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Practices in-between: Norwegian long-term visitors in Mediterranean Spain

Publication Illustration
Selstad, Leif. Nogués-Pedregal, Antonio Miguel & Kr. Steen Jacobsen Jens.
Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change
Year of Publication

During initial ethnographic fieldwork among Norwegian long-term visitors in the province of Alicante in Spain, these visitors expressed concern about the manner in which they were portrayed in the Norwegian news media, in contrast to their own images as holidaymakers. This problem is partly epistemological, since ‘long-term visitors’ were uncertain about their status and role. For instance, on sightseeing tours, sports events or hiking trips, they were tourists. At other times, for instance, when dealing with local authorities, they saw themselves as different from pure tourists.

The Norwegian long-termers stated that their stay in Spain was far more multifaceted than what had been portrayed in the media, that they participated in cultural and social activities, and that they had many points of contact with Spanish society. The Norwegian visitors wondered how a more accurate and multi-vocal image of holidaymakers and long-termers could be represented. The concepts of local knowledge, adaptation and discourse will be used here to problematise this timely topic in tourism research on roles and images. Developing a more comprehensive view of long-term visitors will focus not only on their own situation, but also on their relations with other visitors, the host population, and Spanish authorities.