Although research documents tourism influences the lifestyles, values, behaviours, and self-identities of tourists and host-communities, the majority of tourism research remains focused on tourists. Niseko, in northern Japan, offers an example of a rural community transformed from a small agricultural-based economy into a cosmopolitan, international ski resort destination supported by foreign investment. Drawing upon Niseko’s experience, this paper engages with a growing body of research advocating advantages of qualitative methodology to augment the preponderance of quantitative tourism research, particularly for measuring progress, change, and experience. Using the case example of Niseko, we argue narrative inquiry offers a research method for understanding tourism as a dynamic, reflexive process negotiated by tourists and hosts within social environments. In synthesising tourism literature, we illustrate how a shift in methodological focus, from quantitative to qualitative narrative inquiry, shifts research focus towards issues and research questions of great pertinence in contemporary liminal tourism spaces, such as those characterised by Niseko’s ski destinations, and, by drawing upon Anthony Gidden’s theory, allude to the importance of prioritising identity construction in the provision of tourism.
|Title of host publication||CAUTHE 2018: Get Smart: Paradoxes and Possibilities in Tourism, Hospitality and Events Education and Research|
|Subtitle of host publication||Proceedings of the 28th CAUTHE conference|
|Publisher||University of Newcastle|
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|