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.
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!