Quest for a story

Shelagh Ferguson (Lecturer in the Department of Marketing, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research

ISSN: 1750-6182

Publication date: 11 October 2011



People arguably create “storied lives”; including constructing accounts of their leisure that become part of their personal and social identities. These stories are valuable and relevant, not just to themselves, but also to others with whom they choose to share their stories. This paper and accompanying film aim to further understanding of how consumers visiting the second highest bungy jump in the world construct and convey stories of this experience.


The research approach is exploratory. The researcher observed, interviewed, and filmed informants at the primary site of investigation. The interview transcripts were transcribed in full. Emergent themes were validated through constant cross‐checking. The themes provided the foundation for the accompanying video.


Several themes regarding narratives and high‐risk leisure emerged including the construction of factual accounts and rehearsed accounts, the use of markers to symbolize and make more tangible the consumption experience, and the role of technology in the communication of the stories.

Research limitations/implications

This exploratory research offers insight into the components of narratives for Generation Y tourists consuming in New Zealand. These findings do not claim to generalize to other samples or activities.


The paper extends the knowledge of how stories figure in consumers' lives; particularly in the context of the consumption of high‐risk leisure.



Ferguson, S. (2011), "Quest for a story", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 354-363.

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