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Willem J.L. Coetzee, Xiang Neo Liu and Crystal V. Filep
Previous research has explored a relatively narrow representation of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and queer (LGBTQ) community. Yet modern event attendees are…
Previous research has explored a relatively narrow representation of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and queer (LGBTQ) community. Yet modern event attendees are part of a diverse niche group within the broader LGBTQ community. This group comprises a wide range of event attendees in search of more than sex, clubs and feather boas. This paper aims to report on empirical research conducted in Queenstown, New Zealand, during the 2016 Gay Ski Week (GSW) and explores the transformative, inclusive potential of event places, social atmospheres and experiences.
Ethnographic and autoethnographic research methods were used in this study for the exploration of transformative tourism experiences. Qualitative data were collected via in-depth interviews, observations and one of the author’s immersive experiences of the event. This author was able to bridge the divide between research and participant, contributing to a contextualised understanding of various participants’ subjective realities.
The paper reports on and discusses empirical findings, which are organised under the meta-themes of place and social atmosphere, attendee experiences, acceptance and inclusivity.
From these themes emerge a broader understanding of how LGBTQ tourism events can contribute to transformative, inclusive experiences.
This paper explores the need for event managers to revisit and adapt to the demographic, motivational and behavioural characteristics of the modern gay event attendee. In particular, this paper discovers the motivations of Asian gay attendees as a marginalised community within a traditional LGBTQ event in a traditional heterosexual destination.
Jaeyeon Choe and Cristopher Livecchi
Margarita Lyulicheva, Sheau Fen Yap and Ken Hyde
Wellness tourism offers opportunities for consumers to explore the self. This paper aims to explore how identity transitions occur in a liminal tourism space – a holistic…
Wellness tourism offers opportunities for consumers to explore the self. This paper aims to explore how identity transitions occur in a liminal tourism space – a holistic wellness retreat.
The authors adopt a qualitative methodology, including in-depth semi-structured interviews supplemented by various projective techniques. Following an interpretivist approach, eight consumers were interviewed at the commencement and the completion of a holistic wellness retreat stay. Participant observation was also undertaken during the retreat programme.
The paper shows an identity transition is facilitated by the liminal space of the holistic wellness retreat and further shaped by self-work during the retreat. As participants gain new knowledge on the self and start living “consciously”, they gain a sense of vision, clarity and direction to a new self, wherein identity transition is a starting point and a process of change rather than an end goal.
While much past research views tourism activities as mainly “play”, the findings reveal the holistic wellness retreat experiences as both identity play and identity work. This paper provides theoretical insights into the process from identity play to identity work and what makes this process effective for identity transition.