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Manuscript deadline
01 December 2020

Cover image - Journal of Sustainable Tourism

Journal of Sustainable Tourism

Special Issue Editor(s)

Debbie Hopkins, University of Oxford
[email protected]

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Local, Regional, Domestic: Re/scaling Tourism Mobilities

How, why, where, when and with whom we (are able) move has changed markedly – although differentially – around the world in light of responses to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Much of what we thought we knew about the world, and everyday mobile lives no longer holds, and for many of us, there is uncertainty as to whether we will ever return to pre-COVID-19 types of mobility, or indeed whether we want to.

The Journal of Sustainable Tourism has been running a series of special issues which bring together scholarship on transport, mobilities and tourism. So far, these have examined innovation and novelty in tourism transport, and crisis (although this SI was planned before the current pandemic!). The third SI has been redesigned, to account for the new situation we find ourselves in, without wising to examine COVID-19 per se.

Themes of sustainability and tourism transport, as with tourism scholarship and practice more broadly, has for a long time focused its attention on international tourism and tourists. Far less has been said about local or domestic tourism, including but not limited to ‘staycations’, and the un/sustainability implications of this. On the face of it, one could presume that ‘staying local’ would result in net benefits for environmental sustainability, however this would depend on a range of interconnected practices, modes, activities and so on. The implications for economic and social sustainability are perhaps even more uncertain and contingent.

To date, we have seen calls for ‘revitalising local economies’ through local tourism, reminiscent of the 2009/9 Global Financial Crisis. Yet at the same time, many tourism regions are pointedly asking tourists not to visit, for fears of tourists transporting the virus from the urban to rural regions, where health systems may be unable to cope. It is within this context that we seek submissions on local/domestic tourism mobilities.

At its heart, this special issue seeks to examine multi-scalar tourism practices, focusing in particular on relational im/mobilities, the movement of non-humans (i.e. virus), the politics of re-scaling tourism efforts from the global to the local, and the implications of all of this for long-term and systemic transitions to sustainability. This may include considerations of what a ‘new normal’ might look like, and how it could be conceptualised, and what this tells us about the ‘past normal’.

Questions might include:

  • How can/ should/ do we conceptualise ‘local’, ‘regional’ and/or ‘domestic’ tourism mobilities and with what implications?
  • What might a re-focus on rural, domestic tourism mean for transport systems including transport modes, infrastructures and so on?
  • What transport modes might be prioritised or rejected and with what environmental implications?
  • What new im/mobilities might be generated?
  • How might imaginings, experiences and practices of ‘regional tourism bubbles’ (e.g. Australia/New Zealand) change the aviation sector in the long term?
  • How is the relationship between urban and rural tourism changing, and with what implications for wide ranging actor groups?
  • How will a focus on domestic tourism play out in countries and regions reliant on international arrivals?

We invite papers that engage with issues of transport, mobilities and sustainable tourism. The inclusion of empirical material is not required, but where it is used, it should be engaged with in such a way as to develop, extend, or aid the conceptual argument. We seek papers that move beyond hegemonic, global North perspectives, that challenge the status quo, and that seek meaningful and perhaps radical opportunities for tourism and sustainable development.

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Submission Instructions

Expressions of interest in contributing a paper to this special issue are invited in the form of a working title and 300-word abstract of your proposed paper by 22 June 2020, to be submitted by e-mail to: [email protected] The abstract must clearly state how the manuscript will respond to the SI themes.

Abstracts should include paper title, authorship, author affiliation(s) and contact information (including the email addresses of all authors) and keywords (maximum six). Full papers will be invited following a review of submitted abstracts.

The deadline for the submission of full papers will be 01 December 2020. All submissions will be subject to the journal’s normal high standards of peer review. All accepted papers will be published online without delay, with print publication of the special issue to follow in late 2021.

Queries should be directed to the guest editor via email.

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