NS29 Session 2

29th Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research
Shaping mobile futures: Challenges and possibilities in precarious times

21-23 September 2021


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Title: Developing the concept of inclusive tourism

Organisers: Eva Maria Jernsand, Helena Kraff, Emma Björner and Sayaka Osanami Törngren

Affiliation: The role of tourism in multicultural societies (TiMS), University of Gothenburg



A new conceptualization of inclusive tourism is emerging. Situated within inclusive development, an ethical perspective on tourism embraces diversity, equality and participation (Sheyvens & Biddulph, 2018, drawing from e.g. Lawson, 2010; UNDP, 2016). With such holistic connotations, inclusive tourism is a response to the fact that large, often multinational corporations create, market and benefit from products that are only attainable by privileged minorities. Inclusiveness in a tourism context is the opposite of this. People, independent of their ethnicity, gender, class and other social characteristics, should be able to participate in the creation of tourism products and benefit from them, as well as be able to experience them (Scheyvens & Biddulph, 2018). Thus, inclusive tourism means that dominant power relations and top-down approaches are challenged by grass root and bottom-up perspectives and initiatives. From a destination marketing perspective, inclusiveness also means that people living in tourism destinations should be represented in place marketing and branding (Kalandides et al., 2013; Zenker & Petersen, 2014). Furthermore, an inclusive view on tourism and place branding recognizes how and under what terms people actually participate in tourism development and place branding (Jernsand, 2016; Jernsand & Kraff, 2017; Kraff, 2018). In short, inclusive tourism has the potential to strengthen relationships, contribute to intercultural exchanges, and create multidimensional destinations. However, this ethical part of sustainable tourism development needs further investigation and conceptualization.

 This session calls for contributions that consider, e.g.: 

  • How the plurality of tourism products and destinations are communicated, represented and experienced in terms of e.g. cultures, ethnicity, gender, class and other social characteristics.
  • Challenges and opportunities met in tourism development processes that aim for diversity, equality and participation. 
  • Developments of the definition of inclusive tourism, e.g. founding principles, delimitations and what separates it from other related concepts.

We welcome contributions that are methodological, empirical and/or theoretical.