Encyclopedia of Tourism

2016 Edition
| Editors: Jafar Jafari, Honggen Xiao

Backpacker

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-01384-8_15

Backpacking is a form of modern tourism characterized by a particular combination of travel practices and discourses. These include relatively lengthy travel duration, typically longer than annual holidays; use of inexpensive  accommodation and  transportation, with preference for youth hostels, YMCAs, and other local facilities, plus a corresponding preference for local ground transportation (instead of high-end commercial and airborne transportation); intense social interactions and networking through dominant romanticist discourse entailing  authenticity,  novelty, and spontaneity, often manifested in contrasting the categories of “backpackers” and “mass tourists”; and discourse of initiation and rite of passage, usually from adolescence to early adulthood. Backpackers have typically been characterized as young adults (around their 20s), originating from Western countries, favoring destinations in the developing countries.

Modern emergence

Adler’s (1985) sociological analysis...

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References

  1. Adler, J. 1985 Youth on the Road: Reflections on the History of Tramping. Annals of Tourism Research 12: 335-254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cohen, E. 1972 Toward a Sociology of International Tourism. Social Research 39:164-189.Google Scholar
  3. Hampton, M. 2013 Backpacker Tourism and Economic Development. Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Noy, C. 2004 “The Trip Really Changed Me”: Backpackers’ Narratives of Self-Change. Annals of Tourism Research 31:78-102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Noy, C. 2006 Israeli Backpacking since the 1960s: A Historic-Cultural View of Institutionalization and Experience in Tourism. Tourism Recreation Research 31:39-54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Noy, C. 2007 Narrative Community. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Paris, C. 2012 Flashpackers: An Emerging Sub-Culture? Annals of Tourism Research 39:1094-1115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CommunicationUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA