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Emerging Voices for Animals in Tourism
Virtual Conference
17-18 March 2022

While the study of animal-human connectivity within the context of tourism is being explored in a greater diversity of ways within the last decade, the discourse is still divided within two camps: 1) traditional tourism academia and 2) outside disciplines “looking in.” Tourism academics have borrowed philosophical, ethical, gender studies, sociological, ecological conservation, and economic lenses to explore animals in tourism, however truly transdisciplinary approaches within and external to tourism proper remains few.


The aim of this conference is to strengthen the bridge between “tourism academia” and “non-tourism academia” by highlighting and celebrating fresh perspectives within and external to tourism, and those who bridge the two. We are particularly interested in highlighting emergent transdisciplinary methodologies including, but not limited to: multi-species, multi-sited, and virtual ethnographies, embodied empathy, and works which blend theoretical and applied approaches from the biological and social sciences with those of the arts and animal advocacy.


Overall, our conference will be grounded in progressive and innovative praxis where ongoing collaborations can be formed through the sharing of emergent voices in academia, advocacy and industry.

Program Outline

Thursday 17th March (11:30am-6:30pm GMT)


11:30  Event open: reception to meet other participants


11:45 Event welcome

Dr Carol Kline

12:00 Keynote Speech to Set the Stage:

          The Dark Side of Wildlife Tourism: A Photographer’s Perspective 

          Aaron Gekoski


12:30 Panel 1: Europe/Africa 

Chaired by: Dr Kate Dashper

  • Gordon Meade: Zoospeak: Animals in Captivity

  • Kristine Hill: Adored, abhorred, pitied, and ignored: Mediterranean street cats and human tourists

  • Yolandi Coetser: Unpacking the tensive intersections between community, conservation, and tourism in South Africa

1:45 Coffee Break

2:00 Panel 2: The America's
Chaired by: Dr. Erica von Essen

  • Michelle Szydlowski: Embodied Empathy and Pachyderm Persons: Elephants in Nepalese Tourism

  • Jacqui Sadashige: Pampering Pachyderms: Negotiating Tourist Desires and Animal Welfare in Elephant Tourism

  • Megan Hess: Click Bait: Tourism Marketing of Non-Human Animals

  • Rayne Billings: Dreaming of Killer Whales: Extinction in the Wildlife Tourism Industry


3:30 Coffee Break

Panel 3: The Americas cont.

Chaired by: Dr. Ozlem Calik

  • Eveline Bapstistella: Non-human animals as workers in Pantanal’s tourism

  • Clarissa Uttley: History of Working Animals in Transportation and Recreation

  • Annabel DeSmet: Reflections: an undergraduate's initial experience researching animals in tourism

5:00   Workshop 1:  What are the key issues we should be working on for animals in tourism?

Chaired by: Marika Bell & Cheryl Abbate

This workshop is designed to bring together conference participants to share their thoughts and experiences of studying and working with animals in tourism. Designed to highlight overlooked issues and untangle the intersection between tourism and animal stakeholder interests, this workshop will result in participants collectively listing priority areas and regions for future scholarly and advocacy attention. Thus, this workshop will serve as a platform to bring together the needs of animals and humans in tourism contexts.  


5:45   Coffee break


6:00   Keynote Speech for Animal Workers:

          Tijuana’s zebra-donkey: from working animal to a tourist resource and element of local identity and heritage 

          Dr Alvaro López,
          Dr Jafet Venegas


6:30   Day 1 close



Friday 18th March (10am-4:30pm GMT)



10:00 Event welcome back 

Dr Carol Kline 


10:15 Keynote Speech for Animal Vehicles of Consumption

          Cat-poo-chino and captive wildlife: tourist-civet encounters in Balinese kopi luwak tourism

          Jes Hooper

10:45 Panel 4: Asia-Pacific 

 Chaired by: Dr Clare Weeden

  • Émilie Crossley: What does the fox say? Foregrounding vulpine voices in Japanese wildlife tourism

  • Rie Usui; Tom Jones: Traveling to feed animals: Identifying motivations of tourists on Rabbit Island, Japan

  • Nikki Savvides: Re-building elephant ecologies: More ethical tourism as a response to deforestation in Thailand

12:15 Coffee break

12:30 Panel 5: Europe/Africa
Chaired by: Dr. Jillian Rickly

  • Renata Mliczak: Voluntourism and (dis)abilities intersections

  • Anna Olenenko & Julia Jukhnovska: Animal therapy in health and rehabilitation tourism: Ukrainian case

  • Sandra Swart: A horse of a different colour: identity, tourism, and African horse racing

1:45 Panel 6: Lightning talks

Chaired by: Dr. José-Carlos García-Rosell

  • Roser Garí Pérez: Elephant tourism in southeast Asia

  • Shristi Shrestha: Cross-border trafficking of captive elephants from Nepal to India

  • Brodie McPherson: Keeping boats afloat: Sustainable livelihoods in Bocas del Toro’s wildlife tourism industry

  • Eduardo Barona Collado: The furry passenger: A critical review of non human animals in transport

  • Caroline Schuhmacher: Animal sanctuaries and nature-based tourism

  • Viktor Krawczyk: Compassion and animal tourism

2:45 Coffee break

3:00: Keynote Speech of Hope

         Hope from Tourism

         Nora Livingstone

3:30:​ Workshop 2:  What are the priorities going forward?

Chaired by: Claudia Hirtenfelder & Siobhan Speiran.


Having heard from scholars and animal advocates from across the globe throughout the conference so far, this workshop is designed to bring back together conference participants to address the priorities listed in workshop 1. By collectively brainstorming ways that participants can work together beyond the conference space, this workshop will be an opportunity for further networking that we hope will result in the formation of collaborative research groups set up with the aim to advocate for animals in tourism.

4:00   Closing Keynote Speech on Tourism Entanglements:

          A Selfie Gucci Tasty Ecology: Tourism in the Global Crocodilian Web

          Dr Adam Keul

4:30   Event close: our charge and our pledge

          Dr Carol Kline 


Emerging Voices for Animals in Tourism Book Volume

In addition to the inaugural EVAT conference in 2022, we also have a proposed book volume in progress of the same name. 

We are currently in the process of reviewing chapter proposals from emerging scholars and those working on the ground within animal tourism contexts on works related to the interface between tourism and animal studies. 


Publication of the book: 2023-2024