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Call for Academic Abstracts: Geographies and Mobilities of Hiking in the Post-Pandemic Anthropocene

By Kelsey Johansen

Academics researching trails are invited to submit an abstract to the proposed session on 'Geographies and Mobilities of Hiking in the Post-Pandemic Anthropocene' sponsored by the IGU Commission on Tourism, Leisure and Global Change, and which will be held at the International Geographic Congress 2024 from August 24th - 30th at Dublin City University in Dublin, Ireland.

Geographies and Mobilities of Hiking in the Post-Pandemic Anthropocene

The popularity of hiking, as proximity and nature-based recreation and tourism, boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Trail infrastructure, including trail towns and gateway communities, are important applied recreation and tourism products and are driving many communities' post-pandemic tourism recovery as recreationist and tourist continue to engage in hiking. Despite this, hiking and hiking trails remain under-theorized within the academic literature. This session therefore calls for proposals linked to the geographies and mobilities of hiking in the post-pandemic Anthropocene, including how we understand and conceptualize the geographies of hiking, including hiking places, spaces, cultures, impacts, and economies.

While we will also consider any thematically relevant proposal for inclusion within the session, we are particularly interested in theoretical and empirical work, as well as case studies, that explore:

  • hiking culture in transition following the explosion in interest during the COVID-19 pandemic;

  • changes in the hiking market post-COVID;

  • economic, environmental and cultural impacts of hiking and hiking tourism;

  • trail user safety and risk management planning; the development and spread of online hiking communities;

  • destination management of long-distance trails;

  • innovative approaches to developing and financing accessible and inclusive hiking trail infrastructure;

  • inter- and intra-user group conflicts on shared use trails; and,

  • the economic geography of hiking trails, trail towns, trail economies, and visitor spending.

Abstracts may also examine:

  • human-nature connections and hiking,

  • connecting to the more-than-human world through hiking; embodied hiking experiences;

  • hiking experiences and destination development and marketing;

  • innovative technology in trail tourism and recreation product development and marketing, including AR and VR experiences;

  • technology enhanced wayfinding systems; and,

  • using technology to document visitor behaviour and crowding and support risk management and visitor safety.

Abstract Submission Essential Details and Key Dates

All submissions need to be through the official conference abstract website, but feel free to contact Dr. Kelsey Johansen by email, with the subject heading "IGU2024 Questions", if you have any questions!

When drafting your abstract, please keep in mind the following:

  • All papers must be written in English.

  • The maximum length of a paper is 250 words.

  • The maximum length of the title is 25 words; 5 keywords are required.

  • If adding references, please use Harvard referencing.

  • Please ensure that your findings are described to a level sufficient for reviewers to make an informed decision on quality. Papers that fail to meet these criteria will be rejected.

Presenters cannot submit more than one first authored oral presentation abstract.

  • Call for Abstracts Opens: Tuesday 3rd October 2023

  • Call for Abstracts Closes: Friday 12th January 2024

  • Notification of Authors: Monday 19th February 2024

The presenting author must register in full to attend and present the abstract at the Congress. The presenting author must register by Friday 8th March 2024. Registration information is available here, note reduced early bird registration is also available until Friday 8th March 2024.

There are also a number of grants available to cover some of the costs associated with attendance. You can find details here: And here:

You can learn more about the conference, read about all the other great proposed sessions, and download the Paper Submission Instructions, on the IGU2024 Website.

We look forward to seeing you in Dublin!

CfP IGU Dublin - Geographies and Mobilities of Hiking
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