Independent tourist's automobilities in Norway

Gareth Butler, Kevin Hannam

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper critically examines the methods of transportation used by independent tourists and how importantly they value mobility throughout their journeys. While independent tourists are frequently identified as being adventurous and highly mobile, relatively few researchers have critically examined the modes of transport they use or the importance they play in enhancing and fulfilling their desired experiences. Indeed, most literature portrays independent tourists as habitual users of public transport as opposed to modes of personal transport. In this paper, the notion of automobility - a combination of autonomous and self-directed movement - is explored from the perspective of independent tourists in Norway. A multi-method qualitative study was undertaken which analysed the views of 38 independent tourists at eight different locations. The findings revealed that personal modes of transport were intrinsic features of the journeys undertaken and that they offered alternative sensory experiences in contrast to public transport. Moreover, for many independent tourists, autonomous journeys were considerably more important than the destinations they visited. Thus, for many independent tourists in Norway, demands for control, flexibility and adventure could only be satisfied by using particular modes of transport.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)285-300
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Tourism and Cultural Change
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


    • automobility
    • independent tourists
    • mobility
    • Norway
    • transport


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