Conference Report

Conference Report on Communicating Tourism: Media, Soft Power, and Managemen

The National Media Management Conference on Communicating Tourism: Media, Soft Power, and Management successfully held at St. Xavier’s College, Kothavara, Vaikom, Kerala on 16th November 2019. The conference was organized by the Department of Political Science and Journalism, St. Xavier’s College and powered by In-Depth Communication. The conference was announced on 10th June 2019 with the call for paper inviting research papers from academic circuits, research scholars, practitioners and stakeholders.

The idea of the conference that came from the contribution of tourism in India’s economic growth is significant. The increased demand over Indian tourist destinations is correlated with footfalls. In the age of globalization and digitization, the communication strategy and management are an inevitable component of any media mix. Tourism is regarded as a force for world peace (Pernecky, 2010). Building mutual understanding and empathy is also part of the geopolitical matrix. From a soft power perspective, the tourist is a geopolitical subject and object (Budeanu et al., 2014). How often tourism is related to empathy and interest towards a destination, which is created by carefully designed messages by media managers and stakeholders. The National Media Management Conference on Communicating Tourism: Media, Soft Power, and Management found huge success from interdisciplinary areas of tourism and communication with a focus on theoretical and empirical pieces of evidence from academicians, practitioners, policymakers, and research students.

The call for paper got an immense response from various universities, colleges and organizations from India such as Central University of Sikkim, Central University of Tamil Nadu, Amity University, Mahatma Gandhi University, Bennett University, Ashutosh College (Kolkata), Government College (Trichy), Ethiraj College (Chennai), Sree Mahadeva College (Kottayam), Government of Telangana, Wildlife Trust of India and many more.

The conference was chaired by Dr. Rajumon T Mavunkal (Principal, St. Xavier’s College), and patron by Rev. Fr. Joshy Vezhaparambil (Manager, St. Xavier’s College). The conference started with a welcome address by Mr. Bibu VN (Assistant Professor, St. Xavier’s College) and followed by a presidential address by conference chair, Dr. Rajumon T Mavunkal.

The conference was inaugurated by Smt. C.K Asha (MLA, Vaikom). During her inaugural address, she stressed the importance of responsible media management in the governance process. She wished the conference a huge success and noted that such conferences should target the community too.  She later visited the “Real India” Digital Photography exhibition curated by Prof. Shajan C Kumar (Assistant Professor, Bennett University). The keynote address was delivered by Mr. Rupesh Kumar K (State Responsible Tourism Mission Co-ordinator, Government of Kerala). He stressed the difference between sustainable tourism and sustainability in tourism. He also appreciated the organizers of the conference for choosing the relevant theme and papers selected.

The keynote address on ‘Breaking the Barrier’ – Responding to the Global Challenges of Tourism was delivered by Dr. Toney K. Thomas (Assistant Professor, School of Tourism Studies, Mahatma Gandhi University). He presented his research experience on how sustainable tourism is practiced worldwide. He demonstrated the experiences of Thailand and other Asian countries. He chaired the sessions of the paper presentation which included papers from the area such as responsible tourism, tourism, and social media, tourism, and film, destination and film, e-travel, socio-political aspects of tourism and economic side of tourism. The details of the papers presented can be read here. The conference has discussed the experience of Kerala and efforts from the government and various stakeholders in recovering from two back to back disastrous floods of 2018 and 2019.

The conference also witnessed a workshop on Online Verification and Fact-Checking by Mr. Muralidharan AK (Trainer, Google News Initiative and Assistant News Editor, Times Internet). He illustrated various examples of misinformation on online media. This was followed by the valedictory function.

Reference and Media Reports

Pernecky, T. (2010). The being of tourism. The Journal of Tourism and Peace Research1(1), 1-15.

Budeanu, A., Miller, G., Moscardo, G., & Ooi, C. S. (2016). Sustainable tourism, progress, challenges and opportunities: An Introduction.

Confirmed Papers. (2019, November 16). Retrieved from