Transforming the guest–host relationship: a convivial tourism approach

Xinran Lehto, Dori Davari, Soona Park

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study aims to provide a fresh perspective toward understanding the forces that exist in the guest-host dynamic and thereby contribute to the guest–host relationship literature. Design/methodology/approach: This study examines guest–host relationship via the philosophical lens of convivialism. Findings: This study conceptualizes conviviality in the guest–host relationship. A convivial guest–host relationship is characterized by well-being mutuality and hospitality mutuality. Such a relation can be built when the guest and the host form a tri-party of coalitions, namely, economic, experience and hospitality. While an economic coalition represents the pragmatic value in a guest–host relationship, an experience coalition represents an experiential value in a guest–host relationship. A hospitality coalition then represents the spiritual alliance in such a relationship. Practical implications: This paper suggests that tourism development should be guided by a conviviality vision. Health and well-being of both the visitors and the destination community should be a goal priority. This paper suggests that the starting point of experience planning is the residents, not the visitors. The critical role of hospitality in formulating market communication strategies is emphasized. Social implications: This study contributes to the larger conversation of diversity and sustainability. Originality/value: This study proposes a convivial tourism model – a form of tourism that is oriented toward mutuality of hospitality and well-being of both visitors and destination communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1069-1088
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Tourism Cities
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Convivial tourism
  • Conviviality
  • Destination visitor management
  • Guest–host relationship
  • Hospitality
  • Tourism experience management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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