Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/144168
Title: A GEOGRAPHICAL STUDY OF COUCHSURFING: CREATING PLACE THROUGH THE HOST-SURFER RELATIONSHIP
Authors: LOKE XIU MIN RACHEL
Keywords: place making, sense of place, host-guest relationship, Couchsurfing, intimate tourism
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: LOKE XIU MIN RACHEL (2018). A GEOGRAPHICAL STUDY OF COUCHSURFING: CREATING PLACE THROUGH THE HOST-SURFER RELATIONSHIP. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Tourism practices are ever evolving, giving rise to alternative forms of tourism that seek to deviate from the mainstream. Given the growing desire of tourists to encounter local people and authentic experiences, Couchsurfing as an ‘intimate tourism’ has been gaining ground, due to the close relationships forged between ‘hosts’ and ‘surfers’. This ‘host-surfer relationship’ is widely deemed the hallmark of Couchsurfing, as it promotes authentic experiences and intimacy between both parties. While scholars have studied the Couchsurfing phenomenon and host-guest relationships in tourism, there is limited geographical research on Couchsurfing. Given that place is made meaningful by the people present, the host-surfer relationship has the potential to create meanings of place for both the hosts and surfers. Hence, this thesis aims to investigate how the host-surfer relationship in Couchsurfing contributes to the geographical concept of place. Through participant observations and interviews with Couchsurfing hosts and surfers in Singapore, this thesis examines how the hostsurfer relationship leads to place making and the creation of a sense of place for surfers and hosts respectively. The conceptual framework utilises ideas of intimacy, authenticity and the encounter to analyse the formation of host-surfer relationships, and how these relationships affect place making and sense of place. As gathered from the fieldwork conducted, hosts and surfers interact by going places together, doing activities together and having conversations. It is these forms of interaction that result in surfers undergoing place making, and hosts developing a sense of place towards Singapore. Thus, this thesis contributes theoretically to tourism geography, as place is produced and shaped by the relationships between hosts and guests in tourism practices. This empirical study of Couchsurfing in Singapore also sheds light on the importance iii of local-tourist interactions in forming impressions of and connections to Singapore, thus offering practical insights to tourism in Singapore.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/144168
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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