Toronto Metropolitan University
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Griffin, T. (2017). Immigrant hosts and intra-regional travel. Tourism Geographies, 19(1), 44-62. .pdf (246.49 kB)

Immigrant hosts and intra-regional travel

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posted on 2024-02-27, 21:36 authored by Tom GriffinTom Griffin

A large number of tourism related experiences involve a personal relationship between a visitor and resident host. As immigration continues to be an increasingly integral experience for many people and communities, and advances in technology make relationship maintenance more accessible, the traditional distinctions of travel types based on ‘pleasure’, ‘visiting friends and relatives’ (VFR), and even ‘business’ become blurred and detrimental to conceptual understandings for large numbers of tourism experiences and their impacts. The purpose is to explore the experiences of immigrants with intra-regional travel when they host visiting friends and relatives. Constructionism was used as a guiding epistemology in this narrative analysis. The research co-constructed narratives with nine participants in Toronto, Canada about their hosting and intra-regional travel. The hosting experience is powerful, linking old and new worlds, and challenging traditional discursive tourism binaries such as home and away. The experience of intra-regional communities through side-trips with VFR guests added additional context where the host was in a non-routine place on vacation, with a guest who brings expectations of participating in leisure, but in a place that has cultural links to the participant’s ongoing integration and connection to the broader sense of Canadian culture. Hosting both inspired intra-regional travel, and enhanced the memorable co-construction of meaning associated with the experience as links and distinctions to the culture of origin were more easily made due to the co-presence of their guest. Implications for integration, place making and marketing are discussed.

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