Women as Producers and Consumers of Tourism in Developing Regions

Women as Producers and Consumers of Tourism in Developing Regions

Women as Producers and Consumers of Tourism in Developing Regions

Women as Producers and Consumers of Tourism in Developing Regions

Synopsis

The premises of this unique collection of research are that women's roles in tourism are gendered; that tourism affects women differently than it affects men; and that women themselves are affected in different ways by tourism depending on such factors as race, region, and class. The contributors cover theoretical perspectives; women's roles in tourism in the mature and less-developed tourist destinations; and implications for the future of economic development policy and of gender relations in tourism.

Excerpt

Linda K. Richter

Readers of this fine volume are in for a treat. It is an excellent introduction to the outpouring of new research examining women's tourism roles in developing countries. It also points out how much we don't know about those relationships in the context of particular political systems and regions. The studies include not only the descriptive situation and development theories, but also specific case studies of strategies and policies. These may serve as examples to insure more participation in and control of tourism by women as both producers and consumers.

Given the fact that tourism is the world's largest industry and women make up more than half the globe's people, it is striking that scholarly studies of tourism in general are largely drawn from the last quarter century. Academic research on the linkages between gender and tourism are of even more recent vintage, largely from the last decade. Nearly thirty years ago Valene Smith wrote of American woman as the [tastemakers] of tourism, choosing family destinations and planning tourism activities. Since then, market research has explored gendered decision making, but only rarely and recently have women's lives been evaluated in terms of tourism.

This volume illustrates how much more complex and multifaceted those impacts have been—and we're only beginning to assess the ef-

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