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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”?

Keywords: Tourists; daydreaming; non-experience; waiting

Document Type: Research Article


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

Publication date: April 1, 2008

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