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An empirical modeling of transformation process through trip experiences

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Abstract

Transformative experience has been the buzzword in recent years. Tourism and hospitality experiences in natural, historical, cultural, and authentic spaces are some of them. However, to this date, specific dimensions of transformation or its process have not been empirically identified. This study reviewed the literature on transformation, used open-ended questions to collect free-elicited responses on the meanings of transformation, collected expert opinion, and developed a 101-item scale reflecting different dimensions and the steps of the transformation process. The scale was validated with a sequential scale validation procedure; Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Partial Least Squares-Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) were used to test the psychometric properties of the scale and model the constructs of the transformation process. A measurable definition of the transformation process is provided along with the tested model. A comprehensive model with antecedents, outcomes, and moderators of transformation is also suggested to further transformation research.

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... With its social and educational functions becoming increasingly prominent, transformative tourism experiences, the certain type of tourism experiences that inspire a transformative process and a transformative outcome for a tourist, have gradually entered the research horizons of scholars. In addition, transformative tourism experiences are mostly found in volunteer tourism, backpacker tourism [10], cycling tourism [11], dark tourism [12], red tourism [13] and other niche forms of tourism [14], which engage tourists in "conversations involving the assessment of beliefs, emotions, and values" and then trigger the profound self-change and behavioral change in the tourists [15]. As an illustration, heightening the willingness of tourists to help others and society is among the manifestations of the behavioral change [16]. ...
... As an illustration, heightening the willingness of tourists to help others and society is among the manifestations of the behavioral change [16]. Obviously, transformative tourism experiences act on individual prosocial behaviors, and compared to other types of tourism experiences, the transformative effects of transformative tourism experiences are profound and continuous [15], enabling their prosocial aftereffects to remain significant even after the tourists return home. ...
... In the new environment of transformative tourism, individuals experience novelty and harvest by enjoying stunning mountains and rivers, feeling deep contact with nature and society, and meeting new friends they could not have met before, or they experience hardship and pain by visiting black tourist sites and facing unexpected situations. These experiences are new meaningful resources and challenges for college tourists, and these external stimuli will prompt college tourists to more deeply realize the importance of a good life and social harmony based on either positive or negative experiences, so as to establish their outlooks on the world, life, and the values of caring for others and society [15], and they will eventually promote the realization of the longlasting prosocial behaviors of the college tourists after the tour from the bottom of their hearts. Some studies have shown that individuals who experienced transformative tourism have the potential to positively impact their communities upon return [28]; for example, "couch surfers" tend to build a better world in which humans around the world will become brothers or sisters and live in harmony with people and even strangers [29]. ...
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As sustainable behaviors that contribute to the development of human society, prosocial behaviors are an important part of the moral cultivation of college students and have attracted the growing attention of higher education in recent years. It has been indicated by previous studies that transformative tourism experiences can have a profound impact on individual prosocial behaviors. Therefore, how transformative tourism experiences play a role in strengthening college students’ prosocial behaviors has become a topic worthy of note. Based on the self-determination theory, the awe prototype theory, and the transformative tourism research, this study constructed a mechanism model of the transformative tourism experiences affecting college students’ prosocial behaviors. Four hundred and fifty-four valid questionnaires were collected through questionnaire surveys, with the structural equation model and bootstrap analysis method used for the empirical test. The results showed that transformative tourism experiences became one of the important ways to strengthen college students’ prosocial behaviors and that the multiple chain intermediary effects of awe and social connectedness between transformative tourism experiences and the college students’ prosocial behaviors were significant. This study provided a new way to cultivate college students’ prosocial behaviors and promote the sustainable development of human society, and it provided a theoretical basis for the social education function played by research tourism in higher education.
... Combined, both tourism and transformation can alleviate the problems the world is facing right now, by shifting people's perspectives and raising their self-awareness, all towards a better future as "human survival is inextricably linked to human transformation" [5]. The ability of transformation to happen anywhere [6] and anytime due to its pure reliance on the individual [7] and various contextual stimuli [8], rather than a specific type of tourism [9], along with adding up its unquestionable cyclical essence as a process and not as an end outcome [10], augments and attributes a chameleonic nature to transformative tourism. ...
... Later research shows a far more elaborated facet to TT as it implies a practical approach. The last three years of studies constitute around 40% of total publications related to the subject and integrate aspects such as the design of the transformative experiences [39][40][41], models of transformation processes [6], analysis of organisational approaches [29,42], creation of a transformative travel experience scale [43], product development [44], identification of facilitators and inhibitors in TT [22], transformative leadership [45] and proven correlation between transformative tourism and improvement of sustainability [46]. The same pattern is followed by the three review publications related to the subject, starting from the transformative learning theory [47], to nature-based experiences [48], and ending with a complex conceptualisation of transformative tourism experiences [49]. ...
... Even though Mezirow's theory [11] has been a mainstay in the TT scene, Taylor (1997) pointed out the lack of feelings and emotions in his theory [35], therefore academics have slowly started to introduce the role of emotions in transformation [36][37][38] as tourism, transformation and emotions are closely related [63]. Through cognitive (thoughts and beliefs) and affective (emotional reactions) stimulation to a meaningful experience, consumers transform both themselves and the actions they take [6], therefore being precursors to the transformative power of the experience [128]. Emotions have an educating role in shifting perspectives [38], such as the experience of awe expressed in terms of life-changing events [106] or educating consumers towards pro-environmentally behaviours [129]. ...
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Transformative tourism (TT) has been gaining a lot of attention over the past few years due to its power to transform both the individual and the world we live in, in a positive way. Although presently consisting of a plethora of studies, transformative tourism lacks the lens of a bibliometric approach to track its growth in a more objective and quantitative manner. In this article, a total of 250 publications were analysed using several bibliometric performance metrics, science mapping techniques, such as citation analysis, co-occurrence, and co-authorship, as well as enrichment procedures. By combining these methods, the study identifies the most prolific journals, reference studies in the field, key authors, collaboration patterns, geographic distribution, preferred methods, major research topics, as well as an overall research timeline in this area of study. Findings suggest that transformative tourism could become the heart of tourism in the upcoming years as it begins to take deeper roots through new junctions and discoveries, appealing to more researchers and practitioners, with the literature on TT thus gaining momentum. This paper contributes to fill a research gap and capture the evolution of the fast-growing concept of transformative tourism using bibliometric analysis. The article provides useful insights as well as further research directions for both researchers and tourism practitioners interested in this field of study.
... In recent years, there has been an increase in studies on transformative travel experiences (Kirillova et al., 2017;Tasci and Godovykh, 2021). The reason for this increased interest is the attitude and behavior changes that these experiences bring in our consumption patterns and relationships with the other, compared to other experiences (Soulard et al., 2020). ...
... Moreover, the study also looks into various factors that might affect the transformations while looking into transformative outcomes of travel with a holistic approach based on empirical data. Recently, scales have been developed to understand the multidimensional nature of the transformation (Tasci and Godovykh, 2021) and to measure the transformation process and outcomes (Soulard et al., 2020). However, the transformation through travel differs for each individual, and how the transformation occurs is revealed by the travelers' narratives (Kirillova et al., 2017). ...
... Distance (both physical and cultural) from origin, language spoken at the destination, level of interaction, and destination characteristics (history, heritage, customs, and people) also influenced the transformations. This effect can either originate from tangible factors at the destination like landscape, nature, infrastructure, and architecture or intangible factors like culture, values, way of life, relationships, cost of living, etc. Tasci and Godovykh (2021) emphasized that travelers change more during travel when they have contact with nature and people and participate in cultural activities. ...
Article
Transformative tourism experiences result in long-term changes in attitudes and behavior. Although research on transformative tourism has flourished in recent years, there is still a limited number of studies that investigate the travelers' experiences to examine the impact of travel on one's attitudes and behaviors. This exploratory study seeks to identify factors affecting transformative travel experiences to emerge. A typology of travel transformations is also offered based on a qualitative case study conducted on Turkish travelers. As a result of thematic content analysis of in-depth interviews with 30 travelers, the main themes affecting travel transformations emerged as tripograhic, personal and destination-based determinants, whereas the types of transformations were classified under behavioral, attitudinal, and personality changes. If tourist transformations could be understood better, this might result in better promotion of travel as a leisure activity not just at the individual level but at the policy level. Destinations, tour operators, and other hospitality organizations would position their product in a potentially more transformative way if they know the causes and outcomes of travel-related transformations.
... Transformation in tourism is defined as a positive change in self, thoughts, feelings, and behavior that lead to new values, self-definition, and responsible behavior triggered by transformative tourism experiences (Barbieri et al., 2011;Kirillova et al., 2017;Ulusoy, 2016). In the tourism context, Tasci and Godovykh (2021) found that meeting new people, uniting with nature, witnessing tragedies, and taking part in other activities during the trip lead to a significant change in tourists' thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Coghlan and Weiler (2018) described the transformation as a process of reflection on new knowledge and suggested that some volunteering trips lead to transformation for travelers. ...
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Tourist transformation has recently received ample attention. Although personality traits are considered to be overall stable across time, there is evidence that personality might change under the influence of different environmental and contextual factors such as those offered in transformative travel experiences. This study developed and validated a scale to measure travelers’ personality changes after transformative travel experiences. The steps of the study include personality change scale item generation, scale purification, and construct validation with principal component analysis and confirmatory factor analysis. The study results indicated the validity of a six-dimensional tourist transformation scale that may be effective in capturing travelers’ personality change through travel experiences. Keywords: transformation, transformative experience, tourism, personality traits, self-change
... The current period of time is ideal to invite people to visit virtual destinations, which combine advantages of realism and immersion with opportunities to design new travel scenarios and apply different subjective and objective measures of the visitor experience [85]. One more promising direction of future interdisciplinary research in using virtual tourism experience is the exploration of important health [86], transformation [87,88], and wellbeing outcomes [89,90] of tourism activities. Modern mobile technologies make it possible to capture important indicators of positive feelings and health (e.g. ...
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Virtual reality has become a more common phenomenon in both destination marketing and on-site experience. The recent challenges such as overtourism and the COVID-19 pandemic have created a pressing need to examine virtual tourism as an alternative to traditional travel. This conceptual article aims at clarifying virtual experience in tourism, discussing the main antecedents and outcomes of virtual experience, and proposing a conceptual model of virtual tourism experience. The review of the literature revealed that virtual experience in tourism is influenced by factors related to information, quality, technology acceptance, and affective involvement and has significant effects on tourists’ attitudes and behavioral intentions. This paper contributes to knowledge and practice by classifying the main groups of factors influencing virtual tourism experience, introducing the conceptual model, discussing opportunities for future research, and providing recommendations for tourism practitioners.
... The previous literature describes the relationships between positive emotional states and tourists' perceptions, satisfaction, and behavioral intentions (e.g., Han & Jeong, 2013;Pestana et al., 2020;Tung & Ritchie, 2011). At the same time, negative emotions can also lead to positive tourist outcomes such as meaning-making or personal transformation (Nawijn & Biran, 2018;Tasci & Godovykh, 2021). Furthermore, tourists' emotional states evoked before and after the trip also influence tourists' decisions, attitudes, and behavioral outcomes . ...
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Researchers often tend to use the words emotions, feelings, moods, and affect interchangeably, which creates confusion in both conceptual and methodological domains of tourism and hospitality research. However, the insights from neuroscience and psychology demonstrated that there are fundamental differences between these concepts, including their causes, duration, intensity, and outcomes. This research note aims to discuss conceptual and methodological aspects related to using emotions, moods, feelings, and affect, provide comprehensive definitions, and outline opportunities to capture them comprehensively in tourism and hospitality research.
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A discussion of a transformative vision of education will involve a diversity of elements and movements in contemporary education. A vision statement must attend to these diversities. I see my approach to transformative learning as an integral endeavor and thus call my approach integral transformative learning.1Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (1986) gives as part of its definition of “integral” the following descriptors: “essential to completion, formed as a unit with another part, integrated: lacking nothing essential.”
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Experiential marketing and the quest to create memorable and extraordinary customer experiences have become central to tourism. However, implementing the concept of experiential marketing has been problematic due to a lack of knowledge regarding what makes experiences memorable, as well as inattention to the subjective and personal nature of experiences. This study explores the nature of individual experiences, particularly with regard to personal outcomes, emotions and meanings, by investigating tourists’ experiences of the same activity in three different consumption contexts. The influence of consumption context as well as significant differences in personal outcomes were evident, and more profound and meaningful than previous research suggests. Findings point to a need to understand tourist consumption experiences beyond hedonic enjoyment of the moment, and consider their broader implications on well-being and quality of life. Implications for tourism providers and experiential marketing are discussed.
Article
Couched in the context of the experience economy 3.0, this research conceptualized transformations as changes in existential authenticity and anxiety, and phenomenologically explored the essence of a transformative tourist experience and subsequent long-term changes. This research uncovered nine chronologically ordered themes in which existentially oriented concerns were prevalent. It found that tourists did not reflect on existential givens in situ until a triggering episode initiated the meaning-making process. Existential anxiety felt post-trip was found to motivate tourists to resolve pertinent existential dilemmas and to initiate meaningful life changes. Participants sustained enhanced existential authenticity and became more sensitive to existential anxiety in their lives thereafter.
Article
It has been argued that facets do not represent the bottom of the personality hierarchy—even more specific personality characteristics, nuances, could be useful for describing and understanding individuals and their differences. Combining two samples of German twins, we assessed the consensual validity (correlations across different observers), rank-order stability, and heritability of nuances. Personality nuances were operationalized as the 240 items of the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R). Their attributes were examined by analyzing item residuals, controlling for the variance of the facet the item had been assigned to and all other facets. Most nuances demonstrated significant (p < .0002) cross-method agreement and rank-order stability. A substantial proportion of them (48% in self-reports, 20% in informant ratings, and 50% in combined ratings) demonstrated a significant (p < .0002) component of additive genetic variance, whereas evidence for environmental influences shared by twins was modest. Applying a procedure to estimate stability and heritability of true scores of item residuals yielded estimates comparable to those of higher-order personality traits, with median estimates of rank-order stability and heritability being .77 and .52, respectively. Few nuances demonstrated robust associations with age and gender, but many showed incremental, conceptually meaningful, and replicable (across methods and/or samples) predictive validity for a range of interest domains and body mass index. We argue that these narrow personality characteristics constitute a valid level of the personality hierarchy. They may be especially useful for providing a deep and contextualized description of the individual, but also for the prediction of specific outcomes.
Book
Transformational Tourism deals with the important issue of how travel and tourism can change human behaviour and have a positive impact on the world. The book focuses on human development in a world dominated by post-9/11 security and political challenges, economic and financial collapses, and environmental threats. It identifies various types of tourism that can transform human beings, such as educational, volunteer, survival, community-based, eco, farm, extreme, religious, spiritual, wellness, and mission tourism.
Book
The fast-growing phenomenon of volunteer tourism encompasses a diverse range of activities, from conserving environments to working with host communities to alleviate poverty. However, understanding the complex relationship between volunteering and tourism requires a wide analytical framework. This book provides a broad and valuable insight into how volunteer tourism is growing and developing. Theoretical and empirical case studies from leading researchers in the field explore the experiences of the volunteer tourist and the power relationships between volunteers and host communities and commercial, non-commercial and government entities involved in developing and supporting volunteer tourism. The ambiguous and contested intersections between volunteering, travel and alternative tourism as a foundation for considering the future of volunteer tourism are also examined.
Article
Responsible consumption is an increasingly observed phenomenon. Previous research has largely investigated this phenomenon as a conscientious activity by rational individuals. An understanding of the incidental, communal, and experiential aspects of responsible consumption and how these aspects affect consumers remains relatively limited. This study utilizes qualitative methods to explore the self-transformative dynamics of participation in an experiential responsible consumption context that is radically different from everyday life. The context of this study is the alternative break (AB) program in the United States in which student volunteers spend their spring break helping others or improving the environment. In this context, responsible consumption becomes an act of hybrid of moral, rational, social, and ludic agencies. This study shows that some people participate in some forms of responsible consumption incidentally without any specific ideological motivation; they perceive it more emotionally than rationally, and they are transformed by the experience into people who integrate responsibility considerations into their identities. The analysis reveals that there are six interrelated factors that result in these transformations: organic community, unpretentious fun, embracing the other, developing and utilizing capabilities, challenge, and self-reflection. Participants exit AB trips with heightened feelings of empowerment and feel more committed to responsibility considerations and responsible behavior due to these transformations.
Article
This study adopts a multidisciplinary perspective on the process of transformational change in volunteer tourism. Transformational change is understood as an individualized process which can lead to a critical awareness of the self, leading to a new self-definition. It involves four specific elements, a reflection upon the content of their knowledge, the process of knowing, the premise of what they know and the relational elements of their knowledge. Adopting a qualitative semi-structured interview approach, volunteer tourists provide an account of their volunteer tourism experiences in relation to these four transformational process elements. The results indicate that transformational change does occur through tourism, but that this is an individualized process, not an end outcome. Transformation may be strong at an internal level but it may or may not manifest in behaviour that the individual tourist him or herself is even aware of, let alone observable behaviour that researchers can quantify. It is therefore best understood as a process with distinct steps, of which a change in behaviour is just one element. Facilitators of change can be identified but only partially explain why transformation does and does not occur.
Article
Interest in the problem of method biases has a long history in the behavioral sciences. Despite this, a comprehensive summary of the potential sources of method biases and how to control for them does not exist. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to examine the extent to which method biases influence behavioral research results, identify potential sources of method biases, discuss the cognitive processes through which method biases influence responses to measures, evaluate the many different procedural and statistical techniques that can be used to control method biases, and provide recommendations for how to select appropriate procedural and statistical remedies for different types of research settings.
Article
Transformative experience in a hospitality service setting is an under-addressed area. The aim of this study was to understand the transformative guest experience at retreat centers and highlight the mechanism that helped trigger the changes. The analysis of 119 online guest reviews about four popular retreats in Thailand dissected the transformative retreat experience, including guests’ pre-trip state of mind, domains of changes, retreat activity participation, and stimuli in the service environment. The changes were further conceptualized on a series of spectra based on durability, magnitude, and tangibility. The findings may serve as an integrative framework to understand the mechanism by which the retreat experience acts as a functional means to guests’ well-being and personal transformation. Theoretical and managerial implications of the findings were discussed, followed by recommendations for future research.
Article
This paper presents and discusses how consumers are transformed in and out of immersion during extraordinary, long-lasting wilderness canoeing experiences. Based on a hermeneutic multi-phase empirical approach, we show how extraordinary experiences can be dynamic, multifaceted, and emergent. The positive connotations of prior research are questioned as we find that consumers face various paradoxes and ambiguities throughout the various consumption phases. While a major part of research today focuses on the co-creation efforts of consumers when they combine various on-site resource of experiencescapes, our findings point to the importance of understanding consumer resources. The distinction held between the ordinary and the extraordinary does not hold within the present context, and we discuss how role conflicts may influence transformation and immersion during consumption of experiences.
Article
The valorisation of cross-cultural understanding and promotion of an ethic of global citizenship are at the forefront of the recent development and proliferation of international ‘gap year’ travel programs and policies. Governments and industry alike promote gap year travel uncritically as a guaranteed pathway to the development of inclusive ideologies associated with global citizenship. In this paper we examine how the neoliberalist context in which gap year travel programs have proliferated does little to promote tolerance. We then consider the recent growth of ‘volunteer tourism’ as an alternative gap year youth travel experience and explore how the implied resistance to self-serving neoliberalist values that it engenders can become coopted by neoliberalism.
Article
In studies of the relationship between existential authenticity and tourism, it has been postulated that tourism offers a temporary release from the inauthenticity of everyday life. This paper argues that this portrayal of the role of tourism neglects the promise and potential of tourism to act not simply as a substitute, but as a catalyst, for existential authenticity. The paper draws on Heideggerian phenomenology and Sartrean existentialism to reveal the role played by tourism in prompting the adoption of an authentic attitude. A parallel is drawn between tourism and Heidegger’s Spielraum, which offers a reflective space to consider life choices and to prompt change, if necessary, upon tourists’ return home.