Following the special track on “Space, place, mobilities and moorings in tourism research" that took place at the ATLAS annual meeting held in Canterbury, UK, 14‐16 September 2016, a group of researchers (ATLAS members and not) has gathered around a SIG project that has the ambition to cover the relatively unexplored ground for conceptual and applied research opened by the mobilities paradigm and its multiple intersections with emerging ‘turns’ in social science: spatial, relational, performative, postcolonial, feminist, critical, etc.
The new SIG should replace the now inactive ‘Tourism Geographies’ SIG, extending its scope beyond and across disciplinary frontiers. Through the articulations of the mobilities paradigm in tourism and its connections with place‐making and place politics, the SIG emphasizes ‘tourist space’ as a producer of processes, and unravels the implications that this production can have on the social, economic, cultural and political dynamics. All this has opened new ground for repositioning tourism research (Richards & Russo, 2016).
The SIG aims to generate new and exciting knowledge about place as continuously moulded by the interventions and actuations of different mobilities: human and nonhuman, physical or immaterial. It will also explore how the epistemologies involved by such new turns may be making room for a transformative agenda ‘from below’ of the tourist space and for subversive policy frameworks, whose logic is to accommodate diverse mobilities in a ‘common space’ founded of the legitimation of multiplicity and difference.
The scholars that take part in the “Space, Place, Mobilities in Tourism” SIG include highly recognised senior experts in the fields involved and emerging researchers with a sincere desire to break through mainstream conceptualisations in tourism and place studies. Most are active in several high-level international networks. This guarantees that the activities of the SIG will have ample resonance in the broader scientific community and will be published in international journals. However the SIG will also care about establishing connections with the civic society - grassroots organizations, placemakers and governments who are engaged in the debate about ‘what is (and what should be) tourism today’.
The overarching aims of the group are thus:
- To foster the development of the broad field of tourism, leisure and place studies as inflated in recent years by the trans- or post-disciplinary shifts, which are seen as new powerful drivers for the generation of new knowledge that resituates tourism in contemporary society;
- To produce conceptual and applied research on tourism mobilities which bridge academic knowledge with the societal concerns arising around tourism in the contemporary age, making ourselves useful to - and heard by - civic and political organisations currently engaged in a debate on tourism and place
- To promote collaborative research activity and academic events and publications in the field mentioned above as it is customary for the ATLAS SIG groups
The SIG will engage with a large variety of topics concerning space and place, mobilities, performance and bodily practices in tourism, among which:
- Recent developments in tourism mobilities research
- Technical analyses of mobilities, their determinants and their effects end engagements with space and society
- Bodily performances and the materiality of space
- ‘Experiencescapes’, negotiation and resignifications of place and its identity
- Tourism behaviour, consumption, leisure and relational practices in space
- The role of technology as ‘mobiliser’ and the human/technological interaction
- The semiotics of tourist spaces: cosmopolitanism, cultural enclaves, cultural conflict and place readability
- Politics of mobility in the tourist place: producing and regulating mobilities, spatial justice and the ‘right to the city’, accessibility and legitimating difference, diversity and heterogeneity
Program of activities
- Presentation of the SIG to the broad ATLAS community and enrolment of new members
- 1st SIG workshop on Space, Place, Mobilities, at URV (Vila-seca, Tarragona, Spain), 17-18 October 2017 (in connection with IGU-Tourism congress on ‘Tourism Shaping Places’, 18-21 October, CfP to be issued soon).
- Next SIG meetings once a year
- Webinars organised by the SIG and hosted by affiliates, in the format recommended by ATLAS.
- Participation in ATLAS Annual Conference – as a thematic panel