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Guided tourism: the role of guidebooks in German tourist behaviour in Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Social and Economic Geography.
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Tourism is a spatial phenomenon. Tourist behaviour on-site is not only dependent on the destination itself, but also on the situation in other places, tourists’ spatial mobility and access to information. On the basis of this argument, the whole tourism system is taken into account in this thesis. The aim is to analyse the interplay between mobility, tourist behaviour and guidebooks. The focus lies on German tourists in Sweden. Due to the importance of guidebooks to this visitor group, the thesis concentrates particularly on guidebooks as source of information.

In the first article, power relations that steer the selection of Swedish tourist sites in German guidebooks are analysed. The results show that the selection of tourist sites is dependent on personal, editorial, geographical, economic and tourism-sociological factors. The production of information is dependent on a complex web of power relations, the core of which is constituted by authors, publishers and readers.

In the second article, the content in German guidebooks on Sweden is analysed. Besides Stockholm and Northern Lapland, the regions presented most frequently are usually located in the south of the country. It is found that guidebooks influence German tourists’ choices of tourist sites in Sweden, and that this influence increases with the distance from Germany. The study also shows that guidebooks contribute to constructing tourism space and providing places with meaning.

In the third article, it is shown that information and time availability influence tourist mobility. The existence of an individual travel rhythm is confirmed, which is defined as a travel pattern that is independent of the tourist sites that are visited. It includes, among other things, long travel distances the first and last days of the holiday, a short first stay-over, the longest stay in the region with the greatest distance from home, and a relation between the length of stay at one place and the distance covered when departing.

In the last article, tourist behaviour is analysed. The results dispel the predominant impression in current tourism discourse that states that tourists are continually active during their holidays. It is found that the major difference between home and tourist behaviour is not constituted by the activities themselves, but by a difference in place, followed by a slower pace in which activities are performed and a limited time period. Spatial mobility, the characteristics of place and access to information all influence tourist behaviour on-site.

In conclusion, it is found that tourist information, mobility and behaviour on the spot are closely connected. Tourists consume the tourism space created in guidebooks, and recreate this space when travelling, as they choose individually how to respond to the information provided. Actors, places and tourist structures all exist in relation to each other. For the resulting behaviour in place, this means that it is not only the supply at the destination that is important, but also the situation in tourists’ home regions and along their travel routes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Kulturgeografi , 2007. , 146 p.
Series
GERUM, ISSN 1402-5205 ; 2007:3ETOUR Vetenskapliga bokserien, 2007:18
Keyword [en]
Car-tourists, Guidebooks, Mobility, Place, Power, Round tour, Space, Time geography, Tourist information, Tourism system
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1436ISBN: 978-91-85317-71-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-1436DiVA: diva2:141061
Public defence
2007-12-07, S205h, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-11-16 Created: 2007-11-16Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Who Has the Power over Tourist Information?: About the Selection of Tourist Sites in Guidebooks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Who Has the Power over Tourist Information?: About the Selection of Tourist Sites in Guidebooks
In: Tourist StudiesArticle in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-2787 (URN)
Available from: 2007-11-16 Created: 2007-11-16Bibliographically approved
2. The Importance of Guidebooks for the Choice of Tourist Sites: a Study of German Tourists in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Importance of Guidebooks for the Choice of Tourist Sites: a Study of German Tourists in Sweden
2006 In: Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, Vol. 6, no 3, 239-247 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-2788 (URN)
Available from: 2007-11-16 Created: 2007-11-16Bibliographically approved
3. Tourist routes: A time-geographical approach on german car-tourists in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tourist routes: A time-geographical approach on german car-tourists in Sweden
2007 (English)In: Tourism Geographies, ISSN 1461-6688, E-ISSN 1470-1340, Vol. 9, no 1, 64-83 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Tourism is often studied as if it was static. Yet, mobility constitutes an important part of the tourism system. The paper argues that tourists are travelling according to an individual travel rhythm, which can be defined as a travel pattern that tourists relate to, independent from the tourist sites that are visited. It was found out that there are long travel distances on the first and last day of the holiday, that mobility and stationariness are concentrated in time and that tourists along a round tour often spend the longest time in the region with the longest distance to the home region. The paper concludes that a travel rhythm exists, and that it is only partly influenced by the time the tourist spends at the destination, and the previous number of visits. Time geography was applied as underlying theory, and its use can be encouraged in forthcoming tourism studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Taylor & Francis, 2007
Keyword
Itinerary, mobility, Sweden, travel diary, travel rhythm
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-2789 (URN)10.1080/14616680601092915 (DOI)
Available from: 2007-11-16 Created: 2007-11-16 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
4. Germans’ Tourist Behaviour in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Germans’ Tourist Behaviour in Sweden
In: TourismArticle in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-2790 (URN)
Available from: 2007-11-16 Created: 2007-11-16Bibliographically approved

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