Gutsy women? conflicting discourses in women's travel guidebooks

Document Type


Publication details

Wilson, E, Holdsworth, L & Witsel, M 2009, 'Gutsy women? conflicting discourses in women's travel guidebooks', Tourism Recreation Research, vol. 34, no. 1.

Peer Reviewed



There is a growing body of information and advice on offer for contemporary women travellers. Despite increasing academic research on the topic of women travellers, critical questions remain about how their travels are experienced and constructed. Addressing this gap, this paper uses critical discourse analysis (CDA) to analyse two contemporary travel guidebooks aimed at the independent female tourist. Of particular focus is how the texts mediate women’s travel and construct the ‘female travel experience’. The central argument of this paper is that there exists a conflicting discourse in contemporary women’s travel guidebooks: that of ‘empowerment’ versus ‘fear’.

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