of the Tourism Institute of Valencia followed by his appointment as the Director General of Tourism Policy of Spain. In this capacity, one of his main accomplishments was the preparation, parliamentary approval, and implementation of Spain’s first Tourism Policy Plan.

Between 1994 and 2011, Dr. Fayos-Solà held several positions at UNWTO, including Head of Education and Training and the Executive Secretary for the UNWTO Knowledge Network. Noteworthy accomplishments during this time include his contributions to the creation of the TedQual certification programme, the Network of Education and Research Centres, the SBest initiative for quality tourism governance in destinations and the Education and Science Council. He continues doing research, lecturing, and teaching postgraduate courses in tourism at academic and knowledge management institutions worldwide.

Professor Tej Vir Singh - 2013 UNWTO Ulysses Prize Laureate

Professor Tej Vir SinghProfessor Tej Vir Singh (PhD) is presently the Director of centre for Tourism research Development (CTRD), Lucknow, India. He founded this self-financed institution to promote tourism-education, research guidance and consultancy. The Centre is majorly involved in tourism knowledge production and dissemination. To achieve this objective Singh founded a research journal, Tourism Recreation Research (1976) that has created its niche and has been awarded for its novelty, innovation and readability. From amongst the path-setting advanced research project is ‘The Assessment of Recreation Resources of the Garhwal Himalayas’ for tourism promotion and development that resulted in a few valuable monographs such as Studies in Himalayan Ecology (1980), Studies in Eco-development: Himalayas, Mountains & Men (1983), Integrated Mountain Development (1985), and Himalayan Pilgrimage and the New Tourism (1985).

Earlier the German Alpine club invited him for a Keynote address at their Himalaya Conference (1983) and awarded him with a Golden Crest. The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu offered to him Ford Foundation Senior Fellowship (1987) to identify real impacts of tourism in the famous Kulu Valley, in the Himalayas. Based on this project a book The Kulu Valley: Impact of Tourism on the Mountain Areas (1989) was brought out which encouraged further research.

Singh in 1970s founded the Institute of Hiamalayan Studies in the University of Garhwal (Uttarakhand) where he introduced Tourism studies and research for the first time in India. For all his research work he was declared ‘Scholar of Eminence’ by the Garhwal University which established him to supervise multi-disciplinary research in tourism. He supervised 10 scholars for PhD in Tourism and created new knowledge about Himalayan Recreation Resources. In 1995, he was invited by the Association of American Geographers (AAG) for a keynote address in Vail Conference in Colorado, USA where he spoke on mountain resort development and the problem of sustainability. To answer the perplexing question what form of tourism is most suitable for the host and guest environment, Singh published a book Towards Appropriate Tourism: The Case of Developing Countries with co-editors H. Leo Theuns and Frank M Go. It is a reference literature for European University Studies. Singh has consulted for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on the management issues of Huangshan Mountains in China and also represented UNEP at the ESCAP conference on Sustainable Tourism Development in Least Developed Countries (LDCs). He was elected a fellow of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism (1989). Amongst his much cited works are Tourism in the Critical Environment (1999), New Horizons in Tourism (2004) and Critical Debates in Tourism (2012). Singh’s recent book Challenges in Tourism Research is in press and will be published by Channel View Publication (2015). He is extensively published in journals and books, particularly UNEP publications Industry & Environment, Our Planet. He is an Associate Editor of Encyclopedia of Tourism being published by Springer (2015). In recognition of his outstanding contribution in the field of tourism, academics and research, he was awarded lifetime Honorary Professorship by Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, India in 2002.

Professor Erik Cohen 2012 UNWTO Ulysses Prize Laureate

Erik Cohen is the George S. Wise Professor of Sociology (emeritus) at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, The Hebrew University of Professor Erik CohenJerusalem. Born in 1932 in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, he immigrated to Israel in 1949. He   studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem between 1954-61 (B.A. in Sociology and Economics, M.A. in Sociology and Philosophy), and completed his Ph. D. in 1968. He taught at the Hebrew University, 1959-2000, and served as Dean of the Faculty of Social Science 1988-1992. His principal research areas were collective settlements, urban studies, folk arts and tourism. He conducted research in Israel, Peru, the Pacific Islands and, since 1977, in Thailand. He is the author of more than two hundred publications.

His recent books include The Commercialized Crafts of Thailand (2000), The Chinese Vegetarian Festival in Phuket: Religion, Ethnicity and Tourism on a Southern Thai Island (2001), Contemporary Tourism: Diversity and Change (Elsevier, 2004), Israeli Backpackers and Their Society (edited with Ch. Noy, 2005) and Explorations in Thai Tourism (Emerald, 2008). His main present preoccupations are general theoretical problems emerging from globalization and post-modern trends in travel; mobilities; non-Western tourism; animal-tourist engagement; tourism and disaster; festivals; and heritage tourism.

Cohen served as Sociology Editor of Annals of Tourism Research since 1976, and is on the Editorial board of several other journals. He also edits the series Studies in Contemporary Thailand for White Lotus, Bangkok. He is a founding member of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism. Cohen was awarded the UNWTO Ulysses Prize for 2012.

Erik Cohen presently lives and conducts research in Thailand. 

Professor Kaye Chon – 2011 UNWTO Ulysses Prize Laureate

 Professor Kaye Chon Professor Kaye Chon is Chair Professor and Dean of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He was previously Professor and Director of Tourism Industry Institute at University of Houston's Conrad N. Hilton College. In his university teaching that spans over 27 years, he twice received "Teaching Excellence Award" and six times received "Research Excellence Award". In 2008, he was named as one of the top 10 most influential tourism educators in China. A frequent speaker at international conferences, Kaye Chon has published over 200 papers and has authored or edited ten books. He is the founder of Annual Graduate Education and Graduate Students Research Conference, Asia Pacific Forum for Graduate Students Research in Tourism, and Asia Tourism Forum. Kaye Chon has served numerous international organizations in leadership capacity, which included chairmanship or vice-chairmanship in International Society of Travel & Tourism Educators, Pacific Asia Travel Association Education Committee and the UNWTO Education Council. He has been listed in Who’s Who In The World.

Professor Chris Cooper – 2009 UNWTO Ulysses Prize Laureate

Professor Chris CooperProfessor Chris Cooper has more than twenty-five years’ experience in the tourism sector. Today, he works with the European Union, the International Labour Organization, the OECD and ASEAN but primarily with the UNWTO where he held the Chair of the UNWTO’s Education and Science Council from 2005 - 2007. Professor Cooper was Co-Founder of Progress in Tourism, Hospitality and Recreation Research and the International Journal of Tourism Research and is the co-editor of Current Issues in Tourism. He has authored a number of leading textbooks in tourism, including Worldwide destinations - the Geography of Travel and Tourism, Tourism principles and practice and Contemporary tourism. He is the co-series editor of Channelview’s book series Aspects of Tourism and series editor of Contemporary Tourism Reviews for Goodfellow publishing. After spending 8 years at the University of Queensland, Australia, he joined the Christel de Haan Institute at the University of Nottingham in the UK. In September 2009 he joined Oxford Brookes University as the Dean of the Business School.

Professor Pauline Sheldon – 2008 UNWTO Ulysses Prize Laureate

Professor Pauline Sheldon Professor Pauline Sheldon is Professor Emerita at the University of Hawaii’s School of Travel Industry Management where she currently specializes in wellness tourism, corporate social responsibility, sustainable tourism and knowledge management in tourism. She has worked extensively at the international level with organizations such as the UNWTO, APEC, and the World Bank, and at the local level as a Board member of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau and as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee of the Hawaii Tourism Authority She has also cofounded the Tourism Education Futures Initiative (TEFI) with Dr. Daniel Fesenmaier and TRINET (Tourism Research Information Network) with Dr. Jafar Jafari. TRINET is an international tourism researchers’ electronic bulletin board with over 3,000 subscribers worldwide. Professor Sheldon has published over seventy journal articles and four books, and most recently is co-author of the book Wellness Tourism: Mind, Body, Spirit, Place published by Cognizant Communications in 2009. In the same year, she received the Travel and Tourism Research Lifetime Achievement Award (TTRA) in 2009 for her contribution to tourism research.

Professor Bernard Morucci – 2007 UNWTO Ulysses Prize Laureate

Professor Bernard MorucciProfessor Bernard Morucci was Professor Emerita at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, and former director of the Institute of Research and Higher Studies on tourism – IREST. He was Director of the UNESCO Chair of Culture Tourism and Development and General Coordinator of the UNESCO/UNITWIN Network, which serves as a prime means of capacity building through the exchange of knowledge and sharing among universities and research institutions, in partnership with higher education NGOs, foundations, and public and private sector organizations. Professor Morucci passed away on 16th November 2008. He shall be remembered among other reasons for his immeasurable contribution to the development of cultural tourism.

Professor David Airey – 2006 UNWTO Ulysses Prize Laureate

Professor David Airey

Professor Airey began his academic career at the University of Surrey in 1975. In 1981 he spent a period of sabbatical leave as visiting professor at the University of Massachusetts. After ten years at Surrey he joined the British Government with a national responsibility for tourism education. This was followed by three years with European Commission based in Poland where he was the technical adviser for the Phare tourism programme. During this time he was appointed as part-time professor at Nottingham Trent University where he also headed the European Business Centre. He returned to Surrey in 1997 as Professor of Tourism Management where he subsequently served as Head of School and as University Pro-Vice Chancellor. In 2004 he was awarded the EuroChrie President’s award for outstanding achievement. In 2007 he became co-chair of the UNWTO Education Council. He retired from Surrey and was made Emeritus Professor in 2014. Since retiring he continues to carry out teaching, research and writing both in the UK and abroad. He also holds or has held visiting professorial appointments at the University of Central Lancashire, NHTV University of Applied Sciences at Breda in the Netherlands, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the University of Queensland where he has also spent three periods as research fellow. He is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, elected Fellow of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Fellow of the Tourism Society, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, and member of the International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism and the Tourism Research Centre.

Professor Airey has had extensive experience in education development and in particular in developing tourism as a subject for study. From 1985 he was responsible for inspecting and reporting on quality in further and higher education throughout England and advising Ministers, civil servants and the education system at large. In this capacity he was responsible for a range of official reports related to tourism. As an academic his main research interests have covered the economic aspects of tourism, tourism policy and organisation, tourism education, tourism and heritage and tourism in economies in transition. He has undertaken and supervised research (25 completed PhDs) in these areas and has published books and papers (c50 peer reviewed papers) including many in top ranked ABS publications. He has also contributed to a range of conferences including many as keynote speaker. He is on the editorial board of numerous journals. In 2005 he co-edited and partly wrote the first book specifically on tourism education and he followed this with a second co-edited text on the same subject in 2015. In 2011 he was co-author of a major text on tourism policy making in China since 1949. He has lectured widely in the UK and overseas on tourism and related subjects and has undertaken consultancy projects for governments and for the tourism industry.

Professor Jafar Jafari – 2005 UNWTO Ulysses Prize Laureate

Professor Jafar JafariProfessor Jafari is a cultural anthropologist (he obtained his PhD at the University of Minnesota) and a hotel administration graduate (BS and MS, Cornell University, USA), with an honorary doctorate from the Universitat de les Illes Balears. He is Visiting Professor of the Universitat do Algarve (Portugal), Luleå University of Technology (Sweden), Sun Yat-sen University (China), Lifetime Honorary Professorship of Bundelkhand University (India), international Program Director of the Universitat de les Illes Balears (Spain), and a faculty member of the University of Wisconsin-Stout Department of Hospitality and Tourism (USA), where he has been teaching and conducting research since he graduated from Cornell. The two-year masters degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management, now over 20 years old, is an example of his successful efforts at Stout.

As well as serving as Editor-in-Chief of Annals of Tourism Research: A Social Sciences Journal; rated as the best academic journal in the field of tourism, with subscribers in 150 countries, professor Jafari is Chief Editor of the Tourism Social Science Series and the Encyclopaedia of Tourism; Co-Chief Editor of the Bridging Tourism Theory and Practice book series, Consulting and Founding Editor of Information Technology & Tourism: Applications, Methodologies, Techniques and Founding President of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism in Spain. Together with Professor Pauline Sheldon, he co-founded TRINET, the Tourism Research Information Network, which is an international tourism researchers’ electronic bulletin board with over 3,000 subscribers worldwide.

Professor J.R. Brent Ritchie – 2004 UNWTO Ulysses Prize Laureate

Professor J.R. Brent Ritchie Dr. J.R. Brent Ritchie has held teaching positions at l'Institut pour les Etudes des Methodes de Direction de l'Enterprise in Switzerland and at Université Laval, Canada before he joined the University of Calgary as assistant dean in 1978. He was instrumental in the designation of the University of Calgary as a World Tourism Education and Research Centre in 1989. At the end of June 1994, he completed five year appointments as associate dean in the Haskayne School of Business and as director of the Division of International Business for the University's International Centre. In 1995, he became the inaugural holder of the University of Calgary's Professorship in Tourism Management. Dr. Ritchie teaches at the graduate and undergraduate levels and is especially interested in the PhD program in Tourism Management. His current active research focuses on destination vision management, and the development of Indices of Competitiveness, Sustainability and Progress for National and 'City State' destinations.

Professor Donald Hawkins – 2003 UNWTO Ulysses Prize Laureate

Professor Donald Hawkins Dr. Don Hawkins is Professor Emeritus of Management and Tourism Studies, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA.  Since 1971, Prof. Hawkins has contributed to the development of graduate level management education and policy-related research in tourism development and strategic planning at the George Washington School of Business. Until 1999, he served as the Director of the International Institute of Tourism Studies (IITS), which was initiated in 1988 as the first education center established in collaboration with the UNWTO. He was appointed as the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Tourism Policy (an endowed chair) in 1994.  He also served as the first Chairman of the Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management at GW. He was appointed as Special Advisor to the UNWTO Secretary General for the UNWTO Knowledge Network in 2012. He is the Chairman of Solimar International and Chairman Emeritus of Sustainable Travel International, Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance and the SAVE Travel Alliance. Over the past 50 years has been extensively engaged in sustainable tourism activities, including policy analysis, strategic planning, human capital development, investment promotion and technical assistance internationally, including Jordan, Qatar, Morocco, Palestine, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Republic of Georgia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, Portugal, Spain, Tanzania, Senegal, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa, Jamaica, St. Kitts/Nevis, St. Lucia, Dominican Republic, Panama, Venezuela, Argentina, Canada and the United States. (Updated 18 August 2016)