Context, Background, Projects

The IRNIST Agenda 2022 is available in PDF form. You can open it by clicking here or download it directly by clicking here.




The desire to study Sport Tourism on an international level gave birth to the International Research Network In Sport Tourism (IRNIST) in 2010. It evolved from an informal structure to an official organization in 2015 (see publication of the deeds in the Journal Officiel, annex). IRNIST started with few regulations and a lot of flexibility and became more structured when it turned into an official organization. The idea to create an agenda defining the objectives and the operating process of IRNIST came up during the conference in Zagreb in May 2016.

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The objectives of IRNIST

IRNIST focuses on local sustainable development through sport tourism, which constitutes its scientific and practical or professional project.

The specificity of IRNIST is its international dimension. The actors of the project, both scholars and practitioners, cover as many countries as possible and the works always have an international aspect.

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The governance of IRNIST

The International Research Network in Sport Tourism (IRNIST) is an organization founded in 20151, even if the works started as soon as 2010 in an informal way.

The organisation is directed by the President, the First Vice President, the Secretary, the Treasurer (the board), and seven Vice-Presidents that are each in charge of one of the following tasks :

  • Scientific and technical organisation of the webinars
  • Writing and distributing the newsletter
  • Supporting the organisation of conferences
  • Supporting the initiators of research topics
  • Searching for publishers and follow up of the publications
  • Helping the financing campaigns
  • Developing and maintaining the website
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1. [IRNIST: association under French law recognized on 21/03/2015. Journal Officiel des Associations, identification number R.N.A.: W5950024895, release number 20150012, referral number: 1075. Declared at the Préfecture du Nord.]



The means of communication of IRNIST

Apart from the traditional academic means of distributing knowledge (cf. above), IRNIST has developed other means of communication:

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How to initiate new research?

The objective of IRNIST is to increase the knowledge about sport tourism. Thus, research is an essential process. As I write these lines, there are two kinds of works:

  • A researcher or a team work on a study individually and independently on a national level, usually focusing on a specific event, location, etc.
  • A researcher suggests to work on a particular topic to the director of IRNIST who relays the idea to the network. It was the case of the research on road races, first suggested by R. Melo.

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The publication strategy

Publishing research work, organizing, and participating in annual conferences are the most traditional ways of sharing knowledge.

Regarding the publication of the conferences proceedings, there are two possible cases:

  • If the organizer has contacts with the editor of an indexed review, they will publish the proceedings in that review.
  • If the organizer does not have any favourable contacts with an editor, they will either look for a publisher to work with, or they will turn towards the head of IRNIST who will help find a publisher.

The head of IRNIST will endeavour to find a publisher for a long-term collaboration agreement in order to publish the proceedings of all conferences.

The articles published by members of IRNIST and bearing the acronym “IRNIST” are sent in priority to indexed reviews. Because on this particular topic all countries do not have the same policy, the only common rule that can be enforced is the rule of the impact factor.

A collective publication will be issued between 2017 and 2020 detailing the types of works, the conceptual framework, and the methodology adopted by IRNIST.



The annual conferences

A yearly international conference is organized by IRNIST or under its aegis.

One goal of the conferences is to expand the network to include scholars and practitioners from continents that are traditionally excluded from research networks and annual conferences. Hosting a conference in Africa or Latin America would demonstrate an authentic interest in being inclusive.

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Why join IRNIST?

The IRNIST membership grants access to:

  • the webinars: three to four times a year an internationally acknowledged speaker of the IRNIST members’ choice is to present a topic in sports tourism (30-40 minutes), followed by a discussion in line with the questions of the participants.
  • the IRNIST forum, where members can discuss with experts, or share their knowledge to answer other members’ questions.
  • the project proposals of IRNIST members and the possibility to participate in international IRNIST projects, to propose a PhD project, to find competent researchers for (international) project proposals, etc.
  • diverse publications on sports tourism.



How to join IRNIST?

To be considered a member of IRNIST, the applicant will have to apply directly to the President.

The applicant fills in the form available on the site. They must provide their name, home institution, and e-mail address, as well as a short description of their motivation to join the community. This last item, as well as possibly the list of their publications in the field of sport tourism, is vital. The new members will receive an IRNIST membership certificate and an access code allowing them to review the contents available to IRNIST members only.

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Financial resources

Apart from the conference registration fees, the main financial source is the research contracts. The executive team as well as the members proposing a research topic will endeavor to find sponsorships for future research works. IRNIST will contact an expert in European institution financing to get help to submit a grant application.

The executive team will study the possibility of uploading courses online.

This agenda can be subject to modifications. The members of IRNIST can submit modification proposals. They will be debated during the closest general meeting. The President can call for a meeting of the direction team in case a decision must be taken rapidly.