Digital Technology, Tourism and Geographies of Inequality II

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Recreation, Tourism, and Sport Specialty Group, Media and Communication Geography Specialty Group, Digital Geographies Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 2:35 PM / 4:15 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Hoover, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Organizers: Julia Giddy, Fabian Frenzel, Ko Koens
Chairs: Julia Giddy


Tourism is undergoing major changes in the advent of social media networks and other forms of digital technology. This has affected a number of tourism related processes including marketing, destination making, travel experiences and visitor feedback but also various tourism subsectors, like hospitality, transportation and tour operators. Largely overlooked, however, are the effects of these changes on questions concerning inequality. Therefore, the aim of this session is to chart this relatively unexplored territory concerning the influence of technologically enhanced travel and tourism on development and inequality.

In the wake of the digital revolution and its emerging possibilities, early debates in tourism studies have been dominated by a belief that new technologies are able to overcome or at least reduce inequality. These technologies, arguably, have emancipatory potential, inter alia, by increasing the visibility of neglected groups, neighborhoods or areas, by lowering barriers of entry into tourism service provision for low-income groups or by democratizing the designation what is considered valuable heritage. They also, however, may have homogenizing effects, for example by subjecting formerly excluded spaces to global regimes of real estate speculation or by undermining existing labour market regimes and standards in the transport and hospitality industries. These latter effects have played a part in triggering anti-tourism protests in a range of cities across the world.

In this session we aim, specifically, to interrogate these phenomena along two vectors: mobility and inequality.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Jessica R Barnes*, Northern Arizona University, Cashing in on sharing space or displaced?: The impacts of Airbnb short-term rental hosting on livelihoods and access to affordable housing in Flagstaff, Arizonass to affordable housing in Flagstaff, Arizona 20 2:35 PM
Presenter Dustin Robertson, City, Culture, and Community and Urban Studies Program, Tulane University, Christopher Oliver, Sociology, Environmental Studies, and Urban Studies, Tulane University, Eric Nost*, University of Guelph, Airbnb as a new form of tourism gentrification: Growth of STRs and impacts on rental housing affordability 20 2:55 PM
Presenter Fabian Frenzel*, University of Leicester, (digitally enhanced) Place Making from Below 20 3:15 PM
Presenter Camila Maria Moraes*, Rio de Janeiro University, “Beyond the map”: from the travelling favela to the digital favela 20 3:35 PM
Discussant Ko Koens Breda University of Applied Sciences 19 3:55 PM
Discussant Jennie Germann Molz College of the Holy Cross 1 4:14 PM

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