Backpacker Institutionalization : Towards an Experience-Based Typology
Sammanfattning: Backpacking is becoming an increasingly commonplace rite of passage for today’s independent travellers. So much so that it is not only a small niche segment anymore but is turning into a sizeable market for some destinations. Backpackers seem to lead the way into unexploited regions,subsequently opening the door for other forms of tourism. In effect, the normalization ofbackpacking brings with it questions of sustainability. This thesis sets out to explore the transition of tourism segments in destinations, particularly that of backpackers into the mainstream. It does so through a participant-observer data collection in the Philippines. The material is then analysed by grounded theory and presented in an ethnography format through a thematic review. A typological framework is the product, which brings an experience perspective to existing classification systems. Findings suggest that there are indeed nuances within the seemingly homogenous backpacker segment and that a continuous change of visitor profiles within destinations seems likely. Institutionalized backpacking turns out to be the missing link that accounts for the change from purism to mass tourism. Future explorative research is then advised, to find relationships between visitor types and to construe concrete suggestions for likely causes to the observed categorical transitions.
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