Call for Papers – Tourism Mobilities

TOURISM MOBILITIES: Examining Tourism at Different Speeds

ICOT 23rd – 26th May 2012,

Archanes, Crete

Special session at “Setting the Agenda for Special Interest Tourism: Past, Present and Future”

This session explores the intersection between various kinds of tourism mobilities. It focuses especially on two fields which shape tourism mobilities, namely technology and the senses. It is interested in highlighting the way in which both technology and the senses encourage and promote different speeds at which tourism is imagined, performed, and consumed. The aim will be to address the agencies of such speeds and examine the degrees to which different speeds intermingle, converge or by contrast diverge. The session then evaluates the relationship between technology and senses in tourism practices. It is hoped that perspectives gained from the dynamics of speeds in tourism processes provide invaluable insights and solutions to the evolution of tourism at a time when environmental, financial, and political strains and crises keep affecting both its practices and discourses.

The session builds on the understanding of ‘social as mobility’ introduced by the New Mobilities Paradigm and embraces its pivotal role in highlighting the ‘social’ as core in shaping (as well as being shaped by) diverse mobilities such as corporeal, imaginative and virtual travel, circulating objects, goods, money, images, waste etc. Of importance for tourism studies is the way in which the New Mobilities Paradigm and other theoretical approaches supporting a mobile logic keep contributing to unpacking and unlocking engrained static and sedentary perspectives. In this respect then the session faces the challenge of locating different speeds of technologies and senses beyond, below, and in-between opposites such as movement and stasis or distance and proximity.


‘Mediating Tourism Mobilities’ investigates the role and consequences of technologies, materialities and networks in tourist experiences and practices. Tourism inevitably involves diverse systems and networks, comprised of material, technological and human parts. On the one hand, tourism is enabled by ‘scapes’ or enduring networks of machines, technologies and organisations that enable flows of people, images, texts and information. The unevenly distributed flows at varying speeds not only claim some places and leave others on the margin, but also affect the way places are imagined, planned for and experienced. On the other hand, tourist bodies become interwoven with objects and technologies constituting hybrid assemblages of human and material parts that assist movement and experience of the world. Systems and networks (also social networks) thus enable and mediate the speed and rhythms through which places are imagined, performed and remembered. The session asks: in what way are systems and technologies shaping tourist experiences and what is the role of trust in technologically mediated relations? How are tourists forming, shaping and creating (social) networks in order to enhance their experiences? What is the role of different objects and materials in imagining, performing and remembering places?


The senses are crucial in tourism mobilities and play a lasting part in both attachment to as well as estrangement from certain places while also ever modelling experiences and practices. ‘Sensuous mobilities’ evaluates the ways in which different speeds are mediated and shaped by embodied experiences and practices of place. It situates the role of the senses within flows of technology, materialities, networks, people and places. It further examines consequences and possible conflicts or clashes which different speeds may incur upon such flows. In this way the session critically addresses the dynamic forces that perform and imagine mobilities into transformative processes of cultural change. It asks: In what ways do sensuous embodied articulations of places inform (and perhaps re-form) relations and practices in and of place? To what extent do sensuous relations and practices enact/translate ‘green’ understandings and doings in and of place?

Methodologically the session seeks ethnographic and other qualitative contributions to unpacking various tourism mobilities. Taking either a contemporary or historical approach, papers are invited on the following themes but not restricted to it:

– Networks and networking in tourism
– Technology and systems
– Materiality and objects in tourism
– Senses, the body, pleasure, the ludic
– Rhythms of places and practices
– Hospitality and sociality
– Immobilities; stillness; slowness; fasteness

Abstracts of no more than 350 words should be submitted electronically by March 1st to Dr Dana Bentia (<>).
For further inquiries regarding this session contact session organizer Dr Dana Bentia (email as above). For enquiries regarding conference fees, conference programme, recommended accommodation, maps/instructions, and registration forms, please visit the web address at