Space, Place, Mobilities in Tourism


ATLAS Special Interest Group
Space, Place, Mobilities in Tourism

The coordinators for this Special Interest Group are:

Antonio Paolo Russo
Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Chiara Rabbiosi
University of Padova

Wilbert Den Hoed
Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Since 2017, the new Space, Place and Mobilities in Tourism SIG has replaced the now inactive ‘Tourism Geographies’ SIG, extending its scope beyond and across disciplinary frontiers. Through the articulations of the mobilities paradigm in tourism and its connections with place‐making and place politics, the SIG emphasizes ‘tourist space’ as a producer of processes, and unravels the implications that this production can have on the social, economic, cultural and political dynamics.

The SIG has the ambition to cover the ground for conceptual and applied research opened by the mobilities paradigm and its multiple intersections with emerging ‘turns’ in social science: spatial, relational, performative, postcolonial, feminist, critical, etc. All these have opened new ground for repositioning tourism research (Richards & Russo, 2016) and for considering the politics of mobility in the tourist space: producing and regulating mobilities, resilient mobilities, spatial justice and the ‘right to the city’, accessibility and legitimating difference, diversity and heterogeneity.

The SIG aims to generate new and exciting knowledge about place as continuously moulded by the interventions and actuations of different mobilities: human and nonhuman, social and technical, physically material and dematerialized, and imaginative. It also explores how the epistemologies involved by the new turns in the Social Sciences and Humanities may be making room for a transformative agenda ‘from below’ of the tourist space and for subversive policy frameworks, whose logic is to accommodate diverse mobilities in a ‘common space’ founded of the legitimation of multiplicity and difference.

The scholars that take part in the Space, Place, Mobilities in Tourism SIG include highly recognised senior experts in the fields involved and emerging researchers with a sincere desire to break through mainstream conceptualisations in tourism and place studies. Most are active in several high-level international networks. This guarantees that the activities of the SIG will have ample resonance in the broader scientific community and will be published in international journals. However the SIG will also care about establishing connections with the civic society – grassroots organizations, placemakers and governments – who are engaged in the debate about ‘what is (and what should be) tourism today’.


The overarching aims of the group are thus:

  • To foster the development of the broad field of mobilities within tourism studies as inflated in recent years by the trans- or post-disciplinary shifts;
  • To produce conceptual and applied research on tourism mobilities which bridge academic knowledge with the societal concerns arising around tourism in the contemporary age;
  • To make ourselves useful to – and heard by – civic and political organisations currently engaged in a debate on tourism and place;
  • To promote collaborative research activity and academic events and publications in the field mentioned above as it is customary for the ATLAS SIG groups

Key topics

The SIG engages with a large variety of topics concerning space and place, performances and bodily practices, socio-technical systems, as they are enacted tested through, and entangled with, tourism mobilities:

  • Experiences, negotiations and resignifications of mobilities infrastructures (material, digital, hybrid)
  • Slowing downs, frictions and immobilisations in tourism
  • Overlappings and intersections between tourism mobilities and other mobilities (migratory, labour, lifestyle, etc.)
  • The nexus between social and spatial mobility in tourism
  • New forms of tourism and touristification and their implications on mobiliy justice
  • The semiotics of tourist mobilities and tourist spaces: cosmopolitanism, cultural enclaves, cultural conflict and place legibility
  • Technical analyses of mobilities, their determinants and their effects end engagements with space and society

If you want to contact the SIG coordinator, please fill in the form

If you want to join this SIG, please fill in the form HERE


Annual review of activities 2022

The activities of this SIG over the last year, have been focusing on the preparation and processing of a special issue for Tourism Geographies collecting a selection of papers presented at the 3rd SIG seminar held in May 2021 (“Social mobility goes on holiday: tourist im|mobilities, conflicts and empowerment”).


The special issue hopefully will include 8 papers which are currently under review, plus an introductory piece written by the organisers (A.P. Russo, C. Rabbiosi and F. Cavallo).


The SIG is also hosting a Special Track at the forthcoming annual ATLAS event in Cork, as Special Track 1 “Analysing and rethinking the infrastructure of tourism mobilities”, again co-organised by A.P. Russo, C. Rabbiosi and F. Cavallo. The ST will eventually host 12 presentations over 4 sessions, among which some distinguished authors in the field of tourism and mobilities studies (provisional information). At the meeting, we will launch a possible new publication project drawn from this material and discuss eventual reorganisations of the SIG.

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