An Investigation of Transformative Tourism Outcomes and Strategies

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Virginia Tech

Transformative tourism is investigated as a potential solution to the challenges currently facing the tourism industry. Tourism is facing a defining time as societies are attempting to manage the effect of fast path globalization and are confronted with the pressing issues of climate change that push us to implement fast and drastic changes in the way that we consume services and interact with others. Transformative tourism proposes to design travel experiences in which travelers are encouraged to self-reflect, become more tolerant of cultural differences, and are eager to become agents of change in their community by fostering social empowerment and taking concrete actions to promote a sustainable way of life. The dissertation takes on a three-manuscript approach, each investigating a facet of transformative tourism in terms of outcomes and strategies. The first article is based on in-depth interviews with tourism practitioners and investigate their use of glocalization strategies as a way to create partnerships with local community members and foster loyalty from travelers. The second article examines the development of a scale to measure the transformative process in travelers. The third article uses a multi-method approach to study the symbols and narratives present in the transformative travelers' experience with the objective of using those to develop marketing content.

Transformative tourism, transformative experiences travel, transformative outcomes, transformative strategies