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Roaming Romantics: Solitude-seeking and Self-centredness in Scenic Sightseeing

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This account describes results from a study of motor tourists characterized by an individualistic-romantic outlook, utilizing data from the Norwegian Foreign Visitor Survey. In segments of modern-day holiday travel, there seems to be dynamic cultures of individualism. Relating to this discourse, discrimination between individualistic-romantic and collective tourist viewpoints is established. Romantic, nature-oriented tourists are typically characterized by an emphasis on solitude and privacy. The main objective of the paper is to identify motor tourists who prefer to experience landscapes and nature without the presence of other holidaymakers, and to examine these visitors in regard to some essential travel standpoints and activities. The study contributes to international tourism research by utilizing an empirical approach to the comprehension of tourists' frames of mind previously discussed in conceptual or theoretical studies. In the summer of 2000, about 60% of the foreign motorists in Northern Norway agreed that they generally prefer to experience nature without the presence of other tourists, while only 10% disagreed. Some 31% neither agreed nor disagreed in this statement. The individualistic-romantic motorists mostly had offbeat places or larger geographical areas as their main destinations. In conclusion, the article puts forward an alternative, empirically based perspective of self-perceptions among individualistic-romantic and solitude-seeking motorists in Northern Scandinavia.
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Keywords: individuality; motor tourists; nature-oriented tourists; romanticism

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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