At “The End of Tourism? MOBILITY AND LOCAL-GLOBAL CONNECTIONS” conference held in Eastbourne, UK between 22-24 June 2005; I presented a paper entitled ‘The Journeys to locales outside time and place: why the Internet Café is the new executive lounge.”
Why a paper on backpackers and Internet Cafes?
back in 2004-2005, We have little understanding of how travelers organized their time or how they used technology. Previous tourism studies noted that insufficient attention has been paid to the experiences and practices of the traveler in explaining the nature of modern tourism. Internationally, the developing trend in world tourism is the growth of the fully independent traveler (FIT) and Backpackers are the ultimate F.I.T travelers. Therefore research into the “backpacker” market could provide useful insights into the future more traditional “mass market”.
Internet Cafes, back then, were regular fixtures in both travel areas and travel lives, often serving as magnets for travelers looking for places to pass time and connect with home. There was increasing interest in
understanding how the mobility of communications and information technologies was impacting upon contemporary, connected society, especially in terms of how it may be influencing the way people
conceptualize the public and private sectors of their lives and how social relationships, even those conduced offline, are mediated by internet technology in a networked technospace.
The purpose of this conference paper was to explore how networked technology was made ordinary at an internet café and how backpackers used the internet as “non- places” in the form of Internet cafes, and how this use be impacting the experience of being a Independent traveller.
I used the final Internet cafe scene from the movie “The Beach
” to explore the issues.
The Slides I used. The paper ended up as a book chapter entitled – Hypermobility in backpacker lifestyles: The emergence of the internet café
In the book “Tourism and Mobilities: Local Global Connections“. 109-132