Geography professor emeritus Dick Butler recently received the Ulysses Prize for Excellence in the Creation and Dissemination of Knowledge, presented by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The prize is awarded to a distinguished scholar for his/her outstanding contribution to create and disseminate innovative knowledge in tourism.
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 40, 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 UNWTO. And he remains highly active in all these fields.