• Nora Höflitz
4. semester, Turisme, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
A shift in consumer behaviour does affect the traditional tourism industry: the evolving sharing economy promotes collaborative or peer-to-peer consumption, which unfolds itself in new services facilitating accommodation sharing and hospitality exchanges. Embracing the idea of interchanging accommodation without a monetary exchange, house swapping developed into a successful global tourism phenomenon that seems to embody some of the core principles of the concept of conscious travel – a notion and movement that takes an utmost interest in the impact of the tourism activity on the destination and consequently promotes considerate consumption. The present study explores and analyses house swapping as a facilitator or even small-scale realization of this alternative form of travel, with the aim of contributing to both knowledge and practice of alternatives to the conventional (mass) tourism system. Building on consumption and consumer behaviour theory and its application within a tourism context, the conceptual interest of the study revolves around three realms: the emergence of a conscious consumer and a new tourist; consumption determinants and approaches to frame alternative (tourism) consumption; and the human tourism system under an alternative ecological model as conceptualized by Pollock (2012a). The research around the question How does House Swapping as a form of collaborative travel move tourist practices and experiences towards the idea of conscious tourism? took a qualitative approach. Based on semi-structured interviews with house swappers and tourism practitioners and visionaries, as well as an analysis of secondary data, the study found house swapping to break away from the conventional (mass) tourism practices that were developed under the industrial model, embracing instead the concept of non-market consumption that revolves around a human dimension. As a form of collaborative travel, the phenomenon establishes a framework for goodwill on which the exchanges build. Focussing in its promotion on intriguing travel experiences, house swapping was also found to constitute a successful approach of embracing and representing conscious travel practices as a ‘hedonistic alternative’. In terms of knowledge, the findings contribute to a better understanding of the house swap phenomenon by illustrating how it frames the tourist consumption. Besides that, the study contributes to a comprehension of the importance of peer-to-peer travel consumption for conscious tourism. In terms of practice, this knowledge proves beneficial for destinations that aim at attracting and embracing more conscious forms of travel, this being especially interesting in connection to the growing trend of sharing cities. In the realm of marketing, the findings indicate that the promotion of conscious travel benefits from a focus on the unique experience, drawing the image of a ‘hedonistic alternative’.
Udgivelsesdato2 maj 2014
Antal sider129
ID: 197987110