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15 April 2021
31 January 2022
Gender, entrepreneurship and social policy in tourism
Tourism entrepreneurship has been identified as fundamental to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of gender equality (SDG 5), decent work and economic growth (SDG 8) and sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12); but as Figueroa-Domecq, Kimbu, de Jong and Williams (2020) note, “neither entrepreneurship nor sustainability are gender neutral in the tourism industry”. It is recognised that the tourism sector provides women and other disadvantaged groups (e.g. indigenous groups, LGBTQ communities) with employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, both vital for their economic and social independence. For women in these groups (and other disadvantaged entrepreneurs), their tourism businesses also act as platforms for the promotion of local development and social transformation, enabling them to create ‘new’ self-identities (Kimbu & Ngoasong, 2016).
Covid-19 has exacerbated the multiple challenges faced by all entrepreneur owner/managers of tourism firms, underscoring the imperative role social policy undertakes in supporting tourism entrepreneurs. The Covid-19 situation is even worse for developing and emerging destinations of the Global South (where the majority of tourism MSMEs are owned by women and members of disadvantaged groups) who unlike tourism and hospitality businesses of the Global North, have had little-to-no support from their national governments leading to the closure of many tourism and hospitality businesses, placing many millions of jobs at risk and threatening to roll back the progress made in sustainable development (Rogerson & Baum, 2020; UNWTO, 2020). Consequently, the UNWTO (2020) estimates that destinations (especially in the Global South), who are for the most part dependent on international visitors, would be the worst hit and the slowest to recover post COVID-19. The crisis has laid bare the precarity of entrepreneurial operations of the different actors especially those operating micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) who were not prepared for such crisis and lack the resilience to respond and overcome it, highlighting the crucial role social policy plays in ensuring the sustainability of entrepreneurs.
Though entrepreneurship underpinned by good social and economic policies leads to equality, inclusion and increasing gender awareness, these three fields have not been studied together within the context of tourism. Extant studies have addressed gender and women entrepreneurship in tourism and hospitality with findings explicating a higher degree of environmental and social responsibility among women (Figueroa-Domecq, Kimbu, de Jong & Williams, 2020), the lack of skills (Kimbu, Ngoasong, Afenyo-Agbe & Adeola, 2019), access to financial and nonfinancial resources (Kimbu & Ngoasong, 2016; Ngoasong & Kimbu, 2019), infrastructural deficiencies (UNWTO, 2020), discrimination (Ahl & Marlow, 2012), political, social and cultural inhibitions (Zhang, Kimbu, Lin & Ngoasong, 2020); all of which have been found to limit women and other marginalised groups from reaching their full business potential and subsequent contribution to societal change. However, none of these studies have collectively investigated the nexus between gender, entrepreneurship and social policy in spite of the complex nature of this relationship (Ahl & Marlow, 2019) and the imperative role social policy will play in the pandemic response. Linking gender, entrepreneurship and social policy also introduces the problems of access to products/services and reach (e.g. poor or marginalized communities). Demographic characteristics, such as gender identity, religion, and race can restrict access to products and services for certain groups while market inefficiency and injustices can reduce welfare, all of which create challenges for organisations working on sustainability (George, Merrill, & Schillebeeck, 2019).
This special issue on Gender, entrepreneurship and social policy in tourism therefore aims to consolidate existing, and drive new, interdisciplinary research in gender, entrepreneurship and social policy. It also aims to open up opportunities for reassessing sustainability in tourism entrepreneurship through a gendered lens. Furthermore, this special issue aims to influence policy and social change by creating a body of knowledge, networks and pathways for achieving inclusive development though tourism.
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 social policies, gender and entrepreneurship related practices within tourism from a sustainability perspective. We are particularly interested in research that engages with critical feminist and post-colonial perspectives that interrogate the roles of (social) policies and practices in promoting inclusion and equality through tourism. We further welcome research that explores one or more of the economic, social, cultural, political, organisational or environmental dimensions of the subject from national, cross-national and global contexts.
Research on gender, entrepreneurship and social policy in tourism is inclusive of (but not limited to) the following topics:
- Gender and the social solidarity economy
- Gender and community entrepreneurship
- Gender and social entrepreneurship
- Gender and the informal tourism economy
- Gender and environmental entrepreneurship
- Gender and entrepreneurship education in tourism
- Gender and consumer behaviour in tourism (decision making)
- Gender in tourism governance
- LGBTQ, tourism entrepreneurship and social inclusion
- Gender and sustainable business models in tourism
- Theoretical perspectives of gender in tourism entrepreneurship policies
- Tourism policy instruments for gender equality and social sustainability
- Tourism and gender related SDGs
- Public policies and cross-sector collaborations for gender equality in tourism entrepreneurship
- New methodologies and methods for researching gender, entrepreneurship and social policies in tourism
- Gender-lens investments in sustainable tourism businesses
- The role of NGOs in advancing gender inclusion for tourism development
- Gender in public-private-community partnerships for sustainable entrepreneurship in tourism
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Expressions of interest are welcome in the form of an extended abstract (1000-1200 words excluding references), by 15 April 2021 to be sent to co-editors, Albert Kimbu ([email protected]), Anna de Jong ([email protected]) and Michael Ngoasong ([email protected]). Abstracts should include the title, authorship, author affiliation(s) and contact information (including the email addresses of all authors) and keywords (maximum six). The authors who submit abstracts will be informed on the outcome of the abstract review no later than 15 May 2021. For those who are invited to prepare full manuscripts, the deadline for the submission of full papers will be 31 January 2022. All full paper submissions will be subject to the normal peer review processes of the Journal of Sustainable Tourism.
The Guest Editors welcome contributions from researchers and practitioners from around the world to contribute manuscripts for the special issue. Contributors should follow the journal’s “Instructions for Authors”. An invitation from the guest editors to submit a full paper does not guarantee publication.
- Expressions of interest/abstract due: 15 April 2021
- Accepted/ rejected abstracts notified 15 May 2021
- Invited full papers due on or before 31 January 2022
- Anticipated special issue publication 31 December 2022
Note that early submissions are welcome and if accepted will be available online well before the full special issue is printed. Accepted papers are published online without delay, in advance of inclusion in the special issue when it is published online and in print.
Submissions to Journal of Sustainable Tourism are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts, the online submission and peer review system. Select "special issue title” when submitting your paper to ScholarOne.
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