Always the sun: The Uniqueness of sun exposure in tourism

Maayan Franco, Amir Shani, Yaniv Poria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Sun exposure, although beneficial and enjoyable, has negative consequences, most prominently an increased risk of developing skin cancer. While sunbathing and other forms of sun exposure play a major role in tourism, they have been scarcely researched, and the objective of this study is to bridge this gap in the literature. The study examines the differences between the tourism and routine sun-exposure patterns, attempting to reveal when and why individuals perceive sun exposure as dangerous. For this exploratory study, in-depth, semi-structured interviews (N = 31) were conducted. The findings revealed three distinct behavioral patterns under different circumstances: (1) During everyday activities, participants did not use protection, as they did not perceive this exposure as dangerous; (2) At the beach or pool during non-tourist leisure pastime, exposure to the sun is perceived as dangerous and protection is routinely used; and (3) In the course of vacations abroad, participants tend to expose themselves to the sun intensively, including for tanning purposes, without proper adherence to the use sun protection measures. These findings are consistent with the view of tourist spaces serve as "liminal zones" that allow individuals to take risks. The study suggests that relevant stakeholders such as public-health authorities, tourism marketers, and holiday destinations should act to promote responsible sun exposure in the tourist context, to prevent skin cancer and other sun-related diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-30
Number of pages12
JournalTourism Review International
Issue number1
StatePublished - 18 Feb 2021


  • Beach
  • Risk, Skin cancer
  • Sun exposure
  • Sun tanning
  • Vacations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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