Sampling for All : An Inbound Approach to Travel Experience

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Abstract

Articles 7 and 8 of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (GCET) respectively advocate for the universal right to tourism, and the freedom of tourist movements. While the application of these principles has become a reality in some parts of the globe, they nonetheless remain elusive in many others. When using samples made of respondents without ‘travel experience’, researchers are instinctively provided with feedback such as: ‘‘as a tourism study, it is expected of participants to have travel experience’’. Apart form being implicated in the proliferation of issues such as climate change and overtourism, this mobility pre-requisite essentially implies a notion of accessibility which may as well suggest the systematic exclusion of samples drawn from economically or politically disenfranchised communities, thus raising a line of inquiry on what is implied by travel experience in tourism research. Against this background, literature related to variables such as co-creation, virtual reality, and globalization were reviewed, and the results support an Inbound Approach to Travel Experience (IATE). The IATE suggests that tourist experiences are not only co-created, they are also co-owned by tourists and local communities whom they have engaged with during their travel. As such, the present paper proposes a community-based argument for sample adequacy, through which issues related to inclusion and environmental sustainability can also be addressed. Limitations to the extant approach to travel experience are discussed in relation to globalization and tecnological development as a means to further echo the need for conceptual adjustments.

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