Abstracts for Session 2

 Developing the concept on inclusive tourism 



Title: Accessible Tourism: Is the Supply ready to receive disabled tourists? 

Authors: Cristina Barroco, Rafaela Abrunhosa, and Ana Sofia Duque

Affiliation: Polytechnic Institute of Viseu


Nowadays there are debates surrounding various topics, promoting the creation of a more inclusive society which are increasingly mirrored in Tourism (Devile, 2009).  Accessible Tourism refers to a complex process. Its main goal is that all people, regardless of their condition, have access to all tourism services and all destinations (Zsarnoczky, 2017). In other words, in Accessible Tourism everyone can participate equally, regardless of their disability, whether they are motor, cognitive, visual, or hearing impairments. Also, people with disabilities can practice tourism with independence, fairly and with dignity, because everyone has the right to travel (Crîșmariu,2017).

This article is the first outcome of a bigger study that will try to understand whether or not tourists with disabilities are motivated to practice tourism. Eleven semi-structured exploratory interviews that will be analyzed on this paper, were applied to Portuguese organizations, considered to be best practices in the Accessible Tourism.

The primary objective is to understand how the tourism industry is prepared to receive disabled tourists, if it is familiar with their needs and aware of the need for change. The analysis of the interviews allowed us to understand that all entities have made changes in their facilities and in their dynamics, with emphasis on the importance of training. There was also an agreement that the remaining barriers deprive many tourists from traveling and that, despite the progress, there is still a long way to go.



Title: Managing inclusiveness: Representation and knowledge integration in tourism development and place branding

Authors:  Eva Maria Jernsand and Helena Kraff

Affiliation: University of Gothenburg


Tourism and place branding is moving towards inclusiveness in various ways. For instance, DMOs expand their functions from marketing to also include development and management of tourism, which imply collaboration with different types of stakeholders. In tourism literature, new concepts emerge, which challenge dominant power relations and top-down approaches. However, studies spanning across functions and structures are scarce, and the interdependency involved in destination management has not yet been sufficiently considered. 

The purpose of this paper is to explore the integration of knowledge from various actors and stakeholders, not least residents, in tourism development and management by considering issues of representation and knowledge integration. The findings build upon a study of a park development project in a small community in Sweden, which is multicultural in its composition. The project involved public and community-based organisations, university actors and old and new locals. The methods used were observations and interviews.

The major implications are that inclusiveness must move beyond public-private partnerships to include smaller actors and residents. Other fields have a long history of developing education, recommendations, guidelines and laws regarding citizen consultation and dialogue. Thus, there are several untapped opportunities for knowledge integration, which tourism managers may use when expanding collaboration across borders.

The paper contributes to the understanding, conceptualization and development of inclusive tourism and place branding, as well as it gives managerial directions on why and how organizations, groups and individuals should participate.



Title: Place making taking place: the New Mill Town

Authors:  Lars Aronsson, Emma Björner, Eva Maria Jernsand

Affiliation: Karlstad University, University of Gothenburg


Traditionally, place making has been associated with specific settings, with functions that contribute to the uniqueness of the place, for spatial planning purposes and in projects that aim at upgrading or maintaining spaces. This focus on physical elements as end products, and experts as decision-makers, has been challenged by a democratic view, with active involvement of interested parties. The place is made sense of by those who use it, and place making is described as a collective effort and an empowering tool.

We argue that top-down and bottom-up perspectives of place making constitute a continuum of exclusion, at one end, and inclusion of people at the other. Most places develop through a combination of top-down and bottom-up processes, with several actors involved who have multiple, often unspoken and even conflicting objectives and values. The study examines the interplay between exclusion and inclusion in place making and the challenges and opportunities associated with making multiple voices heard. The development of a cultural and creative center in southwest of Sweden constitutes the case study. The area has gone from an industrial community (mill town) to an international cultural environment and tourist attraction through decisions and actions that individuals, groups, businesses and public authorities have been part of in different phases. The methods are observations and interviews together with analysis of written historical and contemporary documents. The preliminary results indicate that inclusion works well in specific sectors and spaces, however, outside these, there is little inclusion, although there is benevolence and mutual dependence.



Title: Racialized Invisibilities and Visibilities: White and Non-White Readings of Place Branding Material

Authors:  Sofia Ulver and Sayaka Osanami Törngren

Affiliation: Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare


In this paper we understand cities today as so-called cultural brands (Holt 2016), that is, commodified spaces that must struggle in the intersection of cultural, ideological and historical tensions. In order to explore a city as a cultural brand, and problematize its marketing efforts in the light of this "doppelgänger brand" (Giesler 2012), we engage in two layers of analysis of our case city Malmö, where the first analysis informs the second. Firstly, we conduct a genealogical media discourse analysis where the primary phase of this analysis generates four preliminary tensions: 1. the former laid-off white working-class identity, 2. burgeoning underdog identity as young hipster progressive, 3. the stigmatized identity as an embodiment of failed social, racial and ethnic integration and the rise of organized crime, and 4. identity as an international punching bag for the far-right where the transnational media-produced revenge fantasies. Secondly, we make an in-situ introspective and reflexive analysis. We discuss how institutional actors of Malmö and Skåne region make the non-identity and racialized tensions visible and invisible in their place branding communication, and how these (in)visibilities can be understood in relation to the growing political polarization. All in all we find that Malmö (as a mediatized cultural brand) struggles with its own fragmented and transforming non-identity, and is constructed as a space of racialized tensions. Especially the tensions between the progressive and stigmatized identities are evident in the way Malmö and Skåne racialize and brand the region.



Title: Tourism value chains in the travel experiences of people with disabilities

Author:  Alexander Plaikner, Joachim Nigg, and Marco Haid

Affiliation: University of Innsbruck


More than one billion people globally live with disabilities of different kind and dimension. Age-related disabilities, in particular, are becoming increasingly common due to demographic change and the resulting ageing of the world's population. Due to persistent ignorance of the high potential of accessible tourism, travel industry is repeatedly criticized for a lack in awareness of accessibility throughout entire tourism value chains. In this regard, the respective study examines requirements of people with disabilities related to touristic experiences. While previous research projects predominantly target only one dimension of disability, this research work includes experiences of people with mobile, vision, hearing, and learning disabilities related to all travelling stages. Applying a qualitative approach, a holistic picture on constraints and barriers related to accessible tourism value chains is explored. Findings derived from this study show information quality as an essential factor for people with disabilities in the pre-travel phase. Lack of awareness for the requirements of people with disabilities frequently triggers obstacles for people with disabilities in the on-site phase. Feedback loops (i.e., evaluation sheets) represent an important and crucial factor for people with disabilities to disclose their opinion regarding their travel experiences. The study contributes to theory by adding aspects of self-identity descriptions of different target groups in accessible tourism. Thus, implications for theory and practice recommendations for more accessible tourism value chains can be derived from this study. Accordingly, recommendations for a sustainable recovery from the Covid 19 pandemic and overall stronger crisis resilience of Destinations are given.


Keywords: accessible tourism, tourism value chains, self-identity, people with disabilities, social interaction, travel experiences



Title: Pro-poor tourism and prospect for poverty alleviation

Author:  Kennedy Akrong

Affiliation: University of Lapland


Pro-Poor Tourism (PPT) emerges in the 1990s as an approach to alleviate poverty. PPT means tourism that delivers net benefits. The approach could relate to inclusive tourism's goal of ensuring that the economically vulnerable groups have access to consumption, production, and benefits of tourism. But PPT understandably prioritizes increasing net benefits, particularly in the global south, whereas inclusive tourism is concerned with western countries. PPT  main criticism concerned being an offshoot of neoliberalism which prioritizes private and commercial interests. Studies implying the approach focused narrowly on assessing tourism impacts on poverty. Given these concerns, this study takes a broader view by examining the strategies of stakeholders in developing tourism and its product(s). The investigation will explore the extent to which stakeholders deconstruct PPT ideas or alternative ways employed, challenges experienced, and possible ways to address them. The inspiring theories are the stakeholder and the communicative planning frameworks. Complimentarily, these frameworks would help to explore the strategies employed and ethics involved. The methodology follows a qualitative interpretive paradigm with semi-structured interview techniques in data gathering and content analysis of necessary documents. The case is at the Wli community in Ghana and has the highest waterfall in West Africa. Tourism development in this locality aims for pro-poor impacts. This study is a PhD research, and the data is not yet available.  The research contributes to scholarly debate on the practical possibility of developing tourism to improve the socio-economic status of people.


Keywords: pro-poor tourism, poverty alleviation, inclusive tourism, Wli waterfall, Ghana.