Travel bloggers and the serious leisure perspective: Who do they think they are?

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Bates, Tonia
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The Web 2.0 environment has altered North American society immeasurably as producers and consumers have merged into one, the prosumer. This new type of individual is visible in the blogosphere, in particular when examining travel blogs. The creators of travel blogs spend a considerable amount of their leisure and work creating and maintaining these travelogues, but little research has queried them about these efforts. The online contributions travel bloggers make potentially places their leisure choices within the Serious Leisure Perspective (SLP), more specifically within the sub-category of serious leisure. By engaging travel bloggers through a qualitative based questionnaire about their travel blogs, this research identified motivations and benefits of blogging. Recommendations for further research about online pursuits and serious leisure are suggested and the ways prosumers are linked to and have formed relationships with the mainstream travel industry are discussed. This research provides insight into travel bloggers’ perceptions of their contributions to the Web 2.0 environment, to the Serious Leisure Perspective, and to the travel industry.
travel blog, serious leisure, Web 2.0, tourism, prosumer