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Journal of Tourism Futures ; 8(3):282-297, 2022.
Article in English | CAB Abstracts | ID: covidwho-2078122


Purpose: This paper aims to examine critically the literature on transformational tourism and explore a research agenda for a post-COVID future. Design/methodology/approach: A systematic review of the transformational tourism literature is performed over a 42-year period from 1978 to 2020. Findings: Further research is required in terms of how transformative experiences should be calibrated and measured both in qualitative and quantitative terms, particularly from the perspective of how tourists are transformed by their experiences. Similarly, the nature and depth of these transformative processes remain poorly understood, particularly given the many different types of tourism associated with transformative experiences, which range from religious pilgrimages to backpacking and include several forms of ecotourism. Practical implications: Future research directions for transformational tourism are discussed with regard to how COVID-19 will transform the dynamics of tourism and travel, including the role of new smart technologies in the creation of enhanced transformational experiences, and the changing expectations and perceptions of transformative travel in the post-COVID era. In addition, the researchers call for future studies on transformational tourism to explore the role of host communities in the delivery of meaningful visitor experiences. Originality/value: Transformational tourism is an emerging body of research, which has attracted a growing level of interest among tourism scholars in recent years. However, to this date, a systematic review of published literature in this field has not been conducted yet in a holistic sense. This paper offers a framework for future research in this field.