Guest Lecture on Tourism Experiences @WUR

This is the second time that I give a guest lecture in the Leisure, Tourism and Environment: Experiences and Environments postgraduate course at Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Having been an MSc student at Wageningen University myself, makes giving guest lectures at this institution a very dear experience to me. It always bring me back to the days when I was part of a wonderful cohort of students coming from different places around the world, collectively going through an intellectually transformative period that has shaped my thinking in important ways. I remain an enthusiastic advocate of the program, which is now entitled MSc Tourism Society and Environment.

Hosts greeting guests. Source: Airbnb Press Room

The guest lecture, entitled “The Sharing Economy and Tourism Experiences”,  took place on 23 January. I started with an introduction to the rise of a so-called “sharing economy” of tourism. I then discussed “the difference that Airbnb makes” in its penetration of the intimate spaces of the home and of everyday life compared to previous forms of ‘cultural tourism’. Finally, I concluded with some empirical considerations and on whether the ‘digital turn’ actually means the end of tourism experiences “as we knew them” or, rather, a future configuration.

Thanks to Karolina Doughty from the Cultural Geography group for inviting me to give the lecture!