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The Secret Lives of Tourists: Delays, Disappointments and Daydreams

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Tourist research on life in “The Experience Economy” has led to a focus on the eventful and dramatic, on ways of packaging and marketing “great experiences” that turn a heritage into an event, a city into desires, a museum into an adventure. There is a lot of talk about the production of great atmospheres and exciting events, but tourist life is of course full of non-events, indifferent or bad experiences. This paper looks at such situations. How do tourists experience waiting for a delayed flight, daydreaming on the beach or finding the promised great experiences disappointing or just boring? What happens when tourists are doing nothing or just experience “the same old thing”?
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Keywords: Tourists; daydreaming; non-experience; waiting

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of European Ethnology, University of Lund, Sweden

Publication date: 2008-04-01

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