DOI: 10.1177/00472875231195740 ISSN:

Unpacking the Plus-Size Travel Movement

Michelle I-Chieh Yang
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Transportation
  • Geography, Planning and Development

Efforts to promote inclusivity of marginalized groups in tourism have mainly focused on people with disabilities, seniors, and ethnic minorities. However, other marginalized groups such as plus-size travelers have been neglected. The Plus-Size Travel Movement draws attention to travel restrictions and ostracization from the market due to body size and intersectional identities. This study is the first of its kind to address this phenomenon. It aims to unpack the plus-size travel movement through a netnographic analysis of four major online movement platforms. The analysis reveals how community leaders mobilize with different discourses to politicize travel for plus-sized individuals and empower the community. This research seeks to stimulate further scholarly discussion about expanding theoretical approaches that examine consumer marginalization in tourism consumption beyond its current scope. It also provides recommendations for the industry, including engaging with plus-size travel influencers to establish more inclusive practices and policies and following the movement on social media closely to identify ways to enhance the experience of plus-size travelers.

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