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Ways of Seeing, Ways of Being

Representing the Voices of Tourism


Edited By Maurizio Gotti, Stefania Maci and Michele Sala

The aim of this volume is to give voice to the various and different perspectives in the investigation of tourism discourse in its written, spoken, and visual aspects. The chapters particularly focus on the interaction between the participants involved in the tourism practices, that is the promoters of tourist destinations, on the one hand, and tourists or prospective tourists on the other. In this dialogic interaction, tourism discourse, while representing and producing tourism as a global cultural industry, shows it to be on the move. Language movement in the tourism experience is here highlighted in the various methodological approaches and viewpoints offered by the investigations gathered in this volume.

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Child-free Tourism Discourse between Social Changes and Ethical Concerns (Alessandra Vicentini)


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Child-free Tourism Discourse between Social Changes and Ethical Concerns

1.   Background

In the last few years, the tourism sector has undergone an ever increasingly complex segmentation (CREST 2013, WTO 2015). Changes in population and family structure as well as in behaviour and leisure habits have produced new segments to cater for and trends to be considered. In developed countries, the elderly (over 65 years old) represent one sixth of the population (IFP 2014) and are deemed to grow in number by 2030. There has been a reduction in the average household size to 2.4 members in the EU, with the consequent emergence of single-parent families, who tend to invest increases in income not in having more children but, progressively, in the already existing family.

Child-free holiday makers are quite recent players who reflect these new social trends and require more attention from the tourism industry, in particular, and from society, at large. Today, tour operators are, in fact, selecting top-end hotels and accommodation as ‘exclusively adult’, some pubs and cafes are banning children from their clientele, and airline companies have recently announced they intend to offer child-free zones on flights. All this has aroused an intense debate in the media, which testifies to how the discourse of tourism can reflect social changes and moral/ethical concerns at different levels.

Research has long been addressing senior (Sund/Boksberger 2008; Alén et al. 2012) and family (Thorton...

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