Understanding the role of the tourists' identity in travel.
Authors: Hibbert, J.F.
Conference: Bournemouth University
Pages: ?-? (303)Abstract:
It has been suggested that identity issues lie at the heart of our desire for travel. It is widely acknowledged that travel plays an important part in shaping the perception of self through experiences of other people and places.
U sing repeated travel as an indicator of status via initiatives such as frequent flyer programmes is also well established in existing literature . However , relatively little has been documented about how identity can influence a n individual’s travel choices . An increase in tourism mobility has been related to environmental problems, with air travel being a contributor to climate change. Behavioural change is considered to be one method that could bring about a reduction in tourism related CO 2 emissions .
However, evidence suggests that instigating behavioural change within tourism is problematic and there is a need to better understand the role played by p ersonal identity in tourism decisions.
The aim of this study is therefore to enhance the understanding of the role played by personal identity in tourism mobility.
Studies have shown that in order to gain insight in to identity there must be an underst anding of the narratives used to create and affirm identities. Therefore, a narrative approach was used to explore the travel life histories of 24 participants. A second interview examined how interviewees viewed their identities and tourism activity in the light of environmental debates and concerns. Data were analysed using a thematic and dialogic/performance approach.
Results indicate that identities play a major part in travel behaviour and decisions.
Identities are contextual and can override one a nother at certain times. Thus, an individual with a strong environmental identity at home may choose to perform a conflicting identity when away.
This thesis presents the various ways identity and tourism mobility are linked. Identity issues highlighted in this study include: using narratives of tourism to present identities; travel being motivated by the emergence or avoidance of possible selves ; and identities linked to significant others driving tourism 4 travel through the desire for connectedness, sta tus and perceived expectations of the significant other. This research contributes to knowledge by introducing new perspectives to identity and tourism research. It goes some way to explaining why policies promoting behaviour change have not succeeded.
In addition, this research proposes that policy makers or marketers should place more emphasis on the importance of the tourists’ identity
Source: BURO EPrints