Sara Licata has been a research intern for the TiMS project during autumn -21. We took the opportunity to ask her four questions before she continues her studies at the IMER master’s programme at Malmö University.
You’re a master’s student at the IMER (International Migration and Ethnic Relations) programme at Malmö University. Could you tell us a bit about the programme?
– IMER is focused on the study of the different dynamics, patterns, structures, and experiences of migration. It addresses issues about both the international and transnational mobilities, and the local integration or segregation processes – with a particular focus on ethnic diversity and multiculturalism.
– This programme is the exact reason why I decided to study at Malmo University. Before finding it, I had always been interested in migration, mobility, cultural and ethnic diversity intercommunication, and inclusion dynamics, but I had never had the chance to study and analyze them deeper. These topics are so interesting to me, because of several reasons, some personal ones linked to my family’s and closest friends’ stories of migration, and my own brief migration experience during a five-year stay in Shanghai; others connected to the questions which rise from the recent global migration situation.
How did you get in contact with TiMS?
– During the third semester of IMER there is the possibility to apply for a research internship within the university research departments. During previous year my interest towards research has sparked, and this was a good opportunity to better understand the research process through practice and consider it for a potential future career.
– When I read about TiMS project, I thought it was the ideal project to explore the role that the interrelation between migration and tourism have in shaping the images of places and cultures, and the relevance that it might have for the inclusion of diverse minorities, as well as their role in development of different spaces and new opportunities in the flexible and dynamic city environments.
What projects have you been involved with as a research intern for TiMS?
– My supervisor for this intership is Sayaka Osanami Törngren. We decided to explore the field of VFR (visiting friends and relatives) tourism and travel in multicultural societies, with a specific focus on the role of social networks, the mobility/immobility patterns and the visibility/invisibility aspect in the participation and feeling of participation in the place. VFR tourism and travel is an under-researched, complex and multifaceted topic. It is little studied in relation to migrants or minorities integration, participation, and inclusion in societies, even though both the host and the guest roles and experiences can have relevant influence in how a place is perceived.
– Currently, we are carrying out a pilot project with mixed-method interviews about VFR tourism and travel experiences of diverse ethnic groups here in Sweden to research on the role of social networks and the mobility, immobilty, and visibility effects on place participation and the feeling of participation.
What are your plans after the internship? Will you continue your research about VFR tourism?
– Yes, my plans are to continue my research about this topic and write my master’s thesis project about VFR tourism, social networks and place participation. After that, I think I will try to keep on doing research, by applying for a PhD programme or within independent researh projects, because the whole internship was such an interesting and inspiring experience to me.
What is an inclusive event, and how can municipalities support event organizers to develop events that are accessible for various groups in our society? These are some of the questions we work with in the TiMS research project. One of our partners is the municipality of Lysekil.
In October 2021, TiMS researchers Helena Kraff and Eva Maria Jernsand went to Lysekil, a town on the Swedish west coast, to ask residents in the municipality to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas on inclusivity in relation to events.
This was done in collaboration with two representatives from the municipality, during a number of local cultural events. We took the opportunity to ask some questions to Cia Säll, destination strategist, and Viktoria Drottz, event coordinator at the municipality of Lysekil, about why they got engaged in the TiMS-project.
How did it all start?
“We have had an ongoing collaboration with University of Gothenburg and Centre for Tourism in different tourism-related projects and processes. For instance, we have worked on a destination strategy for Lysekil municipality and explored the visitor center of the future, which included workshops, study visits and discussions on sustainable and responsible tourism. This has led us into working more with inclusion and diversity. So it felt natural to participate in the TiMS-project as well” says Cia Säll.
The municipality had identified that the procedure around local events was unsatisfactory. They wanted to investigate existing events and come up with an event strategy to support event organizers and make local events more sustainable, regarding, among other things, accessibility and inclusiveness.
“We are carrying out surveys with both adults and youths, plus interviews with representatives from different organizations and other associations. This will lead up to a structured evaluation of events to make us work better together” says Viktoria Drottz.
How have the residents responded to your work concerning inclusive events so far?
“People are interested and appreciative of that we do this work. We can see that young people miss events that are specifically for them, so we have to do more. Our hope is that this work will be a start of a process where we can involve different groups, in the idea generation and organizing of events”.
“I think it is very important to be out there, to be visible and talk to the residents, and that they feel they have a say in our processes. The dialogue is very important.”
Would you say there is a growing interest among Swedish municipalities to work towards making events more inclusive?
“Our experience is that many municipalities have the ambition to work more inclusive. But it differs a lot from town to town, mostly it is a question of resources. We have a lot to learn but feel it is very positive that many towns want to work more with issues surrounding inclusion.”
TiMS conference attendance x 2 about inclusive tourism
As researchers in the TiMS team, we have worked with an interesting methodology. We call it “collaborative introspection” and we have used it to explore and reflect upon our own tourism memories during three sessions.
Using the method enabled us to create an open dialogue that revealed instances of exclusion and inclusion in tourism, and how this relates to our national, cultural, gender and racial differences.
Sofia Ulver produced a film about the methodology for The International Transdisciplinary Conference 2021 (ITD21, 13-17 September 2021). Together with Eva Maria Jernsand and Helena Kraff from TiMS, Sofia also had a session with conference participants to discuss how collaborative introspection can be used in transdisciplinary projects.
The ITD21 conference theme was “Creating spaces and cultivating mindsets for learning and experimentation”. More than 500 participants attended, with the goal to advance transdisciplinary concepts and methodologies while strengthening their potential for addressing societal challenges.
The following week, 21-23 September 2021, the 29th Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research was held in Akureyri, Iceland. Due to covid restrictions, the conference was held online. The conference theme was ‘Challenges and possibilities in precarious times’ and TiMS researchers led the session ‘Developing the concept of inclusive tourism’.
Eva Maria Jernsand, Helena Kraff, Lars Aronsson and Sayaka Osanami Törngren also presented three articles in writing: ‘Managing inclusiveness’, ‘Placemaking taking place’, and ‘Racialized Invisibilities and Visibilities’. The abstracts can be found in the book of abstracts: https://www.rmf.is/static/research/files/bookofabstracts-shapingmobilefutures-16921-1pdf
Lecture with TiMS researcher about sustainable tourism
TiMS researcher Eva Maria Jernsand held a lecture on sustainable tourism at an online seminar Sept 23rd, arranged by Visit Sweden and the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Tillväxtverket).
The seminar had over 600 attendants and was entitled Destinationen Sverige – tillsammans ökar vi takten för hållbar turism (Sweden as a destination – together we increase the pace of sustainable tourism).
The lecture is about different models and definitions of sustainability and how they connect to tourism. It also includes some information about research on tourism in Sweden and Centre for Tourism at University of Gothenburg, specifically mentioning the TiMS project and the preliminary definition TiMS has on inclusive tourism.
The lecture is about 15 minutes long and begins a few minutes into the seminar video. Follow this link to watch the lecture: https://vimeo.com/615768253/7b5f6d3106
Lunch webinar – Forests as destinations
Don’t miss our lunch webinar in the new seminar series on design, tourism and place development, this time with the theme Forest as destinations.
Topic: Forests as destinations
Date: Thursday, September 9
Time: 12:00-13:00 (CEST)
Location: Online (zoom – link to be sent after registration)
In the webinar we will hear about two projects in which the Swedish forest is utilised as a meeting place, recreational space and as accommodation.
Monika Andersson will first present the organisation Skog & Spis and their glamping concept – Skogshotellet (Forest hotel). This is followed by Alice Hultdin and Johan Andersson who will present their activating project Lyfta Skog (Lifting Forest). The webinar is hosted by one of the researchers from the TiMS project and the theme is closely linked to our research.
More information and registration via the link: https://forms.office.com/r/jsre4sxNCM
The series is organised by the Centre for tourism and Business & Design Lab, at university of Gothenburg.
Recording of midterm webinar
TiMS’ midterm webinar was held in February 2021. Recordings of the event are now availabe to watch with subtitles.
- Keynote by Professor Dianne Dredge titled From knowing to feeling inclusion – Rhythms, rifts and rights and how we can truly co-create better tourism.
- Panel discussion, moderated by Professor Can Seng Ooi, titled Challenges and opportunities in creating inclusive tourism. Panellists: Åsa Egrelius, Senior Manager Public Affairs at Visit Sweden, Heléne Östberg, Brand and Innovation Manager atTourism in Skåne, Katarina Thorstensson, Head of Sustainability at Gothenburg & Co, and Anna Cederberg Gerdrup, Communication Strategist/Author at Gerdrup & Company AB.
- Presentation by project members titled Preliminary findings and future direction of TiMS.
Call for abstracts
TiMS will host a session titled “Developing the concept of inclusive tourism” at the 29th Nordic Symposium on Tourisms and Hospitality Research, 21–23th September. The format of conference will be announced later due to the pandemic .
Call for abstract is open for methodological, empirical and/or theoretical contributions that consider, e.g.:
- How the plurality of tourism products and destinations are communicated, represented and experienced in terms of e.g. cultures, ethnicity, gender, class and other social characteristics.
- Challenges and opportunities met in tourism development processes that aim for diversity, equality and participation.
- Developments of the definition of inclusive tourism, e.g. founding principles, delimitations and what separates it from other related concepts.