Recreation, Tourism and Sport Specialty Group Sessions

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Below are sessions and papers from the online Preliminary Program for the AAG Los Angeles 2013 meeting, as of 13 February 2013. The original calls for Abstracts for RTS sponsored sessions at at the bottom of this page.

PAPER SESSIONS sponsored by the Recreation, Tourism, and Sport Specialty Group

Papers with the Keyword: TOURISM

Second homes tourism research in South Africa: 10 years down the line

Culinary Adventure Tourism: Dining in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside

Beach Hotels Food Supply Linkages: A Case Study of Kwa-Zulu Natal Coastal Resorts, South Africa

"Invisible tourism" in Hungary - The investigation of unconventional tourism mobility

The Transformation of the Hotel Industry in South Africa: The Budget Hotel Sector

Breaking out of Destination Path Dependency? Exploring the Case of Coastal Tourism in North Jutland, Denmark

They Can Be Both! The Dual Status of Lifestyle Tourist Entrepreneurs in Dali

International students at Stellenbosch University: Internationalization agents and leisure and tourism significance

Mountain products an opportunity through Food Tourism

On the Importance of Communitas and Liminality, or Getting Lost in Venice

Evolutionary Resilience and Small Tourism Enterprises

Escaping everyday (ir)responsibilities: Performances and practices in tourism

Critical mass in evolutionary models of tourism dynamics: A new framework for the Tourist Area Life Cycle?

Tourism, White Supremacy, and African American Mobilities: The Green Book and Jim Crow Journey Stories

Sustainable Ecotourism Development: A Critical Examination of Annapurna Conservation Area of Nepal

Seasonal workers and the social barriers preventing community entry: The effects of transience on social capital within a mountain resort community

The Political Economy of Aesthetics in Volunteer Tourism

Routes to Understanding Slavery Heritage: Identity Politics and Meaning in Ghana

The role of human agency and entrepreneurship in path creation: the case of Whistler, BC and the Winter Olympics

Evolutionary perspectives on regional knowledge collaboration: the case of yacht manufacturing and coastal tourism on Orust Island, Sweden

The Unbearable Placelessness of Being: Slave Castles and the African Diaspora's Search for Belonging

Self-Interest within Volunteer Tourism

Assessing Livelihood Impacts of Tourism: A Case Study of Wailingding, China

Critical Sustainability: Setting the Limits to Growth in Tourism

Ambivalence as an Optimal Outcome of Participation in an English Language Voluntourism Program

Effects of World Heritage Inscription on Hakka Vernacular Tourism

Tourism Resilience: the New Sustainability for Community Based Tourism

Tourists' Perceptions of Agritourism

'New' Tourism in the 'New' Berlin? Contemporary trends in tourism and place consumption and their implications for urban scholarship

Niche tourism, urban redevelopment, and the representation of industrial decline in Detroit

: "Exploring 'The Wild Heart of America': Tourism, Outdoor Recreation and the Allure of Western National Parks 1916-1941"

Meat Market or Slave Market? An Analysis of the Framing of a Key Tourism Site in Postcards from St. Augustine, FL

Exhibition Tourism and Urban Tourism in China: A Comparative Analysis of Eastern, Middle and Western Cities

Representations of Rijeka in Tourism Information Sources

Evaluating Tri-Modal Leisure Corridors: Sustainable Recreation and Tourism Development or Greenwashed Road Trips

Diversity in Nature and the Nature of Diversity in Yellowstone's Historical Record

Linking perceptions of well-being to land use change: Lessons from the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, Mozambique

'New' Tourism in the 'New' Berlin? Contemporary trends in tourism and place consumption and their implications for urban scholarship

Nature-Culture Values in Arctic Riverscape Tourism and Inhabitation

Ecotourism at Nature Reserves in China: negotiating preservation and development

'Leave the Chicks in Istanbul' - The Counter-culture: Rising in the West and setting in the East.

Well-being in Wonderground: the case of Vancouver's urban escapists


Dimensions of Tragic Heritage Narration: Heritage, Identity and Sense of Place in Sichuan Province after the 12th May 2008 Earthquake in China

Birth Tourism and Biopolitical Governance:Mainland Pregnant Women in Hong Kong

Watering St. Katherine: Hydro-Cultural transformations in a Contested Landscape

Tourism and the Neoliberal Agenda: Destabilizing the Equity Dimension on Sustainability

Past, present and future transportation to peripheral recreational and protected areas in Sweden

Mediating Tourism, Culture and Heritage in a Traditional Economy Context: Critical Development and Cultural Geographies of Traditional Peoples

"Lighting the way: neon, automobility, and the American landscape."

The Future of Arctic Tourism in the International Political Economy: A Sea Ice System Services Approach

Agent-based simulation of the spatial diffusion of tourist flow

Labor-based immigration in the tourism sector in Spain

Moving Beyond Hope: Aiding Local Struggles for Justice and Inclusion

A Political Ecology of Sustainable Tourism and Nature Conservation in China

Culinary tourism and cultural consumption: Taiwan's night markets

Tourism and the Southern swamp: sell out or savior?

Johannesburg: Africa's World City?

Impressions over time of the tourism industry of Estonia

Assessing long-term outcomes of aid, reconstruction, and recovery in tsunami-impacted communities of Thailand's Andaman Coast.

Constructive Development or Commodification of Orphans? Orphanage Tourism Impacts in Cambodia

Exploring notions from evolutionary economic geography for the analysis and explanation of tourism area evolution

Remembering the Shoah through space within major cities. An Was-West comparison of Museums and Memorials dedicated to the Holocaust. Examples of Paris, New-York, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Budapest, Berlin and Warsaw.

The Political Economy of Heritage Tourism in the Upper Mustang Region of Nepal

When dem come: The Political Ecology of Sustainable Tourism in Jamaica

A Look into future research on Ecotourism

Webwashing the Tourist Plantation: Using historic websites to view changes in representation of slavery at tourism plantations

Shaping Tourism

Spaces of Racialized Desires: Romance Tourism in the Ukraine, Colombia and the Philippines

Tourism, Development, and Wellbeing in Bhutan

Understanding Townscape through Tourist and Resident Perception: Shimla, a town in the Himalayas


volunteer tourism and the personalisation of development

Sustainable Competition?: Local Entrepreneurship in Ecotourism in Northern Thailand

Rural Reconstructions? Women's Farm Tourism Entrepreneurship

"Not for kings or Noblemen….but for Everyone, for all Time": Revisiting the National Park System in a Racially Diverse America

Capitalizing on Contradictions: A Comparative Analysis of Volunteer Tourism in Haiti and Tanzania

Life between the two milpas: tourism, agriculture and migration in the Yucatán

The Contingent Role of Water in Tourism Development in Southwest Nicaragua.

Siege or Spectacle? The tourist gaze, the favela and the militarization of urban space in Rio de Janeiro


Tourism's spatial structure in Paris. In between extreme centralism and early signs of its development at the metropolitan scale

The Shock of the Virtual: ICTs, Value-webs and Tourism in Cape Town, South Africa

Location Planning in the Hotel Industry: An Analysis of the Market Potential of Austrian Destinations

Klondike 'Yo!: Grounding Public Memory and Colonial Nostalgias in Dawson City, Yukon.

Thinking through the spaces of high-end leisure: Golf, political ecology and contemporary economic topographies

'Destination image and the renewal of mature tourist destinations: a case study of Benidorm, Spain'

The Street, the Row and the Hood: Legacy, Industry and Scene in Nashville

Ethnic tourism - Cinderella of European tourism industry?

Community-based tourism development in the semi-periphery of Viet Nam through the view of local residents

Macro-level hope and micro-level despair? Dynamics of survival in the restaurant sector in Northern Sweden.

Mining Social Media Data to Design Personalized Tour Guide

Towards an Integrated Relational-Evolutionary Perspective of Tourism Local Systems

An Evolutionary Approach to Coastal Resort Transformation

Dimensions of Sustainable Competitiveness for Tourism Destination Development: The Black Hills (South Dakota) and Apuseni Mountains (Romania)

Diaspora Tours and Place Attachment: Armenian Pilgrimages to Eastern Turkey

Assessment of Tourism Potential: A study of Thane District, Maharashtra State India

Cultural Tourism Potential and Sustainability of Historical Bartin Houses

Organic volunteering as transformative tourism experiences: A phenomenological exploration

Planning for Bicycle tourism: Estimating the economic effects of bicycle tourism in two Swedish regions

At Home, At Sea; Cruise Tourism, Virtual Places and the Construction of Identity

Volunteer tourism: More than Poverty Alleviation

Theoretical contributions in the study of the Geography of Tourism

Is this how you pictured it? Perceived values of heritage sites through the lens of a camera

Brokering Aid through Tourism: The Contradictory Roles of Volunteer Coordinators in Cusco, Peru

Memories in the Clouds: Messner Mountain Museums (MMM) and the Quest for Global Mountain Heritage.

The Park of Nations and Tourism Development in Northeastern Lisbon

A Brief Evaluation Of Dark Tourism, Case Of Bosnia Herzegovina And Kosovo

Local Narratives and Community Mapping: Addressing Criticisms of Participatory GIS

Tourism Employment as Livelihood strategy among Foreign-born people in Rural Sweden. A driver for post-production?

Measuring movement patterns of incoming tourists in destination with passive mobile positioning data

China's Golf Obsession: Golf and the Contradictions of eco-tourism in Hainan, China.

Community Participation in Tourism of Yubeng Village: Means of Participation and Its Significance for Empowerment

Mainland China international tourism flow and its variation analysis Nearly 10 years

The three times geographical effect on spatial differentiation of Chinese tourism industry: An ABS Analysis

Examination of Multilayer Model of Food Tourism in Watou, West Flanders, Belgium

Factors affecting visitors travel distance: a comparison of foreign event visitors´ and regular visitors´ in Estonia

Tourism, degradation or préservation of the naturals aeras ? The exemple of Madagascar and Costa Rica

Roots Tourism of Post-WW2 Displaced Minorities

Finding Oneself While Discovering 'Others': Volunteer Tourism and the Search for Authenticity in Thailand

Drought Assessment for Recreation & Tourism in Southwestern Colorado

Music imaginary, tourism and territorial identity: the Costa Rican Calypso

Tourism and Territoriality in Taiwan and China

Dr Meredith Jones

Segregation and Penetration: Fragmented Urbanism and Territoriality in Bávaro-Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Roots and Routes


Papers with the Keyword: RECREATION

Bikeway network design model for recreational bicycling in scenic areas

: "Exploring 'The Wild Heart of America': Tourism, Outdoor Recreation and the Allure of Western National Parks 1916-1941"

Evaluating Tri-Modal Leisure Corridors: Sustainable Recreation and Tourism Development or Greenwashed Road Trips

Recreation Centers as Escape: negotiation of borders and networks by South Asian teenagers in New York City

How to design a wetland park network to meet human needs on recreation services in Beijing?

Access to urban fringe forests

Analysis of Historical Recreational Water Quality Data in Lake St. Clair, Great Lakes

Identifying Typologies of Recreational Agro-parks in Metropolitan Region with Typical Cases in Beijing

Economic and Community Dynamics in Wallace, Idaho

Where are all the hunters? The Implications of Demographic Change on Future Participation in Outdoor Recreational Activities

Estimating Demand of U.S. National Park Visitation using Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR)

Sunday Streets: Recreational Equity and Volunteer Conflicts

Papers with the Keyword: SPORTS

"What was that all about?" Critical reflections on London 2012, the media and the mega-event.

Interactive geovisual analytical toolkit for team sports

The Olympic project for Rio de Janeiro: mercantilization of urban space, accumulation by dispossession and uneven development

Papers with the Keyword: LEISURE

International students at Stellenbosch University: Internationalization agents and leisure and tourism significance

Leisure as governable space: consumption, citizenship, and governmentality in China's leisure developments

Local Rural Community Built with "top-down and bottom-up" Approach: A Case of the Metropolitan Leisure Park of Andin Town, Beijing, China

Well-being in Wonderground: the case of Vancouver's urban escapists

Elite Geographies Beyond the Border: a case study of the Gaza Strip

Reshaping of Post-socialist Ho Chi Minh City: An Approach through Leisure and Urban Practices

Thinking through the spaces of high-end leisure: Golf, political ecology and contemporary economic topographies







Proposed RTS Sessions  - AAG Meeting, Los Angeles - 9-13 April, 2013


(1) The Due Dates for submitting abstracts to the RTS Session Chairs is earlier than the due dates listed on the AAG website.  This is to give the session chairs time to collect all the information they need to finalize their sessions.
(2) You must first Register for the conference, then Submit your abstract to the AAG. 

(3) After you submit your abstract to the AAG, you will need send your AAG/Conference PIN (also called an "ID Number") to the session organizer(s).  The Session Organizer will use your pin to place you in their paper session.

(4) The AAG limits you to one paper presentation and one panel participation. Alternatively you may participate in two panels with no paper presentation. You may be a discussant in an unlimited number of session.
(5) TIPS for preparing and presenting your paper and Six Minutes - a blog with tips for effective presentations


(1) Each paper or panel session may have up to two organizers, and may have only one chair.
(2) Each paper or panel session is 100 minutes long.
(3) Paper Sessions consist of 5 papers or 4 papers and a discussant. Each paper is expected to conform to the 20-minute time limit.
(4) Panel Sessions consist of 4-10 participants. Formal presentations are not to be part of panel sessions.
(5) If you have a discussant who is not submitting an abstract, they can forward you their PIN as long as they has registered for the meeting first. Please collect these PIN numbers from your presenters and discussants and proceed to submit your session as soon as possible.

Please read the full notes for session organizers.

(1) Geographical Gaming: Landscape as Playing Surface

I am planning a session at the 2013 AAG meeting in Los Angeles with the working title of "Geographical Gaming: Landscape as Playing Surface". I am seeking perspectives on topics such as orienteering, adventure racing, parkour, TSD road rallies, urban scavenger hunts, geocaching, the Degree Confluence Project, and GPS art. Aside from calling attention to some of these niche pursuits, I am interested in how they serve to blur boundaries between "work" and "play". Please respond to

- Frank Boscoe, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University at Albany -

(2) Lifestyle Migrants & Destination Communities

Modern lifestyle migration is a form mobility emerging in the context of rapid globalization. It comes in many forms, including retirement migration, second-home tourism, international students, and amenity-seeking migrants and seasonality migrants. These new types of migrants differ from the traditional tourists and economic migrants in their relationships with home and away, their motivations to move, and their economic impacts on destinations.  This session focuses on topics concerning the connections between lifestyle migrants and destination communities.  Examples of appropriate topics include the motivations, trajectories and experiences of different kinds of lifestyle migrants, and the dynamics and patterns of integration of lifestyle migrants into destination communities in aspects including (but not limit to) economic, cultural, social, residential, and identity aspects of place. Planning and policy implications for destinations of these new types of migrants are also covered in this session.

In addition to registering your abstract for the conference on the  AAG website Please submit a copy of your abstract before 15 October 2012 to the session organizers:
- Prof. Xu Honggang <> and
- Dr. Xing Wei <>.

(3) Tourism Geography and Evolutionary Research

Recent developments in evolutionary economic geography (Boschma & Martin, 2010) are receiving increasing interest from tourism geographers. Aspects of path dependence, micro-firm survival, resort evolution, and regional development policy have been addressed in empirical studies of the tourism economy, dating back to the seminal concept of Richard Butler’s Tourism Area Life Cycle (Brouder & Eriksson, 2012; Butler, 1980; Ivars Baidal, 2004; Papatheodorou, 2004). However, theoretical discussion on the principles of evolutionary notions of economic change within tourism has been limited. Yet the possibility to explain macro-level trends while allowing for micro-level agency resulting in varying outcomes across the space economy is of central interest to the theoretical development of tourism geography. This session highlights the possibilities for tourism researchers to take on new perspectives to regional restructuring and also opens space for evolutionary scholars interested in low-technology, service sectors, with tourism being a pertinent case.

This call invites papers on evolutionary approaches within tourism geography. Submissions may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

Enquiries are welcome to the Session Organizers:

We are hoping we may be able to organize more than one session on this topic so please contact me or one of the other organizers so that we coordinate papers. -- Alison

- Boschma, R., & Martin, R. (2010). The Handbook of Evolutionary Economic Geography. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Brouder, P., & Eriksson, R. H. (2012). Staying Power: What Influences Micro-firm Survival in Tourism? Tourism Geographies, 1–20. doi:10.1080/14616688.2011.647326
- Butler, R. W. (1980). The Concept of a Tourist Area Life Cycle of Evolution: Implications for Management of Resources. The Canadian Geographer / Le Géographe canadien, 24(1), 5–12. doi:10.1111/j.1541-0064.1980.tb00970.x
- Ivars Baidal, J. A. (2004). REGIONAL TOURISM PLANNING IN SPAIN: Evolution and Perspectives. Annals of Tourism Research, 31(2), 313–333. doi:10.1016/j.annals.2003.12.001
- Papatheodorou, A. (2004). Exploring the Evolution of Tourism Resorts. Annals of Tourism Research, 31(1), 219–237. doi:10.1016/j.annals.2003.10.004

(4) Methodologies in Social Memory and Heritage Tourism Research

The examination of social memory and heritage tourism has grown considerably over the past few decades, both inside and outside the field of geography. Methodological innovation and reflection have accompanied theoretical advances in the study of memory and heritage tourism.  Scholars continue to uncover new data sources and new methods (qualitative and quantitative) for analyzing the process and politics of remembering and touring the past through place.  Despite the increasing volume of research on these topics, there remains much scholarship to be completed and there is a need to create a forum for sharing methodological ideas in light of the ongoing re-conceptualization of what constitutes data and method in cultural and historical geography. We invite participation in a paper session for AAG 2013 that highlights the development and use of new, innovative methodologies; revisits and refines more established methodologies; and carries out a broader discussion of the role of methodology in the study of social memory and/or heritage tourism.  Papers might approach methods and methodology from a variety of perspectives and we are open to work that examines social memory both inside and outside the context of heritage tourism.  Possible paper topics include but are not restricted to:

Session Organizers:
David Butler, The University of Southern Mississippi;
- Derek H. Alderman, University of Tennessee-Knoxville;
- Perry Carter, Texas Tech University;
- Arnold Modlin, Norfolk State University

Contact: David Butler at if you are interested in participating in this session

(5) Transportation and “America’s Best Idea”: Travel and Mobility in National Parks and Protected Areas

National parks and other federal lands receive tremendous visitation, almost exclusively by car. The ‘dual mandate’ under which national parks are managed requires that providing access to the scenic and historic features of America’s national parks must be balanced by environmental protections for those features. Travel to and within national parks and similar lands has become a matter of increasing concern for environmental, public health, and social equity reasons. This session will examine such topics as recreational travel to national parks and other protected public areas within cities or in wilderness. Given the subject of the session(s), possible topics of interest might include, but are not limited to: 

Send an abstract of no more than 250 words and your personal identification number (received from the AAG after applying online ) to one of the organizers by October 19, 2012. Organizers:
- Joe Weber, Department of Geography
, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 - - phone: 205-348-0086
Selima Sultana, Department of Geography, University of North Carolina - Greensboro Greensboro, NC 27402 - - phone: 336-334-3895

Session sponsored by: The Transport Geography Specialty Group (TGSG) & The Recreation, Tourism, and Sport Specialty Group (RTS)

(6) Tourism as Development in Asia

According to the UN World Tourism Organization (2012), the largest growth in tourism over the coming decade is expected to take place in the Asia-Pacific region, where arrivals are forecasted to increase from 204 million in 2010 to 535 million by 2030. As one of the world’s largest industries that generates millions of jobs globally, tourism is often heralded as a means for economic development and poverty alleviation. However, its influence on host destinations and their surrounding natural environment is complex and remains a subject of contentious and continuous debate. How can tourism positively impact the livelihoods of those who need it most? Does this booming sector offer hope or hindrance for marginalized peoples in Asian countries?

This session will examine tourism as a development strategy within the context of developing and developed nations in Asia. Possible topics of interest may include, but are not limited to:

-        Urban and rural economic development
-        Local development and community empowerment
-        Sustainable tourism (including responsible, pro-poor, and alternative tourism; ecotourism)
-        Sustainable livelihoods and wellbeing
-        Protected areas and resource management
-        Political economy of tourism development
-        Backpacker tourism
-        Entrepreneurship and regional development
-        Cultural and heritage tourism
-        Cross-cultural learning and education

Enquiries are welcome. Please submit abstracts (no more than 250 words) to the session organizers no later than October 15. Session organizers:
- Heidi Karst, University of Waterloo,
- Li Yang, Western Michigan University,

Reference: United Nations World Tourism Organization [UNWTO] (2012). Tourism Highlights. Madrid: UNWTO.

(7) The Phenomenon of Ethnic Tourism in Europe

This is the call for papers that address the developing niche market of ethnic tourism, or what is also referred to as roots tourism, genealogical tourism or diaspora tourism. The phenomenon consists of return visits by emigrants (and/or their descendants) to the country of their ancestors. Due to specific characteristics, researchers have designated this type of tourism as a separate segment under the topic of heritage tourism. Due to the fact that almost every European country has its diaspora living outside of the country's borders, the potential for expansion of this type of tourism is great.

The organizer of this session is especially interested in papers that focus on good/bad practice examples in the field of European ethnic tourism, explore the economic and social impacts of ethnic or roots tourism on receiving countries (or families), or identify and discuss the types of destinations (families, home towns, religious places, cultural/historic sites) that attract this specific type of tourist population.

Deadline: September 21, 2012 - Please send proposed titles and abstracts of up to 250 words to: Miha Koderman, PhD, Department of Geography, Faculty of humanities, University of Primorska, Slovenia, (

(8) Tourism Geographies Session: Sustainable Tourism and Resilient Tourism

Resilience has become increasingly signifcant as a way of adressing the urgent needs of communities in today's rapidly changing world. While some consider resilience as a feature of sustainability, other consider it as a major departure. The latter argument, for example, sees sustainability as trying to prevents climate change, and resilience as trying to adapt to changes. In addition, resilience has two major approaches. The first, and better known, approach has a focus on large catastrophic events, such as a tsunami or economic crash. An alternative approach seeks to understand how people and communities deal with slow, gradual changes over time, such as rises in sea level or changing job markets. The latter approach has been referred to as evolutionary resilience, persistent resilience, and transitional resilience (among other terms). This has significant ties to sustainable community development to the degree that each has a focus on capacity building and institutional learning.

This session explores all of these perspectives in the context of tourism communities. Papers are welcome that expand our understanding of sustainable tourism and of tourism and resilience, both at the large scale disaster level, and as the day-to-day survival level. Papers that interface between the two concepts of sustainability and resilience are also welcome, though not required. Let me know if you have any questions about this session.

Please submit abstracts to the session organizer, Alan A. Lew, Northern Arizona University, <>, no later than October 17. (See full abstract submission instructions at the top of this webpage.)

This session is cosponsored by the Tourism Geographies journal and the Tourism Commission of the International Geographical Union.

(9) Traveling for a Cause: Alternative Tourism, Consumption and Transnational Social Movements

This panel critically explores the intersection of alternative tourism, consumption and transnational social movements. Consumer movements such as fair trade, organic agriculture and food sovereignty are illustrative of the broader expansion of the new moral economies. These movements are increasingly represented within tourism where pro-poor, agricultural tourism and responsible tourism agendas are now commonplace. As a unique commodity within this expansion, tourism facilitates the opportunity to bring together the producers (host community members and tourism practitioners) and consumers (tourists).  
This panel builds on recent research that highlights the potential role of tourism to contribute to consciousness-raising among its participants and to be a platform from which local communities can recruit support for social movement participation.

We seek papers that theoretically and empirically examine this dynamic interplay between alternative tourism and the broader expansion of the new moral economies as well as the potential role of alternative tourism experiences to facilitate both new knowledge production and new challenges to realizing broader social justice agendas. Key topics for this panel may include the intersection of lifestyle and social movements (e.g. WWOOFing), social movement discourses in tourism (e.g. fair trade tourism), power relations within tourism encounters, host community based social movements, the commodification of social movement agendas in tourism (e.g. slum tours) and the expansion of the logics of neoliberalism through alternative tourism consumption (e.g. volunteer tourism).

If you are interested in joining this panel, please contact Mary Mostafanezhad <>, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

(10) Volunteer Tourism

Co-organized by Harng Luh, Sin (University of Colorado at Boulder and National University of Singapore) and Tim Oakes (University of Colorado at Boulder)

The recent decades has seen a rise in what is called ‘volunteer tourism’ or ‘voluntourism’ – travelers helping out while having fun, or do-gooders on vacation. Central to the rhetoric in volunteer tourism is the idea that tourism ventures can and should bring about positive impacts to host destinations, and with strong overtones of 'social', 'justice', 'pro-poor', 'green', and 'eco' tourism, volunteer tourism has the capacity to make a direct and tangible improvement to host communities or the natural environment in tourism destinations. From what started off as a niche sector taken up by only few tourists, volunteer tourism is now increasingly available and popular amongst everyday tourists in different parts of the world.

Yet alongside enthusiastic and positive statements on the great potentials that volunteer tourism has in addressing poverty and environmental damage, are also pessimistic and cynical assessments of the “dark side of volunteer tourism”, suggesting that it is nothing but a “a morally seductive adaptation of modern mass tourism” (MacKinnon, 2009). At the same time, volunteer tourism (especially those that involve work in orphanages) is related to criticisms towards 'slum tourism' and the associated ills of voyeurism on poverty, despair and suffering.

Positioned against larger trends such as ethical consumerism in tourism, religious mission travel, work and study immersion programs, and academic fieldwork as ‘volunteer tourism’, this session therefore invites papers considering the various implications of travel based on supposed benefits to social, charitable or environmental causes, and invites critical scholarship to discuss the research agenda in this emerging field.

Submissions: Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words along with a short author(s) bibliography by email to Harng Luh, Sin ( before 30 September 2012.

(11) Leisure, Tourism, and Political Ecology

During the last decade there has been something of a surge in texts broadening the scope of tourism and leisure studies through engagements with tourism and political economy (Bianchi 2009, Mosedale 2011, Williams 2004), how exertions of power permeate tourism (MacLeod & Carrier 2010, Church & Coles 2007), and so forth. While these share some common influences with influential Political Ecology texts there has to date still been very few texts striving to engage with issues concerned with tourism and leisure explicitly in relation to this nowadays rather broad field. Though leisurely consumption plays a key role in today’s capitalist economy, and given the strategic and economic value of ecological discourses together with the increasing use of the concept of sustainability, many important issues remain surprisingly under-theorized. With some notable exceptions tourist and leisure scholars have neglected the vantage points that might open up through engagements with Political Ecology. Conversely, scholars working to develop our understanding of political ecologies have during the last decade engaged with issues ranging from forestry in the global south to cutting edge research on molecular biology, but have seldom considered the roles of various leisure activities in shaping socio-ecologies worldwide.

We do not in any way think this represents a tension or unbridgeable gap. Rather we see this as an opportunity to exchange key insights from two, heuristically and loosely defined, research fields to perhaps reach a fuller understanding of the socio-ecologies of leisure and tourism. Therefore we invite theoretically and empirically informed papers which strive to scrutinize aspects of leisure, tourism and political ecology. Examples of possible topics include but are certainly not limited to the following:

If you are interested in presenting a paper in the session send an abstract of no more than 250 words to Erik Jönsson and Linda Boukhris ( no later than Friday, October 19, 2012.

(12) Re-framing Sustainable Tourism

The term sustainable tourism has been in existence since the late 1980’s and since that time, debates in the field have been challenged by varying notions of what sustainable tourism is and to what purposes does it serve. In a world that is increasingly globalized and interconnected, contentious and complex, is sustainable tourism limited to small firms located in rural environments, or does the concept have broader applicability. Technology, environmental issues and global- local interactions have changed enormously in the last 25 years thus necessitating an evaluation of the concept as an organizing tool for research and practice. As such, academics and others continue to re-define and reframe issues of sustainable tourism in interesting and innovative ways. This session proposes to highlight some of those ways in which sustainable tourism is being re-framed to include among other things:

We invite both empirical research and critical essays on the idea of Reframing Sustainable Tourism. Authors of abstracts chosen for this session will be asked to develop a paper for possible inclusion in a special issue of the journal Sustainability and as a chapter in an upcoming edited volume on re-framing sustainable tourism.

Please send abstracts and PINs for inclusion in the session no later than October 24th

Keith Bosak, Associate Professor of Nature-Based Tourism, The University of Montana,

(13) Down and Out in Parks and Protected Areas: Social, Cultural, and Historical Approaches

This organized paper session will highlight social, cultural, and historical approaches to studying parks and protected areas in the United States. Topics will includes demographic diversity in Yellowstone National Park, historical tourism and outdoor recreation in western US national parks, US Forest Service fire policy and US public land management, and conflicts between wilderness and sustainable agriculture management issues in Point Reyes National Seashore.

Chair and Organizer: Yolonda Youngs, Ph.D., Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID