DISSERTATION REPORT- BACKPACKERS: THE NEXT GENERATION?
Since the mid-1990s, the tourism industry has become aware of the economic
‘phenomenon’ of backpacker tourism and the extent to which it contributes
financially to both developed and developing countries. To date, most backpacker research has focussed on reviewing the experiences and choices in travel of the 18-29 year olds who constitute the bulk of the market. Future research should move away from assuming that backpacking is a homogenous phenomenon and should instead review its diverse manifestations, in terms of differences in age, gender, origins, and particular subcultures.
Who is a tourist? Who is a backpacker? These two apparently simple questions have been discussed and debated for years by academics.
The tourist is a voluntary, temporary traveller, travelling in the expectation of pleasure from the novelty and change experienced on a relatively long and non-recurrent roundtrip. Tourists were sub-classified into four travel roles:organized mass tourists, individual mass tourists, explorers, and drifters.
The definition of backpackers included a preference for budget accommodation and emphases on meeting other travellers, flexible itineraries, longer rather than shorter holidays and informal and participatory holidays. Most studies of backpackers have indicated that more than 80% of backpackers are less than 30 years of age.
PRIMARY RESEARCH QUESTION
* What are the specific needs and requirements of a backpacker in backpacker accommodations?
* Environmental setting
* Social interaction
* Facility and services
* Quality of space
* Communal living
* Sustainable tourism
SECONDARY RESEARCH QUESTIONS
* How do backpacker accommodations promote ‘Sustainable Tourism’?
* How does the concept of ‘Communal living’ work with backpacker accommodations?
* Why aren’t many older travelers using these backpacker accommodations?
* What are their motivations for choosing these accommodations?
* What kind of facilities and services need to be provided to enhance the social interaction within the backpacker accommodations?
* What are the key features of a ‘Public Living Room’?
* How do you maintain such budget accommodations?
* What are their perceptions of self? (Understanding the user)
The main objective of this research is to help me with my thesis, the topic being ‘backpacker accommodations and its communal spaces’. The backpacker hostel is a place specifically for consumption and performance – routed in the discourse of spatial mobility, experience seeking, performance and identity. The objective of this research is to extend knowledge about the backpacker’s needs, usage and preferences. The research objective is to get a better understanding of the key terms such as Sustainable tourism, Communal living and Public living room. Through this research we find the backpacker industry being particularly interested in finding out more about the motivations and behavior of young travelers, and policy makers seem most concerned with the economic contribution that backpacking can make to destinations. Is backpacking an important ideology of a travel subculture or is it an expanding market niche to be tapped by tourist destinations? The final area of discussion considers the question of the impact of backpacking, not only in terms of the impact that backpackers have on the areas they visit, but also the impact of travel on the backpackers themselves.
The main objective is to understand the mindset of a backpacker completely so it makes it easier in designing a comfortable communal living space no matter what age group they fall under. This research will also help me find clarity in creating and refining the definitions that fall under this category. This research is going to be done to understand the travel motivations of a backpacker. ‘Gathering Places’, places in which travelers can physically and psychologically recuperate from wandering by being amongst people with similar values and interests.
* International conference 2010 – Global Sustainable Tourism
* New Horizons in Independent Youth and Student Travel – Greg Richards & Julie Wilson – September 2003
* Changing Facility Design in Backpacker SMEs in New Zealand - Jenny Cave
* Backpacking Experiences - A Type and Form Analysis- Natan Uriely, Yuval Yonay & Dalit Simchai
* The Global Nomad: Backpacker Travel in Theory and Practice - Greg Richards and Julie Wilson
* Backpacker Tourism: Concepts & Profiles – Kevin Hannam and Irena Ateljevik
* Beyond Backpacker Tourism: Mobilities & Experiences - Kevin Hannam and Anya Diekmann
* Working Communally: Patterns and Possibilities – David G. French and Alina French
* THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
* Researcher question – Primary and secondary
* Literature Review
* Backpacker Literature
* Influences of age, motivations, lifestyle on travel behaviours
* tourism businesses
* Case studies
* Qualitative Interviews
* Exploratory Surveys
* Perceptions and Motivations
* Perceptions of self
* Why choose backpacker accommodation?
* Needs, Usage and Industry Response
The research questions explore how the travellers perceive of themselves; what are their reactions to the term “backpacker” and its related terminology; what are their motivations for choosing these accommodations; and what are their needs and preferences (and why).
* Qualitative Interviews
Qualitative Interviews to be conducted with travelers and backpacker accommodation hosts to record multiple points of view. People of various ages need to be interviewed. The material will then be reviewed and analysed. The credibility, dependability, and confirmability of this study will be enhanced by collecting the data from multiple sites; by ensuring that the data was during both high and seasons
* Exploratory Survey
* Case Studies