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“It's all about the journey”: women and cycling events

Simone Fullagar (Department of Tourism, Leisure, Hotel and Sport Management, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia)
Adele Pavlidis (Department of Tourism, Leisure, Hotel and Sport Management, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia)

International Journal of Event and Festival Management

ISSN: 1758-2954

Article publication date: 1 June 2012

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a gendered understanding of women's experience of a mass cycle tour event.

Design/methodology/approach

This research uses an ethnographic approach to explore women's experiences of a cycle tour event. Qualitative data are analysed through the conceptual framework of post‐structural feminism.

Findings

Key themes included the meaning of women's cycle tour experience as a “shared journey”, the centrality of the “body” in event design (comfort, safety, enjoyment) and an event culture of “respect” (encouragement, skill development, knowledge sharing).

Research limitations/implications

This research is based on a particular sample of women who were largely Anglo‐Celtic, middle to lower middle class and middle aged Australians. Hence, this research does not claim to be representative of all women's experiences. Given the strong focus on quantitative research within event management, this research identifies the need for qualitative and feminist approaches.

Practical implications

The research findings identify a number of gender issues for professionals to reflexively consider in designing, promoting, managing and evaluating mass cycle tour events. The findings have implications for how active tourism events are conceptualised, promoted and managed as gender inclusive.

Social implications

Developing a gender inclusive approach to events can broaden the participant target market and address equity issues relating to women's participation in physical activity.

Originality/value

There has been little exploration of the gendered experience or management of events in the literature. Hence, this paper contributes to empirical research and theorising of women's experiences of active tourism events.

Keywords

Citation

Fullagar, S. and Pavlidis, A. (2012), "“It's all about the journey”: women and cycling events", International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 149-170. https://doi.org/10.1108/17582951211229708

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited