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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Tourism Recreation Research

For a Special Issue on
Empowering Marginalised Groups for Inclusive Tourism: A Call for Critical Studies

Abstract deadline
10 December 2021

Manuscript deadline
10 April 2022

Cover image - Tourism Recreation Research

Special Issue Editor(s)

Associate Professor Catheryn Khoo, Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management, Griffith University
[email protected]

Prachi Thakur, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India
[email protected]

Mona Ji Hyun Yang, Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management, Griffith University
[email protected]

Jess Sanggyeong Je, Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management, Griffith University
[email protected]

Associate Professor Paolo Mura, College of Communication and Media Sciences, Zayed University
[email protected]

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Empowering Marginalised Groups for Inclusive Tourism: A Call for Critical Studies

Inequality and marginalisation in the social, political, and environmental distribution of resources have never been more pronounced, especially with the ongoing effect of the Covid-19 virus. While the tourism industry came to a stop, and people worldwide were confined to their homes with no opportunities to travel, the pandemic also highlighted the inequalities in tourism. This obvious effect is not surprising, given that tourism products have always excluded individuals of marginalised groups (Higgins-Desbiolles, 2006); and scholarly works have highlighted structural exclusions within tourism across the world, such as accessibility issues for disabled tourists (Darcy & Pegg, 2011; Patterson, Darcy, & Mönninghoff, 2012), harassment against solo female travellers  (Seow & Brown, 2018; Wilson & Little, 2008), gatekeeping of LGBTQ individuals (Ong, Vorobjovas-Pinta, & Lewis, 2020), and limited travel access for migrants and refugees (Pappas & Papatheodorou, 2017). These exclusions impact marginalised groups not only as consumers of the tourism industry but also as suppliers (Zehrer, Muskat, & Muskat, 2014), hosts (Nimri, Kensbock, Bailey, & Patiar, 2021), and host communities (Bronus, 2011; Higgins-Desbiolles, 2006). For instance, researchers have found gender inequality in tourism employments (Je, Khoo, & Yang, 2020), discriminatory hiring practices against refugees in hotels (Underthun & Jordhus-Lier, 2018; Wendt, Jóhannesson, & Skaptadóttir, 2020), lack of workplace initiatives for inclusion of diverse individuals (Thakur, Khoo, & Pyar, 2021) and exploitation of host children in developing destinations (Yang, Yang, & Khoo-Lattimore, 2020).

Acknowledging the seriousness of marginalisation of vulnerable groups, the United Nations had set goals (SDG 5, 8, 10, 11, and 16) to achieve more sustainable development, but despite all attempts to emancipate marginalised groups over decades, inequality in tourism is still prevalent, and even exacerbated in vulnerable times, such as during the Covid-19 pandemic. For a large part, sustainable tourism development has been inoperative and rhetorical, particularly in capitalist societies (Higgins-Desbiolles, 2018; Wheeller, 1991). Hence, there is a need to go beyond the rhetorical theory of sustainable tourism development and instead, engage with critical and actionable research. There is a need for a more vision-oriented epistemology to sustainable tourism planning that will produce actionable strategies, and there is a dire need for a diversity of critical perspectives that will help translate research data and concepts into policies, activities and benefits for the marginalised. Critical research allows for analyses of understanding of societal processes and multiple subjective world views (Bramwell & Lane, 2014).

This Call for Paper views the importance of applying a critical approach to investigate how and why marginalised hosts and guests are still deprived, and how scholarly research can contribute to their emancipation to travel and work in the tourism industry. While the interpretation of ‘critical’ tourism studies has been disputed on the notion of ontological, epistemological, and methodological differences, the critical approach generally resists positivist modes of analysis while seeking emancipation, addressing power relations and inequalities in tourism (Mura & Wijesinghe, 2021; Wilson, Harris, & Small, 2008). The critical approach emphasises not only theoretical and conceptual efforts to understand a myriad of worldviews but also the engagement of practical implications (Bramwell & Lane, 2014). Therefore, for this special issue, we seek submissions that investigate to what extent existing theories and implications have been translated into reality to achieve sustainable tourism, especially for marginalised groups, enabling more visibility, space, and opportunity to them.

The papers for this Special Issue are expected to engage with marginalised tourists, hosts and host communities. Authors are encouraged to focus on diverse marginalised groups that have received nominal scholarly attention, which include, but are not limited to:

  1. children at host destinations;
  2. local indigenous communities;
  3. women employed at tourism organisations;
  4. migrant workers;
  5. under-privileged travellers;
  6. poverty-stricken communities;
  7. people with physical, sensory, developmental, mental impairments and similar.

We are now calling for abstract submission.

Submission Instructions

Please send a 500-word structured abstract to [email protected] introducing your ideas in the following format:-

Suggested format of structured abstract

These four sub-headings and their accompanying explanations must always be included:

  1. Purpose - Please include a justification for the selection of marginalised groups supported by recent literature
  2. Design/methodology/approach - Please include how the proposed paper employs critical theory/theories/approach/approaches
  3. Findings - Please demonstrate how the proposed study addresses a tourism issue for marginalised groups
  4. Originality/ Novel contribution
    1. Research implications - Please spell out the specific research contributions and implications.
    2. Practical & social implications - Please explain what actionable strategies the proposed study is anticipated to recommend.

The special issue is proposed for Tourism Recreation Research, with publication anticipated for the second quarter of 2022. Some key dates for the Special Issue for consideration are:-:

  • Last date of submission of abstract: 10th December 2021
  • Last date of notification of abstract acceptance: 20th December 2021
  • Last date of submission of full paper: 10th April 2022
  • Last date of revised manuscript: 10th July 2022
  • Word limit for the full-length paper: 8000-9000
  • Expected date of publication: Online within two weeks of paper acceptance

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article