Carr, N (2002) 'The Tourism - Leisure Behavioural Continuum', in Annals of Tourism Research, 29, 4: 972 - 986.
There has been a lot of academic discussion about the connections between tourism and leisure, but the point here is to ask whether people's behaviour is the same in tourism and leisure. Tourism here is defined as taking in vacations, destinations away from place of origin, 'holiday environments', somewhere geographically separate. Leisure takes place in 'home environments'. This is an investigation of the convergences in 'pleasure-oriented behaviour' [holidays taken by young people].
Are behaviours different on holiday? There is some evidence to suggest that young people drink more alcohol, indulge in more sex, and take greater sexual risks, that they are hedonistic and liberated. They can develop a 'tourist culture... an animated non-ordinary lifestyle, with observable behaviours and pursuits' (Bystanowski, quoted by Carr, 975). Tourists become a separate 'behavioural caste'. However, there are lots of similar behaviours home and away as well, especially for female tourists. Leisure and tourist behaviour is interrelated and each refers to the other. Both rely on 'deep rooted habits and needs', and 'social skills used to establish compromises, disbelief and readjustments to the perceived as distinct from the desired realities' (Ryan, quoted by Carr, 975). These derive from a 'residual culture' [cf cultures and subcultures]. The residual and tourist cultures blend, in a continuum, separate only at the extremes.
Leisure and tourism are not strictly separated, but are best seen as 'fuzzy sets' (976). The precise focus of the residual/tourist culture is stimulated by 'vacation cues' (976) [cf gazes]. 'Mental maps and images of personal safety' are common. There are relations of similarity and difference in home and away environments, and these act as cues to evoke different aspects of culture. However personal perceptions are also important, and these are affected by gender, race, ethnicity and age (and some studies are cited, 977). So there are more specific subcultures inside tourist and residual cultures, such as youth cultures. The media is important in shaping these as well as adults, leading to 'cultural inversion... and countercultures' (978). These can be 'specific to the individual'.
The presence of friends and peers can lead to pressures to conform to countercultures, and the presence of adults to conventional ones. There are the effects of personal motives, such as the willingness to experiment, to overcome the pressures of norms (978). These are 'Closely interrelated' with cultures.
There is some evidence of change, such as the emergence of laddishness among girls. There are the effects of the home environment and changes in it, such as the increasing use of drink and sex at home. And changing leisure can effect home lives [cf Rojek on leisure as a site of social experiment, utopian thinking and so on]. So home and away environments may show differences, but they also always related [I think this might apply to the bourgeoisie too, so that academics at home become authentic travellers abroad -- a kind of latter-day extension pattern. 'Authentic esperience' advocates can be critics at home and uncritical enthusiasts for authentic culture away?].
They may be several kinds of continuity and reversal, for example some people may be more restrained on holiday. There is a communality despite the condensed nature of the tourist experience -- with its 'temporal, spatial and richness of experience' (981). Gender is likely to be a constant [cf Deem on the caravanning holiday -- outdoor adventure for the man, same old unpaid domestic labour for the woman].
Finally this kind of integration between leisure and tourism has implications for planners as well as for academics. The findings may extend beyond the pleasure-seeking groups studied here, and further research is needed, for example on contradictions among the factors.
back to list of notes