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The seminal work by Massey (2005) highlighted how thinking about space matters. It affects, for instance, the way we think and approach our encounter with nature; the spatial embodied practices and relations we give rise to and the places we inhabit. Crouch (2000, p.63; 2010) points out “places are one pervasive component of leisure and tourism. Leisure and tourism include encounters with place. Encounters with other people and material things, imagination and memory occur in places”. A number of tourism scholars have concentrated on exploring the complex social relationships loosely inscribed under the umbrella term of the ‘tourism encounter’ with nature and natural environments (Ingold, 2000; Franklin, 2002; Little and Leyshon, 2003; Abram and Lien, 2011; Pearce et al, 2017). Yet despite increasing attempts at investigating it, today this topic still remains of significant importance and little explored (Holden, 2009). As Azara et al (2018) highlight: “issues such as increased scarcity of resources, unfair wealth distribution across the world, deteriorating environmental landscapes, loss of important ecosystems and the emergence of new illnesses” forcefully demand scholarly attention. These issues, we argue, are both relevant to and cut across the focus of interest of tourist researchers, environmentalists, conservationists, developers, economists and sociologists; anthropologists and cultural geographers. 

This II ATLAS SIG ‘Space Place Mobilities’ international seminar invites contributions which explore the multiple ways of encountering, sensing, practicing, performing, embodying and representing tourism spaces and places of nature and in so doing ultimately contributing to a better understanding of how our relationships with nature come into being, and how this is changing.

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