International Journal of Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Law 2023

Tourism is, by its nature, an international vocation. We travel. We visit distant countries. Lands and cities of the world are explored. This is the story of travel and tourism, from the great explorers to the Grand Tour. One would have expected that the Law of Tourism would also be born with this international vocation. It was not so. The reasons are many and complex. The youth of our discipline, the shyness of those who dealt with Tourism Law, and the low consideration of colleagues who taught classical subjects. But above all, the legacy and tradition of the aspects of Public and Administrative Law that characterised the first studies on tourism and hospitality, topics that were inextricably linked to national law. Public and Administrative law are national and not international. And, at that time, there was not much space for comparative law. Indeed, some national conferences have been held in France, Spain, Italy and other European countries. However, international contacts between scholars were scarce. This was the situation when many European scholars received the unexpected invitation to participate in a meeting in Lisbon at ESHTE in 2016. The theme of the meeting was related to the European Directive on Package Travel. There was no doubt that the Directive would form the basis for a common European tourism law. An international meeting thus found a suitable justification. Many decided to participate. It could have been a conference – important and innovative, yes, but – like so many others. But supporting the initiative was the vision and commitment of Raul Filipe, President of ESHTE, and Carlos Torres. However, it was pleasant to discover that there were jurists from all over Europe who dealt with this new subject of ours. In the atmosphere of those days, we found ourselves a group, and it was pleasant. We were no longer alone. It could have ended there.