A Queer Examination of LGBT Tourism

Cecilie Hagelund

Student thesis: Master thesis


LGBT tourism originally began as a way for the LGBT community to escape discrimination in heteronormative societies and go places where they were truly able to be themselves. As the world changes and it has become more and more accepted to identify with a different sexual identity besides heterosexuality, the conditions of LGBT tourism have changed accordingly. The phenomenon is a fairly recent concept that has likely developed alongside the increasing acknowledgement and recognition of the LGBT community. This thesis attempts to discuss the challenges connected to the phenomenon with a research focus on Denmark, a relatively liberal and accepting country. So far, LGBT tourism has mainly been approached from a firm-centric perspective using the principles of instrumental stakeholder theory in academic literature. By applying queer theory, the thesis moves the discussion into a previously unexplored field of putting the LGBT community in the center. Queer theory helps centralizing the needs, flaws, and challenges in the phenomenon. Through the means of collecting interview data, this thesis investigates the challenges in LGBT tourism from the perspectives of different organizations. Each of them deals with LGBT tourism in one way or another. The different perspectives were gathered in order to create a comprehensive understanding to make sense of LGBT tourism in practice. My findings suggest that heteronormativity is at the heart of the challenges in LGBT tourism and that heteronormativity is actually causing the need for LGBT tourism while limiting its scope. In the end, the discussion found that queer theory disapproves of the very phenomenon. As a result, the thesis concludes that queer theory may not be an appropriate solution to address the challenges in LGBT tourism. An alternative recommendation for how LGBT tourism should be approached is discussed instead. The recommendation proposes the use of human rights and social identity theory instead as a way to fill in the gaps between stakeholder theory and queer theory. The recommendation thus entails a suggestion for future research endeavors in this field.

EducationsCand.ling.merc Erhvervssprog og International Erhvervskommunikation (Multikulturel Kommunikation i Organisationer), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages158