Blog from Dr Stroma Cole

“It was great to see that gender was on the agenda at the ‘International Interdisciplinary Tourism Research Conference’ in Istanbul last week. The first, best attended panel session was dedicated to Gender Shift in Tourism Education, Workforce and Research: Unfolding the On-going and Emerging challenges’. Chaired by Jafar Jafari (grandfather of tourism studies), Professors David Airey, Cathy Hsu, Reisinger and Muzaffer Uysal all presented. While some important points were made, including that gender is a very important and neglected issue that requires further research, a lot of what was presented highlighted many stereotypes and clichés. The fact that there has been a shift from male to female in the tourism lecture theatres was presented as a problem and a challenge to be dealt with. Much of the analysis was essentialist, reducing gender dynamics to a series of numbers – e.g. 8 out of 14 articles in tourism society news were by high profile industry women (the majority!); 80% of undergraduate tourism students are now female but 81% of professors in top departments are male (no surprise there); 64% of articles in top journals are by male authors and 73% of editorial boards are male. There is a preference in both men and women for their boss to be male, but less of a per cent than previously – the gap is narrowing.”

More information on the conference is available at its official site: