The Whole Point Of Backpacking. Anthropological perspectives on the characteristics of backpacking, Jana Binder. «On of the main themes that this article will address is the gap between quantitative and qualitative approaches to the phenomenon of backpacking. It will be argued how anthropological methods can fill in the unknown space BETWEEN and BEHIND the quantitative facts. Therefore I will stress the method of participant observation: Only through long-term interaction can we distinguish and identify selfrepresentations – which are extremely important for the practice of tourism – in interviews or picture analysis from actual travel experiences and practices. Consciously chosen arguments can be more easily identified and differentiated from unconscious actions and emotions in non-standardised (interview) situations. Only through these various layers of data, is the context in which backpacking actually takes place, finally revealed. Even though the aspects of backpacking I have identified myself correlate
with the ones identified by researchers using quantitative methods, an «insider view» into «the field» provides a deeper understanding of the background to the so called «backpacker characteristics» of budget travelling, a flexible itinerary, meeting people, understaning other cultures and adventurous participation».
Understanding the interface between tourist and host cultures, Bill Carter. «Researchers (e.g., Jafari et al., MacCannell, Nash, Pearce, Picard) have suggested that tourists possess a unifying culture that can even transcend ethnicity. Variation in tourist culture may be expressed psycho-graphically, with resultant modifications in the expectations of experiences and behaviour. This paper explores the meaning and implications of a ‘tourist culture’ within a theoretical framework that stipulates that tourist culture, like any other, will be expressed in terms of unifying constructs (expectations), behaviour (activity) and predictable norms (satisfaction) in response to interaction (experiences). More specifically:
· tourist activity and needs reflect tourist culture,
· a change in activity affects satisfaction (ultimately resulting in a shift in the type of tourist attracted to a destination),
· tourist activities and needs are inter-related; thus, an alteration in one will affect its counterpart, to the point of making a destination dissatisfying or attractive to other tourists,
· for each type of tourist there is a degree of flexibility in activity and needs that has varying degrees of importance,
· importance may be gauged by the amount of time and money spent on the activity or need; consequently, it is possible to identify the most significant components of visitor satisfaction,
· by altering the nature of the experience, tourists begin to express their culture differently , a situation with decided implications for satisfaction».
Defining the virtual tourist community: implications for tourism marketing, Youcheng Wang, Quaehee Yu, Daniel R. Fesenmaier. «The notion ofcommunity has been a central element ofthe Internet since its inception. Though research on virtual communities have been extensive the concept appears to be ill defined and the understanding ofmembers’ needs remains fragmented. The purpose of this article is to identify a theoretical foundation of the concept of a virtual tourist community based upon the core characteristics ofvirtual communities and the fundamental needs of community members. Perspectives ofhow one can define and interpret virtual communities within the tourism industry are discussed and issues related to the functions of virtual communities are explored from the member’s viewpoint. Implications are made regarding virtual communities in the travel industry from marketing and design perspectives».