Geographies of Marginalisation: Modern Day Slavery in Global Tourism Supply Chains

Prof. Joseph M. Cheer1

1Wakayama University, Japan, Wakayam-shi, Japan,

2Monash University, Clayton, Australia


The term geographies of marginalisation is invoked to highlight the under acknowledged and sparsely examined occurrence of modern slavery practices in global travel supply chains. Modern day slavery as distinct from slavery of a bygone era is constituted of a number of parts but most pointedly it involves human exploitation, deprivation of freedom and bondage, among other heinous acts. “That tourism is inherently labour intensive, provides ideal conditions for potential transgressions that leverage human exploitation, especially concerning labour and human rights. This signals to tourism geographers that the association between modern day slavery practices and tourism presents a rich seam for critical tourism geographies research” (Cheer, 2018, p.278). Building on recent scholarship, I explore the links between modern day slavery practices and global tourism. This line of enquiry has become synonymous with the global supply chains including clothing and textiles, agriculture and fisheries and personal services, yet tourism has escaped the same level of scrutiny. Key questions include: (i.) How to frame modern day slavery practices linked to tourism mobilities as a geography of marginalisation (ii.) how to link tourism geographies to the marginalisation agenda and (iii.) how political economy perspectives can be applied to geographies of marginalisation.


Joseph is Professor at the Center for Tourism Research, Wakayama University, Japan He was previously based at Monash University. He is board member, International Geographical Union (IGU) Commission on Tourism and Leisure and Global Change. He published ‘Tourism Resilience and Adaptation to Environmental Change’ and ‘Tourism Resilience and Sustainability: Adapting to Social, Political and Economic Change’ (2018) (Eds. Cheer & Lew) (Routledge). Forthcoming books include Overtourism: Excesses Discontents and Measures in Travel and Tourism (Eds. Milano, Cheer & Novelli) and Modern Day Slavery and Orphanage Tourism (Eds. Cheer, Mathews & Guiney) – both to be published by CABI in 2019.

‘Already existing’ sustainability experiments: Lessons from the UK camping music festival

Dr Alison L Browne1, Dr  Russell Hitchings2, Dr  Tullia Jack3

1University Of Manchester, United Kingdom,

2University College London, United Kingdom,

3Lund University, Sweden


Drawing on two recent papers in Geoforum and Journal of Sustainable Tourism we propose that the camping music festival – a cultural laboratory in which attendees try out new identities – can be thought of as a site of ‘already existing’ sustainability experimentation. Through survey, observation, and interview research at two camping music festivals in the UK, we examine how current festival goers respond to the disruption of their usual cleanliness and washing regimes, paying particular attention to how a combination of social and infrastructural cues serve to encourage the emergence of a temporary new cleanliness culture. Doing so highlights the value of seeing human resource consumption as a matter of dynamic collective convention more than fixed personal preference. The implications extending from this work are twofold. The first is that these empirical insights leads to a broader discussion of how visitor needs and the social world are most usefully studied by both future festival organisers and the wider field of sustainable tourism research. Secondly, we argue that research on the geographies of ‘already existing’ sustainability experiments such as the festival holds new potential for reimagining mundane, everyday practices within research and policy agendas on sustainable futurity.


Dr Alison Browne (Lecturer, Geography, University of Manchester) is an inter/transdisciplinary geographer working on water/energy/food/carbon/plastic in the UK/EU, China, India. She completed UG/PhD at Curtin University; and has been a Research Fellow at CSIRO, Curtin University, Lancaster University.

“They do not know what promotes the desire to excel.” Politics and data activism in the platform economies of tourism

Dr Maartje Roelofsen1

1Department Of Geography And Planning, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia


This presentation aims at exploring practices of data activism and data resistance in the digitally-enabled economies of tourism, drawing empirically on the short-term rental platform Airbnb. Since Airbnb’s meteoric rise, users of the platform have become increasingly aware of the critical role of data collection and think politically about how data is put to use to achieve certain objectives. Drawing on online posts in Airbnb’s community fora, I wish to elicit both affirmative engagement with datafication on part of the Airbnb users as well as their resistance to the platforms’ appropriation of data. I highlight various forms of contestation and protest, from critiques to algorithmic design and decision-making to practices of “supportive-reviewing” among hosts and guests. Whether through individual or collective action, users challenge the ways in which the platform collects, monitors and appropriates data. They also demand recognition for more just ways of developing the platform’s infrastructure. This presentation intends to show how tourism platforms have become important means of self-expression and social change, allowing users to challenge and influence the ways in which knowledge and information (about themselves and their homes) are framed and activated.


I am a cultural geographer and an associate lecturer at the Department of Geography and Planning at Macquarie University. My background is in tourism studies and leisure studies and I have completed my doctoral degree in Human Geography at the University of Graz (Austria). I have a particular interest in the role of digital technologies shaping and making (tourism) space. My work makes broader theoretical and empirical contributions to work in digital geography, critical (digital) tourism studies, and to urban studies.

Verticality in urban transport networks: A case study of trip experience of tourists in Melbourne

Miss Victoria Radnell1, Associate Professor Victoria Peel2, Professor Graham Currie3, Associate Professor Megan Farrelly1

1School of Social Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Australia,

2School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, Monash University, Clayton, Australia,

3Public Transport Research Group, Monash University, Clayton, Australia


For tourists to be able to seek out new and exciting experiences, destinations need to be able to facilitate their movement between attractions. Much of the current scholarship, however, focusses on the functional elements of travel (ticketing, comfort and wayfinding), missing the opportunity to understand how movement can contribute to the overall experience of the destination. This paper, through the experiences of international tourists visiting Melbourne’s CBD, aims understand how tourists perceive the city as they pass through it. Comparing different transit modes, this paper seeks to problematise why different mode users reported differing levels of discovery (an experience of tourism) and offers a discussion around verticality as a way to understand these results. This paper argues that, whilst public transport networks allow tourists to converge within Melbourne’s CBD, the multiple heights at which these networks operate can disconnect and isolate tourists from the destination, changing their experiences of the city. In doing so, this paper demonstrates that research needs to start reading across the layers of the city, and not just along them, providing new insights into how tourists perceive destinations and attribute meaning to these interactions.


Victoria Radnell is an MA candidate at Monash University within the Social and Political Sciences Graduate Research Program. Her research interests focus on perceptions of urban spaces and currently her research examines personal understandings of verticality in urban environments.


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