Eudaimonic tourist experiences: the case of flamenco

Xavier Matteucci, Sebastian Filep

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In recent years, participation in flamenco, as a cultural art form, has gained momentum within Spain and internationally. Engagement in flamenco music and dance workshops in Spain has also become an increasingly significant tourism activity. Despite this trend, little research has looked into the nature of leisure experiences of flamenco. This paper seeks to address this knowledge gap by exploring how tourists experience flamenco music and dance courses in the city of Seville. Through a grounded theory research strategy in which in-depth interviews were conducted with 20 participants, the study reveals that four key themes characterise tourists’ experiences of flamenco. These are: the social and physical environment, which refers to physical flamenco spaces in Seville and tourists’ interactions with instructors and peers; secondly, the experience of challenge, characterised by hardship and sacrifice in the pursuit of flamenco; thirdly, activation of the sensual body or a sense of arousal; and lastly, an intrinsic and deep desire for self-discovery. The study demonstrates that the flamenco tourist experience strongly contributes to self-realisation and fulfilment of those who engage in it, or in other words, that the flamenco tourist experience is eudaimonic in character. The interview findings were linked to literature on self-realisation, self-fulfilment, true self, stress-related growth and related eudaimonic themes. Eudaimonia, or a sense of personal expressiveness and self-realisation, has not been previously established in this context. Therefore, the research findings provide a theoretical understanding of what a eudaimonic tourist experience of dance and music may look like.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-52
Number of pages14
JournalLeisure Studies
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • eudaimonia
  • flamenco
  • grounded theory
  • Tourists’ experiences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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