Tourism Recreation Research vol:39 issue:2 pages:259-265
Tourists have been labelled, metaphorically, in multiple ways. This includes descriptions of tourists as (secular) pilgrims in a quest of authenticity but also as travellers on a sacred journey. In contrast, the stereotypical image that tourists are hedonists is related particularly (but not exclusively) with sun, sand and sex, and is associated with, sometimes unbridled, consumerism (cf. Salazar 2010a). This research probe deals with the question whether a tourist is a ‘secular pilgrim’ or a ‘hedonist in search of pleasure’. Both descriptors refer to a debate among tourism scholars that started back in the 1970s. It is important to put the question and possible answers to it within the historical context of this discussion.