Towards critical tourism studies

The Critical Tourism Studies community is an international network of scholars who share a vision of producing and promoting social change in and through tourism practice, research, and education. The Critical Tourism Studies Research Group represents the University of Waterloo faction of this community.

Internationally, the Critical Tourism Studies community seeks to legitimize the critical school of thought in tourism studies. Critical Tourism Studies adopts a broad definition of ‘criticality’ that is affirmative and generative. The Critical Tourism Studies community strives to find novel ways of understanding and changing tourism by providing an inclusive and supportive environment for new and alternative tourism scholarship and voices, and by locating the phenomenon of tourism in broader political, economic, cultural, and social contexts. Critical Tourism Studies is further characterized by a commitment to collaboration, care, and hope, and is grounded in the sense of purpose that comes from working together toward realizing better tourism and better worlds.

The Critical Tourism Studies conference series was launched in 2005 by Irena Ateljevic (Institute for Tourism Zagreb), Candice Harris (Auckland University of Technology), Nigel Morgan (University of Surrey) and Annette Pritchard (Cardiff Metropolitan University). The latest conference in 2022 (Maó, Menorca) was co-chaired by Kellee Caton (Thompson Rivers University) and Ana María Munar (Copenhagen Business School).

In recent years, the Critical Tourism Studies network has expanded and now has a series of regional chapters, including Critical Tourism Studies North America, and Critical Tourism Studies Asia-Pacific. This expansion helps to make critical tourism scholarship more diverse, accessible, and inclusive to emerging and established scholars. The Critical Tourism Studies Research Group is proud to have hosted the Critical Tourism Studies North America conference in 2016, in Huntsville, Ontario.

Considering grad studies?

If you're a conscientious student with a passion for exploring critical tourism studies, check out our student research and contact Bryan Grimwood for information about the group's activities.