Commercial hospitality in destination experiences: McDonald's and tourists' consumption of space

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Osman, Hanaa ; Johns, Nick ; Lugosi, Peter (2014)

This paper examines the multiple roles that globalised, branded spaces of hospitality can play in tourists' experiences in destinations. It is argued that previous studies have not considered adequately how such commercial hospitality services and spaces interact with and influence tourists' experiences of places. Drawing on a netnographic analysis of online discussions of McDonald's, this study explores how tourists perceive these hospitality venues, and how they use them to engage with foreign destinations and negotiate the ‘work of tourism’. The data show how tourists (re)construct their identities through reflections on consuming McDonald's. The data also demonstrate that tourists critically evaluate discourses of authenticity and the (in)authenticity of consuming McDonald's. The paper concludes by discussing the implications for the marketing and management of McDonald's and similar branded commercial hospitality venues, the marketing and management of destinations, and it outlines avenues for further research.
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