Consumption of Distance: An exploratory investigation of understandings of distance of Danish tourists

Gunvor Riber Larsen

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesis

Abstract

This thesis focusses on tourists' relationship with distance and argues that tourism travel can be understood as consumption of distance and that distance has intrinsic values for tourists. Distance's role for holiday mobility has previously been established through studies of how distance influences travel behaviour. This research, however, turns the focus from distance as an instrumental element of holiday mobility towards the intrinsic roles of distance. It conceptualises how tourists integrate distance into their choice of holiday, so generating consumption of distance.
Consumption of distance is theoretically developed through theories of consumption, mobility and tourism motivation, based on an understanding of distance as both a physical and relative phenomenon. This conceptualisation of consumption of distance is then applied to an inquiry of whether and how 30 Danish tourists consume distance when they travel on holiday. The conclusion of the research is that some tourists do, sometimes, consume distance when they travel on holiday, and that this happens when distance is integrated into their holiday mobility as symbolically, as experience or as motivation.
This research establishes how tourists understand distance as phenomenon, which
differs from the way distance is often conceptualised in academic studies of how
distance influences travel behaviour. It identifies distance as a significant attraction in its own right for tourists and as a motivator for their holidays. Further, the research offers a definition of consumption of distance, which outlines how tourists relate to distance, and how they integrate distance as an intrinsic element into their holidays. These contributions show that distance is more than an instrumental element of holidays and that distance is a factor which is desired and embraced by tourists for its intrinsic value.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherInstitute of Transport and Tourism, University of Central Lancashire
Number of pages227
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes

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