Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Journal of Sustainable Tourism

For a Special Issue on

Co-Creating Equitable Diverse and Inclusive Tourism (CrEDIT)

Abstract deadline
31 January 2024

Manuscript deadline
31 August 2024

Cover image - Journal of Sustainable Tourism

Special Issue Editor(s)

Albert N. Kimbu, University of Surrey
[email protected]

Yoo Ri Kim, University of Central Florida
[email protected]

Bora Kim, University of Surrey
[email protected]

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Co-Creating Equitable Diverse and Inclusive Tourism (CrEDIT)

Aim and Scope of the special issue

Demographic characteristics, such as gender identity, religion, ethnicity and race as well as (dis)ability can restrict or enable access to jobs, products and services for certain groups while market inefficiency and injustices can reduce welfare and wellbeing, all of which create challenges for organisations working on fostering sustainability (George, Merrill, & Schillebeeck, 2019). Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), a central component in creating a fairer and more sustainable world is beginning to receive considerable attention in the tourism sector (comprising different industries including hospitality, events, travel and transport, leisure, entertainment, etc.) (UNWTO, 2023). At the global level, a range of agreements and pledges (e.g., 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development) exist to ensure advancement towards an equitable, diverse and inclusive tourism sector that can contribute to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of gender equality (SDG 5) and decent work and economic growth (SDG 8). However, despite global commitments and the diverse nature of the tourism sector’s workforce and consumers, there continues to be a substantive disconnection between global policies and practices of DEI, (Ferguson, 2018) in terms of the people, products & services, promotion and marketing, and policies. Consequently, progress in embedding DEI has been slow and inconsistent across the tourism sector in spite of the increasing globalisation and resultant diversity in the workforce and consumer groups, and changing economic landscape in many developed and developing countries (Parrotta et al., 2014; Woodward et al., 2008).

Firms are now urged to overcome discrimination and consciously adopt DEI practices through their employment and people management practices, products and services design and delivery, promotion and marketing and organisational policies. This is either grounded on a justice-centric view to address decades of prejudice against certain groups (e.g. women, people of colour, indigenous groups, disabled persons, LGBTQ+ communities, etc), or a performance-centric view to improve the performance of complex tasks (Dixon-Fyle et al., 2020), spur employee productivity, efficiency and wellbeing (Findler et al., 2008) and innovation (Lee, 2015). With rapid technological advancements, the potential role of digital technology and innovation in shaping and facilitating DEI for businesses and destinations are yet to be explored. This notwithstanding, many firms still fail to engage fully with DEI (Liu, 2021). The limited extant DEI related tourism research has mainly focused on investigating the nature of gender diversity, equity, and inclusion across levels and grades within organisations, with other dimensions of diversity such as age, ethnicity and race and (dis)ability being largely overlooked (Korica, 2019) in terms of the workforce but rather researched from a consumer perspective (see e.g. Kim et al, 2023; Kimbu et al, 2021; Benjamin & Dillette, 2021; Buzinde, Santos & Smith, 2006).  This in spite of the recognition of the tourism sector being key employers to migrant workers and well known for being highly labour-intensive, transient and diverse.

Consequently, while there are some examples of good industry practices within the sector, there is a general lack academic literature theorising and unpacking this topic within the context of tourism due to several societal, cultural and sector/industry barriers that contribute to the continued inequality and inequity across the sector. An overarching barrier or challenge is the variation across the tourism sector about how to define the terms and address DEI issues. Furthermore, even though extant literature is now attempting to highlight some of the diversity and inclusion challenges faced by disadvantaged groups mainly within the hospitality industry (e.g., Yang et al., 2023), and has unpacked and comprehensively analysed the relationship between workforce diversity and performance in the hospitality and tourism context and across national regions (e.g., Sourouklis & Tsagdis, 2013), literature estimating the potential DEI dividend of the sector and its contribution to the wider economy and some of the SDGs at the meso, macro and micro levels is scant.

This special issue on Co-Creating Equitable Diverse and Inclusive Tourism therefore aims to consolidate existing, and drive new, interdisciplinary research in DEI in tourism, and its related industries such as hospitality, events, transportation, entertainment, etc. Tourism by nature includes the interplay between individual organisations and sectors previously mentioned, and as such the special issue would welcome DEI research at organisational and destination levels. It also aims to open up opportunities for reassessing social sustainability in tourism through a DEI lens. Furthermore, this special issue aims to influence policy, drive organisational and social change by creating a body of knowledge, networks and pathways for achieving a diverse, equitable and inclusive tourism sector that contributes to inclusive development.

In keeping with the aims and scope of Journal of Sustainable Tourism, with this call, we are seeking, among other things, a critical (re)examination of DEI related policies and practices within tourism from a social sustainability perspective. We further welcome research that explores one or more of the economic, social, cultural, political, and/or organisational dimensions of DEI from national, cross-national and global contexts.

Research on diversity, equity and inclusion in tourism is inclusive of (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • DEI in organisational policies and strategies
  • DEI in products and services design and delivery
  • DEI in tourism promotion and marketing
  • DEI and people management in tourism organisations
  • DEI in tourism governance (macro, meso and micro levels)
  • DEI in tourism research and education
  • DEI and consumer behaviour in tourism
  • DEI and intersectionality in tourism
  • DEI in tourism entrepreneurship
  • DEI and gender in tourism
  • DEI race and ethnicity in tourism
  • Critical feminist and post-colonial perspectives of DEI
  • LGBTQIA+ tourism and DEI
  • Public policies and cross-sector collaborations for DEI
  • New methodologies and methods for researching DEI
  • Theoretical perspectives for unpacking and advancing DEI
  • The role of NGOs and civil society in advancing DEI
  • Tourism, DEI and related SDGs
  • Tourism policy instruments for advancing DEI and social sustainability

Submission Instructions

Expressions of interest are welcome in the form of an extended abstract (1000 words excluding references), by 31 Jan 2024 to be sent to [email protected] copying the SI guest editors, Albert Kimbu ([email protected]), Yoo Ri Kim ([email protected]), and Bora Kim ([email protected]).

Abstracts should include the title, author(s) & affiliation(s) and contact information (including the email addresses of all authors) and keywords (maximum six).  Authors who submit abstracts will be informed on the outcome no later than 29 Feb 2024. The deadline for the submission of full papers will be 31 August 2024. All full papers submitted will be subject to the normal peer review processes of the Journal of Sustainable Tourism.

Contributions are welcome from researchers and practitioners from around the world including from the Global South. Contributors should follow the journal’s “Instructions for Authors”. An invitation to submit a full paper does not guarantee publication.


  • Expressions of interest/abstract due: 31 January 2024
  • Accepted/ rejected abstracts notified: 29 February 2024
  • Invited full papers due on or before: 31 August 2024
  • Anticipated special issue publication: 30 June 2025

Note that early submissions are welcome and if accepted, papers are published online without delay, in advance of inclusion in the special issue when it is eventually published online and in print.

Submissions to Journal of Sustainable Tourism are made using Scholar One Manuscripts, the online submission and peer review system. Select "special issue title” when submitting your paper to ScholarOne. Registration and access is available at Papers will be no longer than 9000 words and must be formatted in accordance with Journal of Sustainable Tourism guidelines. All final papers must comply with the journal’s author instructions and be in the approved journal style.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article