Publication Details

Pearce, P. & Gretzel, U. (2012). Tourism in technology dead zones: documenting experiential dimensions. International Journal of Tourism Sciences, 12 (2), 1-20.


In the last decade, the way tourists use communication technology has become a strong focus of tourism research. Nevertheless there are some locations where there is limited or no internet technology access. These locations can be labeled dead zones. The aims of the present research focus on how tourists think about and react to situations where their normal connectivity with their larger social and information world is disrupted. This study uses the results from five focus groups as well as considerable supporting literature to map the kinds of experiential outcomes tourists report when they are in dead zones. The work reviews tourists' positive and negative experiential outcomes arising from operating outside of their usual technology support systems. In particular the study found that there are major tensions arising from dead zone tourism; specifically stress related to social communication, work communication, safety versus escape, and refreshing or learning the skills of being fully engaged with the present company and setting.

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