Re-thinking agency in alternative tourism : hosts' motivations to participate in collaborative economy
1University of Oulu, Faculty of Science, Geography
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 4 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-201711033029
|Publish Date:|| 2017-11-03
|Thesis type:||Master's thesis
Drawing on the intersection of tourism geography and economic geography, this thesis contributes to the lack of diverse economic studies in tourism research, and deconstructs the hegemonic concept of singular economy and its agencies in tourism industry. Collaborative economy and co-creation of tourism experience enable alternative agencies in tourism industry by empowering the visitors and locals. Thus, understanding co-creation and including various stakeholders contributes to more sustainable tourism development. This thesis focuses on locals’ point of view and their motivations to host, and how they as new agencies challenge the conventional views of commercial tourism agencies. Through a case study I examine the motivations and experiences of individuals, who take part in resident-visitor co-creation as hosts, accommodating travellers in their homes via non-monetized social networking platform called Couchsurfing.
Applying sequential mixed methods research design, I conducted semi-structured interviews and an online survey. I limited my focus on Finnish hosts only. The main analysis methods were content analysis, factor analysis, and comparing percentages and cross tabulations. Data and the interpretations suggest that hosts are motivated by trust, strong ideological assumptions and experienced intangible compensations such as social, cultural and self-developmental aspects. Also, tangible benefits and possible reciprocation of hospitality motivate to accommodate. Hosts’ actions in diverse economies are also affective, creating intangible compensations and can’t be reduced to one’s own competitiveness. The intangible features and affective labour challenge the categories of capitalist economies, and through sociability enable alternative human agencies in tourism. By including locals as new intermediaries, diverse economic practices do not only change the way how tourism is done, but also where it is done.
Shifting thinking from tourism without development into tourism without mobility, future research could take into account other alternative agencies and practices in collaborative economy, not only those within hospitality. Since co-creation and collaborative economy enable alternative tourism experiences, it also raises questions of how co-creation and collaborative actions alter the urban fabric, and frame and reframe existing tourist destinations.
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