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Change, Choice, and Commercialization: Backpacker Routes in Southeast Asia

Hampton, Mark P., Hamzah, Amran (2016) Change, Choice, and Commercialization: Backpacker Routes in Southeast Asia. Growth and Change, 47 (4). pp. 556-571. ISSN 0017-4815. E-ISSN 1468-2257. (doi:10.1111/grow.12143) (KAR id:41258)


South-East Asia has the oldest and largest backpacker trails. This paper examines the geographies of such flows, drawing upon the largest survey to date of backpackers in Asia using qualitative research to survey the key changes from the 1970s to the 2000s. Backpacker trails have changed significantly and new routes have emerged including the ‘northern trail’ (Bangkok - Cambodia - Vietnam - Laos). It is to be expected that routes change as backpackers constantly seek new places, pioneering for later mass tourism. However, this paper suggests that using institutionalization as a framework, these changing trails and backpacker ‘choices’ can be seen as driven by growing commercialization and institutionalization. This then operates in combination with external variables (travel innovations - low cost airlines, and new transport networks); exogenous shock (political instability, terrorism); and growing regional competition from emerging destinations such as Vietnam and Cambodia.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/grow.12143
Uncontrolled keywords: backpackers; institutionalization; travel flows; Malaysia; Thailand; Indonesia; Vietnam; Cambodia.
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation. Leisure
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5351 Business
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Leadership and Management
Depositing User: Mark Hampton
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2014 09:02 UTC
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2022 10:40 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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