Understanding performativity and embodied tourism experiences in animal-based tourism in the Arctic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Tourism experiences are lived and performed through the body. Embodiedness and performativity are central concepts in understanding how we experience different tourism environments. In this chapter, we reflect on these concepts through empirical data on animal-based tourism experiences in Finnish Lapland, namely dog-sledding experiences.

The concept of the body in tourism was introduced by Veijola and Jokinen in 1994 and it has since then gained solid attention in tourism studies. The theoretizations of the body draw attention to it’s cultural, material and sensuous qualities that are always in the state of becoming. Tourism experiences are created through the bodies of different actors moving in, to and between different tourism spaces. As Vannini (2015) states, performativity puts focus in action: what is done and what is not. The moving bodies perceive spaces in particular ways that are also connected to the materialities and temporalities of those particular spaces but also the spaces experienced before.

We demonstrate the performativity and embodiedness of tourism experiences through observational and (auto)ethnographic data on dog-sledding experiences. Dog-sledding is one of the most popular tourism activities in Finnish Lapland. It engages the tourists into an experience where different bodily and performative skills are needed in relation to interacting with the dogs and other tourists, coping with winter conditions and driving the sled. Through these embodied performances memorable tourism experiences are co-created.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Tourism Experience Management and Marketing
EditorsSaurabh Kumar Dixit
Place of PublicationAbingdon
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter20
Pages229-237
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-429-20391-6
ISBN (Print)978-0-367-19678-3
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2020
MoEC publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Publication series

SeriesRoutledge International Handbooks