Tourism and Neurodiversity: A Problematisation and Research Agenda

Allan Jepson, Raphaela Stadler, Brian Garrod

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This paper focuses on the concept of neurodiversity and how it applies to tourism. Through a critical analysis based on the social model of disability, the paper begins by highlighting that neurodiversity has been poorly problematized in tourism research. Using the challenges involved in holidaymaking for families with autistic children as an example, the paper demonstrates how tourism providers and governments have failed to identify what changes are required to meet the needs of neurodivergent people and who should be responsible for implementing them. From this discussion, a framework for action with three tiers of responsibility (governments, the tourism system, neurodiverse families) is developed. The paper then concludes with a research agenda for the future study of tourism and neurodiversity with particular reference to the social model of neurodiversity and the responsibilities of the tourism industry, tourists and governments (including charitable organizations). From this, a call to arms for all tourism researchers to embrace research into neurodiversity through the framework and research agenda is developed.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2023


  • Neurodiversity
  • Neurodivergent
  • Family Holidays
  • Autism
  • Responsibilities
  • Tourism Management
  • Research Agenda
  • neurodivergent
  • research agenda
  • autism
  • responsibilities
  • family holidays
  • tourism management


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