Dr. Richard Butler - 12th UNWTO Ulysses Prize Laureate



Professor 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.


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.