Second life: Liminal tourism spaces as sites for lifestyle migration, an exploration of Niseko, Japan

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Abstract

Niseko, a small agricultural community in northern Japan has, since the early 2000s, transformed into a ski destination through the development of international tourism. Many Australians have settled in the Niseko area and established tourism-based businesses and holiday homes, transforming local streetscapes. Framed by a social constructivist perspective, and taking an interpretive approach, this research was premised by the idea of stories being windows to understanding subjective human experience. Accordingly, the research design drew upon a narrative method of inquiry, specifically designed to illuminate the voices of seventeen Japanese and Australian tourism business owners. The research findings revealed Niseko, is functioning as a liminal tourism space, shaped by cosmopolitan tourism business owners who relocate there to pursue their ‘second life’ after experiences of living abroad.
This paper builds on the emerging research area which explores the link between tourism, leisure, and lifestyle migration and offers new insight into how participation in tourism businesses can facilitate lifestyle migration. It reveals how experiences of living overseas can influence individuals to establish alternative lifestyles in tourism spaces, underpinned by the desire to live in a way that is more congruent with their sense of self. This research contributes to understanding how highly mobile, cosmopolitan individuals in tourism spaces relate to place and are influenced by it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-302
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Volume47
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Apr 2021

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