PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (5): 644-654.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2017.05.012

• Articles • Previous Articles    

Tourist self-concept in time and space: A case study on typical online travel notes

Qingyan HUANG1(), Kai BAI1,2,*()   

  1. 1. Tourism and Environment College, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710119, China
    2. Shaanxi Tourism Information Engineering Laboratory, Xi'an 710119, China
  • Received:2016-11-01 Online:2017-05-20 Published:2017-05-20
  • Contact: Kai BAI;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41271157, No.41671144;Social Science Foundation of Shaanxi Province, No.13Q046;Humanities and Social Science Talent Plan in Shaanxi Province (HSSTP)


Through a case study of typical online travel notes, this research found that the vertical development of tourists' self-concept has three essential features. First, in the temporal dimension, tourists' self-concept is a dynamic and cyclic process. As time goes on, tourists' self-concept experiences diachronic changes of the actual self, ideal self, and social self. Changes include that the actual self goes through "weariness-identity-appreciation"; ideal self goes through "eagerness-freedom-satisfaction"; and social self goes through "alienation-authenticity-responsibility." This process is dynamic, and will be replaced by new experiences. Second, when the spatial dimension is concerned, the tourists experience the change of life-world and tourism-world, tourists' self-concept experiences "life-world self-diagnosis-tourism- world self-reflection-life-world self-reconstruction. Last but not the least, travel is a non-material and transforming process. Instead of visiting material objects, tourists also involve in subject's cognitive process, including self-discovery, self-reflection, self-identity, and self-reconstruction.

Key words: self-concept, self-image, travel and tour, online travel notes, case study