FORUM - JULY 1st-2nd, 2015



This is an international forum with keynote speeches, participant presentations and interactive discussions to showcase trends of economic growth strategies and gender equality within the future tourism labour force.

Gender orders social dynamics and pervades all aspects of economic and personal life by being the product of sex-related and socially accepted behaviours, which have become internalised as a natural way of being. As tourism is built of human relations the impact of gender relations on tourism is an interesting and under-researched topic. Over the last decades tourism has become one of the major international economic activities, creating much needed employment and economic development worldwide. Even though tourism is a female-dominated sector, it has strong vertical and horizontal segregation with women mainly occupying low-level, gendered positions, whereas men are better represented in top-level and management positions. However, women are generally better qualified in this sector, as they hold the majority of graduate and postgraduate degrees in tourism related courses. A recent proliferation of EU-funded projects aiming to increase economic development through more gender equality, and the various tourism development programs worldwide that encourage women to become productive through entrepreneurship, illustrate the significance of exploring how gender influences tourism processes.

This event will also disseminate the results of a three-year project on gender and tourism in Portugal, funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) and entitled Project Gentour II: “Does gender equality have a say in the boost of innovative forms of economic growth? Reviving the economy through networks and internationalisation in the tourism sector”. So the forum aims to raise for discussion questions such as: ‘Does gender equality encourage social and economic development in the tourism sector?’; ‘How is economic performance is influenced by gender?’; ‘Are economic growth and gender equality mutually reinforcing or mutually exclusive?’; ‘Are there constraints that affect highly-qualified women in the development of strategies that enhance the competitiveness of their companies?’.

The forum aims at creating space for critical thinking and debate, bringing together scholars, young researchers, practitioners and policy makers, who have experience in research, teaching or practical work in this field. Presentations on innovative perspectives and critical discussion of the existing strategies, ideologies, current practices and projects of empowerment of women are especially welcomed. The aim is to build a critical glance at the endeavors and practices in this field, gain and exchange knowledge, and to think about their social, economic and political impact. The forum’s purpose is both to disseminate findings of research conducted in this area and raise awareness and critical thinking on how gender operates within tourism. The forum aims to initiate a re-engineering of the contemporary tourism labour market by using more productive, innovative and ethical growth strategies, so helping markets better adjust to the new reality.

More than a scientific event, this is a valuable networking opportunity to link industry and academia by providing a conductive environment for scholars and practioners to share experiences and research outcomes whilst enjoying memorable moments in beautiful Aveiro, known as “Portugal’s Venice”, home of ‘ovos-moles’ and art nouveau.

»»»»» Book of Abstracts available for download here «««««

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