Touristhood – Various Stages of Being a Tourist

Marwa Grimes

The process by which a person decides to leave his ordinary, familiar life and decides to tour and thereafter his reintegration into his daily life-the process of Touristhood-can be divided in a few stages

The Pre-Trip Stage of Tourism Travel


The tourist wishes a break from the ordinary life. He wishes to escape or seek something. He readies himself mentally and physically for tourism .The tourist prepares for Touristhood.

The On-Trip Stage of Tourism Travel


It means a journey from ordinary bounds of his daily life into unbound realm of the non-ordinary .It combines
a. Spatial travel
b. Cross beyond home’s socio-cultural threshold

The cross beyond home’s threshold is aided by several touristic items, mainly symbolic- suitcase, camera, travelers’ cheque. The tourist wears a mask as his real identity is disguised. This mask and the symbolic signifies induce an emancipatory magic. The new lifestyle is understood by the tourist and recognized and understood by others.


This stage arrives when the tourist is ‘away from it all’. The tourist enters an illusive state of detachment, disengagement and spontaneity. The tourist peels away the home-bound cultural layers and enters a new time-space. The tourist may break the cultural layers. Breaking rules becomes one of the rules of Touristhood. The tourist assumes or knows in this non-ordinary playground animated behaviour is acceptable. The society which hosts the tourist also understands this behaviour. Many closed doors of the ordinary open in the land of the non-ordinary; a long list of tourist S’s (snow, sand, sea, surf, sex etc.) is expanded to include sin.


In this the tourist experiences a resurrection of former self as he travels back to his ordinary world. This implies reaffirmation and yielding to the ordinary world.

The Post -Trip Stage of Tourism Travel


Tourist becomes a part of mainstream and Touristhood is over.

Touristhood and Holiday Making Behavior

The tourist in the process of touristhood exhibits a special ‘holiday making behaviour’. Some characteristics of holiday making behavior are

· Mindlessness: This is part of optimization of experience- we retain that memory which is sufficient to meet a need. Why is there a need, for example to recall every detail while we are driving on a holiday trip?

· Adaptation: As tourists are holiday-makers and not only holiday takers they adapt to failed expectations. They pursue things that give them satisfaction and avoid things that do not.

· Likes and dislikes: Most satisfactory activities during holidays relates to Maslow’s higher hierarchy of needs, while the dislikes stems from perceived threats to basic needs.

· Multi-motivation: The same holiday may be used to satisfy various needs.

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