Sport Tourism and Feminism

  • Heather J. Gibson
  • Mona Mirehie


This chapter describes the development of scholarship in sport tourism from the 1990s. While some of the earliest scholars were women, the authors document the lack of a feminist analysis in sport tourism research. Much of the early work was devoted to defining sport tourism, with a general consensus that sport-related travel comprises both active (e.g., skiing, cycling, triathlons, etc.) and passive (spectating or visiting sports museums) forms. However, a review of the literature is used to show that as the body of knowledge became more substantive, despite well-established feminist analyses in sport studies and a growing gender-aware presence in Tourism Studies, as relevant sport tourism disciplines, until recently feminist perspectives have been largely absent. Suggestions for future research directions to remedy this are discussed.


  1. Aitchison, C. (1999). New cultural geographies: The spatiality of leisure, gender and sexuality. Leisure Studies, 18(1), 19–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aitchison, C. (2001). Theorizing other discourses of tourism, gender and culture can the subaltern speak (in tourism)? Tourist Studies, 1(2), 133–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson, D. M., & Shinew, K. J. (2001). A national examination of gender equity in public parks and recreation. Journal of Leisure Research, 33(4), 470.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, K. L. (1999). Snowboarding the construction of gender in an emerging sport. Journal of Sport & Social Issues, 23(1), 55–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ashton-Shaeffer, C., Gibson, H., Holt, M., & Willming, C. (2001). Women’s resistance and empowerment through wheelchair sport. World Leisure Journal, 43(4), 11–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Babbie, E. (1995). The practice of social research (7th ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  7. Bell, H. L. (2014). Paddling together: Women’s team sport experiences and relationships. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida.Google Scholar
  8. Berdychevsky, L., Gibson, H. J., & Bell, H. L. (2013). Girlfriend getaways and women’s well-being. Journal of Leisure Research, 45(5), 602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Burgess, C. (2000). Hotel accounts—Do men get the best jobs? International Journal of Hospitality Management, 19(4), 345–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chen, P. (2010). Differences between male and female sport event tourists: A qualitative study. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 29(2), 277–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cohen, E. (1974). Who is a tourist? A conceptual clarification. The Sociological Review, 22(4), 527–555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Crofts, C., Schofield, G., & Dickson, G. (2012). Women-only mass participation sporting events: Does participation facilitate changes in physical activity? Annals of Leisure Research, 15(2), 148–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Davidson, P. (1996). The holiday and work experiences of women with young children. Leisure Studies, 15(2), 89–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. De Knop, P. (1990). Sport for all and active tourism. World Leisure & Recreation, 32(3), 30–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Deem, R. (1996). Women, the city and holidays. Leisure Studies, 15(2), 105–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Deering, K. N., Chettiar, J., Chan, K., Taylor, M., Montaner, J. S., & Shannon, K. (2012). Sex work and the public health impacts of the 2010 Olympic Games. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 88(4), 301–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Delpy, L. (1998). An overview of sport tourism: Building towards a dimensional framework. Journal of Vacation Marketing, 4(1), 23–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dilley, R. E., & Scraton, S. J. (2010). Women, climbing and serious leisure. Leisure Studies, 29(2), 125–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dixon, M. A., & Bruening, J. E. (2007). Work-family conflict in coaching I: A top-down perspective. Journal of Sport Management, 21(3), 377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Duffy, L. N., Kline, C. S., Mowatt, R. A., & Chancellor, H. C. (2015). Women in tourism: Shifting gender ideology in the DR. Annals of Tourism Research, 52, 72–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Elias, N. (1956). Problems of involvement and detachment. The British Journal of Sociology, 7(3), 226–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Enloe, C. (1989). Bananas, beaches and bases: Making feminist sense of international politics. London: Pandora.Google Scholar
  23. Fairburn-Dunlop, P. (1994). Gender, culture and tourism development in Western Samoa. In V. Kinnaird & D. Hall (Eds.), Tourism: A gender analysis (pp. 121–141). Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  24. Fairley, S. (2003). In search of relived social experience: Group-based nostalgia sport tourism. Journal of Sport Management, 17(3), 284–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fendt, L. S., & Wilson, E. (2012). ‘I just push through the barriers because I live for surfing’: How women negotiate their constraints to surf tourism. Annals of Leisure Research, 15(1), 4–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gammon, S. (2003). The dissemination of sport tourism: Spreading the word. Journal of Sport Tourism, 8(1), 5–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gibson, H. (2001). Gender in tourism: Theoretical perspectives. In Y. Apostolopoulos, S. F. Sönmez, & D. J. Timothy (Eds.), Women as producers and consumers of tourism in developing regions (pp. 19–43). Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
  28. Gibson, H., & Chang, S. (2012). Cycling in mid and later life: Involvement and benefits sought from a bicycle tour. Journal of Leisure Research, 44(1), 23.Google Scholar
  29. Gibson, H., Jordan, F., & Berdychevsky, L. (2013). Women and tourism. In V. J. Freysinger, S. M. Shaw, K. A. Henderson, & M. D. Bialeschki (Eds.), Leisure, women, and gender (Vol. 229–244, 3rd ed.). State College, PA: Venture Publishing Inc.Google Scholar
  30. Gibson, H., & Yiannakis, A. (1994). Some characteristics of sport tourists: A life span perspective. Annual conference for the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, Savannah, Georgia.Google Scholar
  31. Gibson, H. J. (1998a). Sport tourism: A critical analysis of research. Sport Management Review, 1(1), 45–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Gibson, H. J. (1998b). Active sport tourism: Who participates? Leisure Studies, 17(2), 155–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gibson, H. J. (2004). Moving beyond the ‘what is and who’ of sport tourism to understanding ‘why’. Journal of Sport & Tourism, 9(3), 247–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Gibson, H. J. (2006). Sport tourism: Concepts and theories. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  35. Gibson, H. J., Attle, S. P., & Yiannakis, A. (1998). Segmenting the active sport tourist market: A life-span perspective. Journal of Vacation Marketing, 4(1), 52–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gibson, H. J., Gammon, S., & Kutzman, J. (2002). Sport tourism at a crossroad? Considerations for the future. In S. Gammon & J. Kutzman (Eds.), Sport tourism: Principles and practice (pp. 111–122). Eastbourne: LSA Publications.Google Scholar
  37. Gibson, H. J., Walker, M., Thapa, B., Kaplanidou, K., Geldenhuys, S., & Coetzee, W. (2014). Psychic income and social capital among host nation residents: A pre–post analysis of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Tourism Management, 44, 113–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Glyptis, S. (1982). Sport and tourism in Western Europe. London: British Travel Education Trust.Google Scholar
  39. Glyptis, S. (1991). Sport and tourism. In C. Cooper (Ed.), Progress in tourism, recreation and hospitality management (Vol. 3, pp. 165–183). London: Belhaven Press.Google Scholar
  40. Green, B. C., & Chalip, L. (1998). Sport tourism as the celebration of subculture. Annals of Tourism Research, 25(2), 275–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hall, C. (1992). Adventure, sport and health tourism. In B. Weiler & C. M. Hall (Eds.), Special interest tourism (pp. 141–158). London: Belhaven Press.Google Scholar
  42. Hallmann, K. (2012). Women’s 2011 Football World Cup: The impact of perceived images of women’s soccer and the World Cup 2011 on interest in attending matches. Sport Management Review, 15(1), 33–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hargreaves, J. (1994). Sporting females: Critical issues in the history and sociology of women’s sport. New York, NY: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Hayes, V. (2010). Human trafficking for sexual exploitation at world sporting events. Chicago-Kent Law Review, 85, 1105.Google Scholar
  45. Heimtun, B. (2012). The friend, the loner and the independent traveller: Norwegian midlife single women’s social identities when on holiday. Gender, Place & Culture, 19(1), 83–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Heimtun, B., & Jordan, F. (2011). ‘Wish YOU Weren’t here!’: Interpersonal conflicts and the touristic experiences of Norwegian and British women travelling with friends. Tourist Studies, 11(3), 271–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Henderson, K. A. (1994). Perspective on analyzing gender, women, and leisure. Journal of Leisure Research, 26(2), 119.Google Scholar
  48. Herold, E., Garcia, R., & DeMoya, T. (2001). Female tourists and beach boys: Romance or sex tourism? Annals of Tourism Research, 28(4), 978–997.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Higgins-Desbiolles, F. (2006). More than an ‘industry’: The forgotten power of tourism as a social force. Tourism Management, 27(6), 1192–1208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Higham, J. (1999). Commentary-sport as an avenue of tourism development: An analysis of the positive and negative impacts of sport tourism. Current Issues in Tourism, 2(1), 82–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Higham, J. E. (Ed.). (2005). Sport tourism destinations: Issues, opportunities and analysis. London: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  52. Hill Collins, P. (1990). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness and the politics of empowerment. Boston: Unwin Hyman.Google Scholar
  53. Hiller, H. H. (1998). Assessing the impact of mega-events: A linkage model. Current Issues in Tourism, 1(1), 47–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Hinch, T., & Higham, J. (2004). Sport tourism development (1st ed.). Clevedon: Channel View Publications.Google Scholar
  55. Hoeber, L., & Kerwin, S. (2013). Exploring the experiences of female sport fans: A collaborative self-ethnography. Sport Management Review, 16(3), 326–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Hudson, S. (1998). There’s no business like snow business! Marketing skiing into the 21st century. Journal of Vacation Marketing, 4(4), 393–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Hudson, S. (2000). The segmentation of potential tourists: Constraint differences between men and women. Journal of Travel Research, 38(4), 363–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Iakovidou, O., & Turner, C. (1995). The female gender in Greek agrotourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 22(2), 481–484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Jarvis, N., & Blank, C. (2011). The importance of tourism motivations among sport event volunteers at the 2007 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, Stuttgart, Germany. Journal of Sport & Tourism, 16(2), 129–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Jeffreys, S. (1999). Globalizing sexual exploitation: Sex tourism and the traffic in women. Leisure Studies, 18(3), 179–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Jordan, F. (1997). An occupational hazard? Sex segregation in tourism employment. Tourism Management, 18(8), 525–534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Jordan, F., & Gibson, H. (2005). We’re not stupid … but we’ll not stay home either: Experiences of solo women travellers. Tourism Review International, 9(2), 195–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Kennelly, M., & Toohey, K. (2014). Strategic alliances in sport tourism: National sport organisations and sport tour operators. Sport Management Review, 17(4), 407–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Khoo-Lattimore, C., & Gibson, H. J. (2015). Understanding women’s accommodation experiences on girlfriend getaways: A pragmatic action research approach. Current Issues in Tourism, 1–19.
  65. Kinnaird, V., & Hall, D. R. (1994). Tourism: A gender analysis. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.Google Scholar
  66. Lamont, M. (2014). Authentication in sports tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 45, 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Lamont, M., & Kennelly, M. (2012). A qualitative exploration of participant motives among committed amateur triathletes. Leisure Sciences, 34(3), 236–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Laurendeau, J., & Sharara, N. (2008). Women could be every bit as good as guys’ reproductive and resistant agency in two ‘action’ sports. Journal of Sport & Social Issues, 32(1), 24–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Leheny, D. (1995). A political economy of Asian sex tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 22(2), 367–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Loewenberg, S. (2006). Fears of World Cup sex trafficking boom unfounded. The Lancet, 368(9530), 105–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Mansfield, L. (2007). Involved-detachment: A balance of passion and reason in feminisms and gender-related research in sport, tourism and sports tourism. Journal of Sport & Tourism, 12(2), 115–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Markula, P. (2003). The technologies of the self: Sport, feminism, and Foucault. Sociology of Sport Journal, 20(2), 87–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Myers, L. (2010). Women travelers’ adventure tourism experiences in New Zealand. Annals of Leisure Research, 13(1–2), 116–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Nogawa, H., Yamaguchi, Y., & Hagi, Y. (1996). An empirical research study on Japanese sport tourism in sport-for-all events: Case studies of a single-night event and a multiple-night event. Journal of Travel Research, 35(2), 46–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Norris, J., & Wall, G. (1994). Gender and tourism. In C. P. Cooper & A. Lockwood (Eds.), Progress in tourism, recreation and hospitality management (Vol. 6, pp. 57–78). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.Google Scholar
  76. Oppermann, M. (1999). Sex tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 26(2), 251–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Petrick, J. F. (2002). An examination of golf vacationers’ novelty. Annals of Tourism Research, 29(2), 384–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Ramshaw, G., Gammon, S., & Huang, W. (2013). Acquired pasts and the commodification of borrowed heritage: The case of the Bank of America Stadium tour. Journal of Sport & Tourism, 18(1), 17–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Redmond, G. (1990). Points of increasing contact: Sport and tourism in the modern world. In A. Tomlinson (Ed.), Sport in society: Policy, politics and culture. Eastbourne: Leisure studies Association.Google Scholar
  80. Redmond, G. (1991). Changing styles of sports tourism: Industry/consumer interactions in Canada, the USA, and Europe. In M. T. Sinclair & M. J. Stabler (Eds.), The tourism industry: An international analysis (pp. 107–120). Wallingford, UK: CAB International.Google Scholar
  81. Richter, M., Luchters, S., Ndlovu, D., Temmerman, M., & Chersich, M. F. (2012). Female sex work and international sport events-no major changes in demand or supply of paid sex during the 2010 Soccer World Cup: A cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health, 12(1), 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Ritchie, B. W., & Adair, D. (Eds.). (2004). Sport tourism: Interrelationships, impacts and issues. Clevedon: Channel View Publications.Google Scholar
  83. Schreiber, R. (1976). Sports interest: A travel definition. The Travel Research Association 7th Annual Conference Proceedings, pp. 85.Google Scholar
  84. Sinclair, M. T. (1997). Gendered work in tourism: Comparative perspectives. In M. T. Sinclair (Ed.), Gender, work and tourism (pp. 220–234). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  85. Sisjord, M. K. (2009). Fast-girls, babes and the invisible girls. Gender relations in snowboarding. Sport in Society, 12(10), 1299–1316.Google Scholar
  86. Small, J. (2005). Women’s holidays: Disruption of the motherhood myth. Tourism Review International, 9(2), 139–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Snyder, E. E. (1991). Sociology of nostalgia: Sport halls of fame and museums in America. Sociology of Sport Journal, 8(3), 228–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Standeven, J., & Knop, P. D. (1998). Sport tourism. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers.Google Scholar
  89. Standeven, J., & Tomlinson, A. (1994). Sport and tourism in South East England: A preliminary assessment. London: SECSR.Google Scholar
  90. Swain, M. B. (1995). Gender in tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 22(2), 247–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Tavella, A. M. (2007). Sex trafficking and the 2006 World Cup in Germany: Concerns, actions and implications for future international sporting events. Northwestern Journal of International Human Rights, 6, 196.Google Scholar
  92. Thrane, C. (2008). Earnings differentiation in the tourism industry: Gender, human capital and socio-demographic effects. Tourism Management, 29(3), 514–524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Trussell, D. E., & Shaw, S. M. (2012). Organized youth sport and parenting in public and private spaces. Leisure Sciences, 34(5), 377–394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Valentine, G. (1989). The geography of women’s fear. Area, 21, 385–390.Google Scholar
  95. Wearing, B. (1998). Leisure and feminist theory. London: Sage Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Wearing, B., & Wearing, S. (1988). All in a day’s leisure: Gender and the concept of leisure. Leisure Studies, 7, 111–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Wearing, B., & Wearing, S. (1996). Refocussing the tourist experience: The flaneur and the choraster. Leisure Studies, 15(4), 229–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Weed, M. (2006). Sports tourism research 2000–2004: A systematic review of knowledge and a meta-evaluation of methods. Journal of Sport & Tourism, 11(1), 5–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Weed, M. (2009). Progress in sports tourism research? A meta-review and exploration of futures. Tourism Management, 30(5), 615–628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Weed, M., & Bull, C. (2004). Sport tourism: Participants, policies and providers. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann.Google Scholar
  101. Whitson, D., & Macintosh, D. (1993). Becoming a world-class city: Hallmark events and sport franchises in the growth strategies of western canadian cities. Sociology of Sport Journal, 10(3), 221–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Williams, P. W., & Lattey, C. (1994). Skiing constraints for women. Journal of Travel Research, 33(2), 21–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Wilson, E., & Little, D. E. (2008). The solo female travel experience: Exploring the ‘geography of women’s fear’. Current Issues in Tourism, 11(2), 167–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heather J. Gibson
    • 1
  • Mona Mirehie
    • 1
  1. 1.University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations