The Gendered Tourists: Mexican Women and Bike Traveling.

Monday, 16 July 2018: 16:30
Oral Presentation
Isis Arlene DÍAZ-CARRIÓN, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Baja California, Mexico
Participation of women in active traveling, internationally and in Mexico, has been increasing during the last years. Regarded as a tourism activity that promotes physical activity, bike traveling has been revisited during the last years either as a sustainable way of transportation, as a social construction, as well as a product itself. The presence of women in tourism has been actively explored by Anglophone Academies; however in a region where scholars have mainly paid attention to gendered hosts, gendered tourists have been little examined; therefore bike traveling –as well as other tourists activities- and gender have remained a neglected field.

To minimize this gap this research has been designing to identify determinants that positively or negatively affected the engagement of Mexican women in this kind of tourism and excursionism either in national destinations or abroad.

A total of 36 in-depth interviews were conducted among Mexican women that have been practicing bike traveling actively. They were contacting using snow ball sampling contacting personal acquaintances, cycling groups and travel agencies that promote bike traveling.

Even though their presence of women as bike travelers has been increasing during the last decade, women still consider their presence as anecdotal, the combination of gender stereotypes and insecurity is regarded as a the main limitation to solo or “only women” travels in a society where an important percentage considers women still need the presence of a man to be safe in public spaces.

United States, Canada, France, Germany or Spain are among the most frequently chosen abroad destinations, they are considered as more safe places and significantly less traditionally regarding gender stereotypes; but even though traveling to these countries can increase their safety perception, women used to travel with others and solo traveling is not a common choice yet.