New paper by Janet E. Dickinson, , Julia F. Hibbert, Viachaslau Filimonau Mobile technology and the tourist experience: (Dis)connection at the campsite Tourism Management Volume 57, December 2016, Pages 193–201

New paper by Janet E. Dickinson, Julia F. HibbertViachaslau Filimonau  Mobile technology and the tourist experience: (Dis)connection at the campsite Tourism Management Volume 57, December 2016, Pages 193–201  doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2016.06.005


•50% of tourists have some desire for mobile disconnection.
•Tourists have dilemmas regarding mobile connectivity.
•Digital engagement has a small effect on desire for mobile disconnection.
•Developers of digital solutions should not assume the tourist is ‘always connected’.


Mobile technology is playing an increasing role in the tourist experience and a growing body of tourism research has focused on this area. There is often an implicit assumption that tourists embrace mobile connectivity and relatively little research has explored the tourist experience of disconnection, whether purposeful or imposed by technological limitations. This study explores the desire for digital (dis)connection during camping tourism. Data compiled using interviews and a survey revealed that the tourist is not ‘always connected’ and up to 50% have some desire to disconnect. There is ambiguity about mobile technology use in tourism with dilemmas regarding the value of connectivity versus the desire to ‘get away from it all’. The analysis found digital engagement had a small effect on desire for disconnection however, patterns were not marked. The findings have implications for mobile technology solutions in tourism.


  • Mobile technology;
  • Smartphone;
  • Digital connection;
  • Tourist experience
Corresponding author.

Janet Dickinson is a Professor at Bournemouth University. Her research interests focus on mitigation of and adaptation of tourism to climate change, digital technology, the sharing economy, social representations and time.


Julia Hibbert is a Research Fellow in the Faculty of Management at Bournemouth University. Her research interests include the role of personal and social identity in tourism mobility, understanding travel behaviour and sustainable transport systems.


Viachaslau Filimonau is Senior Lecturer in Hospitality Management at Bournemouth University (UK). His research interests include sustainable mobilities, environmental management and environmental impact assessment as applied in the context of tourism and hospitality.

Leave a Reply

Your details
  • (Your email address will not be published in your comment)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>