Authored by: Orvar Löfgren

The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities

Print publication date:  December  2013
Online publication date:  January  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415667715
eBook ISBN: 9781315857572
Adobe ISBN: 9781317934134


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Towards the end of the twentieth century there was a discussion about how new media and virtual realities would change tourism, creating a generation of couch surfers, who with the help of cutting edge technologies could travel around the world in their living rooms. Would there be any need to leave domestic comfort for expensive and cumbersome actual travel? In 2011 there were over 15 million Google hits for couch surfers, but they were about something entirely different. By then couch surfing had become the term for a rapidly growing form of non-profit tourism where one, with the help of the new social media, could find private lodgings at a tourist destination, make friends with the locals and take up their offer of a living room couch or a spare guest room, be it in Istanbul or Barcelona (see, for example, Germann Molz and Gibson 2007: 65 ff.).

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