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Title: Tourists' voices : a sociological analysis of tourists' experiences in Chalkidiki, northern Greece
Author: Wickens, Eugenia
ISNI:       0000 0001 3567 7589
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 1999
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Much of the writing on tourism treats the tourist as an object of analysis rather than as a subject with feelings, experiences, memories and stories to tell. The tourist is often conceptualised as a unitary type, who, like an inmate in a closed institution, is confined to a tourist bubble. Operating with a one-dimensional view of the tourist and an oversimplification of the touristic experience are major failings of existing social studies. Ethnographic evidence from Chalkidiki suggests that the tourist is a polymorphous consumer, and that different types of tourists experience the same host community in different ways. Analysis of qualitative data obtained from eighty-six participants have been clustered into five types - the Cultural Heritage, the Raver, the Shirley Valentine, the Heliolatrous and the Lord Byron. Each of these clusters are characterised by the dominant themes identified by participants for their choice of holiday, the types of holiday activities they indulged in., and the views they expressed about the host community. This study challenges the interpretation found in the literature that the isolated tourist cannot achieve an 'authentic' experience of the visited host community. It provides evidence to show that repeat visitors to Chalkidiki can achieve an 'authentic' experience interacting with local people. In recognising the value of the concept of authenticity in articulating this modern experience, the study also offers an interpretation of authenticity which makes a distinction between 'other-directed' and 'freedom-directed' authenticity for understanding this phenomenon. This conceptualisation of authenticity informs the discussion of participants' experiences in Chalkidiki. One of the key findings is that tourists enact and consume different stories of Chalkidiki and that their experiences must be seen in the context of these stories.
Supervisor: Webster, Frank ; Ribben, Jane ; Harrison, Aileen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral