Transformative travel and external activism: framing external activism outcomes within the travelers’ discourse of perceived transformation

Joelle Soulard, Nancy McGehee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Transformative travel is based on the sustainable approach of encouraging travelers to immerse themselves at the destination, be challenged, engage in introspection, identify their prejudices, and develop worldviews that are more inclusive of others’ beliefs, knowledge, and customs. A significant gap present in the transformative travel literature is the lack of understanding of the travelers’ external activism outcomes, which are outcomes related to a perceived change in the travelers’ personal role in supporting societal change (e.g. becoming an activist). This area is crucial to examine because the ultimate goal of self-reflection in travelers is to sustain external activism. Therefore, the objective of this study is to investigate whether travelers express the presence of external activism outcomes in their discourse of perceived transformation. Travelers, who describe themselves as being transformed, share their discourse of external activism outcomes via short-answer testimonies, which are analyzed using content analysis. Their discourse reveals that travelers frame external activism as outcomes of their perceived transformation. Practitioners can use findings to advocate and market transformative travel as a sustainable way to foster inclusivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • external activism
  • social action
  • social mobilization
  • transformation
  • transformative experiences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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