Stefanie Benjamin ~ Race, Ethnicity, and Social Equity in Tourism

RESET an acronym for Race, Ethnicity, and Social Equity in Tourism

Tourism RESET is a multi-university and interdisciplinary research and outreach initiative that seeks to identify, study, and challenge patterns of social inequity in the tourism industry.

Tourism RESET provides a community for scholars, educators and industry professionals to collaborate on and exchange ideas around race, ethnicity and social equity in tourism.

They capture the progressive nature of the initiative and the belief that tourism development, if done sustainably and responsibly, can be tools for racial reconciliation and empowerment – in effect pressing the “reset” button on the inequalities and insensitivity of the traditional tourism industry.

Founded in 2010 by Dr. Derek Alderman and Dr. Carol Kline, RESET is a network of like minded scholars from around the world with research fellows and affiliates representing over 25 Universities. As a team, they facilitate the holding of conferences, joint projects, grants, workshops, panels and publications along with the connection of research professionals with community and industry groups.

They focus Special attention on enhancing the role of racial and ethnic minorities in development, however the inequity and injustices highlighted through RESET can also include a broad swath of existing struggles such as human trafficking in hospitality, animal welfare in tourism, inclusion of people with disabilities, and the continuing power issues related to gender in economically developing and developed contexts. Little sustained work has been done on the preferences, characteristics, and challenges of marginalized travelers and there is a need to incorporate the natural and cultural heritage of racial and ethnic populations into tourism products available to the consuming public. Click below to learn more about each of our members.

Stefanie Benjamin, Ph.D., Co-Director from the University of Tennessee, is an Associate Professor in the Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management department at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her research interests include social equity in tourism around the intersectionality of race, gender, sexual orientation, and people with disabilities. She also researches film-induced tourism, implements improvisational theater games, and is a certified qualitative researcher exploring collective storytelling, duo-ethnography, visual methodology, and social media analysis. Lastly, she serves as a Faculty Advisor on the Equity and Diversity Board for the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity & Engagement at UTK.

Expertise: Race & Whiteness Studies, Critical tourism studies, Black travel movement, People with Disabilities in travel, Solo Women Travel, Enslavement & Heritage Tourism.

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The more we have these conversations, the more these conversations can be had. ~ Alison Jaye