It is a true honor to be able to share with you this short interview with Professor Jafar Jafari, whose pioneering work has been crucial for establishing tourism as respected academic discipline in its own right.
Jafar Jafari is Professor of Hospitality and Tourism at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, founder of the academic journal Annals of Tourism Research of which he was the Editor-in-Chief for 35 years and the International Academy for the Study of Tourism. He is also the recipient of the 2005 UNWTO Ulysses Award.
- How Jafar Jafari first got in touch with the sustainable tourism topic;
- His main insights from a long career focused on sustainability and tourism;
- His thoughts on the future of academic tourism research, and the main challenges;
- The current state of sustainable tourism development in Iran;
- What he’d to differently, given the chance to start his career all over again.
Jafar, when did your sustainable tourism journey begin?
When I was an undergraduate student in Isfahan, Iran, I acted as a tour guide for three years. This job opened my eyes to the study of tourism, which at the time had not been solidified as a study major on university campuses.
For me, sustainability began with cultural sustainability: that the host and guest populations need to be compatible and that tourism should not dominate life at the destination, instead tourism should be subordinated to the socioeconomic fabric of the host community. My autobiography appears in this book.