Tourism Geographies Special Issue

Call for Papers


On 26th February 2021 the US House of Representatives passed the Equality Act and if passed by the Senate, would prohibit discrimination on sexual orientation and gender identity grounds. This was a significant day for gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans*, queer/questioning, intersex, and gender diverse (LGBTQI+) people and communities in the United States. While this is a small win towards equality and justice for all, LGBTQI+ people continue to be criminalised in 73 jurisdictions across the world – 12 of them can legally impose the capital punishment for consensual same-sex sexual activity (Human Dignity Trust, 2020). Nonetheless, decriminalisation is only the very first step towards achieving equity as it does not mandate equal rights, nor does it suggest the existence of an inclusive society. For example, marginalisation and discrimination of LGBTQI+ people continues to persist within countries such as Hungary, Russia, and Poland. Its existence is arguably entrenched within the populist laws – marginalisation has been referred to as a ‘product of the cultural politics’ (Hubbard, 1998, p. 56) suggesting that homophobia and transphobia can be understood as a historic product of religious, political and/or state-sponsored manifestations (Vorobjovas-Pinta & Hardy, 2016). However, ‘cultural politics’ has resulted into a somewhat paradoxical assertions of ‘queer’ identity: ‘As we fight for equality for LGBTQI+ communities, asserting that we are like everyone else, we are also selectively asserting queer difference’ (Ooi, 2021, p. 16).

For some time, human geographers have paid attention to the injustices surrounding gender and sexuality, such research usually explores and challenges the notions of ‘space’ that blurs the common binary understandings of the world (Binnie, 1997; Binnie & Valentine, 1999; March, 2021). Queer geography has been often positioned as both ontology and epistemology in exploring the politics and negotiations of sexuality and identity (Brown & Knopp 2003, 2008; Browne, 2006; Duggan, 1992; Hall, 2017). Historically, the term ‘queer’ itself has been used as a slur to abase and humiliate people who identify as LGBTQI+. Today, this term is reclaimed, and it denotes the innate power and the perceived unity within the LGBTQI+ communities and their supporters to embrace change, equality, and justice for all (Levy & Johnson, 2011). Nonetheless, research on queer geographies continues to highlight the ‘implicit heterosexual bias’ in geographical theorising of space (Oswin, 2004; 2008) and there have been calls made to for ‘queer geographies not to be equated solely with geographies of queerness (or non-heterosexuality)’ (Brown & Knopp, 2003, p. 320).

Tourism has been approached through the prism of geographies of sexualities emphasising the importance of space and place in production of knowledge (Johnston & Longhurst, 2008). Yet, there is limited understanding how tourism interplays with ‘queerness’ (Xu, 2018), particularly, beyond the pure ‘geographic’ notions and interpretations of ‘place’ and ‘space’. Scholars exploring LGBTQI+ travel have portrayed tourism as an escape from the hegemonic structures of everyday life (Markwell, 1998; Vorobjovas-Pinta & Hardy, 2016) offering ‘an extended temporal opportunity’ to be themselves (Hughes, 1997, p. 6). Arguably, tourism, while grounded in the interpretations of ‘space’ and ‘time’, has the power to take a step further and explore the more nuanced intersections with social and spatial justice (Lau et al., 2013). Tourism in its most intimate form is influenced and consumed through our lived experiences (Ooi, 2021). These experiences are shaped by intersectionalities such as sexuality, culture, religion, race, disability or socio-economic status (Chambers, 2021). At present, this topic remains under researched within LGBTQI+ tourism research.  Other gaps remain; while the last decade saw a proliferation of research into LGBTQI+ tourism, much attention has focused on gay men and lesbians, whereas the voices of bisexual, trans* and gender diverse people remain relatively silent (Ong et al., 2020).

In light of these research gaps, this special issue invites papers that explore the experiences and voices not only of gay men and lesbians but also bisexual, trans* and gender diverse people. It also welcomes papers that explore the intersectionalities between ‘queerness’ and one’s culture, religion, race, disability and socio-economic privilege. The aim of this special issue is to critically engage with queer geographies of tourism to understand how tourism is consumed, how it is used to express one’s identity, and what role tourism plays in enhancing equality and justice for all. We seek submissions that engage with relevant theories and literature within (queer) tourism geographies that go beyond the theorisations of ‘place’ and ‘space’ and engage with more nuanced aspects of queer experiences, bodies and lives.

We particularly encourage submissions that include empirical analysis as well as conceptual discussion. Possible topics include but are not limited to:
  • Bisexual, trans* and gender diverse voices in tourism geographies.
  • Intersectionalities between ‘queerness’ and culture, religion, race, disability and/or socio-economic privilege.
  • Explorations of queer futures through radical or critical geographical lenses.
  • Queer activism in tourism geographies.
  • Queer cultural geographies.
  • The politics of queer space consumption in tourism geographies.
  • The impact of populism and anti-LGBTQI+ laws upon tourists’ consumption of place and space.
  • The negotiations of sexuality and identity in tourism geographies.
  • The role of queer space in achieving social justice.

Author Instructions
  • Abstract proposals of 400-600 words containing (1) full author/s details (affiliation + email address), (2) five-six keywords and (3) around six guiding theoretical references
  • Authors should adhere to Tourism Geographies author guidelines.
  • Email abstracts to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. AND This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. quoting “TG Special Issue – Queer Tourism Geographies” in the subject field. Questions about the Special Issue may be addressed to Oscar Vorobjovas-Pinta and Anne Hardy.
  • All papers will undergo a double-blind review process

Special Issue Timeline:
  1. 30 September 2021 - Deadline for submission of abstract proposals
  2. 15 November 2021 - Acceptance of abstract proposals
  3. 31 July 2022 – Deadline for submission of complete article manuscript
  4. Mid 2022 to early 2023 – Review and revision of accepted articles
  5. Mid to late 2023 – Possible publication date. Articles will appear online as they are accepted.
Please note that these are estimated dates only and may vary due to unforeseen delays.

Guest Editors
Dr Oscar Vorobjovas-Pinta (he/him) is a researcher in the School of Business and Law at Edith Cowan University (Australia). He is a leading expert on LGBTQI+ communities in the context of tourism, hospitality, and leisure. Dr Vorobjovas-Pinta has recently published an edited book titled ‘Gay Tourism: New Perspectives’. His research interests are the sociology of tourism, social justice in tourism, tourist behaviour, and LGBTQI+ tourism. Dr Vorobjovas-Pinta explores LGBTQI+ travellers as neo-tribes, who come together from disparate walks of life but are united through shared sentiment, rituals, and symbols. He is currently working on projects that explore LGBTQI+ events and festivals in urban and regional settings.

Associate Professor Anne Hardy (she/her) is a researcher in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Tasmania (Australia). She has keen interest in tourist behaviour and sustainable tourism. In addition to research which explores the behaviour of tourist through time and space, she has also conducted research on marginalised groups using a neo-tribal lens, including the experience of queer tourists, and the impact that festivals and events can play in decreasing marginalisation of LGBTQI+ people. She is currently working on projects that explore tourists’ perception of social injustices and the experiences and impacts of LGBTQI+ events tourists and communities in regional areas.

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Binnie, J., & Valentine, G. (1999). Geographies of sexuality - a review of progress. Progress in Human Geography, 23(2), 175-187.
Brown, M., & Knopp, L. (2008). Queering the map: The productive tensions of colliding epistemologies. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 98(1), 40-58.
Browne, K. (2006). Challenging queer geographies. Antipode, 38, 885-893.
Chambers, D. (2021). Are we all in this together? Gender intersectionality and sustainable tourism. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, ahead-of-print, 1-16.
De Jong, A. (2017). Rethinking activism: Tourism, mobilities and emotion. Social & Cultural Geography, 18(6), 851-868.
Duggan, L. (1992). Making it perfectly queer. Socialist Review, 22(1), 11-31.
Hall, K. Q. (2017). Queer epistemology and epistemic injustice. In I. J. Kidd, J. Medina, & G. Pohlhaus, The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Injustice (pp. 158-166). Routledge.
Hubbard, P. (1998). Sexuality, immorality and the city: Red-light districts and the marginalisation of female street prostitutes. Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 5(1), 55-76.
Hughes, H. (1997). Holidays and homosexual identity. Tourism Management, 18(1), 3-7.
Human Dignity Trust (2020). Map of Countries that Criminalise LGBT People. Retrieved from
Ivanova, M., Buda,D.-M., & Burrai, E. (2021). Creative and disruptive methodologies in tourism studies. Tourism Geographies, 23(1-2), 1-10.
Johnston, L., & Longhurst, R. (2008). Queer(ing) geographies ‘Down Under’: Some notes on sexuality and space in Australasia. Australian Geographer, 39(3), 247-257.
Lau, L., Arsanios, M., Zúñiga-González, F., Kryger, M., & Mismar, O. (2013). Queer Geographies. Museet for Samtidskunst / Museum of Contemporary Art.
Levy, D. L., & C. W. Johnson (2011). What does the Q mean? Including queer voices in qualitative research. Qualitative Social Work, 11(2), 130-140.
March, L. (2021). Queer and trans* geographies of liminality: A literature review. Progress in Human Geography, 45(3), 455-471.
Markwell, K. (1998). Space and place in gay men’s leisure. Annals of Leisure Research, 1(1), 19-36.
Markwell, K., & Waitt, G. (2009). Festivals, space and sexuality: Gay pride in Australia. Tourism Geographies, 11(2), 143-168.
Nash, C. J. (2010). Trans geographies, embodiment and experience. Gender, Place & Culture, 17(5), 579-595.
Ong, F., Vorobjovas-Pinta, O., & Lewis, C. (2020). LGBTIQ+ identities in tourism and leisure research: a systematic qualitative literature review. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, ahead-of-print, 1-24.
Ooi, C. S. (2021). Gay tourism: A celebration and appropriation of queer difference. In O. Vorobjovas-Pinta (ed.), Gay Tourism: New Perspectives (pp. 15-33). Channel View Publications.
Oswin, N. (2004). Towards radical geographies of complicit queer futures. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 3(2), 79-86.
Oswin, N. (2008). Critical geographies and the uses of sexuality: Deconstructing queer space. Progress in Human Geography, 32(1), 89-103.
Pritchard, A., Morgan, N. J., Sedgley, D., Khan, E., & Jenkins, A. (2000). Sexuality and holiday choices: Conversations with gay and lesbian tourists. Leisure Studies, 19(4), 267-282.
Visser, G. (2003). Gay men, tourism and urban space: Reflections on Africa's 'gay capital'. Tourism Geographies, 5(2), 168-189.
Vorobjovas-Pinta, O. (2021). Gay tourism: New perspectives. Channel View Publications.
Vorobjovas‐Pinta, O., & Hardy, A. (2016). The evolution of gay travel research. International Journal of Tourism Research, 18(4), 409-416.
Waitt, G. (2012). Queer perspectives on tourism geographies. In J. Wilson (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Tourism Geographies (pp. 99-106). Routledge.
Xu, H. (2018). Moving toward gender and tourism geographies studies. Tourism Geographies, 20(4), 721-727.