An autoethnographic account of a cycling charity challenge event: exploring manifest and latent aspects of the experience
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Charity challenges are an increasingly popular form of alternative tourism, drawing upon charity events, sports and tourism. This study adopts a thematic/analytic autoethnographic approach to explore some of the themes present in the author's experience of a 3-day cycling charity challenge event in Queensland, Australia. The aim of the research was specifically to draw forth both the manifest and latent aspects of the experience using diary entries recorded during the event. Using an emic, inductive approach, eight manifest themes that could be analysed with respect to the broader literature on tourism, sports and charity events were identified. An additional two latent themes that had not been examined previously within this context also appeared in the analysis. The first was the notion of creative expression as a result of fundraising for the event, and the second was related to overcoming a fear of cycling in traffic. The findings raise questions about how we might understand the unspoken facets of the tourism experience as topics such as fear and anxiety are not easy to discuss with external researchers or to capture in their entirety through more prescriptive research methods, such as surveys and structured or semi-structured interviews. This paper provides insights into one event that occurs at the boundaries of cycling tourism, sports and charity events whilst advocating for an understanding of the nuances that permeate participants' experiences of such events. Failure to recognise and acknowledge these nuances may lead to misleading managerial suggestions, poor policy design and unsuccessful new initiatives.
Journal of Sport and Tourism
© 2012 Taylor & Francis. This is an electronic version of an article published in Journal of Sport & Tourism, Volume 17, Issue 2, 2012, Pages 105-124. Journal of Sport & Tourism is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com with the open URL of your article.
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