Treating the academic output of departmental staff as an inheritance and basis for further study, it seems that future research should concentrate around five major issues:
Over the last 25 years research conducted by staff at the Department of Urban Geography and Tourism has concerned seven main, often overlapping, issues.
From the very beginning intensive research was carried out in order to establish the theoretical and methodological bases for this new academic sub-discipline. At first the main direction of geographical research into tourism was seen to be the processes of tourism movements which are certainly the most important determinant of the notion of "tourism". Based on those general assumptions, Prof. MATCZAK (1992) conducted successful research (presented in his habilitation thesis) into a model for research into tourism. The methodological study of tourism by this author is the most comprehensive in the Polish geographical literature.
Research into the effects of tourism activity on the rural environment laid foundations for another theoretical concept worked on by Łódź geographers: the concept of tourism urbanization identified in the rural environments of different Polish landscape zones by Prof. DZIEGIEĆ (1995). The author assumed that the "new industry" of contemporary mass tourism was the driving force behind the next phase in the urbanization of rural areas, and worked on a model of this development (habilitation thesis).
Searching for the specific character of the geographical study of a complex phenomenon such as contemporary tourism led LISZEWSKI (1995) to formulate the concept of tourism space, later extended to include the spatial elements of recreation (LISZEWSKI & BACHVAROV 1998). The search for spatial understanding in the geographical study of tourism is related to the general concept of geography which, according to the author, is above all a spatial discipline. Tourism geography examines tourism space, a part (a sub-space) of geographical space where tourism functions are found. Tourism space seen this way is a human (tourist) creation. Depending on the extent to which this space has been discovered and annexed, it is characterized by a number of the following development phases: exploration, penetration, assimilation, colonisation and urbanization.
The most recent theoretical concept presented by Łódź geographers (BACHVAROV 2003, LISZEWSKI 2003) regards a new definition of a tourism region. This is a departure from the traditional concept based on tourism assets of the natural environment and leads to a notion of a region defined as an area where tourism is concentrated, providing new theoretical and empirical opportunities to see tourism phenomena from a regional perspective.