Facilitators and Inhibitors of Host-Guest Understanding: The case of Lazise (Italy)

Philipp Wassler


Past research related to host-guest relations has been heavily influenced by the host-guest paradigm, a binary concept assuming a reciprocal relationship among two clearly distinct communities. Recently scholars have questioned the validity of this notion in a contemporary context, but have not widely succeeded in showing what facilitates/inhibits host-guest understanding. Lazise, a popular holiday destination on the shores Lake Garda/Italy is the case study taken  in order to identify and understand facilitators/inhibitors of host-guest understanding through an interpretive approach. The study has resulted in identifying three core themes which facilitate host-guest relations in the context of Lazise, namely romanticization of local lifestyle, self-criticism and perceived authenticity of local culture. Furthermore, two inhibitors for host-guest understanding have been identified, namely lack of cultural sensitivity, and open display of sexual encounters between locals and tourists. The findings are useful for tourism policymakers in Lazise and elsewhere, while a further academic step towards a better understanding of host-guest relations is offered.


Host-guest Relations; Interpretive Approach; Host-guest Paradigm; Lake Garda; Italy

Full Text:

PDF (English)


Andriotis, K. (2010). Heterotopic erotic oases: The public nude beach experience. Annals of Tourism Research, 37(4), 1076-1096.

Ap, J., & Crompton, J. L. (1993). Residents' strategies for responding to tourism impacts. Journal of Travel Research, 32(1), 47-50.

Aramberri, J. (2001). The host should get lost: Paradigms in the tourism theory. Annals of Tourism Research, 28(3), 738-761.

Bailey, C. A. (2006). A guide to qualitative field research. SAGE Publications, Incorporated.

Baudrillard, J. (1988). Jean Baudrillard: selected writings. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Berno, T. (1999). When a guest is a guest: Cook Islanders view tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 26(3), 656-675.

Boissevain, J. (1996). Coping with tourists: European reactions to mass tourism (Vol. 1). Berghahn Books.

Bona, M. J. (1999). Claiming a tradition: Italian American women writers. SIU Press.

Boorstin, D. (1964) The Image: a Guide to Pseudo-events in America. Harper & Row.

Brewer, J. D. (1984). Tourism and ethnic stereotypes: Variations in a Mexican town. Annals of Tourism Research, 11(3), 487-501.

Clift, S., & Carter, S. (Eds.). (2000). Tourism and sex: Culture, commerce and coercion. Cengage Learning EMEA.

Cohen, E. (1972). Toward a sociology of international tourism. Social Research, 164-182.

Cohen, E. (1979). A phenomenology of tourist experiences. Sociology, 13(2), 179-201.

Cohen, E. (1988). Traditions in the qualitative sociology of tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 15(1), 29-46.

Comune di Lazise (2010). Movimentazione commune di Lazise anno 2010. Provincia di Verona turismo.

Comuni italiani (2013). Comune di Lazise. Retrieved May 15th 2013 from http://www.comuni-italiani.it/023/043/

Davis, D., Allen, J., & Cosenza, R. M. (1988). Segmenting local residents by their attitudes, interests, and opinions toward tourism. Journal of Travel Research, 27(2), 2-8.

Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.). (2005). The Sage handbook of qualitative research. Sage Publications, Incorporated.

Doxey, G. V. (1975, September). A causation theory of visitor-resident irritants: Methodology and research inferences. In Travel and Tourism Research Associations Sixth Annual Conference Proceedings (pp. 195-98).

Faulkner, B., & Tideswell, C. (1997). A framework for monitoring community impacts of tourism. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 5(1), 3-28.

Geertz, C. (1973). The interpretation of cultures: Selected essays (Vol. 5019). Basic Books (AZ).

Getz, D. (1994). Residents' attitudes towards tourism: A longitudinal study in Spey Valley, Scotland. Tourism Management, 15(4), 247-258.

Gross, M. J., & Brown, G. (2006). Tourism experiences in a lifestyle destination setting: The roles of involvement and place attachment. Journal of Business Research, 59(6), 696-700.

Hartman, K. B., Meyer, T., & Scribner, L. L. (2009). Culture cushion: inherently positive inter-cultural tourist experiences. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 3(3), 259-268.

Hottola, P. (2004). Culture confusion: Intercultural adaptation in tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 31(2), 447-466.

Johnson, J. D., Snepenger, D. J., & Akis, S. (1994). Residents' perceptions of tourism development. Annals of Tourism Research, 21(3), 629-642.

Klein, H. K., & Myers, M. D. (1999). A set of principles for conducting and evaluating interpretive field studies in information systems. MIS quarterly, 67-93.

Krippendorf, J. (1987). The Holiday makers. Routledge.

Lanfant, M. F. (1993). Methodological and conceptual issues raised by the study of international tourism: a test for sociology. Tourism research: Critiques and challenges, 70-87.

Lankford, S. V. (1994). Attitudes and perceptions toward tourism and rural regional development. Journal of Travel Research, 32(3), 35-43.

MacCannell, D. (1976). The tourist: A new theory of the leisure class. Univ of California Press.

Maoz, D. (2006). The mutual gaze. Annals of Tourism Research, 33(1), 221-239.

McCool, S. F., & Martin, S. R. (1994). Community attachment and attitudes toward tourism development. Journal of Travel Research, 32(3), 29-34.

McNaughton, D. (2006). The ‘host’ as uninvited ‘guest’: Hospitality, violence and tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 33(3), 645-665.

Mehmetoglu, M. (2004). A typology of tourists from a different angle. International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration, 5(3), 69-90.

Oberg, K. (1960). Cultural shock: Adjustment to new cultural environments. Practical Anthropology, 7(4), 177-182.

Pi-Sunyer, O. (1978). Through native eyes: tourists and tourism in a Catalan maritime community. Hosts and guests: The Anthropology of Tourism, 149-56.

Plog, S. C. (1974). Why Destination Areas Rise and Fall in Popularity. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Quarterly, 14(4), 55-8.

Ross, G. F. (1992). Resident perceptions of the impact of tourism on an Australian city. Journal of Travel Research, 30(3), 13-17.

Selwyn, T. (1996). The tourist image: myths and myth making in tourism. John Wiley & Sons.

Shaw, G., & Williams, A. M. (1994). Critical issues in tourism: a geographical perspective. Blackwell Publishers.

Sherlock, K. (1999). The role of community in tourism studies. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 11(2), 126-127.

Smith, V. L. (Ed.). (1989). Hosts and guests: The anthropology of tourism. University of Pennsylvania Press.

Stauss, B., & Mang, P. (1999). 'Culture shocks' in inter-cultural service encounters?. Journal of Services marketing, 13(4/5), 329-346.

Swarbrooke, J. (1999). Sustainable tourism management. Cabi.

The Hofstede Centre (2013). Cultural dimensions. Retrieved May 15th 2013 from www. http://geert-hofstede.com/

Tucker, H., & Lynch, P. (2004). Host-guest dating: the potential of improving the customer experience through host-guest psychographic matching. Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality & Tourism, 5(2-4), 11-32.

Wall, G., & Mathieson, A. (2006). Tourism: change, impacts, and opportunities. Prentice Hall.

Walsham, G. (1995). Interpretive case studies in IS research: nature and method. European Journal of Information Systems, 4(2), 74-81.

Walsham, G. (2006). Doing interpretive research. European Journal of Information Systems, 15(3), 320-330.

Wassler, P. (2010). An Interpretive Approach to the Host–Guest Relations in Lazise/Italy (Master Thesis, Tourism Destination Management Masters Programme, NHTV University of Applied Sciences, Breda).

Weiermair, K. (2000). Tourists’ perceptions towards and satisfaction with service quality in the cross-cultural service encounter: implications for hospitality and tourism management. Managing Service Quality, 10(6), 397-409.

Weiermair, K., & Fuchs, M. (1999). Measuring tourist judgment on service quality. Annals of Tourism Research, 26(4), 1004-1021.

Weiermair, K., & Fuchs, M. (2000). The impact of cultural distance on perceived service quality gaps: The case of Alpine tourism.

Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality & Tourism, 1(2), 59-75.

Zhang, J., Inbakaran, R. J., & Jackson, M. S. (2006). Understanding community attitudes towards tourism and host—Guest interaction in the urban—rural border region. Tourism Geographies, 8(2), 182-204.

DOI: 10.6092/issn.2036-5195/4772


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2014 Philipp Wassler

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.