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Experiencing local Turkish hospitality in Istanbul, Turkey

Gurel Cetin (Department of Tourism Management, Istanbul Universitesi, Fatih, Turkey)
Fevzi Okumus (Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA)

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research

ISSN: 1750-6182

Article publication date: 13 June 2018

Issue publication date: 30 July 2018




The purpose of this paper is to investigate tourists’ experiences of local hospitality and offer a typology of Turkish hospitality based on perspectives of international tourists.


Semi-structured interviews were conducted with tourists visiting Istanbul, Turkey. Interview transcripts were content-analyzed and -coded under different themes that characterize local hospitality.


The research findings revealed 64 items describing local Turkish hospitality. These were grouped under four distinct themes: sociability, care, helpfulness and generosity.

Research limitations/implications

Using the factors of local Turkish hospitality identified in this paper, future studies might measure the impacts of these antecedents of local hospitality on tourist satisfaction and positive behaviors such as loyalty and word of mouth in a quantitative study. Exploring local hospitality in different destinations with different characteristics might also reveal valuable insight into variance and intensity of local hospitality.

Practical implications

The research findings have implications for both commercial hospitality and destination management. By leveraging the local hospitality elements in their operations and human resources management practices, the commercial hospitality firms might create strong emotional bonds with their guests and create loyalty through these relationships. Destination planning and management might also adopt the findings to facilitate interactions between the hosts and tourists for more positive experiences for both sides to emerge.

Social implications

Destinations exposed to heavy visitation may not have the same level of hospitableness toward visitors. Hence, impact of tourism activity on local quality of life should be monitored and managed.


Despite hospitality having been researched in numerous previous studies, local hospitality has not yet been fully explored in tourism. This study presents and discusses empirical findings and offers a typology of local Turkish hospitality.



Cetin, G. and Okumus, F. (2019), "Experiencing local Turkish hospitality in Istanbul, Turkey", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 223-237.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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