Towards a Geographical Political Economy of Tourism: Critical, Relational, and Evolutionary Approaches to Place-based Development (I)

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Recreation, Tourism, and Sport Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Chairman's Boardroom, Omni, East
Organizers: Patrick Brouder, Jarkko Saarinen
Chairs: Salvador Anton Clave

Call for Submissions

In this session, we will discuss the conceptual and empirical potential of a GEOGRAPHICAL POLITICAL ECONOMY OF TOURISM. We welcome papers covering, but not limited to: political economy and ecology approaches to tourism development, evolutionary studies of tourism destination economies, resilient regions and tourism development, critical tourism geographies of place-based development, green economy and other transitions in tourism, adaptive approaches to destination transformation, relational approaches to destination development, and cultural economies for community economic development.

If you are interested please send a draft copy of your abstract to the session organizers by October 25th, 2018:,, & This session is jointly sponsored by the AAG Recreation, Tourism & Sport Specialty Group and the IGU Commission on Geography of Tourism, Leisure and Global Change.


Under the broad umbrella of tourism studies there is a great section of research which has been lambasted for lacking a critical approach. This includes studies of the tourism economy, which are often regarded as being applied, industry-oriented, uncritical exercises that are mainly designed to describe the economy and track its most basic economic impacts. Within tourism geographies, however, there is a pro-active approach to critical studies of tourism in a place-based context, including critical studies of tourism destination economies. This session connects these studies, which are most often conceptually refined and empirically supported, and calls for a movement of tourism economic research towards a geographical political economy of tourism. Geographical political economy is an approach where ‘the spatialities of capitalism co-evolve with its economic processes and economic, political, cultural and biophysical processes are co-implicated with one another’ (Sheppard, 2010, p.319). Any geographical political economy of tourism should be fully cognizant of the uneven geographies of tourism development (Mosedale, 2015), and how destination development is a multiscalar and continuous process (or set of processes) co-evolving with any socio-economic, political, cultural and ecological processes at play in the destination region.

Mosedale, J. (ed.) (2015). Neoliberalism and the Political Economy of Tourism. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
Sheppard, E. (2010). Geographical Political Economy. Journal of Economic Geography, 11(2), 319-331.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Introduction Patrick Brouder Brock University 10 3:05 PM
Presenter Outi Kulusjärvi*, University of Oulu, Poststructural political economy approach to sustainability transformations in tourism destinations 20 3:15 PM
Presenter Jasper Heslinga*, European Tourism Futures Institute (ETFI), Towards resilient regions: 8 policy recommendations for synergy between tourism development and nature protection 20 3:35 PM
Presenter Manuela Gutberlet*, German University of Technology in Oman, ‘Orientalizing the Orient’ - Mega-Cruise Tourism and Geopolitical Imaginaries 20 3:55 PM
Presenter Adam Keul*, Plymouth State University, Brian Eisenhauer, Plymouth State University, Cannabis and tourism: regulation and the production of legal spaces 20 4:15 PM

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