An ethnographic study of tourist psychological states: Implications for festivities and events
This is the first study that explores in such depth the emotional dimensions of visitors at numerous and various events held around the world, for almost ten years. Unexpected findings and new knowledge provide novel directions to the new millennium tourism stakeholders, and the tourism/psychology research community. Strong positive emotions are found to be the outcome of the unexpected, genuine hospitable offerings and a holistic sense-fulfilling experience at events/festivities. The tangibilisation of the visitor’s experience with certain stimuli may lead to strong cognitive/emotional associations with a specific destination which will endure even for a lifetime. Even so, if a destination aims to stage an event/festival, then they must to it properly otherwise the negative impact on the attendees’ emotional state may influence adversely their perception even towards the destination as a whole. Interestingly, the emotion of “frustration” was found to lead towards a revisit intention, “embarrassment”, though, probably not. Surprisingly, “anger” and “frustration” do not have the same negative effect as “boredom” has on the behaviour of event attendees. An unexpected study finding is the fact that certain negative emotions, such as “sadness”, may even add psychological value to a specific visitor experience.
Keywords: tourism, psychology, emotions, events