Race, Ethnicity, and Social Equity in Tourism (RESET)
What is RESET?
Dr. Derek Alderman, University of Tennessee
Dr. Carol Kline, East Carolina University
Social Equity and the Representation of Slavery in Plantation Heritage Tourism
Traditionally, historic southern plantations have said little about the lives of the enslaved Africans and African Americans whose labor built and operated these estates. There are signs of a growing inclusion of the slave experience within plantation heritage, although this does not yet represent a wholesale change. RESET is carrying out research and outreach projects that determine what place the enslaved have in the current marketing and interpretation of plantation history, the expectations and perceptions of plantation visitors from different racial backgrounds, and the role of tour guides and managers in making for a more inclusive plantation heritage experience.
Racial Diversity and Social Responsibility in Tourism Marketing
Tourism marketing, rather than simply a matter of promotion and responding to consumer behavior, is a cultural process that gives some social groups more power to be seen and heard than others. Scholars have observed in the past that tourism promotions often reflect a privileged white perspective that obscures the experiences of minorities and neglects their social and economic importance as travelers and community hosts. RESET is carrying out research and outreach projects that assess the visibility of African Americans in the marketing of the U.S. South, particularly the photographs published in state travel guide magazines and welcome center brochures.
Constructing the African American Traveler Profile
Very little research has been conducted to learn about the African-American traveler. Visitor motivations, travel patterns, niche activities, sustainability practices, trip planning, and travel constraints are but a few categories of information that the tourism industry would need to better tailor an experience to the African-American traveler. The RESET program aims to compile existing information, and collect new profile information, about this important traveler segment.
Opportunities and Challenges Facing Civil Rights Movement Heritage Tourism
The creation of memorials and museums dedicated to the Civil Rights Movement is a watershed event in the southern and American heritage tourism, an important opportunity to reverse the way history has long been interpreted and marketed from a white-centric perspective. At the same time, these heritage sites have encountered challenges as managers decide how best to narrate the history of the Movement in ways that do justice to minority identities and struggles while also resonating with white America. RESET is carrying out research and outreach projects that analyze the historical narratives employed at Civil Rights heritage tourism sites and visitors’ reactions to these representations.
East Carolina University
Dr. Carol Kline, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, Center for Sustainable Tourism
Dr. Paige Schneider, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies
Other Universities, Agencies, and Organizations
Stefanie K. Benjamin, Doctoral Student, Foundations of Education, University of South Carolina
Dr. David L. Butler, Associate Professor & Director, International Development Doctoral Program, University of Southern Mississippi
Dr. Perry Carter, Department of Economics and Geography, Texas Tech University
Dr. Elizabeth A. Covelli, Department of Society and Conservation, University of Montana
Dr. Owen J. Dwyer, Department of Geography, Indiana University-Indianapolis
Dr. Steve Hanna, Department of Geography, Mary Washington University
E. Arnold Modlin, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana State University & Instructor, Department of History, Norfolk State University
Dr. Amy Potter, Department of History, Armstrong Atlantic University