CFP: The Royal Geographical Society – Gender and Spaces of Empowerment In Tourism

The Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geography (RGS-IBG) Annual International Conference, London, 28-30 August 2013 

Session: Gender and Spaces of Empowerment In Tourism


Sponsored by:   Geographies of Leisure and Tourism Research Group (GLTRG) and the Women and Geography Study Group (WGSG) of the RGS-IBG.

 Gender permeates the everyday (Wilson and Ypeij, 2012) and hence, also forms part of tourism practice that takes place primarily in the public realm of social life (Tucker and Boonabaana, 2012). The imbrications of tourism with socio-cultural and political ideologies in destinations can lead to conflicts between tourism practice and traditional gender relations with politics, culture, social frameworks and education playing crucial roles in opening new opportunities for social empowerment (Sönmez, 2001). Authors such as Gibson (2001), Scheyvens (2000), and Sinclair (1997) have argued that tourism can be a potential driving force behind the gradual re-negotiation of traditional gender relations. However, tourism is increasingly being described as the most gender-role stereotyped service sector with the highest level of sex-segregation (Adkins, 1995; Enloe, 2000; Jordan, 1997; Kinnaird and Hall, 1994). This raises questions about the role of gender within the complex social, political and cultural frameworks within which tourism emerges (see for example, gender and tourism employment (Timothy, 2013), gender in advertising (Pritchard & Morgan, 2000)). While issues of gender and sexuality have received significant attention within geography (see Olwig, 1993; Bell and Valentine, 1995; Cohen, 1995), within tourism such research remains relatively underdeveloped. The aim of this session is therefore to identify some of the key complexities of gender and gendered spaces within tourism and to expand our understanding of the causes and effects, as well as the implications of these practices to identify potential spaces of gender empowerment within a range of tourism contexts.

Indicative paper content:

  • Gender within tourism studies
  • Gender and education in tourism
  • Gender and employment: forming professional identities within tourism
  • Gender and sustainability: building spaces for poverty alleviation
  • Gender relations and community tourism
  • Negotiating gender and identity within tourism spaces
  • The role of gender in tourist encounters
  • Mediating gender in tourism promotion

Session convenors:

Claudia Eger, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Surrey

Dr Caroline Scarles,, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Surrey

Dr Avril Maddrell,, School of the Built and Natural Environment, UWE Bristol.

Abstracts of 250 words should be submitted to Claudia Eger ( and copied in to session convenors ( by Thursday, 7th of February 2013.



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