Beyond the “Tourist Environmental Bubble”: Encounters with Locals and Destination Experiences of Business Travelers

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13 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current study explores the destination experiences of business travelers by focusing on their social contacts with local colleagues. By crossing out of the local “tourist environmental bubble” (TEB), as conceptualized by Erik Cohen, business travelers are expected to experience difficulties associated with the strangeness of the visited destination but to gain an authentic experience in return. Based on in-depth interviews (n = 28) and a quantitative survey (n = 231) of Israeli business travelers, this mixed-methods study confirms that the supposedly inconvenient extra-TEB experience (particularly confronting strangeness) turns out to be rewarding, and the assumed benefits of crossing out of the bubble (mainly experiencing authenticity) are limited. By focusing on business travelers, the current study provides insight into guest–host interactions and the subjective experiences of travelers who cross out the TEB, mainly with respect to the complex and multidimensional sense of authenticity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1493-1505
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Volume59
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • authenticity
  • business travel
  • experiences
  • social contact
  • tourist-bubble

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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