Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Annals of Leisure Research

For a Special Issue on

Sailing Blue Tourism as an Alternative Pathway for a Sustainable Blue Economy

Abstract deadline
20 December 2024

Manuscript deadline
30 June 2025

Cover image - Annals of Leisure Research

Special Issue Editor(s)

Kayhan Tajeddini, Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom & Tokyo International University, Japan
[email protected]

Thilini Chathurika Gamage, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka
[email protected]

Submit an ArticleVisit JournalArticles

Sailing Blue Tourism as an Alternative Pathway for a Sustainable Blue Economy

The notion of the blue economy, which first appeared in 2012 following the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, focuses on managing water resources effectively, particularly oceans and seas, to preserve them as vital natural resources for present and future generations (Lee et al., 2020). In simpler terms, the blue economy encompasses all economic activities directly related to the oceans, such as fishing, shipbuilding, maritime transport, and blue tourism. Protecting oceans and seas is crucial, as they cover two-thirds of the earth's surface, produce about 50% of the world's oxygen, shape more than 95% of the biosphere, regulate the earth's surface temperature, provide people with food, and host various economic activities (Kabil et al., 2021). With the projected doubling of oceanic-generated economic activities by 2030, there is a growing interest in this sector that has never been before and a need for sustainable practices (Lee et al., 2020; Picken, 2023).

The conceptualization of blue tourism is closely related to the blue economy (Brito & Silveira, 2023; Kabil et al., 2021). It is synonymous with maritime and coastal tourism as it bundles all the by-products associated with it, including nautical tourism, sun and sea tourism, cruise tourism, and others, with the development of these products being inspired in the context of sustainability (Brito & Silveira, 2023).

By its very nature, the tourism industry is highly climate-dependent and climate-sensitive, and coastal destinations are among the most vulnerable (Hyytiäinen et al., 2022). Consequently, when deciding on projects with long-term implications, such as infrastructure development and urban expansion, blue tourism destinations have to cope with fundamental uncertainties that are beyond their control and may affect the sector's resilience (Garcia & Cater, 2022). For instance, climate change strongly influences the sustainability of blue tourism, and how climate change unfolds will be strongly shaped by the climate system's sensitivity, potential tipping points, and the success of emission reduction efforts (Jarratt & Davies, 2020; Hyytiäinen et al., 2022). The development of other issues in the environmental domain, including pollution, biodiversity loss, and land-use change, may also influence sustainability in promoting blue tourism.

Not only that, but natural and human-made disasters can also cause disruptions in tourist flows to blue tourism destinations, even though demand for these places often bounces back quickly (Israngkura, 2022). Furthermore, fads and fashions, marketing efforts, and new travel patterns can quickly alter tourists’ decisions. For instance, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant temporary and possibly permanent changes in travel preferences.

Amidst these challenges, sailing blue tourism as an alternative pathway for a sustainable blue economy can be achieved if providing livelihoods and economic growth co-occur with protecting marine resources (Hyytiäinen et al., 2022). This requires countries to move away from business models that are purely extractive in nature and toward integrating conservation, protection, and rehabilitation into the equation (Knapp & Vandegehuchte, 2024). Proper management of blue tourism can propel developing countries forward and help to achieve United Nation’s sustainable development goals.

In response to these developments, we propose this special issue to provide a platform for addressing the key hallmarks, drivers, outcomes, and/or contingency factors that integrate the challenges and opportunities associated with managing blue tourism while mitigating climate change issues.

Recommended Research Topics

Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Extending socioeconomic pathways for planning and development of blue tourism
  • Adapting and mitigate climate change with blue tourism
  • Pursuing blue tourism for a sustainable and resilient future
  • Analyzing the trends and challenges related to promoting nautical, maritime, surfing, adventure, and sun and sea leisure and tourism
  • Poverty alleviation and reducing income inequality through promoting blue tourism
  • Ensuring social sustainability through promoting Marine ecosystems and increasing the potential of maritime and nautical tourism

We welcome conceptual, methodological, qualitative, quantitative, or pluralistic contributions covering any aspect of blue tourism. Papers can use various inter-disciplinary applications, such as cultural studies, economics, and sociology, and from related fields. All papers should demonstrate clear theoretical and, where innovative, meaningful, and relevant, managerial or policy implications for managing blue tourism.


  • Brito, M., & Silveira, L. (2023). Blue planning–a planning model for the development of Blue Tourism in Blue Spaces. Tourism Recreation Research, 1-21.
  • Garcia, O., & Cater, C. (2022). Life below water; challenges for tourism partnerships in achieving ocean literacy. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 30(10), 2428-2447.
  • Hyytiäinen, K., Kolehmainen, L., Amelung, B., Kok, K., Lonkila, K. M., Malve, O., ... & Zandersen, M. (2022). Extending the shared socioeconomic pathways for adaptation planning of blue tourism. Futures, 137, 102917.
  • Israngkura, A. (2022). Marine resource recovery in Southern Thailand during COVID-19 and policy recommendations. Marine Policy, 137, 104972.
  • Jarratt, D., & Davies, N. J. (2020). Planning for climate change impacts: Coastal tourism destination resilience policies. Tourism Planning & Development, 17(4), 423-440.
  • Kabil, M., Priatmoko, S., Magda, R., & Dávid, L. D. (2021). Blue economy and coastal tourism: A comprehensive visualization bibliometric analysis. Sustainability, 13(7), 3650.
  • Knapp, E., & Vandegehuchte, M. B. (2024). The tourism value of the coast: modeling seaside amenity values in Belgium. International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration, 25(1), 202-219.
  • Lee, K. H., Noh, J., & Khim, J. S. (2020). The Blue Economy and the United Nations’ sustainable development goals: Challenges and opportunities. Environment international, 137, 105528.
  • Picken, F. (2023). Tourism and the blue economy. Tourism Geographies, 1-9.

Submission Instructions

All submitted manuscripts must be original and should not be under consideration for publication elsewhere. All submissions should be made online to the Annals of Leisure Research. All papers will be subject to double-anonymous peer review in accordance with the journal’s standard evaluation process. The guest editors will make recommendations on publication based on the relevance to the special issue, technical quality, innovative content, and originality of research approaches and results. All submitted manuscripts must fully comply with the Annals of Leisure Research author guidelines and style requirements.

Important Dates

  • Abstract submissions: December 20, 2024
  • Full paper submissions: June 30, 2025
  • Revisions and decisions: July - November 2025
  • Publication: Intended for early 2026

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article