Freya Higgins-Desbiolles

Freya Higgins-Desbiolles
University of South Australia | UniSA · School of Management

About

97
Publications
44,122
Reads
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3,595
Citations
Introduction
I am a scholar focused on tourism management. My work focuses on human rights, social justice and community rights in tourism. I like public speaking and hope to activate change in tourism and beyond. Examples: I was interviewed in 2020 on Australian national tv on the call to remove public monuments: https://tinyurl.com/y7ge393c . I was interviewed on women in tourism in 2014 as part of Indian Ocean Rim Association Summit. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxW90-8CEgU
Additional affiliations
January 2013 - December 2013
University of Otago
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
September 2000 - present
University of South Australia
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
September 1990 - May 1995
Schiller International University
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • Taught International relations at postgraduate level

Publications

Publications (97)
Article
Full-text available
Tourism today has a problem. It is addicted to growth, which is incompatible with sustainability goals. Despite three decades discussing pathways to sustainable tourism, tourism authorities continue to promote tourism growth despite the ecological and social limits of living on a finite planet. This article argues that tourism must be understood an...
Article
Recent work in development studies asked: “whatever happened to the idea of imperialism?” This article will analyse the ongoingness of imperialism in order to illuminate sources of injustice and inequity in tourism. It will also delve into historical understandings of the capacities of tourism in a time when revolutionary, decolonising leadership l...
Article
Full-text available
Tourism has been viewed as a development pathway, with alternative tourisms such as volunteer tourism perceived as promising. However, critics have highlighted how white saviourism and Western ideologies of superiority may underpin both development agendas and activities like volunteer tourism. The COVID crisis has impacted both tourism and interna...
Chapter
Full-text available
An agenda for socialising tourism seeks to address the disbenefits associated with neoliberal corporatised forms of tourism by reorienting tourism in important ways. Socialising tourism can be viewed as a revival and extension of earlier thinking by Higgins-Desbiolles on “tourism as a social force”. In later work, Higgins-Desbiolles proposed social...
Chapter
This concluding chapter summarises the varied contributions, key themes and future directions of Socialising Tourism: Rethinking Tourism for Social and Ecological Justice. This edited collection has sought to advance the socialising tourism concept by furthering ideas on how tourism may be made accountable to social and ecological limits. Bringing...
Book
Once touted as the world’s largest industry and also a tool for fostering peace and global understanding, tourism has certainly been a major force shaping our world. The recent COVID-19 crisis has led to calls to transform tourism and reset it along more ethical and sustainable lines. It was in this context that calls to" socialise tourism" emerged...
Article
Purpose This article considers the possibilities of and barriers to socialising tourism after the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Such an approach allows us to transform tourism and thereby evolve it to be of wider benefit and less damaging to societies and ecologies than has been the case under the corporatised model of tourism. Des...
Article
United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16 focuses on fostering inclusive, just and peaceful societies to ensure sustainable development. This can be an important catalyst to sustainable tourism and draws needed attention to the value of peace through tourism thinking. We might ask by what means could we address structural injustices in tourism...
Article
This research aims to identify opportunities for the tourism industry to effectively address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in ways that respect Indigenous priorities and support development aspirations of Indigenous peoples. We do so via case studies of Indigenous tourism among small-medium sized enterprises in Fiji, Australia and Aotear...
Article
This article analyses the recent closure of the Uluru climb in the settler colonial context of Australia and reflects on (im)possibilities for doing tourism otherwise to practices and logics of coloniality. Tourism at Uluru is embedded within settler colonial map-making, privileging supply side models of consumption at the expense of the Anangu Tra...
Article
Crises can exacerbate existing inequalities. The climate change crisis affects the environment, health and wellbeing of lowincome nations (Venn, 2019). War and refugee crises force displacement of millions, over half of whom are children (UN, 2020). The COVID-19 pandemic is deepening social and economic inequalities (Jamal & Higham, 2021), particul...
Article
As we confront social, ecological and economic challenges, some look to a new model described as the purpose economy as a pathway to more sustainable and just futures. Responsible and sustainable events are increasingly of interest to both academics and practitioners. However, little work has explored the capacities for social entrepreneurship in e...
Chapter
Neoliberalism and the growth trajectory sought by developing countries with the aspiration of achieving Western levels of consumption impedes notions of equity, justice and well-being for all. Specifically, a commitment to capitalism has engulfed discussions on behavioural change necessary to progress sustainability. Critical explorations concernin...
Article
COVID-19 is widely recognised as a challenge or even a game-changer for travel and tourism. It has also been a catalyst to serious debate in the “tourism academy,” as revealed by a discussion on TRINET Tourism Information Network via email in May 2020. The catalyst to this debate was an email by academic Jim Butcher announcing his work entitled “th...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic of 2019–2020 has the potential to transform the tourism industry as well as the context in which it operates. This global crisis in which travel, tourism, hospitality and events have been shut down in many parts of the world, provides an opportunity to uncover the possibilities in this historic transformative moment. A critica...
Article
Les préoccupations relatives à la croissance ont régulièrement progressé depuis la publication du rapport Limits to Growth, en raison notamment des incidences des activités humaines sur l'environnement. Depuis lors, le capitalisme néolibéral est devenu de plus en plus tributaire de la croissance qui exacerbe ces problèmes. Les résultats destructeur...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This conceptual paper offers an exploratory insight into the example of Māori tourism in New Zealand which illustrates how Indigenous tourism can demonstrate a values-filled approach to tourism. Māori engagement with tourism is based on Māori culture and values and this shapes tourism in distinct ways. These values include: whanaungatanga emphasizi...
Article
Research in the area of sustainable tourism continues to grow, however a lack of understanding regarding necessary action inhibits progress. McCloskey’s (2015 McCloskey, S. (2015). Viewpoint: From MDGs to SDGs: We need a critical awakening to succeed. In S. McCloskey (Ed.), Policy and practice: A development education review (pp. 186–194). Carson,...
Article
Full-text available
Concerns with growth have steadily advanced since the Limits to Growth report due particularly to human impacts on the natural environment. Since that time, neoliberal capitalism has become increasingly reliant on growth exacerbating these problems. The destructive outcomes of these strategies has led to a growing interest in degrowth. Analysts are...
Chapter
Settler colonial societies such as Australia revere their monuments. In such ‘young’ countries, monuments to conquerors, settlers and soldiers place the settler populations’ indelible stamp on the landscape. However, these monuments are as much about forgetting as about remembering. Despite this, Indigenous Australians are asserting their place, in...
Article
The United Nations released the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) following the 2012 Rio +20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. This articulated 17 SDGs that balance the environmental, social and economic aspects of development, setting a timespan between 2015 and 2030 to end global poverty through sustainable development approaches. Acco...
Article
This article considers the potential for tourism to contribute to efforts to secure justice. It reviews the evolution of tourism from a respected tool for personal development and social transformation to its now industrialised form under neoliberalism where its value is estimated in terms of employment and income. Despite this context, recognition...
Article
Cet article examine la contribution potentielle du tourisme aux efforts en faveur de la justice. Il retrace l’évolution du tourisme depuis l’époque où il était reconnu comme un agent de développement personnel et de transformation sociale jusqu’à sa forme actuelle, industrialisée, marquée par le néolibéralisme et jaugée en fonction des emplois et r...
Article
Este artículo considera la posibilidad que existe en el turismo de contribuir a los esfuerzos por hacer justicia. Revisa la evolución del turismo, inicialmente considerado como una reputada herramienta para el desarrollo personal y la transformación social, hasta su actual forma industrializada bajo el neoliberalismo, en el que se estima su valor e...
Article
Full-text available
Events are increasingly a focus for destination marketing organisations because of the tourists numbers and spending they attract. As a result, an event tourism phenomenon has emerged which seeks to exploit events as tourism assets for growing tourism. Such practices may have significant consequences for local communities. This article offers a cas...
Article
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Shalom Almond's film My Long Neck is a gift to tourism scholars and teachers who want to raise social justice, social inclusion and empowerment in our work. Filmed in 2013 and resulting from the filmmaker's tourist visit to the Mae Hong Son area of Northern Thailand, this film turns the tables on understanding an area that has been subject to recen...
Article
A climate of neoliberalism challenges the work of scholars whose research focuses on societal well-being through embedded community research and critical analysis of public policy, planning, and industry practices, what we call academic activism. This article draws on the autoethnographic insights and critical narratives of four tourism scholars to...
Presentation
Youtube video propting research in Tourism Management Perspectives
Article
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This research was designed to evaluate our current state of knowledge by systematically reviewing tourism and hospitality academic literature concerning sustainability in the restaurant sector by undertaking a systematic review and content analysis. The characteristics of 76 articles are listed in a comprehensive table, presenting research design a...
Article
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The study was aimed at gaining insights into how Māori tourism providers can engage with, and benefit from the growing Chinese outbound tourism industry which is of growing importance to New Zealand, through stories and storytelling. The study includes a survey of Chinese visitors, a focus group of Māori business consultants and feedback from three...
Article
Indigenous Australian festivals have long been tools for cultural maintenance and revival, cultural sharing and economic opportunity for Indigenous Australian communities. Recent research indicates the multiple benefits festivals may offer to Indigenous Australian communities and their contribution to building a more harmonious Australia, but also...
Research
Full-text available
Panel discussion of the roles of cafes in fostering sustainability, Adelaide September 2015. A Taste of Sustainability. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ycp064SqvI
Book
Full-text available
Tourism in Palestine has been receiving an increasingly important profile given its economic and religious importance and the significant role it plays in Israeli-Palestinian relations, representation of Palestinian statehood and identity, and wider Middle Eastern politics. Nevertheless, Palestine, like much of the Middle East as a whole, remains e...
Research
Full-text available
A report for hospitality and restaurant stakeholders. It overviews sustainability in the cafe and restaurant sector and considers the ways in which cafes can be used as tools to educate all stakeholders about sustainability. It offers 20 case studies of leading sustainable cafes and restaurants in Australia (Adelaide, Melbourne and Goolwa).
Article
Food justice, food cultures and people's engagement with healthy food production and consumption are key contemporary concerns, with a growing sustainable hospitality and tourism literature. Efforts range from narrowly focused initiatives, such as promoting organic produce and fair trade, to more holistic challenges to current systems through initi...
Article
This paper presents a case study of the Coorong Wilderness Lodge (CWL) in order to highlight barriers to success that are in part derived from poor policy and planning supports for Indigenous Australian tourism operators. This analysis assists in filling a research gap on the catalysts to economic success and failure in Indigenous tourism through o...
Article
Full-text available
With the popularity of celebrity chefs, television cooking shows, gastronomic holidays and food festivals, it is clear that people's engagement with food is developing into a significant social phenomena. People are searching for ways to secure sustainable and ethical foods and are open to learning new possibilities. This article provides a case st...
Article
Full-text available
Dialogues on Hosting in an era of change: Report on Cross-Cultural Tourism and Hospitality Symposium, 9 October 2013 in Dunedin, New Zealand Responding to an invitation from Maori academic Dr Sharleen Howison of Otago Polytechnic, leading analysts met in Dunedin for a Cross-Cultural Tourism and Hospitality Symposium to look at the interface betwe...
Chapter
Critical perspectives on tourism emerged in the aftermath of boosterism, a result of the enthusiasm for mass tourism in the postwar boom. In the 1970s, the negative impacts of tourism became undeniable and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) arose to challenge the exploitation and damages of tourism and champion the rights of grassroots communitie...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to examine the omission of Indigenous narratives in battlefields and sites of conflicts while also highlighting how certain battlefields and sites of conflicts have attempted to address dissonant heritage by diversifying interpretation strategies and implementing elements of collaborative management approaches...
Chapter
Full-text available
The tourism industry has remained narrowly focused on its commercial dimensions. This paper will begin by showing that tourism is an area rife with issues of (in)equity and (in)justice. Part of the environmental justice movement’s approach has involved coming up with tools for assessing how well organizations have fulfilled the needs of communities...
Article
Indigenous tourism is an increasingly significant sector that can empower, encourage and promote Indigenous peoples and cultures. Defining Indigenous tourism remains open, as some definitions focus on Indigenous cultural products and experiences while other definitions emphasise Indigenous involvement and control. What is absent, however, is any de...
Article
Contemporary capitalist globalization, neoliberalism and corporatized tourism create a cultural pedagogy asserting that there is no alternative to these systems. Taking a critical stance, this article bridges critical globalization and tourism studies to offer one alternative model to challenge this cultural pedagogy. It does this through a case st...
Conference Paper
In this paper we offer an exploratory case study analysis of Aboriginal Hostels Limited (AHL) which we analyse as a case of both social tourism and services provisioning for Indigenous Australians as tourists. Indigenous Australians require the services of AHL hostels because many of them must travel away from their home communities because of a la...
Article
In the wake of the Brundtland Report's articulation of the concept of sustainable development (1987), ecotourism has been promoted as an optimum way to achieve sustainable development in the tourism sphere. Ecotourism, as a subset of sustainable tourism, is touted as a win-win endeavour – a high-yield, low-volume strategy is often pursued in the ho...
Article
Sustainable tourism is perhaps the most prominent feature of contemporary tourism discourse. However, despite its prominence for several decades, achieving sustainability remains as elusive as ever. This article explores the concept of the culture-ideology of consumerism developed by sociologist Leslie Sklair (2002) in order to ascertain the implic...
Article
This book seeks to make a contribution to the tourism and inequality debate, not only through its investigation of how and why tourism contributes to and reflects social inequality, but also through its exploration of the ways in which tourism can be a means to reduce social inequality or alleviate its impact. Across its 12 chapters, a wide range o...
Chapter
This book explores, in various ways, the relationship between tourism and visuality. In so doing, the 17 chapters contribute to what has become a growing interest and body of knowledge defining the contours of the visual culture of tourism. What emerge as important themes in the conceptualization of tourism and visuality are nostalgia, the ways in...
Chapter
The objectives of this book are threefold: (i) to identify and learn from examples of a positive relationship between tourism and peace; (ii) to make available the output of and to stimulate further academic research and scholarship focused on the tourism and peace proposition; and (iii) to move on from the original question of whether tourism cont...
Article
While ecotourism has many positive attributes, perhaps the most interesting is its potential to foster transformations in ecological consciousness that some view as vital to achieving more sustainable human–environmental relationships. Frequently, indigenous peoples and their cultures have been associated with ecotourism because of the ‘strong bond...
Article
This paper examines the currently under-explored niche of volunteer tourism, 'volunteer tourism for justice' - a form of alternative tourism that has the potential to be impervious to being co-opted by mainstream tourism. One important facet of volunteer tourism for justice is the undertaking of solidarity tours to visit communities at the front-li...
Article
Because of the negative impacts of capitalist globalisation, some commentators are anticipating an alternative form of globalisation. This paper examines the potential of alternative tourisms to be catalysts for more just and sustainable forms of globalisation. While it is argued that various forms of alternative tourism, including ecotourism, sust...
Article
Because of the negative impacts of capitalist globalisation, some commentators are anticipating an alternative form of globalisation. This paper examines the potential of alternative tourisms to be catalysts for more just and sustainable forms of globalisation. While it is argued that various forms of alternative tourism, including ecotourism, sust...
Chapter
This book explores the experiences of the volunteer tourist and the ensuing narratives between host and volunteer as it manifests in diverse and increasingly contested political international contexts. As such, this volume includes case studies conducted in 12 countries across six continents. The book is organized into three parts that explore key...
Article
Any realistic understanding of contemporary tourism in the 21st century must be grounded in a context of the dynamics of capitalist globalisation. Sociologist Leslie Sklair's conceptualisation of capitalist globalisation and its dynamics as expressed in his "sociology of the global system" (2002) is employed to understand the corporatised tourism p...
Article
The role of the non-Indigenous educator and researcher in education on Indigenous issues is becoming the subject of critical scrutiny. Indigenous academics are successfully turning the gaze on non-Indigenous peers and practices. This paper narrates some of the experiences of a non-Indigenous educator teaching an undergraduate elective Indigenous to...
Article
This paper argues that in the current neo-liberal era, the discourse of tourism as an “industry” has overshadowed other conceptualisations of the tourism phenomenon. An argument is developed that this discourse serves the needs and agendas of leaders in the tourism business sector. However, the author desires to revive an earlier understanding of t...
Chapter
In this era of economic globalisation, the focus of tourism is upon its profitability as an industry and its context is overwhelmingly shaped by the neo-liberal market paradigm (Higgins-Desbiolles 2003a). Tourism as an industry is subject to the same forces of reduced governmental support, competitive market practice in an increasingly global arena...
Article
The nexus between tourism, globalization, and indigenous communities is increasingly evident. This article uses qualitative methodologies to examine the pressures that tourism and economic globalization place on indigenous communities and the means that indigenous communities use to assert their rights in turn. The discussion moves from a macro-lev...
Article
Full-text available
This article provides a preliminary examination of the capacity of Aboriginal tourism experiences to contribute to the achievement of reconciliation in Australia. This analysis situates reconciliation tourism as a special type of volunteer tourism and places both of these under the umbrella of tourism as a force for peace. It begins by exploring th...
Article
Fiji, a small island state in the Melanesian South Pacific, has formerly been renowned for its loyalty to the Commonwealth, its willingness to send units for United Nations peacekeeping missions or as a port-of-call on Pacific cruises. It is currently under criticism for instituting a racially discriminatory constitution and for shaping a regime de...

Projects

Projects (4)
Project
The COVID-19 crisis has concentrated our minds on the impacts of crises on the very foundations of the tourism phenomenon. It has simultaneously revealed how dependent our economies and societies are on the tourism and hospitality industries and the fragility of such dependence in a globalised world where interdependency equals vulnerability. While studies of crises in tourism have proliferated, with concerns for risk management, recovery and resilience, COVID-19 has exposed the need to think more profoundly on this topic. While any crisis may exacerbate existing inequalities, the crises of the 21st century are compounding and complicating the ways the impacts unfold and engulf individuals, communities and indeed, the global community. For instance, the climate change crisis disproportionately affects the environment and health of low-income countries and poor people in high-income countries, violating their human rights and social justice (Levy & Patz, 2015; Venn, 2019). Recent events demonstrate that COVID-19 is a health and justice crisis, affecting the most vulnerable individuals among us (Brosemer et al., 2020), including hospitality and gig workers whose labour has been depended on to weather the crisis. With the recent refugee crisis, we are now facing the highest levels of human displacement on record (UN, 2020) which can significantly affect many destinations and tourist experiences (Ivanov & Stavrinoudis, 2018; Zenker, von Wallpach, Braun, & Vallaster, 2019). The environmental and health consequences of crises “threaten civil and political rights and economic, social, and cultural rights, including rights to life, access to safe food and water, health, security, shelter, and culture” (Levy & Patz, 2015, p. 310). This is while tourism is predicted to face even greater challenges in the post-COVID era that can exacerbate existing inequalities and injustice (Jamal & Higham, 2021). In such circumstances, tourism actors must respond to the sustainability and justice challenges resulting from current and future crises by rethinking, redefining and reorienting tourism (Higgins-Desbiolles, 2020). This provides the opportunity for a major transformation by designing more responsible, ethical and sustainable forms of tourism. It is therefore important for tourism decision-making to be based upon sustainability values and justice principles (Rastegar, 2020). In this vein, sustainable tourism must respect the rights, interests and social needs of vulnerable groups and local communities (Boluk, Cavaliere, & Higgins-Desbiolles, 2019; Jamal, 2019; Phelan, Ruhanen, & Mair, 2020). Such a transformation can contribute to the efforts for building a more positive global society post crises (Carr, 2020). This special issue is in response to the urgent need for ‘research and praxis’ guiding our actions to weave just tourism futures (Jamal & Higham, 2021). The co-editors of this special issue therefore invite theoretical and empirical papers exploring the link between global crises, sustainable tourism and the justice challenges being faced by vulnerable groups, individuals and society. This special issue seeks to contribute to the emerging body of work in this domain through research and empirical studies that address topics including –but not limited to, the following: • Tourism policies and sustainable development values • Low income, vulnerable and minority groups • Stakeholders and power relations • Inclusive and equitable approaches in tourism • Justice and fairness through tourism • Indigenous rights, values and worldviews • Meaningful participation in tourism governance • Political ecology • Ecological and environmental justice • Social justice and society’s interface with tourism • Feminist approaches to and issues in tourism • Global migrations and the unequal rights to travel • Research methods and methodologies for justice
Project
Our overall programme of research aims: a) To examine the SDGs from the perspective of tourism destination communities to understand how targets and goals can lead to locally meaningful outcomes. b) To consider in what ways indigenous values and lifeways correspond, or not, to the SDG agenda. The research ultimately aims to suggest opportunities for tourism as a sector to most effectively rise to the challenge of addressing the SDGs in a way that respects priorities of indigenous people and enables meaningful outcomes for them.